Thursday, November 30, 2006

Things Are Starting to Happen

I've had two days of progress. Mostly small baby steps, but still satisfying. Yesterday turned out to be map and chart day. I had ordered a set of Route 66 maps that include turn-by-turn directions. The arrived from Amazon, along with a couple of Route 66 tourist guides. I also got a nice batch of expired VFR Sectional charts covering most of the route from a fellow pilot. I have another bunch coming--hopefully that will cover the rest.

Today's excitement was getting the news that N96934 has flown. I also received some pictures to whet my appetite. It can all be seen on the N96934 blog. Tomorrow I am flying down to Santa Maria (SMX) to pick her up. I've got a friend who also flies a Skylane. He needs to fly some practice instrument approaches, so we plan to double up and get the practice in while he ferries me down to SMX. By this time tomorrow night, the plane and I will be back in Palo Alto.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Quiet Week

I've been nibbling away at a few different things over the last week:

  1. It looks like N96934 is close to flight. The plane has had very limited use during 2006. Hopefully it will return to service and start racking up hours.
  2. I have been scrounging for free sectional charts for the route. Sectionals are valid for a six-month period. If I buy current charts now, they will be expired before the trip. I think I have found some generous individuals with expired charts they can send me.
  3. I've been playing with my GPS mapping software to come up with a driving route to use as a baseline for the flight. I've also played around with flight planning software, looking at possible airports of call along the way.
  4. I think it will be possible to make this a fundraising flight, but I am still trying to get a more authoritative answer.
  5. It's not exactly part of my trip, but I'm thinking of getting my commercial airplane rating before I go. It's a great way hone all the critical maneuvering skills a pilot needs.
Once I have a tentative route planned, I am going to start flying it in MSFT Flight Simulator, just because I can.

Monday, November 20, 2006

In Good Company

Part of the fun at this stage is communicating with others about my plans. I am shamelessly promoting this project in several places. Of course that is one purpose of this blog. I am also posting updates on the forums of:
I have already received several posts from people who have done or wish to do similar flights and from a few members of these groups who live along the way, offering help or information. I like the idea of taking a relatively ordinary adventure and creating community, charity and excitement just through sharing.

How to Have Fun and Make the World a Better Place

I'm investigating the possibility of making my trip into a fundraising activity. The FAA has some pretty strict rules about what constitutes "Pilot for Hire." My intention is to cover all my expenses myself, but ask people to donate to a charity in support of the flight. I've always wondered about the rationale for these fundraising activities. I certainly won't be enduring any hardship on behalf of anyone. Still, if I can use the trip to generate some money for a worthy cause just through serendipity, I don't see how that's a bad thing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Here's a little history, courtesy of The Mother Road: Historic Route 66. U.S. Route 66 was commisioned in 1926. It ran 2448 miles from Chicago, Il to Santa Monica, CA. With the introduction of the Interstate Highway system in the 50s and 60s, it gradually became a byway. In 1985 it was officially decommisioned. The picture shows downtown Chicago where the route began.

It seems like the conventional direction of travel is westward, following in the footsteps of those who migrated along the route. Since I live in California, I'm going to reverse that. I don't yet know exactly when I will start, nor how long I will give to the journey. It won't be epic, maybe four or five days. That should allow some opportunity to stop and see sites along the way.
Welcome to my adventure. This post is the first baby step on realizing a dream. In the summer of 2007, I hope to follow the mother road, Route 66, from Santa Monica, CA to Chicago, IL. But there's a small twist. As great as it would be to travel the route by car or motorcycle, I won't be. I want to do it from the air. My goal is to fly my Cessna 182 along the route. This blog will be a journal of my plans, ideas, and the actual journey.
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