Trike Flying over The Grand Canyon-- Oct 26, 2012

Last updated by CraigV Comments (1)

Categories: Trike Talk, Cross Country / XC, Big Fast Trikes, Weather

The Grand Canyon

GRand Canyon Pano-1

Last Friday (Oct. 26) was a nice day for a morning flight out of my home field at Lodi, CA.  Afterwards, during the 1 1/2 hour drive home I stopped about 2 PM for a bit of lunch and checked WX reports as is my habit.  Holy S*#t!!! The reports had changed and there was a big fat high pressure system squatting over the Southern California Mojave Desert and into Arizona.  This was the moment I had been waiting weeks for, the weather window that would allow a quick trike trip to the Grand Canyon.
I raced home through the Friday, Bay Area rush hour traffic, picked up some things, took a shower and drove back out to the hangar arriving at 8 PM. Loaded the trike, fueled it up, pre-flighted it and in bed in the back of my pickup by 9:30. The next morning it was wheels up before sunrise.
It was a relaxing, hazy, smooth flight with light tailwinds past Bakersfield, over the Tehachapi Mountains then south of Edwards AFB, past Daggett, Needles and then an early 3:30 PM stop at Kingman, AZ for the night. There was a hangar, airport car and a good Mexican Restaurant that is good!
It was a short hop to Grand Canyon National Park Airport (KGCN at 6609') the next morning where I unloaded my extra fuel tank, water and personal things to clear 70 pounds off my trike before flying into the Grand Canyon National Park Special Flight Rules Area over the GC.  There are several corridors through the airspace over the GC that allows GA aircraft access to stupendous views. Northbound traffic is at 11,500' and Southbound is at 10,500'.
There is a definite "gulp" sensation as you first fly over the canyon rim and the world drops off below you.  The canyon opens up in a size and scope that is impossible to describe. There are canyons within the canyon and far below is the Colorado River, architect of this creation. I flew for almost two hours through the corridors and was ready to land at 10:30 AM as the bumps were starting to pick up. The rest of the day was playing tourist and relaxing in this high, Arizona plateau.
The next morning was COLD as I took off before sunrise, circled back for one more view of The Canyon, then retraced my steps back home to Lodi. There was a light headwind the whole way and I arrived in Lodi at 5 PM and 680 statute miles later.
So what a great three day weekend and back at work Tuesday.  Two short days of flying and one long day home for a total of 1500 miles, plus stunning views of one of the most magnificent sights on the face of the Earth.



Post Script Note:

I flew through the Zuni Point Corridor, Dragon Corridor and Fossil Canyon Corridor, all from Grand Canyon National Park Airport.