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  #131  
Old 09-10-2016, 02:00 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV7ator View Post
Vlad,

The various unpaved runways you used in AK all seem to have gravel surfaces with nothing looking bigger than an inch, smooth, and pretty flat. Would you say this is true for most of the "dirt" runways in AK, Yukon, and BC? (I'd inquiry locally, anyway.) This is good news for using my -7 more extensively in AK, having landed only at Beaver Creek for customs and being pleasantly surprised that the small aggregate makes it nearly paved. Here in Idaho, 2-3" rocks and varmit holes are expected and the reason RVs have little back country access.

John Siebold
Boise, ID

John,

I wouldn't say most but rather some have a "Beaver Creek like" runways where the treated gravel feels like paved i.e. Burwash, Carmacks etc. My wingman flew an RV6 and he complained he got his nice paint chipped on the tail. Runways like Bettles, Dawson City and Coldfoot are long but the gravel is loose so it flies from under the wheels and prop wash. It could cause a ding or two on horizontal stab. Nearly all unimproved runways I flew in are suitable for our small wheels but some of them need RV9 wing and a nosewheel.
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  #132  
Old 09-10-2016, 03:56 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Default Day 14. Along Southern Frontier.

On a nice and warm Californian morning I saddled my pony and started moving from Imperial County Airport (KIPL) eastbound.



I asked Yuma Approach if I can follow the border to Nogales via R-2301 got a negative and went around.





I've flown through these woods couple years ago and remember the military is very active here.





By 8 am it was already hot down low I climbed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and stayed there till I reached Gila Bend (E63).





Local Sheriff was there on his business. I didn't stay long. The little terminal building didn't have an operational cooling system. Gila Bend has pretty intensive traffic both flight schools and the military.





I dodged couple of buildups south of Tuscon then entered a tight corridor by Sierra Vista. If you ever go this route watch out. If R2303s are hot and Miller Peak is wrapped in clouds you have very limited options.





Naco is one of the crossings on the busiest border in the world. It's patrolled heavily.




Not far from there lies a deep copper mine a sight to see.





Douglas, Arizona is another crossing point. It has an airport and you can't fly runway 03 pattern without clipping the border.





This is Mexican town Agua Prieta as seen from right base Runway 03.


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  #133  
Old 09-10-2016, 04:29 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Location: Utah
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Default Day 14. Along Southern Frontier (continued)

Douglas Municipal Airport has a poor runway. A lot of loose chips of concrete everywhere you have to watch closely. Newly appointed airport keeper Alex showed me a hangar with an Antonov AN2. He strongly discouraged me to walk to town in this scorching heat. They don't have a courtesy car there.





I grabbed couple of water bottles and dispatched shortly.





I made a corner by Alamo Huego Mountains. Didn't see any CBP vehicles.





That's how the border corner looks. Ranches on Mexican side and nothing on ours.





I made another turn and headed toward El Paso, Texas.










Flight time was over 1.5 hours I need a stretch and some calories. Fibens E35 looks like a nice spot. There should be a McDonalds restaurant within a click.








Alfredo Olivas, the owner of Olivas Aviation, gave me a ride to town and picked me up in 20 minutes. Good man. Stuffed with BigMac, I intercepted Rio Grande and was very motivated to follow it all the way to Gulf of Mexico...
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  #134  
Old 09-10-2016, 04:31 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Default Day 14. Along Southern Frontier (continued)

I flew along Rio Grande at 1,000 feet for about 20 minutes. I still can see the protective fence, patrol cars and some sensing equipment along the border.





Then it just became desolate.





A hundred miles or so I saw nothing along the border. In Valentine MOA by Sierra Vieja I noticed what seems to be a large drone but I wasn't sure. There was no radar coverage I sidestepped farther and gained some altitude. After almost two hours of border sightseeing I landed at Presidio TX (KPRS) to recharge the batteries.





A local pilot showed up at the pumps. He said he is building an RV10. During those 30 minutes I was cooling off he gave me a very extensive briefing on Big Bend. He told me the difference between Big Bend State Park and National Park. He also pointed me to some "must see" places. Thank you Sir much appreciated I suspect you are not wasting your time pounding keyboard as many of us. Here is Big Bend Ranch if you fly low over it they will come to pick you up. There is a lodge and a bunkhouse but you have to bring your own food.





I flew over Solitario, around it and circled inside it. Then via Santiago Mountains. Very impressive rock formation.








Passed Saint Helena Canyon a sight to see.





The sun was setting, I dropped down low and skimmed Rio Grande.



I was sweating down low till I hit Pecos River where the airspace became dotted. I climbed to two thousand feet ducked under the shelf of Laughlin AFB airspace and landed at Del Rio, Texas (KDRT). Walked to town, booked a hotel and called the day. Nearly 11 enjoyable hours of extreme aerial tourism.
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Last edited by Vlad : 09-11-2016 at 07:28 AM.
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  #135  
Old 09-10-2016, 06:18 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
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Location: Asheville, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
...you can't fly runway 03 pattern without clipping the border.
Last year when I flew over El Paso, the iPad that I use for navigation dinged at me. I glanced down and on my ForeFlight screen, it said "New Message". I ignored that and pressed on to Midland. That evening, I looked at the message. It was from Verizon and read, "Welcome to Mexico! Upgrade your cellular plan for international service." LOL!

I hate to intrude my humble self on this awesome thread, but here's a short 3 min. clip video that my Virb Elite tail cam took in the El Paso area. I was flying Eastbound over the Southern tip of the Florida Mountains near Deming. I can't do beautiful photos like Vlad posts, but I have some video. I hope some of you enjoy it. This is why we fly. Music by the Gipsy Kings:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/42e79yitk4...tains.mp4?dl=0
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Last edited by snopercod : 09-10-2016 at 06:23 PM.
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  #136  
Old 09-10-2016, 07:42 PM
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638RS 638RS is offline
 
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Location: Portland, OR
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the link is pw protected
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  #137  
Old 09-11-2016, 06:29 AM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
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Oh sorry. Try it now.

Edit: Here's another video "Leaving Tucson" taken an hour or so before the other one. Gipsy Kings again... https://www.dropbox.com/s/58hrw0pz38...ucson.mp4?dl=0
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Last edited by snopercod : 09-11-2016 at 08:24 PM. Reason: added another video
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  #138  
Old 09-12-2016, 07:21 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
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Default Day 15. Turning North.

It feels so good when you are well rested. The hotel transported me to the airport the only FBO guys were already busy at 7 am. They said I owe them nothing. I grabbed several bottles of water and was airborne in no time. I was in the mood to finish tracking southern border I was in the mood to land on three islands I was in the mood to clock at least 8 hours in the air all today. There is a sliver of airspace by Laughlin AFB where you don't have to talk to them while in transit. I am staying on our side of Rio Grande enjoying the views. Birds are still sleeping.





Rio Grande turns sharp and I go with it.









Hi officer nice binoculars.








Piedras Negras crossing point. Their side to the right





our side to the left it means my course is set correctly.






Let me get around this border guardian. I don't want to get caught in his cables.






You can't see the tethering rope on the picture but it's there and it's visible.





1.8 hours leg is over and I am in Zapata County airport (KAPY) it's in triple digits again. One of the airport trailers has an operational shower and climate control set to 75 degrees. I chilled there half an hour doing nothing. An elderly gentleman came and asked me to move the airplane he had some trucks coming soon. Okey.


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Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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  #139  
Old 09-12-2016, 07:43 PM
Chkaharyer99 Chkaharyer99 is offline
 
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Location: Pilot Hill, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
On a nice and warm Californian morning I saddled my pony and started moving from Imperial County Airport (KIPL) eastbound.


This looks like Glamis/Imperiel Sand Dunes . I've riding off road there. So much fun. Looks so different from the air.

Awesome trip Vlad. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
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  #140  
Old 09-12-2016, 08:10 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
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Default Day 15. Turning North. (cont)

After Zapata I still had some stamina to lay low. Then it just became unbearable and after 20 minutes watching the hi tech border I quit. I climbed to cooler and more stable air and recuperated.




On top of Laredo, Texas down to Valley International by Brownsville I hit the Gulf of Mexico.








I have a deep respect for you guys flying in these latitudes early August. In Alaska I told myself I can take heat over cold any day but now I would like to take my words back.
Here comes Padre Island I need to find a suitable and firm enough beach to land on.








Tide is low but the outer shoreline is all messed up. How about the inner?





Wind check? Awesome straight on the nose over ten knots. The surface is not perfect and kind of soft I rolled on mains for a quarter mile, took off then made another pass to capture those ruts from my mains on the camera.




Another island scored. Let me treat myself with a landing on some fine concrete. Here comes Port Mansfield airport T05.





You gotta be kidding me? The airport shack is locked?! I won't type here what I thought and what I spelled it scared two hares. I turned my airplane to the wind, opened the oil door to help with engine cooling and used half of my water on myself
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Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 09-12-2016 at 08:13 PM.
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