Saturday, August 15, 2015

An over due update on my 50 by 50 progress.

I started my "50 by 50" quest on a fluke a couple years back, thinking I could actually make all 50 states by the time I was 50.  I have since realized it is more likely that I will make all 50 states before I am no longer in my 50's.

And on that theme, I have added a couple more that deserve updates.  My last update had me landing in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with a graphic inadvertently including New Mexico.  Since then I have added two new states.

Getting Fuel in Esterville IA
In July of last year, I traveled with my friend to AirVenture, or Oshkosh Wisconsin for the EAA's annual fly in and air show.  We traded off flying legs, and leaving South Dakota, it was Eric's turn to fly.  So he guided the plane to Estherville Iowa, where I flew the last 3 minutes to landing and fuel.  The ramp was torn up for repaving, and the fuel pump was balanced on a stack of railroad ties, and had a couple of pipes running out to it -- one for fuel, and one for power.

We took the crew car into town for lunch, came back and had a nice visit with the manager about the various types of aircraft.  It was clouded over when we took off, so we filed an instrument flight plan and then took off for Juneau Wisconsin.  28 down, 22 to go.

On my recent trip to Texas, I rented a Piper Archer from Texas Flight, and flew
Me, Victor, and the Archer at Southland Field
it over to Sulphur Louisiana.  It was my first trip in a plane with A/C, and we needed it!  I felt like such a hypocrite.  I've derided people for putting weight and power stealing A/C units in small planes.  Now I get it.  During our trip we encountered a Terminal Radar Service Area, or TRSA.  Neither I nor Victor had flown in one before.  Turns out it is just and extended area of radar service around a smaller class "D" airspace.

Victor and I departed KDWH to the north east and slowly climbed our way up from under Houston's controlled airspace, and then made a leisurely cruise to Louisiana, State number 29.  After Landing we re-hydrated from sweating our way across an hour of hot and humid Texas sky.

On the way back there were some rain squalls.  Initially cruising at 6,500 feet, Houston approach pushed us down earlier than I would have liked.  I was able to delay the descent due to a cloud layer.  We could have flown through it had we picked up an instrument clearance, but staying visual gave us an excuse to not descend into the heat.

29 down 21 to go.
We dodged around a squall to our south and then turned left to line up with the south bound runway.  On the ground, I bought a new t-shirt.