Sunday Flight in Arizona by Tom Velvick [tomvelvick 'at' cox.net]
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RV4chick and I decided to go flying Sunday morning out of Deer Valley (KDVT), AZ. We were going to go to Chandler (CHD) and eat breakfast and get some cheap fuel but the clouds were too low and there was lots of haze on the east side of town. Payson (PAN), another popular destination for us, was socked in. We decided to go to Glendale (GEU) for breakfast instead. We met up with Kevin H. and his new 200 hp rv-4 he had just purchased last month and he decided to join us. We decided to fly over Lake Pleasant to extend our short 10 minute flight to Glendale a little longer. We had to fly between two layers of clouds going out to the lake (a very unusual experience for AZ). As we headed out, the weather looked a lot better to the north and we knew the weather was forecast to improve so we decided to try for Sedona (KSEZ). As we got to the ridge on the south side of the Verde valley, everything was clear ahead of us, but the weather for Sedona was reporting 300 ft overcast. As we got closer, we could see the whole Verde valley had a solid white low level overcast. Flagstaff (KFLG) looked clear, but we decided to try for Seligman (60 miles west) instead as Kevin had never been there. The flight was smooth and extremely scenic with all of the puffies in the air. The ground underneath us was clear for most of the way, but when we flew over the Seligman airport (P23), it was solid low overcast again. We circled around to the north and decide to go back and try the Flagstaff airport. As we were going back east about 2 miles north of the airport, RV4chick said she could see the end of the runway through a hole. As we were hungry and some pilots were reporting bladder
problems, we did a quick left 270 and flew through the hole and were able to land under the overcast with no problem.
We had to hike about a quarter of a mile to the Route 66 Roadkill Restaurant (Motto - You kill it, we cook it). We went past a couple of homeless looking people sacked out in the sagebrush on the airport property on the way to the restaurant. Was kind of strange to be walking and all of a sudden a head would pop up out of the brush. Seligman is unattended but has heated restrooms. We think that might have been one of the attractions for them. Since we flew in and had no roadkill to cook, so they were gracious enough to let us order off their menu. I ordered oatmeal, and scrambled eggs just to be safe. Kevin had a huge plate of assorted stuff with lots of salsa and cheesy looking stuff. Not sure what it was, but he really liked it.
Kevin also liked the motto on this water tower by the restaurant.
By the time we got done with breakfast, the overcast had risen and turned into scattered clouds so we had no problem getting back out. RV4chick rode back with Kevin in his rv-4 and couldn't believe how much faster the 200 hp rv was than our 160 hp rv-4. I was at full power at 6500 feet and Kevin blew by me going at a 22 mph faster groundspeed. So now RV4chick wants a 200 hp engine for her rv-4. :-$ It looks like his setup is going to give everyone except for the rockets a run for their money. The clouds keep lowering on the way back and DVT was reporting 1800 scattered when we landed. The unsettled weather from the storm system that passed through on Friday and Saturday turned this flight into an unforgettable experience. We had to change destinations several times on this trip. The performance of our RVs made changing destinations because of the weather a non-event. We ended up flying several hundred miles (although it didn't seem that far), having a blast and were back on the ground by noon ready to do it again.
Tom and Katie
N188KJ rv-6a hanging engine