Warren “Red” Hunnicutt

Red Hunnicutt was 94 years young when he flew west on June 8th. In January, 1993, he joined friends to form the Kiffin Yates Rockwell Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

28 years later, we’re thankful to have some of our founding members still flying and encouraging members who have joined since the first gavel fell.

Warren was, according to an elusive source, a machinist, tool and die maker, airplane builder and a great source of motivation and support for other builders. His Marquardt Charger, bright shiny red, was built from plans and featured, front and center, on the ramp at the “Wings Over Asheville” airshow in September of 1993.

As time went by, Warren took on another interesting project, a “90% completed, 90% to go” (his description) Range Rider, lacking only 1 wing, landing gear and engine … plus, plus, plus … you know how it is. The newness of that one eventually wore off, but Warren was undeterred … airport bums are airport bums. But eventually even airport bums slow down.

Photo of Red by Simon Jennings in 2020

On June 8, 2021, Red went to his hangar in the morning. He loved being there, didn’t know it would be for the last time. He left for home and died later that day. This was not known when, at about 5pm, members of EAA Chapter 1016 set up tables and a barbecue grill at the Western North Carolina Air Museum. There were hamburgers and bratwurst and Italian sausages, potato salad, beans and goodies to eat. About 40 members and friends were there. The show went on even when the projector wouldn’t work and there were many conversations about airplanes and airports and people and airplane people.

Red would have liked that. Happy Landings, friend.

June 2021 Meeting Recap

It was really nice to see everyone on the 8th for our second meeting of this post-COVID year .. Attendance doubled from the May meeting, partially due to the internet hackers’ failure to devise a nefarious plan to make us want to stay home. I-26 did it’s thing, though, with an accident down the mountain that delayed Gary Garner and his wife in traffic for over two hours and caused them to miss a real celebration that was lined up for their 53rd wedding anniversary .. Mark Cigal had his RV-8 all ready for Mrs. Garner to take a ride and the cake was ready for them (and us) to enjoy. Being aviation people, we enjoyed the cake anyway. Gary and Mrs. Gary: We owe you one.

The burgers and brats were on the grill early and great conversations ensued.

Our meeting began at 7 as planned and a quick recap as to where we are and where we’re going followed. A couple of key points: Gary Garner is assembling information for an application to be sent in to EAA for their B-17 to visit Asheville next year. That was a great fundraiser for us and a lot of fun for our members. It’s also a lot of work lining up support from local businesses and the Asheville Airport. Gary put this together in 2016 and raised some $4,500+ for the chapter.

We are also asking for ideas for a new design for shirts and patches. Keith Plemmons did this for the Skyote community and others have talked about projects along this line. Please think about it and let’s see what we come up with.

Antony Pretorius wrote me back in April to say he wanted to step down as Young Eagles Coordinator .. he has been promoting Young Eagles for the past 12 years and he said it’s time for someone else to take it up. I’ve been sitting on this for all this time thinking he might change his mind but he hasn’t and so we’re looking for a Young Eagles Coordinator. Antony isn’t stopping his work with young people, promoting aviation; he is accompanying a young man and his father – a member of comedian Steve Martin’s area band, the Stone Canyon Rangers – to AirVenture at Oshkosh, along with another young fella – member Chuck Throckmorton on his first visit to the Mecca of experimental aviation. That sounds like a great trip and I hope we’ll have a full report in August.

At this point we were all looking forward to a much anticipated program by member and Technical Counselor Keith Plemmons on the Skyote project which has been his life for the past 4 years … but there came a hitch: We needed a certain kind of connector to link his laptop computer to the museum’s projector and we didn’t have one. This was a huge disappointment to Keith and for all of us as well .. he had worked really hard on a great presentation. But then, Keith came back with an impromptu, well thought out and informative, description of his decision to build the Skyote and the discoveries he made along the way. There were no plans as such, no books, no assembly instructions; the parts were described with dimensions, angles, placements but nothing anyone would think of as detailed plans, anyone but a builder like Keith. When someone begins describing parts in thousandths or ten-thousandths of an inch, it’s over my head, but then I had just been with Tim Higgins to Ray Moore‘s shop ( see the previous post) to see his B-17 work so maybe I did get an idea of this level of skill. At the end of his talk, I had a real appreciation for Keith and his commitment and I’m hoping to visit him one day soon to see his setup in person.

I admit I felt Keith’s letdown both as president and as a friend. For that, I apologize to Keith and to those in attendance. The chapter had presentation equipment at one time, I’m told, but whether or not we did back then, we will by next month’s meeting — with all the connections.

The goof-up with the equipment for Keith’s presentation is, I guess, part of starting up again after a long layoff .. at least that’s what one of our members told me .. so we’ll carry on (but I won’t forget it).

Thanks to Tim Higgins for bringing and showing parts for his RV-12 project. Tim says his shop is in the last stages of setup and is ready for work to proceed.

We signed up or renewed three new members at the meeting who are also members of the national EAA and another new member is looking for our online sign-up and the PayPal link member Brian Leverson set up at https://chapters.eaa.org/eaa1016

As your president, I’m really glad to see that our chapter is serving as a base for all our members, old and new, to make connections on all levels .. from building to flying to discovering common interests beyond the aviation community. When all is said and done, isn’t it true that our friends, old and new, are what it’s all about?

Until July 13th … Fly safe … Build strong and light … stay well …


Ray Moore’s B-17

How in the world do you describe a man, obsessed with the complete, true, accurate reconstruction of a World War II bomber? Meet Ray Moore through Tim Higgins’ pictures from our visit to Ray’s shop at the Asheville NC airport.

Ray (left) explains a bulkhead and its component parts to a thoroughly attentive visitor (me). Ray makes this particular piece for several B-17 restoration efforts going on across the country. He has a hand in almost all the projects worldwide.
Some of the many brackets destined for a bulkhead. Some are old, some are new, all are faithfully recreated including the washed or dipped primer in the manner they were originally done.
When Ray started, he had to figure out how to start. He says things like these jigs just come to him, like learning to weld, learning electrical wiring and so on. He is entirely self-taught. He made these jigs on his own without a model to go by. There are a lot of details to consider when you’re building a B-17.
Some components come in, badly damaged from impact or mishandling. In this case, the section was cut away from wreckage by uninformed or hasty workers who further bent and twisted the fuselage components with forklifts and other labor saving devices (for them). Ray is looking at hundreds of hours of work to fix the salvageable pieces but this section could fly again!
This aft fuselage section is destined for Ray’s own B-17, “Lucky 13”. His great uncle Marvin was a maintenance director during the war and Lucky 13 was one of his ships. It was damaged and ran out of fuel returning from a bombing raid to Stuttgart on September 6, 1943. The crew bailed out successfully and the airplane crashed in France. None of the crew lost their life; 3 returned to England, 7 were interred for the duration of the war.

Parts for Lucky 13 are faithfully recreated down to the smallest detail, correct for the model of the airplane. Ray is a tireless researcher and even details of the construction of interior bulkheads are reproduced or restored to original. Some of the salvaged parts he uses are from B-17s that were featured in the movie and TV series “12 O’Clock High”. He points to one reinforcing part and says “Gregory Peck touched this”! Fun stuff.

I can go on and on about Ray and his work, but go to his website for some remarkable information about the airplane, its crew, and the team working to put it back in the sky: www.hangarthirteen.org

Calling all graphic artists, designers, creative thinkers! We’re looking for a new patch design!

Our current, old patch (which we’re out of or can’t find the stock) is okay, but needs a refresher.

Your design might be a winner! You may submit as many entries as you’d like but it would probably best if you take the best part of each idea and boil it down to one or two.

One thing: looking at the patch above in the header, the roundels are British instead of French. The French used the outer ring in Red, the inner dot in Blue, separated by a white ring. Also, I’m checking with the Smithsonian to see when or if the Geronimo image was used when Kiffin Rockwell flew with the Escadrille Americaine (The name was changed to Escadrille Lafayette after he was killed).

There may be a prize for the winner .. stay tuned.

Submit your entries to the group email or to me at: eaachapter1016@gmail.com. Don’t expect a quick reply as I only check that address once in awhile. If you want, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.


It’s Great To Be Back!

Wow! The Big Day fast approached when we had our first post-Covid Chapter meeting and it was a really big deal for me personally. For all of us to be able to gather in one place where the history of aviation in our local area is featured at the Western North Carolina Air Museum, that’s pretty special.

My first view of Oscar Meyer’s airport was probably when my family was driving past on our way to the old fairgrounds south of town. (They used to hold a pretty important regional horse show there every year.)

The thing that really caught my attention as we drove past was the rotating beacon flashing green/white across the night sky. I could see the sweep of the light from my bedroom, about 2 1/2 miles away. Then my Aunt Pete let on that she had started training as a CPTP pilot before The War and used to fly from an airfield just like the one here at home. Now THAT was REALLY something .. And just like that, I was hooked.

So it was pretty special to me to be able to welcome you to our resurgent EAA Chapter and to our long-awaited resumption of regular monthly meetings. We’ll typically have food at $5 per plate beginning at 6:30 or just before and the programs will start at 7:00. You can bring your own to grill if you want and we’d appreciate a donation to cover the fixings.

At the May meeting we heard about the Sun n Fun Fly In from Anton Pretorius and from Jerry and Nancy Marstall’s perspective .. regular SnF attendees and volunteers for many years. A look at Sun n Fun from different points of view and it was special.

The theme of the June 8th gathering will be projects. Bring pictures to share and let us know how you’re doing!

For June 8th, Keith Plemmons, one of our esteemed Technical Counselors, has some 3,000+ slides of his incredible Skyote project and is picking and choosing as of this writing to give us all a glimpse of what he’s been up to in his fully equipped shop. I hear he has a show set to music! Keith is pure EAA. He began his project – and it’s not an easy one – having to buy many of the machines for his shop and learn the skills needed to turn out a myriad of pieces that are actually beginning to come together as an airplane. I promise an interesting half hour or so as we tour his very complex project.

Please set aside the evening of June 8th on your calendar – in ink – and join your friends, old and new, as we continue our 2021 return to happy days of building airplanes, flying them and sharing the ride!

Build light and strong, fly safe, stay well.


Fuel Run & Visit to Hunter-Gatherer Brewery @ KCUB

Hey All,

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Just wanted to share a short trip that Jon and I went on today. I hadn’t been flying in forever, and Jon had been grounded with a big work project for the last few weeks that is now finished, so we both wanted to get airborne for a while.

The trip route: 0A7-35A-KEOE-KCUB-0A7

Route (Skyvector.com)

It started with a suggestion to go get fuel, and then I added a destination I’ve wanted to check out for a while, since we would already be halfway there.

After announcing and taking off on 33 from 0A7 (Hendersonville), Jon spotted traffic ahead that was coming towards us at low altitude. It was a helicopter headed S-SW at about 600ft.  Jon had to veer right soon after clearing the trees, as we were otherwise quickly headed to the same place at the same time off the departure end of the runway.  I believe Jon’s somewhat surprised radio call went something like “Hello there, helicopter”, to which they responded (in the typical helicopter, guy-in-a-paintcan-shaker choppy tone, but with a low voice) “Well, hello there.” Which at least made it entertaining. 🙂

35A (Union County, SC) was just a stop for a couple patterns and to see if anyone else was there. There never seems to be any traffic there when we’ve visited (usually for the cheap fuel), and today was no different.

KEOE (Newberry, SC) was a new stop for both of us. Goal here was the cheap fuel. We did a few circuits here. In the middle of one of our patterns we saw a Quad City Challenger taxi out to midfield and turn into the wind. Jon asked “is he going to just takeoff from midfield?”…the answer was yes, as he rolled only about 100ft until getting airborne and climbing. Soon after, we departed the area to the SE.

Then it was off to KCUB (L.B. Owens Airport) in Columbia, SC. We landed on Rwy 31 and noted that the runway has a slope on both ends, with the low point in the center. A/FD says 3deg slope on 31 (20ft height diff), and 4deg on 13 (30ft height diff) for the 5011’ Runway, which both sound insignificant while reading it (to a low time pilot like me) but it does make it feel like the runway drops away slightly on touchdown. In any case, we landed safely and taxi’d over to the ramp.

The goal here at KCUB was to visit the Hunter-Gatherer Brewery that is located on the field and occupies an old hangar that was built in 1929. I had first read about this in an article in the AOPA magazine, and have wanted to check it out since:

AOPA Sept 2018 – Restored SC Curtiss-Wright Hangar Draws Crowds

From the ramp, you have to exit the airfield thru the FBO and walk along the road to get to the brewery, which is a bit of a walk but not bad. (We got to walk it twice, since the first time we didn’t realize that it was outside of the airport fence…)

Once arriving, we went inside and browsed the old photos on the walls of the hangar and airfield. For example:

Yesterday vs. Today
At one point, the Curtiss-Wright hangar was the only building on the airfield.
(Note the train tracks that are visible on the top right hand side of both images, there definitely appear to be sections that are still the same.)

At the bar, we ordered up some food. Both of us wanted to indulge in the brews, but obviously couldn’t because, airplanes. We’ll have to do a chapter fly out here sometime with an overnight stay, so that we can enjoy them! Instead, a Margherita pizza, taco pizza, and pretzel with mustard and beer cheese would have to suffice. And that they did! The food was great and the environment really cool. The only thing I wish they had inside was more aviation stuffs…I was honestly surprised by the lack of it, considering the history of the place. Perhaps its still in the plans for one day, but it’s just begging for model aircraft to be hung from the ceiling or put on display.

Perusing the Hunter-Gatherer Brewery Facebook page, you can find photos of the hangar before they restored it, which is absolutely fascinating. There are also many of the restoration process on their page as well.

Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at Owens Field – Facebook Album

Image of the Hangar from 2015 (Hunter Gatherer Brewery Facebook Page)

After our meal we checked out the rooftop patio and walked around a bit before heading back to the plane.

Pano from the roof
View from the Patio

The ride back home went smoothly and without incident. Once we landed back at Hendersonville, Jon did a number of patterns to get in some practice (I think procrastination may have been a factor here as well…) before we went back to normal life duties for the remainder of the weekend.

All in all, a great Sunday of flying and a fun place to visit!
Who wants to join us for a second visit as a group? 🙂

Till next time,

On the ramp at KCUB

‘I can’t stop flying! Want to go to Tangier Island?”…

It seems that since our pacific trip our chapter meeting BBQ location host, Jon Smith, has been doubly bitten by the flying bug and can’t keep himself on the ground for much longer than 48hrs, leading to the title quoted message I received from him last week to just scratch that itch. So being the good friend I am (I could never let him travel all that way on his own), I dutifully accepted and off we went bright and early on a wispy Sunday morning…

Outbound we tracked direct to KAKQ for fuel and a coffee evacuation break before heading direct to VG39.  This conveniently threaded the needle between KPHF and KLFI (we were hoping to see some interesting aircraft and aircraft carriers at Norfolk but the haze made it difficult), then a short 15nm hop across the Chesapeake Bay.  We decided we would get up to 7,500’ for the crossing so should the engine quit we could imitate a “glide” (it’s an RV6!) back to dry land, before turning north to VA92 and then West to KTGI.  This route was necessary due to the Restricted Airspace around KTGI and our fear of flying over water for lengthy amounts of time.

The pattern around KTGI really brought home how small this place is and the staple industry (fishing/crabbing) as there were more boats and docks than houses.  The runway is in good condition, roughly 2,500’ long and we had only a light sea breeze from the south to welcome us. Nothing remarkable about it really, no FBO or fuel, plenty of ramp space, a few with tiedowns and a parking cost of $10. Tangier Island on the ground was quite quiet, quaint, quirky and Island like… by which I mean in summary; the people we met seemed nice (481 live there) with interesting accents, lots of fishing /crabbing related paraphernalia around, some very old houses with their own graveyards, at least 2 churches, one plane crashed house (see the pic), very narrow ‘roads’, lots of golf carts (contrary to the podcast we listened to on the way out there are some cars), lots of birds, expensive for what it was food and a welcome/farewell cat (see the pic).

For the return leg we originally planned to reverse our route however, we finally put our man pants on and headed for open water by essentially skirting the restricted airspace, going directly south then turning west on course for KMTV… it wasn’t that bad really.  We considered trying to get home without refueling but knowing there was potential for thunderstorms we would likely need to do some maneuvering so we filled her up at KMTV just in case.  Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop and have lunch here as the restaurant is apparently very good with big portions but I/we will be back Im sure (maybe a chapter trip?) The remainder of the flight was uneventful, just a little cloud dodging and light rain east of SUG to contend with. 

Returning in to 0A7 we planned for a more fun approach to landing with an overhead break! This stems from being asked by the KTUS tower if we wanted an overhead break during our pacific trip, Jon has tried one since and really likes them!  Alas, traffic in the pattern put a stop to that, maybe next time… we settled instead for the conventional approach and touch down, just left of center (ask Jon)….

I personally would recommend a visit as the island is pretty unique, at least to me and potentially only has ~25yrs before it is consumed by rising sea levels or eroded away (depends on who you ask).  We managed to land around 9-9:30 so the majority of folk were in church which meant everything was closed (11am opening times typically) but pleasantly quiet and tranquil allowing Jon to take some pretty cool photo’s.

The intrepid travelers, (L to R, Simon J & Jon S)

Mission: Fly Across America #1 – Day 3

Hola! So…onto Day 3 of our adventure flying across America. This is when the trip started to be incredibly cool.

TL;DR Warning: This is a LONG post. Feel free to just checkout the pics…they’re worth seeing!

If you missed Day 1 or Day 2, take a click to go see those updates before coming back here.

All evening on Day 2, we were debating what made the most sense for us to do on Day 3. We threw around many plans, checked the weather repeatedly, and flip-flopped on where we were going to stay. Items in play were:

  • Next goal after Tucson AZ was hitting the west coast, dipping our toes in the ocean, and getting some fish tacos (which was my specific request).
    • Originally we were looking at Bob Maxwell Memorial Airport (KOKB) just East of Oceanside, CA. However, further research revealed that they did not have a courtesy car, whereas McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ) in Carlsbad, CA did and even had slightly cheaper fuel to boot. Score!
  • How far could we get before it got dark? What could we fit in? The main talking point was around whether we push on towards Las Vegas after hitting the coast, or take a day to relax and enjoy time on the coast.
    • If we made it to the Vegas area, it could make for an excellent staging stop for Day 4, which could then include Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon.
    • Daylight was going to be an issue if we wanted to press forward. We would need to get up early and keep moving at a good pace throughout the day. Also, none of us were night current, and even if we were, the unfamiliar mountainous terrain made us nervous, so landing after dark was off the table.
  • Jon REALLY wanted to go to the Titan Missile Museum. Apparently his previous travels had brought him to Tucson AZ many times, but every time that he tried to visit the Museum, they were either closed or he wasn’t able to make it out there for one reason or another. Although he kept mentioning it, he had essentially resigned himself to accept that it probably wouldn’t happen. It was pretty clear that we had to try to make this happen for him. 🙂

In the end, after much discussion at dinner on Day 2, we decided that we could shoot high and try to fit it all in for Day 3:

  • Check out and be at the Titan Missile Museum as soon as they open, and take the first available tour at 10:00am.
  • Drive straight to Tucson Airport (KTUS) and take off for McClellan-Palomar (KCRQ) in Carlsbad, CA around 12:30pm.
    • Flight time should be around 3.5hrs
  • Take the courtesy car to the beach, grab tacos on the way, and head back to the airport. Visit length = 2hrs total, including refueling of the planes.
  • Take off and head to Henderson Airport (KHND) just south of Las Vegas, which should take around 1.5hrs.
  • If all goes to plan, we would arrive at KHND just as the sun sets on the Nevada desert.

So started our day. Breakfast at the hotel, checked out and drove the 25mins south to Sahuarita, AZ. We quickly stopped at a Walmart to pickup a few things before driving over to the museum. (Simon was looking for a hat and nearly purchased a rather “fetching” blue bucket hat with white stars. It would’ve been special.)

The Titan Missile Museum was pretty amazing to see. It is the only remaining Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) complex of the 54 sites that were on alert during the Cold War between 1963 and 1987. Photos below:

Once back at Tucson Airport, Jon, Mike & Simon got the aircraft ready while I returned our rental car. I got back and jumped in the plane with Jon. We spent a while on ground frequency waiting for clearance, and it seemed like the controller forgot about us. They sounded busy with a possible runway closure, so we checked in again and were sent over to tower.

The tower asked if we would be ok with an intersection take off on Runway 21, which gave us about 3000ft of runway. We were happy with that since it got us out of KTUS quickly and was the same length as Hendersonville Airport (0A7) where one of our aircraft is based. After taxiing to the runway, we had to hold short for a few minutes while some F-16 traffic took off. It made for a great show, and Simon got some great photos of them:

Holding short of Runway 21 for the F-16’s
This shot of their takeoff made it look like the nosewheel was jacked up onto the taxiway/runway sign.

The tower also granted our request to overfly the aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, which was awesome.

If you’re not familiar, the aircraft “boneyard” is part of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group (AMARG), which is the worlds largest aircraft boneyard with typically over 3,200 aircraft in its inventory. It is the sole aircraft boneyard and parts reclamation facility for excess/retired military and government aircraft.

Check it out on Google Maps (Zoom in on the fields & Pan around to see the aircraft!):

A fascinating webpage on the history of this aircraft storage facility can be found here:

Also, this website keeps track of the inventory and movements of aircraft within the boneyard, which is really interesting. This is the Current inventory, aircraft type page:


We really wanted to go take the bus tour of the Boneyard while we were there, but our schedule was so fluid for this trip that we weren’t able to make reservations within the required 2 weeks advanced notice that is required. Our flyover and our drive around the perimeter roads would have to be our tour.

Our flight of two takeoff went smoothly, and the tower handed us over to Davis-Monthan AFB tower for our flyover of the boneyard. Below are the photos we captured of the boneyard from the air.

It is incredible how many aircraft are in one location.
Near field is supposedly for long-term storage & preservation. Many fighter aircraft could be seen in this area. The far field supposedly contains the reclamation area and held a lot of transport and bomber aircraft.
Simon captured this cool shot of Jon’s plane over the boneyard.

After our flyover, we were handed over to Tucson departure control, and resumed on our course to KCRQ. This leg of flight saw us having to dodge a significant number of restricted areas, and brought us quite close to the Mexican border. See our flight plan below.

KTUS  320539N1105851W 320151N1105330W 320850N1104612W 321806N1110301W E63 AZ06 BZA 324655N1153801W 324721N1160156W 04CL KCRQ

Approximate Flight route from Tucson, AZ to Carlsbad, CA. (Skyvector.com)

The flight overall was fairly uneventful. Much attention was paid to avoid the restricted areas along the route, and this meant flying thru some relatively narrow airspace corridors that were busy with other traffic doing the same thing. I was keeping a close eye on the ADS-B traffic and scanning the horizon looking for other aircraft, especially as we traveled from East of Yuma, AZ until we approached the mountains West of El Centro, CA.

As we neared McClellan-Palomar Airport we contacted approach to bring us in. The airspace was extremely busy, so we had to pay close attention to the controller. This was easily the busiest airspace of the entire trip.

Final Approach into McClellan-Palomar Airport KCRQ, Carlsbad CA
After some confusion on our part, and help from a very friendly Tower controller, we found the self-serve fuel before going to park at the FBO on the other side of the runway.
Parked right under the tower at McClellan-Palomar KCRQ.

Now that we made had arrived, we started our whirlwind 1.5hrs on the ground in Carlsbad! After parking and quickly tying down the aircraft, we rushed to the FBO to figure out the crew car. They had a new Hyundai for us to use which was perfect, so we signed it out, jumped in and headed for the beach!

Once parked, we jumped out and ran down to the beach. Birds were ridge soaring along overhead as we got out, which was a beautiful sight for a glider pilot. 🙂

Jon definitely won the award for best celebration, via jumping into the ocean and collecting a bottle of seawater as a souvenir.

WE MADE IT!!!! 😀

After only a quick 15minute stop at the beach, we got back into the car in search of my fish tacos on the way back to the airport. My googling on the ride to the beach had revealed a highly rated local joint called Pelly’s Fish Market which was right on our route, so off we went!

Mike elected to rest in the car while Simon, Jon and I went to get food.
Boy, was Pelly’s a good call! I got an order of Fish Tacos and a fried calamari appetizer. I’d be in trouble if I lived closer to this place…

I was a happy man. After food, we revived Mike from his slumber in the car, and headed back to the airport. We dropped off the car with the friendly FBO staff and took a quick pit stop, before climbing back into the RV’s to get ready for our next leg.

Timing was looking just right for making it to the Las Vegas area before sunset, but we needed to get moving. The plan was as follows:

KCRQ MORON HEC 353108N1153131W  KHND

(Simon pointed out the waypoint called “MORON” which made us all chuckle, so we had to use it…)
The target was Henderson Executive Airport, KHND. We decided on this since it was still close to the Las Vegas strip, and should be much easier to get into and out of than if we attempted to land at McCarran International.

Day 3, Leg 2 – 205nm, and ~1.5hrs of flight time with the winds on that day.
(ETE not reflected in the Skyvector screenshot since it was taken days afterwards)

Our planning for this leg was purely logistical…getting from Carlsbad to Las Vegas before sunset, and avoiding the restricted areas along the way.
Little did we know how incredible this leg would be…

Our target for the stop in Carlsbad was 2hrs total, and we started our takeoff roll 2hrs and 11mins after we touched down. Pretty darn good!

We departed KCRQ to the Northeast towards the mountains and Las Vegas.

At this point, the sun was getting low, and golden hour truly started to begin. The effect in this area of the country, with its gorgeous landscape and the clouds that were present, was nothing but spectacular.

I’m going to let the photos do the talking.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did taking them and experiencing this beautiful place.

Pretty incredible scenery, huh?
That was the most memorable leg of the trip for me, just because it was so beautiful and was totally unexpected when we set off.

After arriving, we took a bit to figure out where we were staying. We didn’t have reservations yet since we didn’t know if we would make it to Vegas today! Hard to believe that the day started out in Tucson, AZ at the Missile museum….

We finally settled on staying on the strip at the Flamingo, because….why the heck not? And this was Simon’s first ever visit to Las Vegas, so we wanted him to at least be able to walk the strip at night. We hailed an uber, and were shortly on our way to our hotel.

Once we arrived and checked in, we went out to get dinner and walk the strip. We decided to eat at Gordon Ramsay Burger, which is silly pricey, but was pretty darn good. Beyond recounting the day’s events, a mishap occurred while taking the first big bite of my delicious “Farmhouse Burger” which was topped with bacon, Dubliner cheese, and a fried egg. Just as I took the first bite, that fried egg’s yolk  popped and exploded all over my left arm, my watch, Simon’s arm and right side with bright yellow yolk.  Whomp Whomp. Sorry Simon. The event was dubbed the “egg-splosion”, and that evening I learned that it is amazingly difficult to remove congealed egg yolk from the cervices of a Casio G-shock watch.

After dinner while walking, Mike announced that he wanted some ice cream, and ducked into the McDonalds that we were passing. Upon learning that they were entirely out of ice cream for his M&M McFlurry, we ended up at Shake Shack, procuring a suitable replacement. 🙂

In the end, we walked down to the Luxor to view the large interior atrium and architecture, before calling it a night and hailing an uber to drive us back to the hotel.

We were beat….what a heck of a day! This was definitely one of my favorite days of the trip with the sheer amount of things that we were able to do and see. That trip from Carlsbad to Vegas will stick out in my memory for quite a long time.

Stay tuned for the next days updates, there’s much more to come!

Best Regards,


Mission: Fly Across America #1 – Day 2

Hi All!

So I realize that I’m behind on updates, but sleep in the evenings has taken precedence. Trying to get a brief update on Day 2 in today before we get started on Day 4 of the trip!

In short, our trip has been nothing but incredible thus far. If you didn’t catch the Day 1 update, you can find that here.

 Day two saw us departing Lubbock, TX (KLBB) and ending up in Tucson, AZ (KTUS). Our route was the following, with the only fuel stop being at El Paso, TX (KELP):


Approximate route for Day 2

Taking off from KLBB was a memorable incident…
• After takeoff with Jon in the lead, the dialog went something like this:
○ Simon: “Hey Jon, would you mind slowing up? You’re faster than us and we’re pretty far behind.
 ○ Jon (without skipping a beat, a wry smile on his face, keys the mic…): “I’m sorry, Say again?”
○ Simon: “I said, would you mind slowing up as you’re faster than us and we’re behind.”
○ Jon (Beaming): “I actually heard you fine, I just like hearing it. Slowing down now.”
○ Mike C (Laughing over intercom to Jon): “Wow, dick move!”

We headed down to El Paso as a fuel stop, just to be safe. El Paso was quite busy and we had some fun finding the self-serve fuel. The tower (who kept us on freq for taxiing) gave instructions on finding it based on us locating an old, white, unmarked 727 on the corner of the ramp that seems to be a fixture of the field at the moment. On the way to the fuel we got to see NASA’s “Guppy” transport plane which was really cool.

While landing at KTUS, there were two F-16’s (“Vader”) that were doing overhead breaks into the downwind leg of the pattern. Once we cleared the runway, we were able to snap some photos of the F-16’s landing behind us on the runway which was really cool. We found our way to Velocity Air (FBO), and tied down the aircraft.

One issue we found with our planes was the co-pilot side mic did not work on Mike’s plane. Simon sent out a message to the local EAA chapter at KTUS, asking if anyone had the items (PTT switch and wire) needed to fix it. Per request, the President of the Tucson EAA Chapter provided Mike & simon with an extra push to talk switch to try to aid them in their future leg duties. It was really nice of him and his wife to come out and help us.

We then got a rental car and drove straight to the Pima Air Museum, which was phenomenal. They have a ton of aircraft there that are really unique. We ended up being the last ones in the facility when they closed. 🙂

Day 3 should include the Titan Missile museum, and hitting the West Coast!!

Click to continue on to Day 3 of our adventure!

Mission: Fly Across America #1 – Day 1

Hey All!

As many of you may have heard, Mike, Simon, Jon, & I have been planning a trip to Fly Across America.

The goal is simple: Dip our toes in the Pacific ocean, see some great sights along the way (Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Hoover Dam, Oceanside CA, Pima Air & Space Museum, and the Titan Missile Museum), while having fun flying a whole lot in Jon & Mike’s Van’s RV-6/6A.

Today was a very successful Day #1.
Follow along with us via our SPOT tracker points by going here.

The flight plan looked something like this the night before we left (copy & paste into Skyvector/Foreflight/etc if desired):

0A7  4M3  KFDR  KSAF  5V5  UT25  3714N11032W  3702N11123W  KPGA  L41  3619N11156W  3619N11207W  VPGCF 3610N11243W  3608N11316W  3543N11320W  3547N11339W  3607N11357W  3601N11420W  3601N11444W  KBVU  JOTNU  KOKB  KCXL  AZ06  E63  KTUS  KDNA  E11  F44  KCRT  KGAD  0A7

Original Flight Plan

We just finished our first day of the trip, and we ended up deviating a bit due to the weather, namely convective sigmets and high winds coming up from the south. Our actual route ended up being the following:


While enroute from 4M3 to KFDR, the cloud cover was deteriorating quickly so we took openings in the overcast down and diverted to KLAW. At KLAW, we reviewed all the weather and decided that it made the most sense to fly the route backwards, choosing to fly the sourthern route first while the weather on the northern part passed through. Thus, we ended our day in Lubbock, Texas.

Actual stops on Day 1
Weather Prog Chart that shows the fronts that we were contending with. Strong winds didn’t help either.

Pretty great first day…we were able to accomplish nearly 11 hours of flying and around 987nm! We are all pretty exhausted and were happy to get to the hotel and have a good dinner. I’m falling asleep here typing this, so its time to get to bed!

Tomorrow the plan is to fly from KLBB (Lubbock, TX) to KTUS (Tucson, AZ) to visit the Titan Missile Museum, and the PIMA Air & Space museum (likely to be done Wednesday morning).

Click to continue on to Day 2 of our adventure!

Happy flying!