My mechanic and I tried for several hours to repro a right mag short which had plagued me a few days ago, no luck I or my instructor must have 'fixed' it when we were poking around behind the panel and in the p-leads. Dad and I had lunch at the Jet Deck and left PAE at 12:05pm After 3.5 hours of flying around thunderstorms at 11500 we land at Butte Montana. Last time I was here I did a gradual descent. This time I flew to the IAF for the ILS and used that to find the airport. Much easier. While taxiing on the ground at Butte my dad called his second cousin who took us out to see the sights of Butte
While driving out of the airport we passed a Catholic graveyard and Jeff told us of the Protestant graveyard at the other end of the field hmmm. Jeff took us to see the copper mine we had just flown over.
Later for dinner we ate at the Lamplighter. My dad ordered the King cut prime rib. They brought out this huge piece of meat bigger than his head. It was around 5 lbs. He could only eat about 1/2 of it.
Arrived early at the Airport, took off early climbed to 11500 and flew for 3.3 hours to Bismark N. Dak. Bismark tower wanted me to keep my pattern tight and expedite due to traffic coming up behind me. I did a chop-n-drop abeam the numbers power back to idle full flaps and a 180 to flare and touchdown. Dad was not expecting this, guess I should have warned him.
Bismark had no place to eat on or near the field, so we called a cab and went to the local mall. Cabbed back after lunch and took off for Eau Claire, Wisc. We were getting 30-35 knot tailwinds and at one point were doing 218mph over the ground, something I don't see often in the Navion. It only took us 3.2 hours to get to Eau Claire, and the winds were gusting 10 to 22 knots, but straight up the runway. Sweated a bit on the landing but it went well. We got a hotel room ate dinner and got an early night.
Woke early ate breakfast and flew into Oshkosh, it took us 1.7 hours, we were loafing along most of the way, the last 40 miles with gear down flying low at 100mph. Kinda fun to see all the roadsigns and cows and farms up close. Approaching Ripon we had suprisingly little traffic. At Fisk we were cleared to land on the orange dot, and to keep it in close. I did a chop-n-drop again this time with a bit of a slip. Immediately after landing Oshkosh tower advised us we had fuel "Streaming!" from our tip tank. I slowed down pulled off the runway shut off the electrics, shut down the engine, hopped out told my dad to do the same ASAP. Looked around for fuel streaming, no fuel or stains around the caps or wings. Both tip tanks were full in fact so full I suspect the heat had caused overflow into the vent tubes on landing. Must make note to self. Don't land without pumping a minute or two from each tip to avoid scaring myself. Spoke to a ground controller and eventually taxied into the warbird area and parked in the L-17 row.
After 3 days of looking at planes Dad was tired and I was walking slowly so's not to get blisters. We ate breakfast and got in line for takeoff. This time we were BUSY. I did my runup while taxiing, as soon as we were airborn
both of us were pointing out multiple targets at multiple positions. I think we had 12-15 aircraft we were directly concerned with at one point. Things settled down after a few minutes. And we made it to Alexandria Minn. after 2.5 hours.
After landing we got a courtesy car which was missing quite a bit of power steering fluid and drove in to town for lunch, our first real meal of nongreasy non-Oshkosh food in a while. While we were eating lunch I was watching the buildups and after getting back to the airport and getting the weather decided to call it quits for the day.
We woke up at 5:00am local time and were in the air by 6:30. The weather looked to be vfr to the north with multiple scattered layers. It was clear when we took off, but as the sun came up the layers started to thicken. At first it was ok. I could see the ground often below the clouds, and started to steer northward to avoid the weather being spun around the huge low centered in the Dakotas. After about 1.2 hours I noticed the clouds were becoming broken to overcast. I flew below the clouds where the weather was vfr but dropping fast. I originally planned on landing at the North Dakota border, but as we were flying over Fergus Falls airport it occoured to me the visibilities were falling and it would be stupid to continue. So we ducked into Fergus Falls.
After waiting around for several hours checking the weather we gave up making it any further and got a hotel room.
Dad was getting stir crazy, we visited the airport but the weather was still crap. We also had some culture at the local Museum.
Finally the weather although marginal VFR was VFR and clear to the north at least up to Devils Lake. We took off and flew low enough the bugs were obscuring the windshield and it was a little bumpy. I climbed and descended and deviated quite a bit, at the whim of the weather. On approaching Devils Lake it was obvious to me there were thunderstorms brewing, so I ducked into
Dad was NOT HAPPY. I suspect he was sick of this trip. We got a ride into town from one of the FBO's and had lunch, we had to walk about 2 miles back to the airport. Meanwhile there was thunder and lightning all around definitely a good time to be on the ground. After getting back to the airport the miracle occoured, it was clearing to the north and west, and after checking the weather we were off. It was supposedly clear west of Minot, but 200 miles later we were still dodging puff clouds and getting jarred around with continuous light turbulence. We approached Havre Mont. after 3.4 hours of flight and I was happy to be on the ground.
6:30pm local time, The airport was completely deserted, I think we were the only working plane out in the open. I saw an FBO and taxiied to the general parking. Dad called directory assistance and got a room at a quaint hotel in a gambling casino. They had to call a taxi for us we didn't care, we were VERY happy to get picked up from the ghost airport. We got basement?! rooms. The sheets were clean and we could take a shower so we were happy. We ate well that night. I was pretty sure the weather wouldn't stop us from getting home the next day.
Woke up early and went to the gas station to get breakfast (nothing else was open yet) I got two cheese and bean burritoes a pie and coffee. On microwaving one of the burritoes bags puffed up the other didn't. The one that didn't was so moldy I almost threw up. Here's a tip for you. If the burrito bag isn't air tight, i.e. doesn't puff up WATCH OUT! I ate the rest of breakfast and we got to the airport. We fueled got the weather and although Paine Field was IFR it was forecast to be VFR by the time we got there. I originally planned for a 4.2 hour trip and listed Wenatchee as an alternate both for wind insurance keeping us slow and for weather possibly not clearing up as forecast. It became apparent while we were flying through the mountains the winds were stronger than forecast and I decided to do a lunch/fuel stop in Wenatchee. It had taken us 3.7 hours. And with 5.2 hours of fuel I didn't want to get below 1 hour reserve.
Landed in between the Borate Bombers fighting forest fires near Chelan and had lunch with a Pilot friend at Wings of Wenatchee (Paul). Fueled up got the weather and sequenced to depart between the Borate Bombers again. (some of them were aborting takeoff due to loading and density altitude)
.8 hours later we were on the ground at Paine field. Only to discover my car was too smart and had locked itself with the keys inside in my hangar. so we had to get my wife to drive up with a key. It was good to be home and see the wife and kids! And a fun trip.
11.7 hours flight time to Oshkosh
13.0 hours flight time back.Tim Corrie N5375K