Saturday, July 5, 2014

Flight to TMGA Fly-In, Cottonwood, AZ from Melbourne, FL

Our flight to Cottonwood was generally in smooth air and light winds.  We would cruise at 4500' in the morning, and gradually increase altitude as the convection started, to stay in the smooth air.
the Skyvector map of our roundtrip route can be found at:

 Gulf of Mexico

 Smooth cruisin' before the weather turned ugly.
After spending the night in Jasper, TX (highly recommended), we left the next morning faced with ugly weather in the form of a front extending from southern Texas to northern Nebraska.  We tried to get around it to the south, but it was moving too fast and was too strong so we landed at Eagle Lake, TX (not recommended), which is primarily a crop dusting airport.  The city manager unlocked a hangar and then drove us to the only motel in town.  While eating lunch the storm hit with a good sized gust front, rain, and lightning.  It rained off and on all night, and then cleared for our departure the next morning.  The motel owner drove us back to the airport.  So we were well taken care of, but facilities in this small town are lacking.

 El Paso and the US/Mexican border
The flight across Texas was in nice smooth air with winds from the north, since it was post-frontal.  We made a rest stop at Guillespe Co Airport (T82 - highly recommended as an overnight stop too), and then continued on to a small airport just south of El Paso (E35) for rest and fuel.  The last short leg of the day was into Silver City (SVC) where Phoenix owners Randy and Cheryl met us and housed us for the night in their beautiful new home.

 Tuzigoot ruins, 1300AD in Cottonwood
Silver City to Sedona was a short 2 hour trip but the winds were beginning to blow, and would not stop for the next 9 days.  Kathy took in the local hikes and sites and I joined her in the afternoons after a brief flight in the mornings before the winds kicked in. 

Cottonwood from Mingus Mountain
Unfortunately the winds in Cottonwood prevented most flying, but we had a great time there with like-minded motorglider friends.

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