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Author: Katamarino

Houston to San Diego – Days 5 and 6

Houston to San Diego – Days 5 and 6

Solo return to Houston My return to Houston would be much faster paced than the outbound flight, with no stops for tourism. I headed back to San Diego early on Saturday morning, performed a careful pre-flight and departed, headed back to the east. As I took off, I flew over Sea World, getting great views of the park down below. I had requested a “VFR-on-top” clearance, which is designed to take you up through an overcast layer into good conditions…

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Houston to San Diego – Day 4

Houston to San Diego – Day 4

Day 4 – Salton Sea to San Diego, California The temperature rose quickly, and fairly early in the morning it was already uncomfortably warm to be in the tents. This suited us well, however, as we wanted to spend the afternoon in San Diego at the famous San Diego Zoo! We headed west across the coastal mountain range and were soon flying overhead a low undercast layer, the typical marine layer that covers the California coast of a morning. We…

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Houston to San Diego – Day 3

Houston to San Diego – Day 3

Day 3 – Bisbee, Arizona to Salton Sea, California Today’s flight would take us as far as we could go along the southern border before hitting restricted air space. Our first stop was Nogales, for fuel. As we flew along the border we could see imposing fencing along much of it; and the harsh terrain would surely be a difficult barrier in itself. Nogales turned out to be a rather strange airport; the FBO seemed to dedicate most of it’s…

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Houston to San Diego – Day 2

Houston to San Diego – Day 2

Day 2 – New Mexico We woke early, mainly due to the very loud water pumps that were running the irrigation for the farming nearby. We snacked for breakfast, and then departed; no fuel or services available at Dell City! Our initial direction was north, to get around the restricted areas that were on the direct route to Alamagordo. We had to climb high to avoid the hills east of the city, and made a steep descent into Alamagordo once…

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Houston to San Diego – Day 1

Houston to San Diego – Day 1

Day 1 – Across Texas Departure day came around quickly. We’d taken the rear seats out of the C172, which gave plenty of of luggage space that we’d filled with our bags, two tents and other camping gear, plenty of firewood, and a cooler filled with ice and food for along the way. I worked during the day and headed out from the office as early as I could get away; I’d called ahead to the airport and they had…

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Round the World – Atlantic Day 19

Round the World – Atlantic Day 19

Laddingford, England to Rotterdam, Netherlands The time for returning to work was drawing painfully near. Before parking up the airplane for a month, it was important to take care of some routine maintenance. I organised, through the very helpful Liz of the Flyer Forum, to take the aircraft the 8 miles over to Headcorn and meet “Big Jon”, who had very kindly volunteered to give up a few hours of his holiday weekend to help me out. I had all…

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Round the World – Atlantic Days 17 and 18

Round the World – Atlantic Days 17 and 18

Caernarfon, Wales to Laddingford, England Our first appointment of our day in Snowdonia was at “King Arthur’s Labyrinth”. This underground attraction is based in an old mine, the Braichgoch slate mine, and features a boat ride in to the mine followed by a walk around some of the mine, visiting animatronic displays that tell various stories about King Arthur. It was remarkably tacky, and told us nothing at all about the old mine itself, which is what I had really…

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Round the World – Atlantic Days 15 and 16

Round the World – Atlantic Days 15 and 16

Newquay, England to Caernarfon, Wales The previous evening, the very friendly B&B owner had given us a long rundown of all the things we should do and see while in Cornwall; far too much to do in the one day we had, but perfect for selecting some highlights from! We drove south to start with through Cornwall’s tiny narrow lanes, hitting the coast much sooner than I had expected. I was used to driving the vast distances of the US,…

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Round the World – Atlantic Days 13 and 14

Round the World – Atlantic Days 13 and 14

Laddingford, England to Newquay, England After a couple of days off from flying in the UK, it was time to get on the move again. The next flights would be much more gentle and relaxed than the Atlantic crossing, however! My new copilot, Elsa, joined me from the USA and together we set off on a 6 day flight around the UK, exploring some areas that I had never flown to before. We took off from Laddingford mid-morning, seen off…

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Round the World – Atlantic Day 12

Round the World – Atlantic Day 12

Carlisle, England to Laddingford, England Our taxi driver that morning turned out to have a son who was keenly interested in aviation, so we swapped airplane stories on the ride back to the airport. The days plan was fairly leisurely, so we spent a while wandering around the outside exhibits at the air museum on the field, including a Vulcan; my second of the trip after Goose Bay! The museum itself did not open until late morning, so we headed…

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