23 December 2008

Tuesday Evening, Dateline: EL Paso

We're safely in ELP.
Out of Torrance this morning just after 9 A.M... gorgeous weather and wind out of the West.
First stop at Blythe California at 11 or so. Second stop at Marana, AZ, just north of Tucson. It had just finished raining at Marana and there were clouds noticeably building South of Tucson. We shot the gap between Davis-Monthan and Tucson International in a light rain, watching anxiously as low scud and rain showers grew South of us. But Interstate 10 makes a turn to the East just South of Tucson, and that turn kept us clear of the really ugly stuff. Visibilities went to about 10 miles in rain with moderate turbulence at Lordsburg, but headlights on the highway were comforting. And that was the worst of it... by the time we got to Deming the visibility improved dramatically. We landed ELP just after sundown, so the lights of Juarez were fantastic. It's 64 degrees here and the only thing keeping it from being perfect is a wind of about 10 knots... I'm glad to have a jacket.

We've had a tailwind all the way. I didn't realize until we started that Frank had brought his own Garmin 295, and his gps was indicating a ground speed of 147 knots most of the trip today. Keith's R44 is smooth and a joy to fly. We're having a ball, except we're watching sleet/snow/rain/mix along our route tomorrow. I plan to take an Easterly route out of ELP tomorrow to try to stay South of the freeze line, then tack Northbound after the front has passed our destination.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.

We're in good spirits. The extra day in L.A. was just what the Doc ordered for my coughing and snotting. I'm MUCH improved today, and Frank is thankful for that, although he's not without a cough or sneeze now and then himself.
Early start tomorrow. Home by nightfall?
Hope so. Christmas at home would be wonderful.


Epijunky said...

I've enjoyed reading about your travels :) Be safe out there.

Merry Christmas to you and your beloved!

jinksto said...

I don't know the proper phrase for inciting safe flight in Helicopters... keep the whirly thing whirling? ... keep the sticky bits down down and the whirly bits up? Ah well "fly safe" will have to suffice I guess.

Interesting note about IFR (I follow roads) flying. Are you following I10 because it was handy or because it's safer than cross country?

Just realized that I don't know anything about icing in helicopters... have to go look that one up.

Anonymous said...

See - you are living right after all, despite the weather! 147kts gs at low altitude - a well appreciated 40kt "push". Nice.

Merry Christmas


cj said...

GB -

Good news all around - the safe flying and the improved health especially!

I'll keep good thoughts for you to make it home for Christmas.