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  #1  
Old 05-05-2016, 04:09 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,574
Default Lessons from a long X-C

After six days, I finally finished the three day trip from Savannah, GA, to Prescott, AZ. (Total logged time was 14.5 hours) Some observations and "thoughts":
* If my retirement plans are to spend four winter months in Savannah and the other eight in Arizona, I might not want to make this long X-C twice a year, in May and January. In other words, leave the plane in Arizona for four months. Maybe if I were younger and more energetic... and the plane should get used to it, eventually.
* Ideally, you should have all your last minute chores attended to days before you leave so that you're really ready for the trip (ha!);
* The RV-9A really needs a constant speed prop to be a good high density altitude airplane. Once it gets going, it's fine, but a fixed pitch prop is like getting a car moving in fourth gear. And I got real tired of constantly adjusting power in the west Texas up and downdrafts -- and they weren't even up to full strength;
* The sunscreen was indispensable, even in mild temperatures;
* Had a full set of sectionals for the trip (many of them old) but never touched them;
* I've got about ten inches between the G3X screens. That's too much for reading fine detail on the far screen;
* The full screen display is preferred for reading charts (always north up) when you're flying east or west.
* The autopilot made this trip so much easier than hand flying, especially with all the bumps, gusts, and wind changes. With a wind readout, you realize that the flight planning as taught is based on averages, but it's not what you see in the air;
* I hate bumps;
* Oxygen takes the edge off bumps, even as low as 6,500 feet;
* Instrument currency would have been nice, as long as the flight was above at least 1,000 foot ceilings;
* For VFR X-C, you really don't care about ceiling. You care about the lowest clouds, be they few or scattered;
* Cheap gas is nice, but the total package is gas, food, hotel, and ride to the hotel;
* Had some good meals, some not so good meals, but the most appreciated food was a half grapefruit one morning;
* I really like an occasional inflight sip or nibble. Preferred are bottled water, bottled soda (so you can close it again), and good chocolate chip cookies, and something salty;
* There's a balancing act between good hydration and bladder discomfort;
* If you carry liquids, like cleaning supplies or oil, good idea to have them in two containers. My bug cleaning bottle leaked big time;
* Frequent changes of destination are par for the course;
* Failures on this trip were the Dynon D2 and a stuck PTT, right after the last landing;
* With the weather delays and such, my average groundspeed was about a third of the speed of the Solar Impulse.
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RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
Vaccines kept me out of the hospital but COVID still cost me a month of living, all told...

Last edited by Ed_Wischmeyer : 05-05-2016 at 05:15 PM. Reason: typos
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2016, 05:05 PM
LuisR LuisR is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: St Lucie County, FL
Posts: 353
Default

It's the adventure that counts. ;-)
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2016, 05:19 PM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
 
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Location: Prescott, AZ
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Call if you want to put a meter on the PTT buttons and harness on Friday. nc
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exemption option waived. Donation appropriate.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2016, 05:55 PM
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RONSIM RONSIM is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Largo, FL
Posts: 1,071
Default Interested in the D2 issue

Great trip summary, but the D2 issue has me concerned --I was going to buy one as a backup -----

Thanks,

Ron
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2016, 06:04 PM
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koupster koupster is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SLC, UT (KBTF)
Posts: 305
Default Average groundspeed

Ed,

Quick calculations have Solar Impulse making 1.21 nm/hr on it's current journey (12,206 nm/419 days). You did ten times better than that and you got to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time

Cheers, David
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2016, 06:27 PM
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TomVal TomVal is offline
 
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Location: SC & CA
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At each layover don't throw away the discount coupons off the pizza box, you may need them for the following day!
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Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself...Anonymous
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2016, 06:48 PM
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catmandu catmandu is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sierra Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomVal View Post
At each layover don't throw away the discount coupons off the pizza box, you may need them for the following day!
Classic! I'm stealing that one, as I am sure you did.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2016, 04:07 PM
YvesCH YvesCH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Posts: 255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koupster View Post
Ed,

Quick calculations have Solar Impulse making 1.21 nm/hr on it's current journey (12,206 nm/419 days). You did ten times better than that and you got to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time

Cheers, David
The Pilots slept during flight As long as they are on ground they sleep as well more than 20min


@Ed: What do you mean by "* Oxygen takes the edge off bumps, even as low as 6,500 feet;"
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2016, 05:13 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
 
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Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195
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Great report .... did you take the southern route around the mountains (down by Tucson), or the northern route (near Show Low) ?
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2016, 05:47 PM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
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1. I discovered long ago that being on oxygen at relatively low altitudes makes it much easier for me (and for my then wife, who had run a marathon) to tolerate heat and turbulence. My physiology apparently likes lots of oxygen because I get hopoxia symptoms at 8,000 feet, pretty low -- but even after living at 5,000 feet for four years, the altitude for those symptoms didn't change. So if I'm on oxygen in turbulence, I'm not wiped out when I land like I would otherwise be.

2. The original plan was to fly from Deming, NM (KDMN) to Phoenix-Mesa (KIWA) because high winds were forecast. The route of flight was direct, first at 6,500, then at 7,300 for terrain, then 8,500. The air was much smoother than the mountain flying books say it should have been with 20+ knot winds over the mountains, and I determined that I could make Prescott (KPRC) 40 minutes before the winds were forecast to be 20G30 with a 40 degree crosswind. So 40 east of KIWA, I went direct to Prescott. ATC provided flight following the whole way. ATIS at Prescott reported winds variable at 6, but on downwind, tower reported winds 9G18. Interesting but not particularly challenging landing.
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RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
Vaccines kept me out of the hospital but COVID still cost me a month of living, all told...
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