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Best of day 11: Good sleep, oil change and some fear

By the moment we write these words, we just received the news about an aircraft that crashed short of the runway at Catalina Island. Our thoughts go to the victims and their relatives. Apparently the pilot suffered chest pain and reported to the tower that he could not make it.

Many of you reacted on Twitter, hoping this was not us. We want to say it again here, we’re safe in Chino. We want to thank you for these reactions and ask you to join your thoughts to ours, towards the persons directly impacted by this accident.

Yesterday was one of the longest day since we started and surely the warmest. We departed Tucson at 8am and the temperature was 33°C. When we landed at Blythe airport, shortly before 11am, the airport reported a temperature of 38°C. We closed the vents during taxi because getting warm air blown up at us was not refreshing. It was not even good.

38° at 11am

We decided to continue towards west and flew to Palm Springs. By the time we left Blythe, Chino - the next place where we have support - was in bad visibility. The second open question was the possibility to fly through the Banning pass, between Palm Springs and the Los Angeles area.

The flight to Palm Springs was turbulent. Lot of thermals at 4.500 feet and climbing to 6.500 helped but did not allow for a smooth ride. From above, Palm Springs looks like a green spot in the middle of the desert. Built-up areas are green, and all the rest is sand. The airport is surrounded by mountains and windmills.

Palm Springs

After grabbing coffee and cookies at the FBO, we decided to continue to Chino. This was “only” a 45 minutes flight but it was not the more relaxing one so far. We got turbulence from thermals and from mountain waves. The Banning pass is not known to be easy. It is not as tight as some others but being the junction between the coastal and desert areas, it can be very windy. And it was. We flew through it at 4.500 feet because that’s all what we could do flying out of Palm Springs.

Banning Pass

After getting our fair share of turbulence, we descended into the haze of the Los Angeles basin, lookin for Chino airport. The top of the haze layer was at 4.000 feet and finding the airport with a 5 miles visibility was kind of a challenge. We landed on runway 26R, happy to be so close to Catalina Island and back in cooler temperatures.

As we came in one day ahead of schedule, there was no need to wake-up early this morning. We also had time to catch up on our lives, and prepare the next days. We also changed the oil of N512R. After flying more than 28 hours on this trip, was time for it.

Tomorrow will be our last day flying West. We will go from Chino to Catalina Island to meet with one of our earliest supporter: Nick, the president of Friends of Aviation. If you’re in the area tomorrow, we plan to be there at noon, eat a Buffalo burger and leave towards Whiteman, flying over LAX.

One Response to “Best of day 11: Good sleep, oil change and some fear”

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