One Last Flight by Paul Besing 
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Here is a "keep poundin' those rivets story" for all you builder's still
working on your airplanes. Read on!

As most of you know, I am selling my pride and joy, N197AB. Well, I figured
before the new owner took possession, Pam and I were going to take a trip
together before the airplane is gone. After all, she put up with it for 3.5
years, so she deserved to go somewhere!

Friday at around 12:00 we took off from Deer Valley (DVT) and headed for Lake
Havasu City as our first waypoint. After picking up flight following, we were
there in about 45 minutes, plugging along at 200 MPH and 2400 RPM. Not to
mention, we had a 30 pound suitcase, another carry on bag, a briefcase with a
laptop and a few other misc things. 

We flew from there direct to California City. (L71). A sleepy little airport,
with a restaurant that was definitely out of place. White cloth, almost fine
dining! We had a great ceaser salad and a huge chicken sandwich. We were
greeted in typical airport fashion. Smiles and stories. Turns out, we ran
into a guy who is a chapter president that knows Paul Rosales. Small world. 
We swapped stories about his airplane, and the many adventures that Paul and
Victoria have been on. We fueled up with 100LL that was $1.89/gallon. Can't
beat it.

Headed direct to Monterey (MRY) from there. Beautiful flight, up until the
end. Winds came in out of no where. Tower called us and advised low level
wind shear gusting to 30 knots! Ouch! Well, we were at our aft CG limit, 30
knot winds changing directions, and we were quite thirsty. One go around, and
we got her down without incident. Damn, RV's rule.

Parked her out on the ramp (the airplane that is). Caught a cab to our bed and
breakfast in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. A sleepy little town with lots of
cool streets, shops, great food, and nice cars. Not to mention a gorgeous
beach, and Pebble Beach golf course is right down the road. We took a walk on
the beach Sat morning, walked through town and grabbed some lunch. Then we
headed into Monterey for some more sight seeing. Went to the Monterey Aquarium
(very cool), ate clam chowder at the warf, etc. Truly a great experience.

Sunday came and it was time to leave. Not without some sight seeing in the RV.
We took off up the coast to the North, and after contacting Bay Approach and
asked if they had a "bay tour" type route they could vector us through, they
said, "No." However he told us we could fly below 2000 or above 3500 and
basically do whatever we wanted. Gave us a squawk and off we went went. (Hard
to believe with added security these days) We flew up the coast towards the
Golden Gate Bridge. Surely we were getting too close to a potential terrorist
target, but nothing was said. We announced our intentions, and every call came
back with "roger". Too cool. Flew over the Golden Gate, around Alcatraz, down
the bay and over Oakland. What an amazing site. We have never been to S.F.,
and to see it for the first time from the air was a real treat. The
controllers were great. Very friendly, and very accommodating. They even told
us to "enjoy".

Departed Class B and headed for Harris Ranch. Had a great lunch, watched the
US get beat in the gold medal hockey game (damn) and then fueled up and took
off. (Don't get fuel there...$2.59/gallon). Flew flight following direct to
Phoenix. Had the sun set behind us about an hour from home. The panel lights
came to life and we enjoyed a night flight into our home airport. 

All in all, put 8.5 hours on the hobbs this weekend. Every minute of it was
truly incredible. Makes me sad to have to sell her, but it's for good reason. 
Priorities do that to you sometime. At least I had this last time to take a
truly memorable trip. The wife is convinced. Another RV is in the future for
us! Yes! I got her convinced!

Keep building folks. Don't hit the wall and try to get out. You will forget
about every thing once you fly. 

Paul Besing
RV-6A N197AB Arizona 
First Flight 22 July 01
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