Read about this flight here
Our popular Southwest Adventure flights have been modified for 2017, and are now a four-day, 20-hour "Mountain" Adventure in the Cessna Corvalis TTx. This has always been one of IFRwest's top flights, since it combines extensive IFR training with some incredible scenery. Now, with these flights being flown in our TTx with Garmin G2000 flight deck, pilots will be able to experience the beautiful Southwest in a high-performance, high-altitude, FIKI-equipped airplane.
This trip starts out of Medford, Oregon with a climb over the Cascade Range into Reno and Salt Lake City before tracking east into the high country of the Rockies, westward over the Grand Canyon and through the LA Basin before heading up the California Coast back to Medford. Some of the highlights include the gorgeous Lake Tahoe/Reno area, busy Class B airspace, landings at the Colorado Ski Country destinations of Aspen and Telluride, the Grand Canyon and scenic Sedona, AZ, the busy “meat-grinder” airspace of the LA Basin and finally the scenic California, Oregon coastline.
After an orientation in Medford with instructor Field Morey, pilots will experience the high-altitude capability of the TTx on day one. A special Mountain High oxygen system provides comfort up to FL250 en route to shooting approaches at Lake Tahoe and Reno before heading east for our overnight in Salt Lake City. Day two features a challenging approach and landing in Aspen, Colorado before an after lunch leg to Telluride, the highest commercial airport in North America. This incredible day ends with an overnight in Sedona, Arizona after a "carrier landing" at KSEZ after watching the Grand Canyon slide by underneath the wings of the TTx.
Day three is where pilots will get in some great IFR training with emphasis on communicating in the busy Class Bravo airspace in the Los Angeles basin before enjoying lunch at the celebrated Waypoint Café in Camarillo, California. The day ends with the TTx parked steps away from the hotel in Santa MAria, California. A scenic bay tour of the San Francisco skyline and the coastal region of Northern California completes your Adventure on day four before a mid-day arrival back in Medford.
The Southwest Mountain TTx Adventure is available year round, and costs $7,600 for one pilot, or two pilots can share expenses for $4,180 each.
Enroll for this flight today
The Adventure continues, with days two and three, plus customer comments from Chris Hansen
By Field Morey
On day one of Chris Hansen's Corvalis TTx Discovery Flight, we flew over Mt. Shasta en route to South Lake Tahoe, before stopping in Las Vegas on our way to an overnight in Sedona, Arizona. Every leg of the first day opened up new vistas of gorgeous scenery while offering Chris great opportunities to learn about the TTX in "real world" situations.
Day Two of the TTx Discovery took us to Big Bear City in the San Bernardino Mountains northwest of Palm Springs, followed by a short hop to Camarillo, CA for lunch at the Waypoint Café. On a sunny weekend, there was a long wait at this popular café, but the double chocolate milkshake more than made up for it.
After our lunch settled, we were off to San Luis Obispo for a planned missed approach before we ended the day in Monterey, dining at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch in Carmel. I think this is a good place to remind readers that my slogan is "IFR" (I Find Restaurants!).
Day Three began at a funky breakfast spot called “Griddle in the Middle” referring to it’s location on the middle of the commercial wharf in Monterey harbor. Chris ordered their pancake special that came out about the size of a Buick’s hubcap. The leg from Monterey to Santa Rosa was conducted at 6,000 feet in IMC conditions beneath the San Francisco Class B airspace and finished with an extended vector for a GPS approach to runway 14. We decided against lunch…no kidding…so it was off to the coastal town of Arcata in Northern California.
We filed for 17,000 but soon after departure when checking the weather page on the MFD we saw there was a convective Sigmet covering Arcata and by the looks of the yellow areas on the Nexrad display elected to continue on up to FL250 scrapping our plans for Arcata in favor of on-top conditions and less chance of icing by heading slight east direct to Medford.
Our ground speed was in the 235 knot range at FL250, so it wasn’t long before Center issued a descent clearance. At that altitude the yellow arc on the airspeed began at 135 knots, so it was time to deploy the speed brakes. Shortly after I threw the speed brake switch to the UP position Chris remarked, “They aren’t up!” I looked and sure enough they were down. Repeated attempts to deploy them failed, so we gave up on that plan and reduced power instead. I routinely use speed brakes to slow down in turbulence or when a steep descent is in order so they were sorely missed. On top of that, ATC changed our approach to a Back Course from the south instead of the advertised ILS from the north. It all ended up with having to request and receive permission for a 360-degree turn on final once the runway was in sight.
I believe that Chris would have to say that the three days provided a good introduction to the Cessna Corvalis TTx plus a bonus dose of IFR experiences…not too mention IFR food!
Chris Hansen Comments
"As a 370-hour pilot who recently got his IFR ticket, my main goal was to get first-hand experience and see if the TTx would be a plane I want to move up to some day. On top of learning about what it is like to fly the TTx conservatively the way Field does (CHT’s well below red line, 65% cruise power, etc.), flying with a guy like Field who has so much IFR experience was extremely valuable in itself.
Being able to climb to FL250, and flying along the West Coast brought my capabilities to a different level. I don’t think you can find someone that knows more about the Garmin 1000/2000 system and how to use it practically than Field. I learned a lot of things about the system, even though I had a few hundred hours of G1000 experience. He introduced me to some tricks and practical setup procedures that take full advantage of all the capabilities of the Garmin system. Being competent with the G1000 makes flying approaches much safer, and knowing how to intervene when ATC inevitably alters a 'textbook' approach is a must. If you take your instrument rating seriously, I cannot recommend this experience highly enough.
I would love to get a TTx someday in the not too distant future. The plane does come at a significantly higher cost. Also, not to be understated is the difficulty I would have parting with my T182T, which does so many things well. Part of me was hoping that I wouldn’t like the TTx so that I could avoid this difficult decision and stop dreaming about one. I guess I can always blame Field for making this experience too damn fun! Thanks Field for a very worthwhile trip!"
Ride-along on an IFR West Adventure flight in the “Green Hornet”
By Field Morey
Chris Hansen from Colorado was interested in the Cessna Corvalis TTx just like I was just three years ago. Similarities included the fact that we both had late model G1000 Turbo Skylanes, which we liked but we both lacked first-hand knowledge or flight experience with the TTx.
So Chris did the sensible thing. He enrolled in the Cessna Corvalis TTx Discovery Flight program. The three-day opportunity would allow Chris to receive real-time cross-country experience from a veteran flight instructor who pulls no punches when it come to relating the pros and cons of this machine, restarting the clock on your BFR and ICC….plus seeing great scenery and having a whale of a great time.
Soon after a cockpit orientation period to cover the workings of the Garmin G2000 avionics suite in the TTx, we were off to South Lake Tahoe leaving Medford, Oregon behind. During climb, we engaged the rudder lock system so we can relax our right foot. (Works nice, by the way!) Fifteen minutes after takeoff, we leveled off at FL190 just in time to catch a view of Mt. Shasta at 3 o’clock low.
During the climb, the Cessna’s annunciation systems “chimes” when you leave 12,000' to remind you its O2 time. The oxygen controls on the Mountain West pulse-flow system were set to start delivering upon leaving 10,000 feet so it was just a matter of turning on the electronic oxygen valve. I highly endorse this system as it not only a miser when it comes to extending the endurance of your oxygen, but it gives a much healthier dose when you inhale, compared to the constant flow factory system.
Another “chime” sounds when you pass FL180. This one is twofold: You are first reminded to set your altimeter to pressure altitude setting of 29.92 inches and a to turn on the vapor suppression system, eliminating possible vapor lock issues with the fuel system.
The level off checklist I developed calls for:
• Disengage rudder lock
• Prop to 2400 RPM
• Throttle to 75% power (No need to set manifold pressure)
• Mixture to 16 GPH initially, then
• Lean the hottest TIT to 50° Lean of Peak (you have 2 turbos, hence TTx)
• After leaning to 50° LOP the power will drop from 75% to 65%, fuel flow to 15.2 GPH and TAS to 190 knots.
Note that the 190 knots true airspeed is far below the 235 knots that you see in Cessna ads. I personally run 65% power not the 85% that is needed to reach 235 knots. With the mixture set to Lean of Peak my cylinder temps run nice and cool around 350 degrees. One hour after takeoff we reach TOD (Top of descent) signaling its time to begin our descent for Lake Tahoe.
On the next leg of the flight to Vegas, we “stretch the legs” of the TTx. Twenty minutes after takeoff, we level at FL250 where the TAS reads 203 knots. I usually set the GA (Go-around) function on the ground before takeoff so our pitch attitude on autopilot is 7° up. This yields about 125 knot initial climb speed. (Vy = 110 knots) Again….keep the engine cool!!!
Not long after leveling off, we reach TOD and begin our descent. That climb to altitude pays off if you will note the groundspeed readout on the MFD. Refueling at Las Vegas results in 64.5 gallons for 3.8 hours including two climbs to the Flight Levels…..not bad!
The leg to Sedona, AZ was conducted at 11,000 feet with TAS of 180 knots at 65% power and 50° LOP.
In part two, I will describe days two and three that concluded Chris' Corvalis TTx Discovery Flight, and give you his impressions of "The Green Hornet."
For at least 30 years, CFI Field Morey has been teaching instrument flying to students, and tells them that when it comes to forecasting the weather, the two most important things are judgment and experience. These are attributes that need to be in every instrument pilot's tool kit, but it also helps to have the right equipment in your airplane.
Both of the IFR flight training airplanes used by Field Morey on his West Coast Adventure flights feature the latest in all-glass Garmin avionics. This provides a specialized experience for pilots who are thinking of moving up to a glass panel, or already own an airplane with a glass panel and desire to learn more efficient ways to operate these specific panels.
Field Morey's 2015 Cessna Corvalis TTx has FIKI anti-icing protection, G2000 flight deck and touchpad programming. With its Twin-turbo Continental 310 HP engine, the Corvalis is truly a “high-performance” aircraft. Pilots enjoy the feeling of being in control of this fast sports plane as you rocket up to the flight levels towards the TTx's 25,000 feet certified service ceiling.
The best IFR Adventure flight is one that fits well into your busy work and family schedule. In previous years, Field Morey had pre-set dates for each Adventure, but in 2014, a new FLIGHT SCHEDULE CALENDAR has been launched to further simplify the scheduling process.
Field Morey believes that to learn how to fly as a safe IFR pilot, it is essential to fly in actual IMC weather. Because of this, the Cessna T182T Skylane training airplane used in his Northwest, Southwest and California Coastal Adventure Flights offers Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology. The Cessna Corvalis TTx offers the Garmin SVT technology and adds TKS anti-ice protection for "flight into known icing" conditions.
The prices listed on our Pricing page are based on the cost of the trip. They can be paid for by one pilot, or with a 10% surcharge, the cost can be shared between two pilots or a pilot and a non-flying passenger.