Scramble

So there I was, having a great ski weekend with in northern Wisconsin with my back country buddies.  we were having a training/dry run session getting ready for our annual back country skiing expedition to British Columbia next week.  After spending  the day climbing the pristine ski runs of a bankrupt ski resort and skiing down them we were back in my friends cabin enjoying a great dinner and going over the gear we would be bringing along on our trip when my cell phone rang.  I knew I shouldn’t have answered it but when I saw that it was my boss Cory from CB Aviation I got excited because a call from him usually means one thing…..a ferry trip.  where would Cory be sending me this time?  A fast twin to New Zealand?  A jet to Chile?  A classic war bird to China?  With dreams a another grand adventure dancing in my head I answered the call, (in breathless anticipation I might add).

“Hey Cory, what’s up?”

“Hey Kerry, do you want to ferry a Cessna 172 from Pennsylvania to Arizona?”

A 172 from Pennsylvania to Arizona.  Whoopee.

Sigh, “Maybe, when do you need it moved?”

“Can you leave tomorrow?”

Geez,  Well long story short two days later I was in the cockpit of a rather nice 1969 172 with the 180hp conversion rocketing across the ground at a blistering 115 knots.   The first leg was a nice one, OK, it was cold in the leaky 172 cabin and I was having to scud run due to high headwinds aloft and low clouds below.  Of course I love scud running so no big deal.  Day one wasn’t a bad flying day, after clearing the low clouds in Pennsylvania I spent the day flying in bright cold sunshine.  The high winds aloft kept me flying low but that’s the only way to really see the beautiful countryside.   Here’s a few shots from day one.

Tanker traffic in the pattern over an Air Force Base.

DSCN0901DSCN0906DSCN0907DSCN0908I was hoping to make Denver on the first day and visit an old skydiving friend but the headwinds prevented me from getting past Kansas.  The next day was the fun one.  It started out with a pre-dawn take off followed by a beautiful sunrise.

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After sun up I ran across a low overcast layer that had an unusual feature.  Windmill blades appearing and disappearing out of the cloud tops, one of the most amazing sights I’ve seen.

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After that it over the Rockies and into the desert southwest of New Mexico.

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It only took 18 hours of flying but I finally made it to Bullhead City Arizona and delivered the 172 to its new owner.  To show his gratitude instead of driving me to Las Vegas to catch a flight home himself he had two 23 year old girls drive me, best two hour drive Ive had in some time.  I caught the last red eye out of Vegas at 12:35 am and by 7:30 I was home.  Bing, Bam, Boom, Bob’s your uncle and another trip in the books.

3 Replies to “Scramble”

  1. Hey, somebody’s got to do it! When I got permission to fly through the Air Force base there were two tankers doing touch and go’s in the pattern. It was interesting listening to the radio chatter between the pilots and the tower, one was a woman/female/chick? Anyway the tower kept giving them updates on the location of the stupid puddle jumper traffic transiting their airspace/me. My small white plane against the hazy white was apparently hard to see and even though I assured the tower that I could see the 2 big tankers I could tell that the pilots were nervous.

  2. Wow those photos are fantastic. They’ll make a great addition to the book. And those turbines in the clouds, yikes! What altitude are the blade tips at, 500ft?

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