Friday May 12, 2006
We're back in the air and on the road
Voyager is back in tip-tip condition, and the weather conditions were good, so Michael and I took off from Steve's driveway and headed for Salton City airport (SAS). (Video below.) Once at altitude we encountered headwinds sufficiently strong as to preclude Michael being able to complete the flight to Salton. We diverted to Jacumba (L78), and after landing tried to contact Rusty to advise him to pick up Michael. Rusty was headed to meet us at Salton. But Jacumba is a dead zone, and we decided to fly to Agua Caliente (L54), about 20 miles away, and hope that the cell phone would work there.
After lift-off I noticed the headwind was gone, and that meant I could easily fly non-stop to Salton. I radioed my intentions to Michael, who continued on to Agua Caliente. Michael succeeded in phoning Rusty and advising him to pick him up, instead of going all the way to Salton. I landed at Salton and a few hours later Michael and Rusty showed up.
Reassessing the length of the flight legs I’d originally planned, we've decided to start "hop scotching" along the flight route through the mountains, with additional stops. This will allow better fuel (weight) management, as well as provide flight ranges that will allow Michael to fly more of the dangerous mountain legs, adding an additional layer of safety.