Joyce’s Great Adventure

by Editor 18. June 2012 20:56
Subscribe to Feed

As you know, our fearless leader Joyce Wilson (executive director of IDPA), is racing across America in here air-o-plane in something called the Women's Air Race Classic. Unfortunately for us that meant she could not attend the Carolina Cup this past weekend. That's OK because we told everybody she was actually flying a predator drone above our heads, in a never ending over-watch to insure our safety...most people bought it.

Anyway, while we were busy running around Oxford, N.C. watching The Cup, we missed this report she filed earlier from the race...err, we mean her top secret Predator flight control center.

On to the race!

Yesterday the adventure started with a very early departure from Harrison, AR to my race partner, Janet’s private airstrip just west of Wichita, Kansas. It’s a beautiful 4000 foot grass runway. I had never landed my Cessna 182 on grass so this was bound to be an adventure. I knew that I needed to leave early as there were some potentially heavy, gusty winds to be in that area in the afternoon. I wanted to get to her house and her hanger before the winds got bad.

The cross country part of the trip was completely uneventful. I promised myself this year that I would act like a complete tourist and take pictures of everything. Well, as much as I could while piloting the plane. When I got to her grass strip, I felt like things would go pretty well. And they actually did. Landing on grass isn’t much different than landing on asphalt except that sometimes you bounce a little. I was down and safely stopped at Janet’s hangar in much less distance than a normal asphalt strip. We got the plane in the hanger and went into the house for coffee. It was just 10:30am.

After coffee and a brief visit, we went out to put the race number on the plane and get it ready and loaded for the race. Janet and her husband Don have this wonderfully big hanger with a Piper Cub and a Stearman! It’s a pilot’s dream. So after I drooled all over her airplanes, we proceeded to knock the rest of the bugs off the 182 and get her ready for the race.

We had a really nice dinner at a wonderful steak place in Wichita and decided to call it an early evening because we wanted an early morning departure. Well the storms rolled in. From about 11 pm to 3 am, there was lightning, thunder and 1.75 inches of rain! Departure in the morning was going to be fun!

We planned a 6:30am departure, but we decided to wait just a little while to let some storms south of Wichita pass. It was really interesting taking a really loaded plane off of a grass strip with lots of water on it. I kind of wished that I had gotten a sea plane rating – hahaha.

The leg to Hereford, Texas was really uneventful. We were out of the weather in less than 50 miles and then it was just a normal cross country trip. After a quick refuel of the plane, we were off to Gallup, New Mexico. The terrain between Hereford and Gallup quickly rises. We started at 8000feet, then were increased to 10.000 and ended at 11,000. We saw some beautiful countryside but as the temperatures of the day increased, so did the turbulence.

We landed at Gallup just in time for lunch. We were somewhat undecided as to whether we would go on or land in Gallup for the evening. Density altitude is really important to small general aviation aircraft and my plane, like all others, does not perform well when the density altitude is high. By 3pm local time, when the density altitude was still almost 9000feet, we decided to spend the night. We’ll go on to Lake Havasu, Arizona in the morning.

So here we are, still at the beginning of the excellent adventure for Team Bionic.

In case you’re wondering how we got our team name, Janet had her second knee replacement in March of this year and I, too have had two partial knee replacement. Therefore, we’re kind of like bionic ☺

Comments: Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

Copyright 2012 International Defensive Pistol Association Privacy Terms of Use