This Cherokee 181 headed out west for it’s new life as a flight school trainer. With two major storm systems passing through the United States, this trip began with a strait shot to the West before getting caught in the Kansas snow, a race to stay ahead of the next system, which pushed us to Tucson, Arizona and a final hop over to California with clear blue skies!
An early Indiana morning sent us off with a cold start of this 1600NM journey.
After quick fuel stop, pizza lunch and fuel burn calculation, we were ready to take on the rest of the trip!
While navigating around storms in Kansas, our final leg for the day was cut short due to ceilings and temperatures lower than the foretasted. Thankfully we were able to divert to KOEL where the local AG flying business let us keep the Cherokee in their hangar overnight.
A snowy Kansas night tried to slow us down the next morning but the city of Oakley, Kansas knew we were on a mission and cleared the runway for us to get an early start and stay on track. Thank you Oakley!
If snow storms weren’t enough to get in the way, the next part of our journey really flattened our spirits… Upon landing on Route 66, well Santa Rosa’s Route 66 runway that is, a stuck tire tube caused our right main tire to rupture upon landing. Keeping the plane rolling strait down the runway, we had to sit in the way for about 3 hours while help was on the way. Things turned out well as this plane fuel stop became a pilot fuel stop too! We loaded ourselves up on some amazing Mexican food and enjoyed the hospitality offered from the local people of Santa Rosa!
With the tire finally changed we headed off for the mountains, stopped for more fuel and retreated to the Tuscon heat to stay as far away from the snow as possible; the hotel hot tub helped too!
This was it, the final morning of our cross country adventure! With a long first leg navigating the restricted airspace around southern Arizona and a gorgeous fuel stop in Palm Springs, we made it to Chino in the morning of our third day. The enthusiastic new owner showed us around the beautiful Chino airport and his flight school where this plane will spend the next chapter of it’s life. Of course the journey home was much faster, but with time-zones working against us, it still filled out the day!