Travel: Escape from ABQ
Jan 01, Return to Phoenix (Almost nothing about powered paragliding, be
No paramotoring on this trip
but at least I got some gorgeous airplane flying in. After my ordeal in ABQ, it was a relief to be sitting there, motor
idling, heater running, wings clean, with a clearance and ready to taxi. I
reveled in that moment.
After a short taxi by the
Eclipse plant in Albuquerque, I was cleared into "position" and
then takeoff from runway 8.
("Bubba") has tip tanks. They hold 15 gallons each and, being so
far out on the wings, have a big moment arm. When those tanks are full, as they were
for this flight, the plane handles funny—kind of wish-washy, wobbling
around slowly. It takes me a wooble or two to get the feel. Then I can
dampen it. Just like how it takes a swing or two to get the feel for a
I've flown this trip a hundred
times from high above. Relative to PPG, it's outer space. This was
way cooler. I basically followed several roads including highway 60.
There's a piece of that road that descends into a canyon, snaking back and
forth as it goes down then up. It adds both time and beauty to the road trip but,
from this perch, it adds only beauty.
Coming into Phoenix was
fascinating. I've seen the Superstition mountains from a PPG many times on
the other side. As you can see from the pictures at right, I got to
see them anew from the east side. Its a gorgeous splendor from either
Before departing I had talked
with a fellow in Albuquerque who flies a much more capable Bonanza. He can
go up to 18000 feet and cruises faster. I suppose it would be nice to have
the capability but, for this type of trip, it was far more fun down low.
Of course low is relative, I was at 10,500 feet which was usually about
3000 feet about the terrain.
Landing options were more
plentiful than I thought they'd be. Staying within glide of the road
helped during long portions.
Total flight time: 2:15. After
getting to the Enterprise, though, I was too exhausted to do anything and
wound up heading back to Chicago. Another one of life's many adventures
that I'm sure will wind up as a highlight.
At least I got to usher in 2007
from the air. That's a nice start for the year.