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Lemos
01-11-2021, 09:30 PM
Army buddy passed away and his memorial is on Friday. I want to take my RV to Akron Colorado for the memorial.

This time of the year can you even go vfr on this route or is that unrealistic? Crossing the rocky range, can I expect an awful turbulence experience crossing the mountains? Concerned also about outside temperature. Will the heater be able to keep me comfortable? And what about an engine failure. Do I need to pack a survival pack for cold oat in the event of a forced landing? It looks pretty desolate on the sectional.

Does anyone have experience flying a trip like this in the middle of winter? Or bad idea and I should just drive?

RV-10, vfr only pilot.

blaplante
01-11-2021, 10:09 PM
So, firstly I'd suggest you go around the south corner - if you go direct KLVS then direct KAKO it only adds 45 minutes and you stay away from the most inhospitable (and often high mountain winds) area.

Second, have a plan B (and C, etc.). Consider that when you get to Santa Fee it doesn't look good. Fine. Stop there, rent a car. Etc. You get the idea.

Looking at the longer range forecast on aviationweather.gov, looks like snow in the northern rockies around your timeframe. Another reason to stay South until you are East of the mountains.

David Paule
01-12-2021, 09:49 AM
Winds aloft over the mountains are the main clue that there will be turbulence. If you're not proficient at mountain flying, then certainly cut the corner.

If the winds at 12,000' are 20 kts or higher, it's going to be rough in places. And it could get rough at lower wind speeds, too, so be aware of that.

Dave

SPX
01-12-2021, 11:58 AM
Army buddy passed away and his memorial is on Friday. I want to take my RV to Akron Colorado for the memorial.

This time of the year can you even go vfr on this route or is that unrealistic? Crossing the rocky range, can I expect an awful turbulence experience crossing the mountains? Concerned also about outside temperature. Will the heater be able to keep me comfortable? And what about an engine failure. Do I need to pack a survival pack for cold oat in the event of a forced landing? It looks pretty desolate on the sectional.

Does anyone have experience flying a trip like this in the middle of winter? Or bad idea and I should just drive?

RV-10, vfr only pilot.

I just did basically your route VFR on Sunday. There were a few cloudy areas, but I was able to climb or descend above them. But that was last Sunday.. the weather changes, so my experience is not necessarily going to be the same experience as you have.

Will the heater keep up -- I guess that's airplane specific. In my case, I saw OAT of -7 to -13° Celsius at altitude.

Survival kits in the event of a forced landing is never a bad idea. Some areas outside of California are pretty sparsely populated.

ryankhallcpa@yahoo.com
01-12-2021, 12:02 PM
I was looking at your route if you launch from L08 Borrego Valley and head toward KLVS (Las Vegas, NM) you would nearly cross over my home town Taylor, AZ and just east of me St Johns, AZ (both good fuel stops).

I am based out of KTYL (Taylor, AZ) and have flown many times during the winter to Pueblo, CO. But, I fly the "front range" which, as others have already suggested, is not directly over the high mountain range areas, but rather staying south. Then, once I get close to KLVS, I turn and fly north on the east side of the Mountain range. Interstate 25 should be beneath you in that area.

The route takes me nearly over KAEG (Double Eagle) which is also a good fuel stop if you need it, coming or going. The airspace north of ABQ and just south of Santa Fe can be a bit busy, so I am almost always on flight following through there.

My purpose for flying this route is to go to Colorado Springs where my son is going to school. However, I always land short at Pueblo and just rent a car for the remainder of the distance because often the weather north of Pueblo, and that close to the mountains, can be overcast and I'm a VFR only pilot. Also, I'm somewhat limited in range and performance in a Cherokee 180 (hoping the RV7 is done before the son Graduates from USAFA).

Absolutely, have a survival kit with cold weather gear.

Hope this helps.

Ryan

rwarre
01-12-2021, 12:24 PM
I flew from Eastern Colorado to LA for the Rose bowl parade three years ago. Weather at Santa Fe was ok but they had had snow and the runway was snowpacked. After that not a problem. I went South to Las Vegas NM and then across. Check the weather and know whether the ice is. Check the alternative airports, just in case. Denver is reporting a snow storm , mostly mountains, for Thursday, but Eastern Colorado does not have much chance of weather.

jbDC9
01-12-2021, 12:46 PM
And what about an engine failure. Do I need to pack a survival pack for cold oat in the event of a forced landing? It looks pretty desolate on the sectional.

Yep, a good idea.

BobTurner
01-12-2021, 01:39 PM
You should be in the air now, or at least, no later than Wed. If the wx doesn’t look good, drive or take the airlines. Same thing for the return trip. Be prepared to wait for good wx. And, BTW, stock RV-10s have plenty of cabin heat. But definitely take along good blankets or a sleeping bag for emergency use. (Even if it’s just sleeping in the plane at a tie down at an unattended airport.)

SR2500
01-13-2021, 08:04 AM
Really high winds aloft forecast for next couple of days. May not be wise. Be sure to check.
Jerry

mountainride
01-13-2021, 08:25 AM
The southern route would be easier and also beautiful. Below is over McClure pass and over a lot of big mountains, but it was a perfect day with winds under 20. There are extremely strong downsloping winds through friday on the front range so Denver airports won't make a good stop.

By order of ski resorts in the Video:
Eldora
Winter Park
Beaver Creek
Aspen (This one is the trickiest to find)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bppBTbvcS9w

Jimzim
01-13-2021, 08:44 AM
I cancelled my plan to ski Copper Mountain, west of Denver, the next two days.
The winds up there are forecast as 35 knots with gusts to 60. Wind chill as low as -18. Also high wind forecast for front range and eastern plains. Ouch!
Jim

Lemos
01-13-2021, 10:54 PM
Thanks for the fantastic input. I’m leaving tomorrow. Going to try to go non stop at 17500 to stay on top of the turbulence and clouds. If that fails I will make a stop in Las Vegas and pickup some go juice.

TShort
01-14-2021, 10:47 AM
It's very windy here along the front range today.

Winds aloft over the Rockies are showing 40-60kt @ 14000'

I would not fly over or around / near the mountains today.

rwarre
01-14-2021, 10:15 PM
Winds in Eastern Co expected to last until about noon on Friday. Denver’swinds expected to subside. If you have time I could come to Akron for a coffee. Nine seven zero five nine seven one six four two

SR2500
01-16-2021, 12:05 PM
Please give us an update on your trip. Winds were significant and still are.
Jerry

Lemos
01-17-2021, 09:19 PM
[QUOTE=SR2500;1494811]Please give us an update on your trip. Winds were significant and still are.
Jerry[/


Good trip. A little bumpy but quite acceptable. My takeaway is that Rockies and Mountain flying can be fun and gorgeous. The heater of my airplane is unacceptable though. I was freezing once I got above 10,000 feet.

Thank you for the advice and wisdom provided

BobTurner
01-17-2021, 09:42 PM
[QUOTE=SR2500;1494811]Please give us an update on your trip. Winds were significant and still are.
Jerry[/


The heater of my airplane is unacceptable though. I was freezing once I got above 10,000 feet.


Are you the builder? Some builders have disconnected one or both heat muffs because there is so much heat. I cannot imagine my -10 cabin being ‘freezing’.

Lemos
01-17-2021, 10:02 PM
I am not the builder but I will check the heating muffs.

I think my problem is the doors. It was about -20 At cruise altitude and my doors are definitely letting in outside air at a few of the edges. So I have -20 degree air competing with my heater to keep the cabin warm.

BobTurner
01-17-2021, 11:12 PM
Also check the baggage area bulkhead. It’s corrugated and cold air can go thru the triangular openings to the tailcone, unless they’re plugged up with foam or such. Until I fixed that my back seat passengers had cold ears (from that cold air) and sweating feet (from the aft heat vent).