This was the first long trip for me in my RV-6A. I was delayed a day from leaving Minnesota because of 50 MPH surface winds but Sunday was a nice day and we had good weather all the way to our stop in Lake City. The first fuel stop was in Vandalia were we watched some sky jumpers before departing for the new planned "low cost" fuel stop at 8A9 near Atlanta. The pumps were closed and the place was deserted at 2 PM on a Sunday - bad choice for a stop so we continued on to Americus, GA and found a nice fueling place that was a WWI training base. A local RV-6 builder recommended Lake City as a good stop for a BBQ dinner. Off to Lake City.
I arrived a Lake City at about 4 PM and found the restaurant closed on Sunday but the FBO had free hot dogs and drinks for SNF planes. Although the original plan was to continue on to LAL and camp, we decided to camp at the local Holiday Inn and go to LAL on Monday.
Monday started with a lot of fog and we didn't depart until after 9 AM. Arrival was uneventful except that the group I was following west from the power plant missed the turn south toward the field and had to work back into the line. I had a good parking place at the end of row 10 which allowed for an easy departure. This 2400 mile trip was only for a one day visit and I departed as soon as the field was open. The plan was to head home until we need fuel.
The fuel stop was at Thomasville, GA. This is a great stop at a WWII P51 training base with friendly people and good service. The town is 7 miles away and we used the crew car for a $30 room at the local Super 8. The tent in the back was now only ballast. The weather across the midwest was forecast to deteriorate during the day on Tuesday so an early departure was planned. Again we were delayed until after 9:30 AM by fog.
We decided to fly along the dry line west and the go directly north to cross the front. Course was set for Walnut Springs, AR. We flew above a broken layer at 8500 ft until just east of Memphis, then turned direct to Minneapolis and stopped at Perryville, MO for fuel and another review of the current weather. As forecasted the big stuff was along the Iowa - Nebraska border and near Chicago, leaving an opening along the route.
Our route took as directly over SGS in STL Class B airspace. About 100 miles north of St. Louis the clouds started lowering and we started working down in steps from 6500 ft. In southeastern Iowa the ceiling was about 1500 ft AGL and I stopped at Washington, IA for a weather check and to plot my way over the flat farm land to avoid the high towers near Cedar Rapids. With the new routing I flew at about 1200 ft AGL for 100 miles until reaching 3500 scattered conditions and an easy flight home.
I now have 109 hours on my plane. This round trip used about 1/2 qt of oil. I got one alarm for low fuel pressure on climb out (setting is at 2 PSI) and a alarm at my low fuel warning at 8 gal.
Most of the flight was with NavAid tracking the GX-60 GPS. The GPS is IFR and has RAIM. I got several RAIM alarms while in the poor weather in Iowa. The GPS still works put is not valid for approach operations. I don't know this was wx related or just bad satellite GDOP. I hope its not normal to lose GPS when you really need it during approach in bad weather.
My GX-60 receiver stopped working once and I was glad I had installed a COM2. I cycled power on the unit and it never failed again.
The route is shown below
The flight times
listed below are measured on the MicroMonitor and include engine start
|8-Apr-01||AIRLAKE [LVN], MN||VLA||2.1||383.9||21.7|
|VANDALIA MUNI [VLA], IL||8A9||2.8||393.6|
|SOUTH FULTON [8A9], GA||ACJ||0.7||88.4||28.6|
|SOUTHER FLD [ACJ], GA||LCQ||1.0||142.2|
|9-Apr-01||LAKE CITY MUNI [LCQ], FL||LAL||1.3||134.5|
|LAKELAND LINDER RGNL [LAL], FL||TVI||1.6||199.8||28.6|
|10-Apr-01||THOMASVILLE MUNI [TVI], GA||K02||3.6||511.9||33.9|
|PERRYVILLE MUNI [K02], MO||AWG||1.9||220.9||17.2|
|WASHINGTON MUNI [AWG], IA||LVN||1.5||212.4||12.7|
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