Orlando (KORL) to Los Angeles (KWHP)

With Covid-19 in full swing and no one travelling on the commercial aluminum tubes to see us we decided the best course of action was to take a trip so the kids could see Grandma/Grandpa, and Great Grandma/Grandpa in California.  Put some fresh oil in Skyscraper after a thorough wash and she was ready for the journey.  Loaded the plane and took off at 6:24am from Orlando (KORL).  Our usual route takes us north of all the airspace in New Mexico.  The weather looked like it was going to be crummy through Texas but doable.  After we were well on our way the weather deteriorated on the northern route so we decided to take the southern route over El Paso.  The first leg to New Roads, LA (KHZR) was uneventful.  It was a nice way to see the sunrise from behind the tail.  We topped off with some fuel and off we went for Eldorado Texas (27R).  The forecast had advisories for strong surface winds West of Dallas so we were aware of the potential for strong winds.  On this leg we saw about 3 hour of IMC with constant turbulence.  If you look at the airspeed recorded on flight tracking sites and you see nice smooth airspeed it corelates to smooth air.  Conversely if you see erratic airspeed this indicates lots of rough air.  The 50 knot headwind did not help the situation either.  Eldorado has no automated weather but the weather at Sonora (SOA) to the south was 12 knots gusting 28 out of the west.  Assuming the weather would be similar a few miles to the north we landed at Eldorado.  Much to my surprise when I parked the plane pointing into the wind it was reading 23 knots sitting still.  The wind was actually howling as I opened the door.   London climbed out and her hat flew into a nearby pasture.  Karrie held the brakes as I pulled the chocks out.  Signed ther guest book in the pilot lounge, practiced proper control inputs to taxi in wind, and off we went for Casa Grande, AZ (KCGZ).  More bumps and a dust cloud that went up to approx 9,000 feet for the majority of the flight to Arizona.  The headwind persisted but lessened.  A quick sip of fuel into the wings and the last leg started.  The air was much smoother although the headwind continued.  The controllers at SOCAL approach seemed to be in a friendly mood this time around.  We got vectored into Whiteman although it was a bit hard to see given the densely populated area it is tucked away in. 

We logged 14.4 hours with the prop turning,  

7.9 hours of IMC,

burned 164 gallons of Avgas,

flew 2,366 miles.  18 hours 18 minutes door to door.  

A true testament to the utility of the Vans RV-10. 

Kids waiting to load up.

Shortly after takeoff from KORL.

Not smooth air.

 A further diversion south and more rough air.

 

177 knots true airspeed,  125 knots ground speed.  Burning 13 GPH rich of peak.

 

23 knots on the ground with the prop stopped getting fuel at Eldorado 27R.

 West Texas dust.

More west Texas dust.

Sun setting in Casa Grande, AZ

Flying northwest looking southwest over LA.

Final approach KWHP runway 12.

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