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Flying across the US

Day 1 - From Brown Field (SDM), California to Ryan Airport (RYN), Arizona>

This is the story and pictures of trip from San Diego, California to Atlanta, Georgia I did with my friend Matt. I always wanted to do trip across the US, but I had not expected my first trip in my own plane to be across the US. But I ended up finding a plane on the west coast, so there was only one option: To fly it back myself.

We arrived in San Diego Friday evening and got all the paperwork done. The plan was to take off early Saturday morning, so we could make it over the mountains and into Texas by Saturday evening. It didnít quite turn out that way. Saturday morning a cloud layer covered the top of the mountains, making VFR flights out impossible. The forecast suggested that the cloud layer would stay for at least 24 hours, so we began flying north, looking for passages into the Imperial Valley.

After a couple of hours and after entering several valleys just to turn around because of clouds, we finally found a passage through to the Imperial Valley. We stopped at the Desert Resort Airport, just south of Palm Springs for refueling and took off after a short break.

From the Desert Resort Airport it was pretty much straight east to Phoenix, Arizona for next fuel stop. At the Goodyear Airport we saw at least 60 jets, just waiting to be put back into service after 9/11. With the fuel tanks filled, we took off again. We would not be able to cross the mountains before sunset and VFR flying in mountains at night doesnít sound like a very smart idea, so we stopped in Tucson for the night.

Leaving San Diego Clearing the mountains Fuel stop outside Palm Springs
Bad start. The low clouds prohibited us from passing the mountains Search and you shall find. After 3 hours we finally found a valley where the cloud base was high enough to let us through. Notice how the clouds stop right at the peak of the mountain. First fuel stop just outside Palm Springs... VERY nice place
Co-pilot Matt Flying over Imperial Valley Mountains near Imperial Valley
Matt is posing with the Imperial Valley mountains in the background Imperial valley is pretty much sand.. ..and mountains
Goodyear Airport, Phoenix Fuel stop, Tucson, Arizona Sunset in Tucson, Arizona
Goodyear airport outside Phoenix. Notice all the commercial jets, retired until better days for aviation First night stop on our trip. Tucson, Arizona. Clean air and exceptionally boring. But the sunset was gorgeous
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