Coast to Coast Mission Tour – Day 11

June 22, 2019 Getting close to wrapping up this incredible trip. For the first time in over a week we will be landing at a familiar airport. We had no desire to experience the heat from the end of yesterday’s flight so we got up early. The hotel said it…

Written by
Richard Brown
Published on
5 Jul 2019

June 22, 2019

Getting close to wrapping up this incredible trip. For the first time in over a week we will be landing at a familiar airport. We had no desire to experience the heat from the end of yesterday’s flight so we got up early. The hotel said it had a continental breakfast, but it was the saddest attempt at a continental breakfast I had ever seen… We all decided to pass on breakfast knowing that we would soon be at my parents house in Arizona.

We drove back to the airport and paid the highway robbery rate for the rental car, then found out that the line guy from yesterday who was supposed to have fueled the plane had not done it yet. The other plane that arrived right after us yesterday was getting ready to depart and had not been fueled either, so apparently he ignored both of our fuel orders… The morning guy, after grumbling about the fact that his co-worker failed to fuel our planes, hopped in the fuel truck and came out and fueled us both up.

The temperature was just starting to climb when we took runway 32R and pushed the throttle all the way forward. We made a left turn on course and climbed to 10,500 where the air was smooth and cool. Heading southwest to go around the south end of the White Sands Missile Range it was just above 50 degrees at altitude and a welcome change from the day before. With El Paso off our left wing we made a turn to the northwest toward Phoenix.

The mountains of Eastern Arizona are beautiful. We passed by Safford, Santa Teresa Wilderness Area, San Carlos Lake, and Kearny. ATC asked if we were familiar with Restricted Area 2310. I glanced at the chart on my tablet and responded that I was and asked if it was currently active. ATC said it was and I told them we would go around to the north of them. After all the times I had driven through Superior and gone rock climbing east of there it was fun to see the area from the air.

ATC handed us off to the tower at Mesa Gateway (KIWA) and we were told to enter a right downwind for 12R and that they would call our base. Touching down a little before 10am, the temperature was already into the 80’s. It had been about three hours and twenty minutes and 460 miles from lifting off in Carlsbad, NM. To drive from Carlsbad to Mesa would have been eight and a half hours and 590 miles… I love the Mooney!

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