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Old 11-11-2013, 06:52 PM
pmccoy's Avatar
pmccoy pmccoy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Orange County CA
Posts: 646
Default SoCal - Chino to Laughlin, with my Dad

On my sixteenth birthday, my dad was driving me to the DMV office to get my drivers license. As we passed the local airport, Dad said he wanted to stop for a minute to book a rental flight for the following week. When we walked into the airport FBO, he introduced me to my flight instructor who immediately took me up for my first lesson. That was in 1976. Two years later, I was one of two kids in my local high school with a pilots license.

Skip forward about about 35 years, and I now have a flying RV9A. This past weekend I took my 80 year old Dad up for his first flight in my plane. It was a blast. We flew from my home base, Chino California, over to Laughlin, NV. A very quick and fun flight.

Dad is looking more and more like Santa, as we get closer to the holidays.

Departing Chino, we are routed through Ontario airspace

Not much to look at once you get out of the city. Here is something that did catch my eye out in the desert.

Almost there. This shot is approaching Laughlin/Bullhead City from a few miles out.

Called the tower and was instructed to call a left base at 2 miles. That is just about here, where you can see the casinos, the river and airport.

Final approach into Laughlin

From the top floor of the Riverside Resort, I saw a helicopter flying below me with the river and airport in the view.

Heading out the next morning, this guy passed me as I was doing my run up. First time for me, sharing the taxi way with one of the big boys.

Turning crosswind to downwind on departure. Keep pounding those rivets. It's a real blast to be able to hop in the plane and go for an adventure.
Peter McCoy
RV9A N35PM S/N:91335
First Flight: April 2013
Hobbs: 400 hours after Oshkosh 2017

Last edited by pmccoy : 11-11-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:42 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,167

Peter, great writeup, and you are correct----------he does look like Santa

I used to fly to Bullhead when I was getting my PPL, good way to log the needed X/C time. I had an aunt living on the river there. The old airport is still visible between the new one and the river. At the time there was only a single casino across the river.

Thanks for the memories.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:19 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,916

Peter, it is OK to take him on a flight or two now, but you better get your Dad back to the North Pole by Thanksgiving !!

Looks like a fun day, glad you had the chance. I can't wait to get mine done!
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:14 AM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,483

Peter great story! You are having fun with your machine, aren't you?

Rocky you are very close to getting yours in the air. I have a feeling you will beat us all when you start traveling...
Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:11 AM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
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Location: St. Paul, MN.
Posts: 4,826

Forget all the subsequent pictures. That top picture might be THE best aviation picture I've ever seen.

In fact, I've thought about this every time the EAA or AOPA or Kitplanes or Pilot Getaways comes. Pictures of airplanes; rarely pictures of people *IN* airplanes, which is what flying is really all about.

This goes beyond that... this is what being a son is all about too.

A wonderful start to my day!
Bob Collins
St. Paul, MN.
Blog: Letters From Flyover Country
RV-12iS Powerplant kit
N612EF Builder log (EAA Builder log)
Last article: "Gonna Finish This Sucker" (Kitplanes)
Waiting for the avionics kit (backordered: chip shortage)
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:58 PM
jimbower jimbower is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 162

Good on you, Peter! I really wish my dad hadn't died just before I got my -6A in the air. He would have loved the ride.

Jim Bower
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:19 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,872

I agree with others Peter - that first picture is worth more than the airplane cost you!

When I was a High School kid with a new private license, my Dad, then State Math Consultant for Minnesota managed to find trips he "needed" to take around the state to visit schools that happened to have airports nearby and he'd cover the airplane expense so I could take him on those quick day trips.

He later flew with me in my Grumman every once in awhile. Sadly, by the time my -8 was done, he just wasn't mobile enough to get into the back seat, so he hasn't flown with me in an airplane I built.

Take advantage of the fun while you can - maybe you can bring him up to Big Bear next time we're in town - and we can tell Santa what we want for Christmas!
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:24 PM
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pmccoy pmccoy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Orange County CA
Posts: 646

Thanks for the nice comments. Yes, I will get Santa back up North before he is needed.....

on second thought, maybe the RV should have the spinner painted a glowing RED!

It was a blast taking my Dad up for the flight. At his age, it was not easy, as he doesn't get around as well as he used to. But, it was worth the effort. He will be talking about this weekend for a long time to come.
Peter McCoy
RV9A N35PM S/N:91335
First Flight: April 2013
Hobbs: 400 hours after Oshkosh 2017
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:38 AM
Clayton Clayton is offline
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Default Thanks for Sharing


Great story! Really makes me appreciate the times with my own dad. Thanks for sharing.
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