PHX STL PHX or how I racked up 26 hours of flying in three days.


If specified, this will replace the title that
Well I got back Saturday around 4p.m. PHX time from my second time running the Phoenix to St. Louis trip in the Apache.

This time Mavmb1 came along for the gruelling 11.1 hour trip out (one day) and the 12.1 hour trip back (two days).

We went VFR from Scottsdale to Midland TX on Sunday, Oct. 5. A four hour leg. We gassed up and headed out for Springfield, MO. However I was getting hungry and we wanted to file IFR into SGF (Springfield) and seeing as the ERLAC were scattered all over the aircraft we landed in Abilene, TX (about an hour east of Midland). Well come to find out the restaurant had been closed and the nearest food was off airport quite a ways so we just filed IFR from ABI to SGF and left. We picked up about .3 acutal on that leg (3 hours to SGF from ABI). We let down trhough some broken layers and touched down in SGF just as the sun had finally dissappeared behind the horizon.

By this time my head was pounding - I hadn't eaten all day - so we grabbed a courtesy car and hightailed it to the nearest restaurant. After being fed and feeling much better we filed direct from Springfield to St. Louis Regional (ALN) and were there inside two hours. Touching down at 11p.m. St. Louis time.

The next morning we jaunted up to Decatur, IL to drop Mav off and I returned to the St. Louis area.

Week goes by - friends, family, the St. Louis Zoo, etc.

Friday Oct. 10 rolls up and I'm at ALN trying to pay my gas bill and seeing if the haze/mist will burn out so I can go VFR up to Decatur to grab Mav. 8 a.m. comes up and it's not bruning out so I file IFR direct to DEC and log my first IMC of any considerable length solo. I also get my first real IMC approach (ILS to RWY 6) out of the flight - also solo.

From DEC we file IFR back to SGF and the 700ft OVC that was supposed to burn out by the time we got there (a 3 hour leg) was still going strong. So we got vectored for the ILS and wouldn't you know it the No. 1 nav decides to go AWOL and we end up shooting the LOC approach. NOthing quite like seeing you No. 1 Nav flagged to hell in back while in the middle of solid IMC.
We break out and land. Found out later the CB popped for the No. 1 nav.

After a bunch of free sandwiches at SGF (Customer Appreciation Week) we head out of Abilene. Four hours later we're on the ground checking the weather. If it weren't for the 5 cells topping at 30-50,000ft sitting just south of Midland we would have probably made it to PHX on Friday night. Instead we decided to call it a night and got a hotel room in fabtabulous, happening, exciting Abilene, TX. [/sacrasm:eek:ff] Saturday morning we wake up to find one big cell sitting just south of Midland, again. We figure we can deviate around it and out the airplane we go. But right before we left to head out across the ramp I chacked the weather one last time and the single cell was now 5 cells. It didn't feel right so we got picked up again and taken back to the FBO and re-filed for ABI to Lubbock, to Roswell, to Albuqurque. Took off out of ABI up through a few layers to 12k and scooted on into ABQ. From ABQ it was another 2 hours into SDL and the trip was done. Well, I had an additional 15 minutes to FFZ.

All in all I racked up 26 hours of flying, 3 hours of actual, 2 approaches and about 24 pictures. I'll post 'em once they're developed.

Now back to the normal grind.
Yeah that was a fun trip! The only thing I'll add was that we were flying over Texas at 12000, with an overcast layer above us and no heater, so for a while it was just a wee bit chilly!
Sounds like lots of fun...At the rate my new job is going (two days into it-with a bunch of loony "white boys-faking the 'rap' funk" at a modern rock station...Damn I thought I was out of Hip-Hop ah!
). I may just have to take a trip like that with my dad...Man I cant wait till LV weekend!