Flying Across America

Promoting General Aviation

Best of day 18: Good bye mountains, hello rain

We’re in Cavern City, New Mexico. For the first time in this trip we did not made it to the planed destination. We expected to be in Midland, Texas but we had to divert because of weather. After taking off from Dona Ana, we climb towards El Paso. It was quite windy so we did non crossed the mountain range but flew over the city. ATC vectored us through El Paso class C airspace for traffic and a some point the wingtip was almost in Mexico…

Everything was fine until we crossed the Guadalupe Pass. This was the last mountain range on this trip, the terrain from here to Florida is as flat as a pancake. But with the low pressure system over the gulf of Mexico bringing a lot of moisture inland the rest of our trip across America will not be easy. Our plan was to fly to Midland via Wink. After the pass, we were flying above a scattered layer of clouds which was becoming more compact by the minute. ATC reported precipitation between our position and Wink and we could see some convective clouds farther away. It was time to get under the clouds before being trapped above.

We spiraled through a large hole and continued to fly towards East but we soon entered in an area of rain. Continuing towards Wink was no longer possible in safe VFR conditions. We flew along the raining cell for a while, which was also in the direction of Cavern City, a possible alternate destination. When we saw that it would not be possible to fly around the rain, we decided to go there, at least for lunch.

The situation did not improve in the early afternoon. A massive thunderstorm developed just east of Cavern City blocking our way. After hanging out at Chandler Aviation for a while, we decided to spend the night here and try to fly to Georgetown tomorrow. This will be a long flight, and it’s not sure that it will be possible, but we’ll do our best. We are invited to speak at the Georgetown Airport Aviation Safety Day on the 10th and this will be a great opportunity to promote General Aviation and share information about our trip.

Safety remains our first priority and we won’t take any risks to make it to an event or a specific destination. We’re both tired and this also played a role in the decision to stay here overnight. We will see tomorrow how the weather look like and continue towards east as possible.

The double miles week continue while we fight with weather. Any mile you buy before the 14th of July gives you two chances to win in our raffle. Use the yellow buttons on the right hand side to buy miles now and support General Aviation.

N512R and N512RJ

Look at that, N512R and N512RJ - The “J” stands for Junior

One Response to “Best of day 18: Good bye mountains, hello rain”

  1. Bob Barbanes Says:

    N512RJ is “junior,” eh? Well, it does look smaller - IN THE PICTURE, lol. And I’ll bet the Gulfstream crew took the same exact picture for their own files ;)

    But seriously, here is where a GPS with XM Weather would come in handy. I have it in my little helicopter (tied to my Garmin 496), and it is a godsend. I use it in conjunction with what ATC tells me and what I’m seeing out the windscreen with my old Mark I eyeballs. I love it! Also, I have the ability to instantly pull up the METAR at reporting airports along the way, and can access more detailed weather if need be. How did we ever get along without these marvelous devices?

    Good job on deviating. No need to press on when you do not have to. Not even a G450 would want to penetrate a nasty thunderstorm. Heck, maybe they were there for the same reason y’all were!

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