Fri, Mar 11, 2005 - Day 1 (20363 visits, last updated on Tue, Sep 27, 2005)
Tomek Zielinski homepage / US coast-to-coast [Photo album]
We've made the first leg of our trip! The flight was spectacular. There was some haze in the mountains east of San Diego, but it disappeared as we crossed the mountains and from then on the weather was just perfect.

Most of the trip was along the Mexico border, we were a bit scared of ADIZ (Air Defence Identification Zone or simpler a border with Mexico in this case) and TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction - sport event or flight show we are not sure) very close to our route near El Centro. However combination of GPS, VOR navigation and pilotage allowed us to remain relatively calm and constantly aware of our position.

Out of Gillespie we contacted SoCal Approach and requested VFR flight following, but ATC was very busy with serving traffic in San Diego class B and rejected all VFR flight following requests. When we reached Yuma we were luckier with ATC there and got flight following all the way to Tucson.

Upon arrival to Tucson we saw on the other side (south) of Tucson a towering cumulus clouds, which couple of hours later developed into a local thunderstorm (still south of Tucson though).

Once on the ground we headed to local FBO at Marana and found out that it was too late to get a rented car at the airport. There was rent-a-car in the town, but it was also closing in 1 hour. Calling cab was not really an option (too far away and too little time). Luckily a local pilot (retired from army and PanAm) offered as a lift to town.

We are still not sure about our plans for tomorrow. After brief weather check which indicated perfect conditions for flying tomorrow to Carlsbad,NM we decided to skip visiting local attractions in Tucson and leave for Carlsbad tomorrow early morning. However, after more detailed checking of weather forecasts we found out that there are strong and gusty winds forecasted for our planned destination. We just have to wait and see how it develops.
Logbook entries
Date Aircraft make & model Aircraft ident. Route of flight Remarks, Procedures, Maneuvers No. ldg. Total duration of flight
From Via To
03/11/05 C-172 N6ZP KSEE KAVQ x-country 1 3.7
Total: 1 3.7
FAA Chart data courtesy of