Home > Uncategorized > A Major Cross Country Flight

A Major Cross Country Flight

23 July, 2015

Denise and I just completed our first major cross country trek in the RV-7A. We have been talking about flying up to Canada to visit our daughter and her young family for years and we finally felt that we and the airplane were ready. We left early on July 16th from Corona – or at least that was the plan. Our departure was delayed by two hours by a low cloud deck at KAJO. It opened at 9:00 AM and we were off. Our first leg was to from Corona to Yolo County Airport (KDWA) just west of Sacramento; about a 2.5 hour flight.

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Here is a selfie from the cockpit.

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This next shot is on approach to KDWA. Mostly flat farmland in this part of the valley but it was getting hot. By the time we landed it was in the upper 80s.

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The next leg was from KDWA to Corvallis, OR (KCVO).

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This leg took us up over Redding and Shasta Lake looks at least half empty now.

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Mount Shasta loomed over us at 14,000+ feet. We were at about 8500 feet as we passed though the valley over Interstate 5. It got pretty bumpy north of here and through Oregon.

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Corvallis had two nice runways but no restaurant at the airport. We got fuel and then I filed our manifest through eAPIS for the border crossing into Canada. Then we hopped back in the airplane and headed on the last leg to Abbotsford Intl, B.C. Canada (CYXX).

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This picture is of Porland, OR as we passed to the west. You can see downtown and the main airport. Clouds began to appear at about 6000 feet.

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This shot is near Sedro Wooley, WA. Lovely terrain that reminds me of the English countryside.

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I contacted the Canadian FSS as we approached the border and they opened a VFR flight plan for us. You have to have an active flight plan with a transponder code to cross the border. We landed at Abbotsford at about 7:00 PM and were directed to the east end of the field to the Customs check-in. A ramp attendant directed me to a phone in a box on the outside wall of the Shell Aerocenter. It didn’t have a dial or buttons. I just picked it up and someone answered on the other end in French. He switched to English when I told him I didn’t speak French. He just asked for my tail number and a few other questions and then he gave me a confirmation number. That was it. We were free to move about the country. We then taxied to the west end of the field where I had arranged a tie-down spot with Duncan Poynton who is with the local flying club. Here I am by the airplane after securing it.

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A big part of the trip was to see our grandson and be there for his 1st birthday on July 22. We were fortunate to be there on the day he started walking unassisted for the first time. What a blessing.

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The scenery on the ground is great in this area. This is 40 – 50 miles east of Vancouver and is mostly farmland with the mountains to the north. Gorgeous on a clear day.

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Our departure from Canada was on July 23rd. We had hoped to leave on Friday the 24th but the weather was predicted to turn bad on Friday and Thursday was supposed to be much better. I filed our eAPIS manifest the evening of July 22nd and called NAVCanada to file a flight plan to cross the border. Our route was generally the opposite of the flight into Canada but we had to stop at Bellingham Intl (KBLI) to go through Customs. The hop from Abbotsford to Bellingham was less than 15 minutes. After getting through Customs at KBLI we launched to the south. This picture is of the Puget Sound in the area of Squamish Harbor.

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Off to our left was Mount Ranier, partly in the clouds.

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We stopped at McMinnville, OR (KMMV) for gas, and again at Yolo County, CA (KDWA). We ran into lots of smoke from forest fires as we approached Mt. Shasta from the north. It got so bad at one point I was wondering if we could get through but I could always see the ground and so stayed VFR. There were several helicopters engaged in active fire fighting at Yolo County also but we were able to stay out of their way.

We landed at our home base of KAJO at about 7:00 PM. After a long day of flying we were tired but grateful for a safe journey.

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