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gongreg 10-30-2012 02:58 PM

Lucca, I have the same dream, flying in the US in my own RV. I'm in South America, no ocean to cross, so in this regard, I'm better off than you. But I still don't have an RV, so... you're definitely ahead there...:o

Vlad 10-30-2012 03:39 PM


Originally Posted by lucaperazzolli (Post 712053)
..for sharing that experience, grat photos that gives me a new dream, another bucket list item.

'Flying in Usa with my 8'


Originally Posted by gongreg (Post 712349)
Lucca, I have the same dream, flying in the US in my own RV. I'm in South America, no ocean to cross, so in this regard, I'm better off than you. But I still don't have an RV, so... you're definitely ahead there...:o

Gentlemen I share similar passion. Flying my RV over your countries. Can we barter? :D

Vlad 10-30-2012 03:52 PM

From Sin City to Underworld
Road to Death Valley was smooth. Weather zillion byzillion.

KLAS traffic was just picking up.

Soon enough they got rid of me. "Triple Six where you going?. L06??? OK."

Sin Sity approach thanked for a quick turn and let me loose :D

Vlad 10-30-2012 04:01 PM

I wondered around Cortez then jumped over big ridge.

Behind big ridge was Pahrum, NV. I didn't land. Some people know what's in there. Right there by intersection :D

Road to Underworld is beautiful. Those rock formations as nowhere else.

Not a single radio wave in ether. They call the place Death Valley for a reason.

gongreg 10-30-2012 04:04 PM

Well Mr Vlad, if... I mean WHEN you come down to Brazil in your most famous N666BK you will be very welcome. There's a lot to see here, the weather is generally good, there are interesting places to visit and very good food. I don't think you'll dislike our caipirinhas (typical Brazilian drink) either.:)
Oh, and also the ladies are not very bad, in my opinion...:D

Vlad 10-30-2012 04:11 PM

Bakery!!! (ed. if I say precise word the software will put astericks instead:D)

One can not wonder far from his plane. No, I am not going even close to Area51 :D

I spent around 30 minutes on the grounds and lost probably gallon of sweat. OUTTTTT!

Vlad 10-30-2012 04:24 PM

Exiting Death Valley was thrilling.

Somebody was following me stealthily I never saw the guy. Spooky.

Just beautiful and very very hot I stayed lower on purpose to enjoy the cracked water bed. Plenty of landing spots but other then that not a soul not a bird around.

Vlad 10-30-2012 04:32 PM

You can not stay low for long in Death Valley.

You need to go high at some point.

And you better watch your course or outsouce it to your skyview. There are so many restricted areas and all of them are glowing.

Have you ever seen green rocks? I have.

I am out of the Valley and snaking my way to L77. It's Chiriaco Summit place in California. Come tomorrow to check Russian RV vs General Patton tanks battle :D

rockwoodrv9 10-30-2012 05:03 PM

You sitting "side saddle" in that picture?
Death Valley is an interesting place. I got there one evening at about 2:00am. It was 104 and no hotel rooms. I had to camp in the parking lot. That was one HOT night.

Vlad 11-06-2012 07:23 PM


You sitting "side saddle" in that picture?


I tried all kinds of position there Rocky. In Death Valley climate your bottom sticks to seat leather as you already know from your trip :D

Vlad 11-06-2012 07:47 PM

Battle with Tanks at Chiriaco
All right, wifi is still down after Sandy and I am using old trusty dial-up. Time to finish that trip story I covered almost 1/2 already :)

... After exiting Death Valley I need three things; First - to kill 2.5 hours. An airshow was in full strenght at Miramar and TFR would be lifted at 5 pm.
Second - get fully gassed up on the way to Coolifornia coast I heard fuel is expensive there. Third - something meaty to bite.

According to famous planning software the cheapest fuel was at 29 Palms.

Oh wait. You don't see him but he is there. Some biker going supersonic on that dry lake bed.

Now 29 Palms.

Two things not in accordeon there. 1. Only four palms found instead of thirty nine and 2. Gas is almost six bucks!!! Who is the feeder for famous planning software!!! No wonder I can't save for paint paying that huge margin...

Anyway I filled up hopped a ridge or two

and headed to L77, an airport where cavalry museum is.

I was very suspicious of that place. Not much talk among RVators, no writeups on other boards. Anyway lessee...

Vlad 11-06-2012 08:02 PM

Runway at Chiriaco looks good from an altitude but as you get closer not so.

This was the first thing I saw. Allan did you see this?

Going farther. Somebody in the bushes.

And then I kid you not gentemen. This picture was at the parking.

The owner told me the story really hard to believe. But I still think these retired fellows were the guilty party. They scared that breakfast group who flew in.

I was advised to chain my bird down and walk to the truck stop. There should be some food.

And there was.

tkatc 11-06-2012 08:12 PM

Why do you chain your plane down but leave the canopy propped open?

Vlad 11-06-2012 08:34 PM


Originally Posted by tkatc (Post 714376)
Why do you chain your plane down but leave the canopy propped open?

There was no wind and very hot that's why canopy propped. Chains per affected breakfast group advice I didn't give it much thought. They are locals they know :D

L77 is very funny spot. It's basically a truck stop. A foodmart and a restaurant. A gas station I wish I had cans. A tank museum.

Obligatory food picture :)

Vlad 11-06-2012 08:41 PM

30 more minutes to kill.

Time to go. Bye bye birdie get nose job.

On the go right over Bruce estate red circle over Miramar magically dissolved. I landed at KMYF Montgomery Field of San Diego and spent two nights with these guys. Brooklyn to the right and Skyler to the left.

Airport in the Sky and in search of coyotes next...

Don 11-07-2012 08:10 AM

Vlad, Great write up...makes me want to get more airtime.

AZtailwind 11-07-2012 12:29 PM

That's 29 Palms
Great stuff Vlad.
In your Picture of the 29 Palms airport, that trailer has not changed much in 35 years. I can recall Bill Brown, a WWII veteran, who towed gliders in a Super Cub.
He was a cowboy pilot, where, at the end of the day, he would sit dwon near that trailer and break out his guitar, it was country western time...
Many a party was held on that ramp.

To the right of the trailer in your that picture is a cabin that was built by Noel Roberts. He was like a brother to my father.

I have memory images of your final approach picture of so many many times.
In the early 70's, my father and Noel had all of great names of glider pilots coming to the 29 palms soaring events.
We would come here via C-170 just as much via a car. I grew up in this desert. I learned to drive a old Buick here. I soloed in a glider here. On the hills to the south is where my fathers ashes where spread. I had Noel in the back seat while I was flying the front of the Citabria.
This is a time when a Narco MK-12A was new technology! But we had Elmer Katinski who invented his own Radio...
Nothing sad, all great times and wonderful memories...:D

Vlad 11-09-2012 07:14 PM

San Diego!!!
San Diego! Love the weather!

San Diego connection was the one and only not made here on VAF. A while ago a young couple (both marines) was visiting New York City and I know their brother. They wanted a ride over NY they were so adamant drove all the way in heavy traffic from the city to my airport and we went up just before dark. Wannabe RVators in Big Apple always find a reason not to go but these two marines were dead serious. Both went up with me and enjoyed tremendously. After landing they said if I ever come to San Diego I have a place to stay. And I did have a place to stay. In a nice gated community at cozy house with big pool, four cars, two dogs, fishtank and a singing bird. Thank you Jorge and pass my thanks to your ladies.

This is from previous ride.

Next morning Jorge and I flew to Catalina island.

The marine doesn't have pilot license (yet) but he had some training before.

Vlad 11-09-2012 07:25 PM

We descended, checked out with LA Approach

turned on good music and Jorge took over controls.

We enjoyed the island. My first time exploring such an exotic. It's so good to have autopilot.

Landed a bit long but it's RV and it can stop on a dime. Jorge made good video using his iPhone I'll get link later.

Ate famous bison burgers.

Vlad 11-09-2012 07:35 PM

Way back was familiar but I did get a bit confused. Never lost though. Great when a local is sitting side by side and can point to right direction :D

I was so sure I had airport in sight even ATC believed that. I indeed had airport in sight but it was Miramar not Montgomery. Jorge corrected me first, then controller gave me couple degrees to the other left and we were home :D

Then there was a BBQ and a good sleep. I stayed two days in San Diego and loved every minute of it.

The morning after next I left. Jorge drove me to the airport in his race car he built himself. That RV10 will be a piece of cake for him to build if fiscal stars lined up.

Bye buddy I'll see you in March in New York City dinner on me.

esco 11-10-2012 09:06 AM

"Airport in the Sky"

Glad you were able to make it to Catalina, especially w/ a local guide. That approach is... interesting if you don't know what to expect, especially the burbles at the approach.

As for the Miramar/Montgomery mixup, it's very common, usually corrected in time, and with no serious consequences. Had your destination been just a bit South, folks often mistake Gen. Rodriguez (Tijuana, Mexico) for the smallish Brown Field (US) with more significant consequences.

Glad all worked out well, and my offer of a pint of the world's best India Pale Ale still stands.

Vlad 11-11-2012 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by esco (Post 715334)

Glad all worked out well, and my offer of a pint of the world's best India Pale Ale still stands.

February 2014 Ron? Chips included? :D

... See you later San Diego.

Time to check for coyotes. No not the canine kind.

Here they may dig under iron fence. If I spot some I would radio directly to Rangeley ME there is a CPB post.

Nobody in AZ desert nothing to report.

Turned around the corner

and headed to Yuma, AZ for fuel and food.

Vlad 11-11-2012 05:18 PM

Sweet spot Yuma! $1 breakfast at Million Air????

Tobin Basford flew over with his wingman.

On the weekday it's like a beehive in Yuma. Everything what could fly is airborne. Jump jets, hybrids, airlines everybody likes VFR. Tower standing tall and very strict no rookies allowed. Go ahead Big RJ. You need two minutes? Cool I am out.

Anybody please invent air conditioning for RV9. Hot!

Vlad 11-11-2012 05:29 PM

They carved a corridor here. Restricted areas left and right and poor transient is squeezed tight in between.

I was on my way to Tucson. Somewhere half way I remember I've read an article in New York Times about relocated blimps. They were brought from the other side of the world to help with borders here. That's why I see no coyotes. See those two white spots? Remote Border Patrol.

Their arresting gear.

Their pool.

Somewhere here lives Acrogirl she is off airport today I checked.

Vlad 11-11-2012 05:49 PM

I thought Yuma was dense on traffic forget about it. When one gets to Tucson he wonders why it's still not Class Bravo? :D

I was religiously holding VFR altitude +/- 2 feet and turning knobs on my radio with speed of light working my way to the Boneyard.

But when two blunt noses suddenly appeared out of nowhere I chickened out and punched in :D

"HEADING 180" grrrr see you next time Boneyard.

Had to look at trains instead.

Landed at Benson E95. With no apparent reason just because.

Vlad 11-11-2012 05:53 PM

Spaceport America next... :D

GLPalinkas 11-12-2012 05:59 AM

Keep it coming
Keep it coming Vlad. You are inspiring a lot of builders out there in VAF land. :)

Tooch 11-12-2012 06:43 AM

Auto Pilot
Hey Vlad,
You look pretty comfortable up there with just your socks on. Just curious, do you have an auto-pilot? My Navaid died in my 7-A and I am planing a long trip next month. I was thinking about not putting a new one in. I fly VFR.
So do you hand fly your trips?


Vlad 11-12-2012 07:01 AM


Originally Posted by Tooch (Post 715820)
Hey Vlad,
You look pretty comfortable up there with just your socks on. Just curious, do you have an auto-pilot? My Navaid died in my 7-A and I am planing a long trip next month. I was thinking about not putting a new one in. I fly VFR.
So do you hand fly your trips?


Matt I don't have an autopilot I hand fly all the time and love it. I have very stable airplane it seats trimmed straight on the heading for several minutes. Socks?? They are kevlar I hope nobody runs a matching software to prove the opposite. :D

humptybump 11-12-2012 07:48 AM

Some day I would like to experience the RV-9. "Stable" sounds very nice ;)

My RV-8 is definitely not stable enough to fly hands off for more than a few seconds. Fully trimmed, just shifting my weight to reach behind me and the plane starts to bank or pitch.

Don 11-12-2012 09:12 AM


Originally Posted by humptybump (Post 715833)
Some day I would like to experience the RV-9. "Stable" sounds very nice ;)

My RV-8 is definitely not stable enough to fly hands off for more than a few seconds. Fully trimmed, just shifting my weight to reach behind me and the plane starts to bank or pitch.

I can arrange a ride in a 9, when you're ready...if Vlad doesn't beat me to it.

Vlad 11-14-2012 06:56 PM

Forward to Spaceport America!
From Benson I headed to Las Cruses NM first. I need some consulting on Spaceport operations. Run low on oxygen too.

Passed a playa. Great landing site. They say Burning Man has similar surface ;).

A bit north from here there is a great place for rent (on VAF front page today)

Shortly after I landed at Las Cruses, NM and was met by Don and Russ my space advisors. Don is building RV-9A and is a CFI, Russ is already flying his 9.

Don briefed me on status of restricted areas and their altitudes. Then local fbo filled my oxygen bottle for $45 to half the capacity. Their equipment couldn't handle pressure over 1K psi better then nothing. But 45? Kind of steep. I took off and tuned to ABQ approach.

Vlad 11-14-2012 07:18 PM

Niet! - said Approach. ALL IS HOT! Can I climb over Sir maybe? NO, I DON'T THINK SO. I wish I had tkatc onboard. A thought crossed my mind to tell them I have a sack of cash for Mr Branson to buy a turrist space slot. Don said it's not going to work.

Having half tank of fresh O2 I started climbing.

Reached maximum allowed VFR altitude and stayed along R-border.

No missiles were flying out of White Sands, no dog fights, nothing.

I think they kept Russian off their private Baikonur on purpose. Forget low pass I just enjoyed view from inner space.

To get to outer space you have to pay 200K but to reach inner space it cost only $20 the view is not much different then from Space Ship Two. Am I right? Take a look.

Vlad 11-14-2012 07:42 PM

Spent good half hour on Spaceport Watch and headed to Moriarty the place Gary Palinkas suggested in case I need low no-budget overnight.

My tach was happy.

Me too. Glider Capital of the World. Moriarty, NM. Winds were howling along multi mile runway. Third of it was marked inop.

The place was total modesty. Who was there knows. :)

Met a pilot with nice half polished Cessna-140 he was heading to Tucson for their annual thing. Are you the guy who built the plane in an apartment? I want a picture... Good thing his camera backfired and it was getting really dark. He was first for crew car but I was first to occupy the terminal. He gave me a ride to the town to get a bite and settled at Holiday Inn himself. Forgot your name buddy if it happens you are reading this thank you very much.

This was my quarters.

Winds were howling all night. Some strange creaking sounds and some banging on the roof. Scary. Then after midnight somebody punched the code and entered the terminal... It was sheriff. "Just checking if everything is OK you may want to close those curtains everybody does". After he left I couldn't sleep anymore. Went outside to check the plane and tie down. Took a flashlight. Left main tire pressure was low. Need to wait till sunrise shower would help. Kitchenette had no coffee...

tkatc 11-14-2012 08:06 PM


You owe me some free lunches bubba!!

David Paule 11-14-2012 08:26 PM

Ah, nice....

I've anchored here - the only natural deep water harbor between San Diego and somewhere much farther north.

I was told that the curved jetty was built by ballast rocks from the clipper ships.

Paddling the kayak around that harbor on a moonless night is a truly dark experience. But when I found myself out at the entrance (hidden under Vlad's left wing) it was obvious - next stop Asia. I turned around and went back to my sailboat.


N155RE 11-15-2012 12:52 PM

Thanks for the great report Vlad!!!!

Vlad 11-16-2012 07:32 PM

Will I ever finish this write up? Sure but not today :D

Moriarty got me thinking. Four more fuel loads to burn, almost 50 hours already flown without oil change, left main tire seems losing air and weather at Key West is not for VFR pilot. I am in NM. Somewhat tired. Why don't I fly home, change oil, take a good sleep and go to Key West afterwards? Am I smart and efficient decision maker? :D

Heading East. Whiskey compass happy with strong tailwinds. I pushed throttle to 51% power and immediately joined 200 kts Club. Right after I took the picture my Lycoming went back to jogging mode.

Texas baby! They say there is a nice restaurant in Amarillo but real Texans live in Hereford and I headed there.

I landed at several TX airports before but let me tell you Hereford is unique. The airport fence borders a big cattle ranch. You can smell this airport from 10 mile final. Nice lady in jeans and boots pumps your fuel and there are donuts and coffee in the kitchen. No ranch spirits ever penetrated terminal's walls.

While I was busy consuming airport rations the manager lady stepped to the kitchen and told me about a phone call waiting for me. Phone call? What?
My pea sized brain was spinning who might call? About what? Friendly Administration maybe for noise over the ranch? The manager wasn't smiling either she looked rather worried.

Hey Vlad; - said phone tube, - why don't you turn south our way we have VansCave under construction. I am one of your fans tracking you...

For the life of me I don't know who he was. I thought I knew. Please identify yourself good buddy you got me at Hereford :D

Another leg. Working as autopilot :D I trimmed a bit wing heavy and it's going nowhere to the right.

Vlad 11-16-2012 07:43 PM

Seen lots of mil heavies in my life but never in a pack of three.

You don't see them but they are there :D Blocked from FL220 to FL250 B-52s are doing refueling. They are bringing memories to a Delta captain too. I heard it.

When I see ships like that it means a big harbor is nearby.

Look right there. A harbor slighty larger then Hereford.

Next stop will be somewhere in South Carolina. I don't fly at night. I am hungry again and I want to sleep.

Vlad 11-16-2012 08:13 PM

Overnight in Allendale. It's a version of Moriarty South Carolina style.

In the morning I inspected left main tire. It looks like again I have to keep that tank empty and land on one wheel...

Then a genleman of age came in looking at the plane.

-RV? Wrong tail number,- he said.
-Some digits not right. I knew one guy with these digits and he crashed.
I tried to pitch him my letter containment theory he didn't buy.

You know who that gentleman was? The very first instructor who taught Pierre Smith to fly. The original Smiling Jack. The guy they wrote articles about. The patriot to his bones. Personal friend of Mr Powers and You Too pilot himself. True gentleman.

-Take my Jeep and go get something to eat. Need money?
-No thanks I need some air.
-OK come to my hangar I'll give you a tank. You need some tyre Boi!
-I know.

I drove his Jeep to town full of Hardees got food and pumped double portion of air. The only thing I couldn't understand. Why Smiling Jack was talking about tail number on a perfect RV but then himself jumped into a strange yellow machine full of chemicals and diesel fuel and flew over treetops in a way I would never dare. The man in his 70ies. They made them tough in last century :D

That very day I was at my home field. Next day I did required maintenance and headed to Florida to burn two more loads of pre planned fuel.

BTW, Pierre, I didn't know know you built at least ten RVs? :)

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