Ian Twombly

Wide open spaces

November 2, 2008 by Ian J. Twombly, Associate Editor

Boy, when they say the Western U.S. is full of wide open spaces, they aren’t kidding. The sweepstakes flight today was from Altus, Oklahoma, to Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. The scenery was incredible. Between the red rocks, mountains, spectacular cliffs and mesas, New Mexico and Arizona clearly have something special. Aside from getting knocked around by turbulence all day, it was a great seven hours of flying.

Tomorrow it’s on to San Jose. I’m hoping seeing the Pacific will be the end to a great trip.

Massive areas of cattle in Texas with nothing else around for miles.

The beautiful vista of New Mexico.

West Texas.


4 Responses to “Wide open spaces”

  1. Mark Twombly Says:


    Your trip reminds me of my first solo flight across the country, in a Mooney M20E in July 1985. I left Frederick on the 18th and flew to Indianapolis Metro Airport, had lunch with Susie’s parents, then went on to Jacksonville, Illinois, for a fuel stop, and my final leg of the day to Topeka, Kansas.

    Day 2, a four-hour first leg from Topeka to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and lunch followed by a three-hour leg to Grand Canyon Airport. Fantastic!

    Day 3: Woke up, flew the canyon at rim level, then 3.5 hours to Torrance, California, where I reluctantly gave the keys to the owner. 2,250 nmi in 18.5 hours. Nothing like that first trancon solo flight.

    Enjoy it!


  2. Mark Twombly Says:

    Forgot to mention that it was all done VFR.

  3. Eric Meinbress Says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your trip, Ian. As I have not traveled across the county in a small airplane yet, I really appreciate you sharing your experience with us. As a resident of the Bay Area, I’d like to welcome you to California (tomorrow) and look forward to meeting you at the AOPA Expo this week.

    Happy flying tomorrow!

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