Flight of Passage – Day 5

The airports on day 5 were not many, as the brothers choose to reduce the speed for a bit. They even laid off for a day to stay in El Paso with friends they had met there. Rested, they were escorted to Las Cruces by a Stearman man (pilots got called by their planes those days). At Gila Bend they played chicken with a bus before landing near the border at Yuma.

KELP, El Paso [Intl], TX
KLRU, Las Cruces, NM
KLSB, Lordsburg, NM
KTUS, Tucson, AZ
E63, Gila Bend, AZ
KNYL, Yuma, AZ

El Paso – Las Cruces

This time I took the Savage Carbon Cub from GotGravel for a spin. This machine has a bit more power and made it easy to do the 30min hop to Las Cruces in New Mexico. The scenery for El Paso was outstanding, despite the not quite so sunny weather. Following Highway 10 I reached Las Cruces soon after.

Las Cruces – Lordsburg

I continue my journey west along Highway 10. First sight is a prison (again). Weather is fine with the sun high in the sky. In the distance I can make out the Florida Mountains. Overflying Deming I reach the halfway point of this flight. To my right Burro Peak comes into view. A few miles later with dark clouds looming the narrow runway of Lordsburg appears just off the Highway. With 15kts of crosswind the landing is one of my worser ones. And just as I turn off the runway Albuquerque Center goes online on VATSIM. Just a minute too late for me, maybe next time.

Lordsburg – Tucson

We are getting nearer and nearer the coast now, crossing into Arizona on this flight. I had the honor of Chergo and Uli (long time no see) being at my side for this part of the journey. We started on nearly clear skies and joined Highway 10 again. I took the lead passing beautiful playas and mountains. The Carbon Cub is a real powerhouse and even does aerobatics as Chergo demonstrated over the Peloncillo Mountains. We continued on and as we passed Wilcox Playa we turned off the highway for a little detour to Inde Motorsports Ranch Airport (93AZ). After testing our planes VSTOL capabilities there we rejoined the Highway and continued on to Benson, overflying Texas Canyon Rock & Sand along the way. To the left we caught a glimpse of Apache Peak, before we headed into the dense area of Tucson. At the international airport we used the shortest runway possible and Chergo found us a nice parking spot for the group photo.

Tucson – Gila Bend

Chergo and Uli joined me again for this flight. We started out from Tucson and joined Highway 10 (again). The city is bustling with buildings and beautiful to look at. It took a while to get out of the city and the next sight was Picacho Peak. Next up was the turn West to Highway 8 at the Casa Grande Mountains (what a weired sign at the side of this one). We had quite some company at this time. No wonder, Phoenix is nearby. After the Table Top Mountains we took a slight detour to the North to check out two small dirtstrips (Walter Ranch AZ49 and G.M. Ranch Airport AZ61). We continued on and a few miles from Gila Bend we turned North to align with the runway. As there was no wind and the Cub only needs a few Meters of runway for a full stop landing, I landed via Runway 22 while Chergo and Uli used Runway 04, which is nearer to the terminal. We rejoined at the taxiway and stopped at our parking space shortly after.

Gila Bend – Yuma

The last flight in Arizona! As ever in this state blue skies greeted us on takeoff and we soon joined Highway 8 again. Solona Generating Station was the first sight of the day. Chergo joined the formation as we followed the road and the adjoining canal. Then the Mohawk Mountians gave a formidable view. In this part of the country many places showed streets, but no houses e.g. in Citrus Park, where only a few houses exist. We overflew one of the biggest cattle farms on the way, the McElhaney Cattle Company. Telegraph Pass was our next station and after that the suburbs of Yuma started to unfold. Endless housing in all variants, from motor homes to villas. We circled to land at Yuma International and put our planes to rest at one of the many, many GA parking spaces.

Continue to day 6 >