I've been amazingly
blessed in my lifetime to see alot of the world go by under "laughter silvered wings" friendly and not so friendly
skies notwithstanding. So many adventures, close calls, long scary nights over Iraq in the F-16 and hours upon end hauling passengers across the US.
And of course, more trips in different RV's than I can count, or recount.
But I digress..
Recently, a chance to inspect and deliver a 9A from Coastal Oregon to a customer flying from my hometown airport in FL was too tempting. Another RV trans-Con? OK, twist my arm, I'll do it!!!
The Longest Day...
All the stars aligned, weather fronts aside and length of daylight diminished, the plan was a go. I traveled to Oregon, was treated to amazing hospitality by the owner and after a test flight and cursory inspection, my customer pulled the trigger. I was a go for the Trans-Con tomorrow!
Friday the 13th
dawned cloudy and cool over Coos Bay with the smell of the Pacific Ocean permeating my Hotel room. After clamoring downstairs, printing out an FAA Bill O' Sale I climbed in the owners car for a quick drive to the airport. The 9A was pre-flighted, my meager stuff stowed and a glance at My Radar App
and I was off...
The 9A surprised me. I have never flown one longer than a few minutes on a pre-buy, it wasn't my favorite member of the family. Not aesthetically pleasing was a nice term. Big, gangly rudder, long, fat wings with tall gear and an almost milk-stool/Tri-Pacer look to it. Oh boy...
However comma, that all changed as I climbed out and began a 10 hour day. The way this model was constructed couldn't have been more like my own RV's. Light, simple, VFR panel with a Narrow Deck 0-320 and Catto out front.
150HP 9A performance:
Climbing at 1000FPM at 120 Knots...Hmmm. Level at 11,500 it seems to be right at home, 7.5 GPH at 155 KTAS...Hmmmm Cockpit is larger than the other RV's and rides, well, smooth. Hmmm...(Overall it would deliver an astounding 155KTAS at 6.9GPH and easily leap 543NM< on one of the 3 legs.)
The Longest Day
was eased a bit by perfect weather, smooth air and gorgeous scenery. I also chose to land at different airports than I have the previous trip. It's habit I've had since my teens flying our family Taylorcraft. I wasn't disappointed, despite being deserted and presumably dead, GA still has some sweet and gorgeous hideaways in the US I continue to discover. Nearly 11 hours and 1394 Nautical Miles later I clicked on the lights at my home strip and completed the mission. More memories logged...Now to FL..
Here are a few pics...
Bryce Canyon NP
My TX Driveway
Gentlemen, I am continually reminded of the freedoms we enjoy here in the US every day. I am also aware of what myself and my bros were fighting for all those years.
It's right under our nose...