Where have you been? What have you seen?
User avatar
By Rob L
Some may remember that I was obliged to leave my Taylorcraft in Oregon during a US tour last September, due to a small technical issue. This month saw the repairs complete (major overhaul of the engine) so here I am to take it back to its home in Illinois. I have taken the opportunity to undertake another tour, if only to spread the engine repair cost over a few more flying hours.


My general plan was to spend a day or two in the Pacific North West visiting friends before heading south and east to southern Utah (which I visit quite often by road and foot). My fellow Taylorcraft pilots Mike and Mark were to join me in the southwest, flying from the midwest, but their departure is delayed by extensive thunderstorms and tornados in "Tornado Alley".

(above: storms affecting the departure of my fellow pilots from the Midwest)

Flying into Portland from London, I drove to Prineville, dropping in on the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras on the way. All except one aircraft are airworthy.

(above: Grumman Duck)

(above: One point to name the type)

I collected my Taylorcraft on the 6th May. I am very grateful to David, Erik and the whole of EAA Chapter 617 for their help and hospitality. Departing Prineville, I head north to route along the Columbia River Gorge between Oregon and Washington. I met up with a fellow Taylorcraft owner David in Kelso, before an overnight stop with a flying family we all met last year on a private strip in the foothills of the Cascades.

I then route to the Pacific coast (to dip my toes, so to speak, in the ocean) before spending some time with another Taylorcraft owner, Mark. I get a weather delay in Lebanon, right under the Cascade range, for a night because of low cloud, but early doors the next morning sees me climb the Cascade escarpment to 8500 feet to reach the high desert plateau.

(above: the Three Sisters Wilderness Area)

From there, I have tailwinds all the way south to the California border at Lakeview, and east across Nevada to Wendover in Utah, just east of the Great Salt Lake. Groundspeed averaged 120mph, with stretches of 140mph at times. It was a bit of a Nantucket sleigh ride at times!

The winds were blowing 30kts at Wendover, so I was grateful to find a hangar available.

(above: WWII wooden B29 hangar at Wendover)

The next day I brave the Salt Lake City airspace (and the water crossings) to Ogden to visit Tim, who is a knowledgeable Taylorcraft owner with one of the most comprehensive workshops I have seen! I spend many hours at the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB.

(above: Great Salt Lake with the Rockies in the far distance)

(above: two points to guess the type)

I'm now in Mesquite, Nevada, visiting Peter & Vicki (more Taylorcraft owners!), waiting to see how the midwest contingent do battling the storms in Kansas and Oklahoma

(above: the red Wingate sandstone of southern Utah)

More to follow
Miscellaneous, mick w, Paul_Sengupta and 8 others liked this

I think you're being generous with your points, since the second one (2 points) is easy (Delta Dagger), but I had to Google the first one. ;)

Presumably there's a link between the Erickson museum and Erickson Helicopters, who operate firefighting S-64 "Aircrane" helicopters. I have a friend who works for them, so another reason to go visit. :-)
By PaulB
Great read with nice pics...... Thanks Rob.

An aviation numpty like me has no chance with the quiz!
Weather issues meant that I in Mesquite and my buddy Mike from the midwest were stuck for more days than expected, but on Monday 16th, I managed to get away from Mesquite. My route took me initially north into Arizona and Utah, past the mesa-top runway and sled track at Hurricane (which Adrian might recognise). The US military did a lot of ejection seat trials here.

(above: Hurricane sled track and runway)

I flew over some of the narrow slot canyons down which I have descended

(above: deep & dark & cold slot canyon)

Passing back into Arizona and on approach to Page, I fly over the dam that holds back Lake Powell.

(above: Glen Canyon dam)

At Page, I discovered the world's repository of airworthy Stationairs...I counted 34.


The scenery around here is stunning:


Mind you, so was some of the weather!

(above: in an updraft)

My route took me through Monument Valley:



Roads became a welcome sight, because they give some comfort of other humans nearby in the sparsely-populated desert:


And so on to New Mexico, which was greener and wetter than I expected, but they have had a lot of thunderstorms here in the last few weeks:


And after three fuel stops and 7.5 flying hours I land in Tucumcari where I finally meet up with Mike from Illinois. The whole day has been another rough-and-tumble ride with 30kt tailwinds, turbulence and thermals.

(above: not a bad ground speed and RoC for a 95mph aeroplane!)

(above: Tucumcari)

More as the trip develops
Dave W, Adrian, Ian Melville and 2 others liked this
One day I flew to Winslow Arizona where I was shocked to see fog.
Three of us arrived, me in an ATEC Zephyr, another chap in a Midget Mustang, and another in a Cessna 182RG.

We piled into the courtesy car and went to the Best Western... At check-in we were surprised:
Name? Michael, Michael, and Michael!

Michael Butterfield(?) flew for Cub Crafters and has been on a few magazine covers.

From there two of us Mikes flew to Tucumcari, and I stayed at the Super 8 Hotel.

It's nice to follow your trip.
A Taylorcraft is a steady machine for the purpose.