In one's aviation life it is extremely rare to experience the pilots dream of tailwinds going and returning. I had this incredible experience on my recent trip to Dallas over Thanksgiving.
Before I begin I want to take a minute to thank fellow RVer Gary Robertson of Arlington, TX. A few weeks ago I put out a request for information when flying into the Dallas area. Gary spoke up with recommendations and offered me his hangar to keep my plane during my stay. His RV12 project is still gestating at his house. Gary further offered to drive me my son's place and pick me up on Friday. This made the trip very enjoyable and most importantly, I now have a great new friend. Thanks Gary.
I headed out Monday November 19, from Stellar Air Park in Chandler, AZ (P19). I was 'wheels off' 6:50 am. The route of flight was a ESE track to take me South of the Restricted Airspace of New Mexico. P19 to San Simon VOR, Newman VOR near El Paso and then on to Andrews County, E11 for my fuel stop. During that first leg I got the usual tailwinds with a nice push.
I flew at 9500 for terrain clearance and to take advantage of the winds aloft provided by XM Weather. I didn't see much less than 180kts ground speed during at 450+ miles. The engine was leaned down to a nice 8.4 gph.
Andrews County is a nice fuel stop logistically. E11 provides 3 runways to minimize any potential crosswind issues. Fuel is convenient and cheap in today's world, $4.77 pg. While I was getting fuel a familiar plane landed and was taxiing to the pumps. Paul and Louise stopped for fuel on their way West to Big Bear. We chatted and headed off. I let them know they were in for about a 20 knot head wind as the forged on.
After taking off I again had the advantage of nice tailwind giving me 180 kts of ground speed for the final 276nm's to Arlington.
I had not flown into this area before so I studied the charts to familiarize myself with the Class Bravo airspace. Gary also provided me with details that were very helpful. Something I learned some time ago is to use Google Earth to review unfamiliar territory. You can get an overview, look at detail and actually use the 'slant' feature to track an approach. Very handy. Give it a try.
I taxied to Gary's hangar and we got the plane put away. We had a great lunch at Bone Daddy's House of Smoke. The food was great and the scenery better
Monday night my son, Matt Barrie, hosts a Dallas Cowboys show at the House of Blues downtown. It is recorded with a live audience and shown on Sunday mornings. I was able to attend and watch the process with his lovely wife, Ashley. This is the first time I've got to see his work as it is happening.
The picture is the set at the House of Blues. His co host this night was DeMarcus Ware, DE for the Cowboys. I got to meet him later and he is true gentleman and a great ambassador for the Cowboys organization.
The next day I schooled Junior on a nice game of golf. Perfect weather. I didn't have a great game but significantly better than Matt's
He doesn't lose well
That night they took me to a really nice restaurant for a belated birthday meal. I believe it was call Hibiscus. Incredible food and service.
We had a nice meal Thanksgiving then off to the game. The advantage of media parking got us close to the behemoth stadium. What an impressive place. Matt had gotten a couple of tickets from Mr. Ware's agent. Great seats. After a picture, Matt had to do his media thing so I ventured off to look around.
After the game I walked around more while Matt was doing his post game interviews. By the time he was done, there was no traffic. We were out quick. Matt and wife were leaving on a Red Eye later that night so good thing we had no traffic issues.
Part 2 coming.