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Pensacola to Phoenix and Return


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Evening All: Its been a while since I wrote anything and a trip seemed appropriate. Last month I went to Phoenix, from Pensacola, to attend the funeral (internment Ceremony) of an old RF-4C Phlyer, Col. Dick Stromfers,  whom I first flew with in 1966. It happened that he was a backseat pilot upgrading to the front and I was a liberated SAC B-52 Radar Nav, I was the first Nav Dick flew solo with and it was my first solo with a new pilot, a 48 year friendship. So, I decided to attend his departure, notwithstanding that my long-time co-pilot

Nancy could not travel with me.


I left Pensacola on June 4th and refueled in Georgetown, TX (GTU) north of Austin. This is a good refueling stop with really nice folks in attendance. Next I stopped in Pecos (PEQ), poor choice, an oil boom town that is expensive and has a disinterested FBO. The next day I left for Phoenix at 0900 it was already 100+ on the runway. I landed at Chandler (CHD)this is a good good stop, facilities great, friendly and helpful FBO. The ceremony was a bit teary (Taps), but afterward we reminisced with many old stories.  


I left Chandler for Fort Stockton (FST) and was turned over to Albuquerque center before I leveled at 9500. About an hour later, I made a "loneliness" call to the center to see if they still had me, a chuckle and a voice assured me that I was still on the radar. On the way to Ft. Stockton I considered diverting to Hurd Memorial (E01) because of high winds at FST, however, I went as planned a bit of a cross wind. FST is a great stop with really helpful and friendly folks--they sent a line guy to refuel the CT because to the heat--Talk about service. I next visited New Braunfels (BAZ)  very expensive motels, but nice FBO, however self-serve fuel not available (not notamed) because of equipment problems. I left the next morning and Houston Center was super accommodating and I flew the I-10 VFR Corridor at 2500, spectacular views. Aboput an hour down the road I noted that my Dynon 120 was telling me I was burning more fuel than normal and indicated very little at my arrival at home. I decided to land and get some additional fuel, I got 20 gals of insurance and went home. Despite some clouds and occasional  rain home was no problem. I landed and stopped by my hanger and I turned the CT around so I could back it in, When I walked around to the front of the plane, fuel was dripping down the front of the engine--it quit when I shut the fuel cutoff.


I got home and the fuel pump was the culprit, we replaced it and all was well. The trip was hot, hazy, and windy I did not have a tail wind west or east, most was N or S, sorta weird. The trip was especially long because this was the first long trip Nancy was not sitting next to me. Oh yes, I strongly suspect that I would have been very short of fuel had I not paid attention to changes. I flew 8500 and 9500, I had all the routes programed into the GPS, but I also had a full set of paper charts. Between Phoenix and El Paso the GPS lost signals several times.


All in all it was an easy trip, long, a bit boring being alone.


Sincerely, Dr. Ken Nolde, love my CTLS 840KN 

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