Posts Tagged ‘Fun to Fly; Remos; light sport aircraft; sport pilot; LSAs; Cessna; Skycatcher; Wichita; Kansas; St. Louis; Arch; Missouri; Kansas City’

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A (or Texas?)

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

We’ve completed our first full day of travel to bring the Fun to Fly Remos to the West Coast. (I’m not counting the day it took to get to Mount Vernon, Illinois, for the Midwest LSA Expo.) Launching Monday morning under clear skies (that extra day to wait out a low pressure system paid off big time), we made extremely good time on our first leg, flying about 3.5 hours and seeing a groundspeed of about 95 to 99 knots. We detoured about five miles off our path to fly by the St. Louis Arch, first asking the tower controller at St. Louis Downtown Airport if we could skim the edge of his airspace to meander up the Mississippi River a few miles.

Even with this little diversion, we did so well that we scrapped our first planned fuel stop at Jefferson, Missouri, and landed at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City. If you’re a carnivore, you’ve got to have BBQ or a steak when you’re in this part of the country, and so a Signature lineman obligingly took us to Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue downtown for a fantastic lunch, followed by a quick tour of Union Station. Trains have never interested me as being anything more than a mode of transportation, but the history and architecture of this place drew me in nonetheless. They have a model train setup that rivals anything you’ve seen.

Our second leg brought us to Wichita Mid-Continent in downtown Wichita, where we spent the night in Cessna country. Yingling Aviation personnel came out to view the Remos and compare notes with the Skycatcher, recently brought onto the rental line here. Yingling is also an assembly center for the Skycatcher.

Our fantastic lunch was followed by an amazing dinner at Hangar One Steakhouse, a few blocks from the airport. Owned by a retired Cessna employee, this restaurant is almost beyond description. I’ll throw out a few details: door handles made of props, tables constructed of rotary engines; quotes from Bob Hoover and other greats on the walls; waitstaff who wear captain’s shirts; a bartender in a flight suit. And that’s not even talking about the food.

Today we set out for Oklahoma and wonder of wonders, it looks like we’ll even have a tailwind! Our tentative plans are for Oklahoma City or Gainesville, Texas. Patrick and I continue to update our progress via Twitter (@jtallman1959, @skyhawk8519, or search for the #fun2fly hashtag) and Facebook. Keep those airport suggestions coming!