At the tail end of the worst winter in recent history, Eli's flight training schedule (like everyones) had gotten off track. With a goal of becoming a flight instructor by the begining of the summer looking like it might be out of sight, a plan was hatched to makeup the lost flight time over the last 3 months.
Eli would hop in a Cherokee, and fly out to California and back. Sounds awesome right?
This 4000+ mile trip would allow Eli to get back on track with his training schedule, and also give him an absolutely invaluable amount of flight experience, much better than a bunch of 2 hour flights every other day of the week would.
Eli grabbed his good buddy Carson, some camping gear, a cooler, the keys to the airplane, and a roll of his most trusted toilet tissue, and set off into the wild blue yonder.
This trip is a big one. One that many aviators only ever get the oppertunity to dream about taking. So for two 18 year old young men, it was shaping up to be the adventure of a lifetime.
The guys departed in 6148W on March 16th with their only goal to make it to California via an overflight of the Grand Canyon and back.
Along their flight they had great adventures and views like this one.
On March 20th they made it to the Grand Canyon and did their overflight! Here is the GPS Tracking record showing their flight (out and back)
They spent the next few days bumming around the beach in Monteray California before they had to start making the way back!
On the sunny afternoon of March 29th, they made their triumphant return to North Central. 13 days, 16 hours and 69.2 hours of flight time later, their adventure of a lifetime was complete.
As their parents met them when the parked the airplane, they came out with an even greater enthusiasm then when they had left. Better friends then they were when they left, they expressed how awesome the trip was just like all 18 year olds, by rambling 17 different stories off at the same time as they ran around unloading gear, securing the airplane, avoiding hugs from moms.
This adventure is complete.
But unlike many other, this is only the first of many for Eli, who is studying full time at URI and in our Commercial Pilot program. With a little bit of luck (and a ton of hard work) Eli will be a working pilot just about a year after he took his very first flight.