Flying my Cirrus SR22 (N627RG) around the USA.
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    Preparing the Flight Plan and the Fun!

    August 12, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 59 °F

    Starting September 9th, I am planning a 26 day, 7,000 mile journey across the USA piloting my 2004 Cirrus SR 22 (N627RG). Ever since I acquired the aircraft in 2012, I have dreamed of this adventure. I now have the time, talent, and health to make my dream a reality.

    Friends and family will be joining me along the way.

    I have a general plan, but my itinerary will be very fluid. I plan to fly 1 to 3 hours per day, always allowing enough time on the ground for a local adventure. Each day will be planned around current location, destination, and weather.

    I plan to fly East via the northern states and West via the southern states. My adventures will include Montana, Mt. Rushmore, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Vermont, Maine, Upstate New York for a Wedding Party, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Orange County, California, and Oregon. I plan to fly over 7,000 miles (~46 hrs).
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    Why I Fly

    August 13, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌫 57 °F

    Back in 1969, the same year Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, 350,000 hippies descended on Woodstock, and the Beetles recorded their last song – my mother (Marilyn) arranged with the local airport to take a bunch of cub scouts up in a small aircraft. I remember piling a bunch of 9-year-old little boys in the back seat of a little Cessna 182 and taking off. As we soared over Boise Idaho at 7,000 feet, I thought this was the coolest thing ever. I remember the pilot was a combination of Tom Selleck, Brad Pitt, and Neil Armstrong all rolled together. The joy of flying left a mark in my psyche that would never go away. I have shared this experience with my mother many years later and she remembers the experience with total terror.

    Forty-one years later, I was sitting around drinking a beer and asking myself – “If I could do anything I wanted, what do I want to do?” The answer was “I WANT TO FLY”. So, Rhonda and I enrolled in ground school and started the process. Rhonda learned in ground school that she did not have the passion to fly. I went on to learn how and love flying.

    Eight years later, I have logged 542 hours as a private pilot with 721 successful take offs and landings. In 2012, I purchased a Cirrus SR22 and logged 402 hours on this aircraft that includes obtaining my Instrument Rating.

    I love to fly!
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    Hollie Small

    You are a great pilot!

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    N627RG The Aircraft, 2004 Cirrus SR22

    August 15, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    I cannot tell a story about flying without talking about the aircraft.

    The Cirrus SR22 series has been the world's best-selling general aviation airplane since 2003. Cirrus has delivered 5,194 units from 2001–2017. The Cirrus factory is in Duluth MN.

    The Cirrus SR22 is equipped with a whole-plane emergency recovery parachute system. This means the entire aircraft can be parachuted down to safety.

    In 2003, Cirrus began offering SR22s with the Avidyne Entregra Primary Flight Display (PFD), making the plane the first of its kind to come with a “glass cockpit”.

    Capacity: One pilot, Three Passengers
    Length: 26’
    Wingspan: 38’ 4”
    Height: 8’ 11”
    Empty Weight: 2,225 lbs
    Gross Weight: 3,600 lbs
    Fuel Capacity: 81 gallons
    Powerplant: Continental IO -550N, Six cylinder horizontally opposed aircraft engine, 310 hp
    Propellers: 3 bladed
    Cruise Speed: 180 kts (207 mph)
    Stall Speed: 60 kts (69 mph) – flaps down
    Range: 950 nmi (1,093 miles) – 5.2 hours of flight
    Service Ceiling: 17,500 ft
    Rate of Climb: 1,270 ft/min

    In 2012, I changed the tail number to N627RG. I married my lovely bride, Rhonda Garrison, on 6/27. Awe, aren’t I sweet?
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    IFR vs VFR - What's The Difference?

    September 6, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

    These two abbreviations is how the FAA differentiates the two type of flight plan a pilot may choose to use.

    VFR – Visual Flight Rules. Under a VFR flight plan, the pilot is solely responsible for watching for other aircraft and obstacles. The aircraft is prohibited for entering a cloud. The pilot chooses his destination and altitude. To avoid collision with other aircraft, the FAA requires that VFR flights are maintained at known altitudes. Flying west – the pilot must fly at 4,500, 6,500, 8,500, 10,500, or 12,500 feet. Flying east – the pilot must fly at 5,500, 7,500, 9,500, 11,500, or 13,500 feet. I always like to augment my VFR flight with “Flight Following” where I contact Air Traffic Control (ATC) and they follow me on radar. ATC can alert me to traffic or adverse weather conditions.

    IFR – Instrument Flight Rules. Under an IFR flight plan, the pilot must fly a pre-defined flight path at a pre-specified altitude. ATC is the boss and tells you what to do and where to go. The pilot must follow ATC instructions. Under IFR, the pilot is able to fly through or fly in clouds. To do this, the pilot must rely solely on the instruments to fly and navigate. To avoid collision with other aircraft, the FAA requires that IFR flights are maintained at known altitudes. Flying west – the pilot must fly at 4,000, 6,000, 8,000, 10,000, or 12,000 feet. Flying east – the pilot must fly at 5,000, 7,000, 9,000, 11,000, or 13,000 feet. The weather doesn’t have to be bad to fly IFR. All IFR flights must be landed using a pre-defined Approach Plan that is unique to each airport. All commercial flights fly IFR.

    If I am flying an IFR plan, you can follow me real time using the Flight Aware app or go to this link
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  • Day1

    Felts Field Spokane, WA

    September 9, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    Landed in Spokane and had lunch with Brett's daughter Emily and her friend Hannah. Lunch at the Skyway Cafe Emily and Hannah are Juniors at Gonzaga University.

    Recommend the chicken fried steak and meatloaf.

    Onto Glacier National Park.
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  • Day1

    Landing in Kalispell MT

    September 9, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    When we first landed we were asked if we had “bear spray”. Everyone here must carry it. I wasn’t sure if this was special brand of deodorant or some type of self defense mechanism.

    The hotel loaned us two bottles. We were told that bear spray doesn’t work as well as a 40 cal handgun and we need to be mindful of which way the wind is blowing.

    So Brett and I walked around Whitefish Lake and totally forgot the bear spray. No bears.

    80 YO Wrangler Cecil told us that all bear spray does is put pepper on the bear's meal (you). The wind is never in your favor.
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  • Day1

    Dinner at Ciao Mambo Italian Restaurant

    September 9, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

    Many years ago we took the midnight train from Everett to Whitefish and enjoyed a weekend of skiing. One of those memories included dinner at Ciao Mambo and feating on Italian Nachos.

    They are as tasty as I remembered them.
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