A few years ago, Mike owned N72885 but had to part ways… until now! This 1946 Cessna 140 spent a few years living in the Midwest before making the journey back out to Phoenix. Although weather made for some longer days than planned, this Cessna 140 was safely reunited on budget to a thrilled owner!
This over 1600NM trip began in Anderson, Indiana on a rainy Sunday morning. During a brief weather hold while the morning weather passed, I was able to do a through preflight and read up on the POH. Once the weather moved through, it was time to get started!
The first leg of the trip went right to plan. A quick lap around the pattern to verify all systems were working and then off to the first fuel stop with a downtown Indianapolis fly-by!
With more weather coming in and lots of popup storms over the Midwest, my route for this trip was pushed further south. The first change was a stop in Memphis, where the FBO was very helpful by letting me pre-purchase a case of oil since they would be closed after my arrival.
After stopping in Memphis, I continued south to steer clear of the system for the night. Additionally, foretasted high pressure over Texas the next day was more enticing than the low pressure system over the Midwest. Monroe, Louisiana proved to be a great stop; the FBO was very accommodating and let me take one of the cars overnight – plus the weather was great!
After a quick overnight in Monroe, it was time to set off for Tyler, Texas. If you didn’t already know… Texas is a HUGE state. After this departure, my next 4 arrivals were all at Texas airports on one of my longest flying days ever.
My stop in Tyler, TX was slightly longer than normal as the FBO helped me pull off a quick oil change. Remember that case of oil I picked up in Memphis? Sorry for the mess but it was pretty windy… The control tower operator was also very complementary of the aircraft and wanted to see some more pictures, so we worked that out too!
Spotting some rain and wild fires to work around as I made my way across Texas, I diverted to KBBD for my midday stop. The runway had just been resurfaced and was supposed to be re-striped that afternoon. Landing there felt like flying into a black hole so I ended up using some of my seaplane experience and setting up a glassy water landing. This ended up working really well and a small bounce transitioned into an easy three point landing. There was a strong wind right down the runway as well so this helped settle everything in gently.
After fueling up, it was time to head back out into the afternoon thermals. I broke out the shoulder harness for this leg of the trip! This was also the beginning of the terrain changes as we moved into the desert.
The final stop for the day was in KINK where there was cheap fuel and great staff to help keep me moving with another case of oil and topped off gas. We were able to swap Cessna 140 stories and the manager (also a 140 owner) came out to admire this airplane before I made my way to El Paso, TX.
One of my favorite parts of the journey was flying past the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This was a beautiful part of the journey and definitely a reward after a long day of flying.
Finally making it to El Paso, it was a quiet night for the airport and I had a nearly 30NM straight in arrival for Runway 26L. This was perfect positioning as my FBO for the night (Atlantic) was positioned right off of the runway to make for a quick taxi to parking. With a local dinner recommendation for the best double dipped wings in town and a hotel set up. It was time to call it a night after this 10+ hour day of flying!
Each delivery day is always special and the excitement is my primary motivation for moving airplanes. I LOVE how excited people get when they take ownership of their new airplane and for Mike, helping him reunite with this airplane was extra special!
Starting off with a beautiful day in El Paso, I took the southern route around the West wall (north of the boarder wall which you can see in one of the pictures) and then continued onto Safford, Arizona. Safford was another great small town FBO where other Cessna 140 owners came out of the woodwork to admire the airplane and swap stories. I also saw ATP airplane and UND airplanes – I did my commercial multi and single training through Airline Transport Professionals out in Denver (APA) years ago and just ferried a UND airplane which I wrote about in a different post, Not Your Fathers Trainer!
Leaving Safford, I followed the pass to Phoenix with a slight adjustment for better views – and better “A/C” with the higher altitudes – to fly past Mt. Turnbull and Pinal Peak on the way into Phoenix.
With the final stretch across north Phoenix into the Glendale airport, I was able to enjoy sights of the Tonto National Forest and downtown Phoenix before retreating to the shade of Mike’s hangar. This Cessna 140 looked great in it’s new home and Mike was thrilled to have his plane back!