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Thread: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

  1. #1
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    The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    The major drawback to cross-country flying in a glider is the challenge of either returning home at the end of the day or having to arrange for someone to come out to pick you up.

    Suppose you had this offer?

    Launch from Northern California and fly as far as you can in the direction of Albuquerque New Mexico. Each day your buddy, who says he is going that way anyhow, will met you at the place you land, help with the overnight accommodations, and will help you launch again each day until you finally arrive in New Mexico.

    How many days of flying does it take to travel from Williams to Moriarty? We will soon find out. I plan to depart Williams on or about May 15th, depending on the weather. Jim Darke, my trusty wingman, will depart the same day and will monitor my position from the Ipad 2 in his truck, while he tows his rig behind him. We are heading to Moriarty to join Key Dismukes for a week of flying in the southern Rockies. Following that, I will then see how long it takes to fly back home to Williams.

    See planning details and follow along via our SPOT messenger reports, transmitted every ten minutes while we are on the move.

    Three sets of web pages – providing more details than you may care to know:

    The Amigos – http://pkelly.org/amigos/

    Operation Greyhawk – http://pkelly.org/amigos/greyhawk/

    California to New Mexico - http://pkelly.org/nm/

    Here is a copy of the index map for the navigation charts...
    See others on the web sites.

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    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 05-04-2011 at 09:37 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
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    Apr 2011
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    Roseville
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    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    Some day I'd like to travel like that! Are you going to use two meter radios this time? Cary

  3. #3
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    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    We will not be using 2 meter radios, but I can monitor one while inflight - if you think it will be helpful.
    Standard VHF radios are planned.
    SPOT messengers on and transmitting.
    Cell phones for use on the ground - if there is coverage.
    Primary and and back up gps in the cockpit.
    VHF and GPS in Jim's truck as well.
    Peter Kelly

  4. #4
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    619

    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    All right! Ultimate cross country indeed! and a good use of motorglider capability. I always wonder why those type of flights are not done more often in a motorglider.
    You can also fly first south via the Diablo range as we often do from Byron and Hollister this time of year.
    Good luck!

    Ramy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1

    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    Sounds like a great trip, Peter. You're so lucky to have nice amigos. Have a safe trip. Looking forward to seeing your updates.

    -Gen
    Last edited by Gen Shibayama; 05-05-2011 at 01:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    619

    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    Any chance you can continue to Louisiana and save Alby? He is stuck there for a year now and desperately need an XC pilots...

    Ramy

  7. #7
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    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    Southern route might be fun, to El Mirage area, then to Estrella, Tucson, moriarty. I think the drive would be easier. I have flown that route as far as Tucson.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
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    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    It also might be easier than trying to cross the Sierras and follow the Sierras south so early in the season. The conditions all the way to the Mojave desert along the Diablo range are generally better than along the Sierras/Whites in mid May. 5 of us just did New Cuyama and back from Hollister yesterday. I was at 14K near Frazer mountain, and probably had El Mirage/Crystal in glide. I can help with picking the best route to go south along the Diablos based on the forecast, we pretty much have the whole route from Williams to Mojave figured out.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    Weather is nice in Arizona today, high about 90, with cold front approaching, supposed to be 78 on wednesday

  10. #10
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    Re: The Ultimate Glider Cross-country

    Thanks for the positive comments and encouragements. A large effort has been expended up to this point and I certainly donít think itís all for naught. We have done lots of flight planning, and I presented the charts that Jim created last week at the Doc Mayes Contest. The web sites tell the story up to this point, but not from this point forward. Hopefully, many pilots will learn more, and use all of this as a training tool.

    We all enjoy gliding for the challenges it presents. None of us are able to truly quantify all of the many risks involved in our sport, but each of us are aware of lots of them. As for traveling 1500 miles in the month of May from California to New Mexico in a motor glider, and without having a trailer available each night for ground transportÖ..a great idea with manageable risks if the weather is conducive and soaring conditions are good. However, that plan, for this year is not such a good idea.

    Gliding is all about risk management, and not allowing yourself to get into a position you donít want to be in. Although not recommended for less experienced pilots, many pilots do agree itís OK to fly over tiger country (unlandable terrain) if you are confident in your ability to read the soaring conditions, and, if soaring conditions donít appear suitable, then you revert to the backup plan. With no trailer available, a lot of options/ backup plans are eliminated, and in the case of the weather that I see forecast for this week, the trip is not worth taking the risks.

    Jim and I are trailering our gliders across Nevada to Parowan, UT, at the end of this next week, to enjoy a couple of days of local flying. Then, on to Moriarty, NM for a week of flying with Key and his friends from Tennessee. For those who are interested, we'll operate our SPOT Messengers along the way. See web sites for links.

    Peter Kelly

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