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Old 06-17-2014, 09:12 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
As a GA pilot and Single Engine aircraft owner for many years ...

I would encourage you to pursue this avenue if you have the time and resources. It's not that difficult to get an ASEL Private ticket, and if you are even the slightest bit mechanically inclined, much maintenance can be done by yourself (certain routine items are permitted as the owner, and everything else can be done under the watchful eye/supervision of your cooperating A&P/IA, including much of the work of an annual inspection).

I don't have the fastest craft, a C182, but it's got a lot of practical utility for me living and flying around the Rocky Mountain states region. I did a lot of trips for years into the New Mexico area ... mostly SFe and Albuquerque, but also to Taos. Lots to see and explore throughout the region.

When based at KAPA, access to Idaho's backcountry was a good adventure for a long weekend of travel, camping, fishing, etc. It wouldn't be that much further for you from you area of NM.

Of course, there's lots of choices to be made in GA. Just like cars, boats, and motorcycles, every series of aircraft has it's compromises and virtues. There are many options available to you for speed, fuel burn, utility, range, load carrying capacity, and price points. It's all about your priorities for your leisure time and where you want to travel to. There's a lot of options for GA aircraft which totally avoid the hassles of large commercial airports. Distance travel with aircraft in the 165-195 mph cruise ranges are very realistic to plan in the region.

And to the poster above who doesn't think that a commercial flight is a bother ... I'd say it sounds like they've not enjoyed the freedom and opportunities that a GA aircraft from a small muni airstrip offers to their users for regional travels.
It's not a bother once you get the hang of it. I fly almost every week, and am into the airport, through security, and at my gate in about five minutes--on board within 15 minutes of arrival at the airport. Your pre-flight takes longer. Add in your maintenance and other time stealers associated with owning a plane and I come out ahead.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:14 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,669 posts, read 28,685,250 times
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OP is traveling for bicycle rides and I can understand being reluctant to check a bicycle through the airlines. You can take a bicycle with you, but baggage handlers can be rough and there is theft occasionally.

I find airport security to be a mild nuisance. Certainly not enough to make me stop flying. My only real objection is that once I am in, I don't want to go back outside and have to wait in line to get back in.

There are lots of places where bicycling is a huge recreational activity and many of them are not in California. There are lots of places you could live and bike every weekend, OP.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:23 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
OP is traveling for bicycle rides and I can understand being reluctant to check a bicycle through the airlines. You can take a bicycle with you, but baggage handlers can be rough and there is theft occasionally.

I find airport security to be a mild nuisance. Certainly not enough to make me stop flying. My only real objection is that once I am in, I don't want to go back outside and have to wait in line to get back in.

There are lots of places where bicycling is a huge recreational activity and many of them are not in California. There are lots of places you could live and bike every weekend, OP.
I used to fly with my bicycle on a very regular basis. There are special boxes made to protect them during the flight.

I live in a bicycle heaven in Florida--we get teams from around the world to come train here, so I agree that there are any number of places the OP could live and ride every weekend.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,376 posts, read 4,821,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
FYI--If you don't want to deal with the TSA/DHS/FAA, don't bother to apply for a pilots permit. It requires a criminal background check these days.

Why would you be on a no-fly list?

I think you are reading a lot more into airport security than is actually there. The "nudoscopes" are gone, and as long as you follow directions and don't try to carry on prohibited items, it's really a breeze.
No criminal record here that I know of, and a no-contact, body-scanner would've been much preferable than take off shoes, pat-downs,. etc
I hold a TSA HazMat clearance for my commercial drivers license and that's usually less intensive than dealing with the goons at the gate.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:30 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentstrider View Post
No criminal record here that I know of, and a no-contact, body-scanner would've been much preferable than take off shoes, pat-downs,. etc
I hold a TSA HazMat clearance for my commercial drivers license and that's usually less intensive than dealing with the goons at the gate.
I have never been patted down, ever. The scanners they have now are no contact. I think you've been watching too many movies or something.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,376 posts, read 4,821,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
As I suggested: NM has a lot to see, and what about AZ or southern part of NV. Plan a trip to say, Laughlin and do a side trip to Grand Canyon for starters...You can head up toward Colorado; wonderful scenery and lots of nature things to do. I can think of so many short side trips it would keep you busy for a couple of years.
I've been through some nice parts of Colorado, AZ and UT while passing through there during my long-haul/over-the-road trucking employment.
I'm not completely writing those places off and I believe you.

My main issue is getting to these bicycle-related events posted on Facebook and such.
One other thing that bites about my current work schedule is that my days-off get pushed forward every week.
The milk hauling business is good money, but the time-off is very jumpy.

You see, I attempt to travel to places to meet up with like-minded groups.
Traveling alone is doable, but as I mentioned earlier it gets boring and I tend to take things the wrong way some times.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,376 posts, read 4,821,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I used to fly with my bicycle on a very regular basis. There are special boxes made to protect them during the flight.

I live in a bicycle heaven in Florida--we get teams from around the world to come train here, so I agree that there are any number of places the OP could live and ride every weekend.
These aren't the type of bicycle rides I'm talking about.
Mine are usually groups of between 10 and 500 people and we usually ride at night at a chill/slow pace.

The jock/meat-head culture was never my thing either.

MidnightRidazz, critical mass rides held every month in most major cities, pub crawls via bicycle, those are the rides I do.

I'm just a complex creature that doesn't fit in well with the average crowd.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:06 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,377,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
It's not a bother once you get the hang of it. I fly almost every week, and am into the airport, through security, and at my gate in about five minutes--on board within 15 minutes of arrival at the airport. Your pre-flight takes longer. Add in your maintenance and other time stealers associated with owning a plane and I come out ahead.
Seriously?

You obviously don't have a clue as to the utility of a reasonable cross country aircraft.

I have the option to land in many places which are close, if not right at my recreational destination, which are not served by Commercial aviation at all. This includes many towns throughout the Rocky Mountain region, and back country airstrips which aren't served at all by commercial airliners. Further, I can camp out at wilderness area airstrips which are otherwise inaccessible.

Here's a typical regional trip I took last month to visit an auction in Lincoln, NE. From my home airstrip, it was 3 hours from wheels up to wheels down on the ramp at the FBO in Lincoln. I took two friends with a common interest in the auction there, so we had three seats filled. We had no boarding delay, no lines, nothing to interfere with pulling the plane out of the hangar, loading up, and departing. A courtesey car got us to the auction site in Lincoln for the few hours we needed there. Homeward again on our own schedule, it was a fun flight checking out the farms and ranches enroute. 3.2 hours home travel time.

OTOH, to have flown that trip commercially would have required a commercial connecting flight to Denver DIA, at approx $100 per leg per person. Then the flight to Lincoln NE, a rental car ($75) to the auction site, and then an overnight stay in Lincoln for the next available return flight to Denver. Driving to Denver would be an option, at the expense of several hours to commute each way, parking fees, access to the terminal and pre board lines to clear to the concourse.

If you think that the total outlay of time, expense, rental car, lodging, meals, and traveling on the commercial airlines schedules for a trip like this is better than what took place for my recent trip, so be it. But I do think you're way wrong.

As well, try heading to Yellow Pine, ID (Johnson Creek) via commercial scheduled airline service. That's the jumping-off point for a lot of Frank Church Wilderness access. From my home airstrip now, about 3.5 hours, and I can be putting my tent up next to the wing of my plane. For you? a commercial flight to where, maybe Boise? then rent a car and spend hours driving to Yellow Pine? or get a commercial flight to McCall, and then a charter flight to Yellow Pine? or a rental car from McCall to drive to Yellow Pine? You'll spend one heck of a lot more time and money than I do to make this trip, even figuring my annual fixed costs and time to keep my aircraft airworthy and flying.

The only time I can see an advantage to scheduled commercial airlines service is when I am heading to hard surface runway destinations at far greater distances then a weekend trip destination presents. As I mentioned above, I'd likely fly commercial if it was just me heading to the west coast for a fishing trip for a couple of days. Then again, if I have the time ... I'll fly myself and absorb the increased costs to make the trip. At that, I can still make a Cheyenne-San Diego trip in less total time door-to-door than if I have to drive to DIA and then a scheduled flight to San Diego. About 5.5 hours for me to an airstrip close by friends I fish with out of SD. I burn almost three hours just driving to DIA, parking, getting to the terminal, check-in, etc.

There's no way that you could do the trip CYS-DIA-SanDiego as efficiently as I can if you're flying 3 people out to San Diego. And that's with my relatively slow 150 mph cruise. Friends have better cross country aircraft which cruise around 180-195 mph on the same fuel burn I have and can carry three of us. The drawback to their airplanes is that they are ground loving birds which require a much longer runway and prefer hard surfaces to my 182 capabilities. Such are the trade-offs ...

try to fly to Taos, or Aspen, or Eagle, or Glenwood Springs, or Telluride, or Steamboat Springs, or Fort Collins, or Casper, or Jackson, or McCall, or Salmon .... or any of a hundred other similar destinations in the region on your commercial scheduled service and see how well they meet the demand of a weekend trip for you. I'll bet you'll find it downright inconvenient, if not impossibly expensive or logistically unlikely to do so.

Even when I fly to Salt Lake City, the outlying GA airstrips are nearby my clients. Much more convenient for me, some are minutes away from where I land rather than an hour away by rental car from the main airport. Same thing for Santa Fe, I land at an outlying airstrip and am close and convenient to my destinations.

PS: my "pre-flight" is typically less than 5 minutes. Again, you simply don't have a clue about GA flying/operations. With no tower, no clearance delivery, ground control ... I can taxi out when I 'm ready, watch and call for traffic, and be rolling to wheels up very quickly. Sooner than a jet push-back and taxi to an active runway ....

PPS: my OLMO road bike or my Fuji mountain bike take but a moment to remove the wheels, and they both fit in the baggage area of my 182 very easily, even with the camping gear I carry.

Last edited by sunsprit; 06-17-2014 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:17 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Seriously?

You obviously don't have a clue as to the utility of a reasonable cross country aircraft.

I have the option to land in many places which are close, if not right at my recreational destination, which are not served by Commercial aviation at all. This includes many towns throughout the Rocky Mountain region, and back country airstrips which aren't served at all by commercial airliners. Further, I can camp out at wilderness area airstrips which are otherwise inaccessible.

Here's a typical regional trip I took last month to visit an auction in Lincoln, NE. From my home airstrip, it was 3 hours from wheels up to wheels down on the ramp at the FBO in Lincoln. I took two friends with a common interest in the auction there, so we had three seats filled. We had no boarding delay, no lines, nothing to interfere with pulling the plane out of the hangar, loading up, and departing. A courtesey car got us to the auction site in Lincoln for the few hours we needed there. Homeward again on our own schedule, it was a fun flight checking out the farms and ranches enroute. 3.2 hours home travel time.

OTOH, to have flown that trip commercially would have required a commercial connecting flight to Denver DIA, at approx $100 per leg per person. Then the flight to Lincoln NE, a rental car ($75) to the auction site, and then an overnight stay in Lincoln for the next available return flight to Denver. Driving to Denver would be an option, at the expense of several hours to commute each way, parking fees, access to the terminal and pre board lines to clear to the concourse.

If you think that the total outlay of time, expense, rental car, lodging, meals, and traveling on the commercial airlines schedules for a trip like this is better than what took place for my recent trip, so be it. But I do think you're way wrong.

As well, try heading to Yellow Pine, ID (Johnson Creek) via commercial scheduled airline service. That's the jumping-off point for a lot of Frank Church Wilderness access. From my home airstrip now, about 3.5 hours, and I can be putting my tent up next to the wing of my plane. For you? a commercial flight to where, maybe Boise? then rent a car and spend hours driving to Yellow Pine? or get a commercial flight to McCall, and then a charter flight to Yellow Pine? or a rental car from McCall to drive to Yellow Pine? You'll spend one heck of a lot more time and money than I do to make this trip, even figuring my annual fixed costs and time to keep my aircraft airworthy and flying.

The only time I can see an advantage to scheduled commercial airlines service is when I am heading to hard surface runway destinations at far greater distances then a weekend trip destination presents. As I mentioned above, I'd likely fly commercial if it was just me heading to the west coast for a fishing trip for a couple of days. Then again, if I have the time ... I'll fly myself and absorb the increased costs to make the trip. At that, I can still make a Cheyenne-San Diego trip in less total time door-to-door than if I have to drive to DIA and then a scheduled flight to San Diego. About 5.5 hours for me to an airstrip close by friends I fish with out of SD. I burn almost three hours just driving to DIA, parking, getting to the terminal, check-in, etc.

There's no way that you could do the trip CYS-DIA-SanDiego as efficiently as I can if you're flying 3 people out to San Diego. And that's with my relatively slow 150 mph cruise. Friends have better cross country aircraft which cruise around 180-195 mph on the same fuel burn I have and can carry three of us. The drawback to their airplanes is that they are ground loving birds which require a much longer runway and prefer hard surfaces to my 182 capabilities. Such are the trade-offs ...

try to fly to Taos, or Aspen, or Eagle, or Glenwood Springs, or Telluride, or Steamboat Springs, or Fort Collins, or Casper, or Jackson, or McCall, or Salmon .... or any of a hundred other similar destinations in the region on your commercial scheduled service and see how well they meet the demand of a weekend trip for you. I'll bet you'll find it downright inconvenient, if not impossibly expensive or logistically unlikely to do so.

Even when I fly to Salt Lake City, the outlying GA airstrips are nearby my clients. Much more convenient for me, some are minutes away from where I land rather than an hour away by rental car from the main airport. Same thing for Santa Fe, I land at an outlying airstrip and am close and convenient to my destinations.
I guess it depends on where you are headed. Most of my travel is to relatively urban areas that are 1000 or more miles away, so commercial is a better option. I can fly from MCO to PHL in two hours, door to door it's a touch over three.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:10 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,377,376 times
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I guess it depends on where you are headed. Most of my travel is to relatively urban areas that are 1000 or more miles away, so commercial is a better option. I can fly from MCO to PHL in two hours, door to door it's a touch over three.
Precisely my point. It's where you're headed ...

and the OP was interested in expanding their range of travel with a limited time window for their travels in favor of having time to do things at their intended destinations from a base in NewMexico.

Your point-to-point travels bear no relationship to the utility and convenience that a modest GA aircraft could provide for the OP .... which is why they mused about the prospect of getting a private ticket and pursuing regional/reasonable time frame GA travels. Which is what my responses focused upon.
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