Enroute to Burning Man 2015, Actual Day 2

Things did not work out as I had hoped. The winds were much stronger than I expected and I was not able to make it through the Sacramento pass in the Snake Range in eastern Nevada. As I approached the pass I was pretty sure I would not make it through but decided to edge up to it carefully just to see and to learn. My ground speed was only 60 knots and about 10 miles out it was still very smooth. Then it got a little rough and then about 5 miles out It got very rough very quickly. I was approaching at about a 45 degree angle so I made a 90 degree turn to the right and got out of it pretty quickly. A few minutes later when I reversed my course completely my ground speed was 120 knots. So, about 30 knots of wind through through the pass.  I edged up to 14,000 feet just before trying to make it through but that was not enough with the 13,000 foot peaks on either side of the pass.

Plan B, I retreated to Milford Utah for fuel. On the way there I carefully flew over an almost 10,000 foot mountain at an altitude of 12,500 feet. A fairly nice ride so I decided to see if I could find a route with lower terrain. This is what the route from Richfield to the Sacramento Pass and then to Milford looked like:

Day 2, Leg 1

In Milford I fueled up and took a look at the charts. Decided that I could make it to Ely by a more southern route that has lower terrain. That is what I did and it worked out fine:

Day 2, Leg 2

So I fueled up in Ely and plotted a course for Lovelock, Utah. This leg was fairly straight forward, avoid a few high peaks and some restricted airspace. I could have easily made it to Black Rock City but I wanted to have as close to full tanks as possible when I landed.

Day 2, Leg 3

The final leg was from Lovelock to 88NV and took about 40 minutes. I made it to Burning Man about 3:00 PM after 17.5  hours of flying at 8 stops including 88NV.  Let the fun begin!


Leave a Reply