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I flew “Diane” back to Los Angeles, CA from Seymour, IN!

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2023 12:23 am
by High Wing
Part 1

It was a super fun and epic journey bringing my new ‘56 170B back home. There are a few stories to share…

The first is how I came to name her. My plane was offered for sale in Seymour, IN, which happens to be the small town where a certain singer songwriter is from. Once you scroll through the photos, I think you’ll get the reference.

I got my tailwheel endorsement done in two and a half days, totaling 12 hrs of dual time, and a couple hours of ground. I also read the Compleat Taildragger in preparation, which helped, I think.

I intended to fly her back over three and a half days, but Mother Nature apparently had other plans, and she shut me down on three occasions.

The first leg of the trip was an easy 1/2 day flight from Seymour, IN to Sparta, IL., since we finished up my taildragger endorsement that morning, and then the plane got a fresh oil change and a new rear tire and tube in preparation for the cross country journey

The 2nd day I flew from Sparta, IL to Tulsa, OK, and hung out with a buddy for a couple of days. Rain came in that evening and the next two days were basically zero vis and low ceilings. The 3rd morning after I got to Tulsa looked promising locally, but the route west had severely gusting winds up to 35 - 40 + kts for the next couple of days, and then more rain with the series of “atmospheric rivers” hitting California and working their way across the country was in store. I chose to leave my plane in a transient T-Hangar at Pogue Municipal Airport for a week and a half while I had some stuff to get done back home, and in the hopes that the weather would improve by the time I returned, which it did… sort of.

To be continued…

Re: I flew “Diane” back to Los Angeles, CA from Seymour, IN!

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2023 1:18 am
by johneeb
Welcome High, nice looking 170, keep the stories coming.

Re: I flew “Diane” back to Los Angeles, CA from Seymour, IN!

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2023 1:25 am
by mmcmillan2
Nice plane!

Re: I flew “Diane” back to Los Angeles, CA from Seymour, IN!

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2023 2:37 am
by High Wing
Thank you, johneeb and mmcmillan2!

Part 2

I departed Tulsa for my 3rd day of the journey close to two weeks after I landed in Tulsa, due to the aforementioned weather systems rolling through the country along with some of the stuff I had to take care of back home. The weather looked good heading West of Tulsa, and I was intending to cross the mountains just south of Albuquerque, and stop at Belen Regional (KBRG), or prior to the mountains at Moriarty, NM (K0E0) if the weather didn’t look promising to cross the mountains once I hit there. My plans were thwarted by rain and descending ceilings just NW of Oklahoma City, so I chose to divert to Kingfisher, OK (F92) to grab lunch and see if conditions would improve in an hour or so. I borrowed the airport courtesy car, and headed into downtown Kingfisher, where I had a nice little lunch at City Cafe, and saw a cool mural.
Downtown Kingfisher, OK Mural
Downtown Kingfisher, OK Mural
The weather did clear up a bit by the time I finished lunch, so I departed F92 for my next leg.

I made a short hop over to Perry LeFors Field (KPPA), in Pampa, TX, because I wanted to fuel up there for a longer leg to potentially cross the pass between the Sandia mountains and the Manzano mountains. It was a very nice little airport, and they fueled up Diane for me, while I did some flight planning.
Perry LeFors Field in. Pampa, TX
Perry LeFors Field in. Pampa, TX
Departing KPPA, I didn’t get very far before some more rain closing in on me from all around had me looking for diverting options. So I landed in Hereford, TX, famous for the breed of cows by the same name, and took a little time to review the TAF’s and other forecasts, and it quickly became apparent that it didn’t look like it would be wise to continue with winds starting to get pretty gusty, and ceilings and visibility degrading. A young lineman at the airport named Matt led me to a hangar where I could park Diane for the night, and he handed me the keys to the courtesy car to get lodging at the local best Western. There didn’t seem to be much to do in Hereford, so I had an early meal at a little Mexican restaurant, and did my flight planning for the next day’s flight legs.

The next morning, Day 4, was quite chilly, and as I was doing my pre-flight inspection, a pickup truck pulled up behind me on the ramp, and idled for a bit. I wasn’t sure if I was blocking his way, so I walked over to the driver’s side and asked if everything was ok. The driver, who was on the phone smiled and said, “oh yeah, I just wanted to look at your plane. I’ve got a 170, too, right on the other side of these hangars.” I asked him if I could see it, and he said “sure, hop in.” So we drove around to his hangar, and we chatted for a bit. He told me his name was Terry Shelton, and I asked him if he was a member of TIC170A, and it turns out he is! He opened his hangar, and inside was his very nice ‘53 170B. His has a 180 HP conversion, too! I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of all you guys and gals with upgraded 180 HP Engines!

I snapped a quick selfie of us, and we headed back to my plane so I could get going. Terry wished me safe travels and said he was really happy to see another 170 at his airport. It was pretty cool to meet a fellow 170 owner and his plane. Unfortunately, the morning was cold enough that my battery didn’t have enough oomph to get Diane cranked up and running. After a few attempts, it just simply died on me. Fortunately, Matt, the lineman, was able to help me with a battery booster pack. We successfully jumped Diane, and I was on my way.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for me, so I didn’t get nearly as far as I wanted to that day.

To be continued…

Re: I flew “Diane” back to Los Angeles, CA from Seymour, IN!

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2023 2:29 pm
by GAHorn
How’d you like the “aroma” of Hereford, Tx…? How do you plan to get the smell out..? :lol:

(…and don’t show us any pics of that place from overhead…. too much “barnyard liquids” for publication.) :lol:

Great Write-Up! Lookin’ forward to the next installment!