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Bringing another Magni home to Northern California

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  • Bringing another Magni home to Northern California

    As many of you know we had the pleasure of purchasing a Magni M16 over Christmas. It came from Missouri and the famous Paul Salmon (whom has set several records in Gyro's) flew it from there to Las Vegas for me. He flew from Missouri down into Texas, up the border to El Paso, into Tuscon, then into Henderson in two and a half days. He fought lots of weather but I met up with him at the Henderson airport and within 30 minutes I was airborne bringing it back to California. While I waited in Las Vegas for him, the winds were outrageous, climbing as high as 60 mph. Thankfully they literally calmed down the day I was to meet Paul on Friday. We tracked him on a SPOT device his entire trip which was cool in and of itself. Since it was late in the day when Paul actually arrived and I was unfamiliar with this specific M16, I elected to make my first stop in Barstow-Dagget airport in CA which was just an hour or so to my southwest. I thought I could refuel and press on but at least I could get a feel for any differences this specific Gyroplane had over the one I trained in. On the way there I wasn't bundled up nearly enough and therefore I froze on my ears, legs, and feet. Passing by the Ivanpah solar panels www.ivanpahsolar.com sort of warmed me up as it was just amazing to see them unexpectedly on my route just to my north. It truly looks like star wars as they are laid out in circular patterns and the tips glow in blinding flares. I flew outside the restricted airspace paralleling Interstate 15 which they are protected within and I made my first leg into Barstow around 4pm, I decided to bed there for the night as it was already getting dark. What I didn't realize was that getting an Uber was going to be more difficult than I thought. I fueled up first, cleaned the bug chunks off with some wet paper towels (all I could find) from the bathroom and found a half covered hanger to tuck the Gyro into for protection from any winds overnight. After an hour of failed attempts at getting both good cell coverage and an Uber driver actually working in this smaller town, I began calling cab companies. The first one had me leave a message on their answering machine and they still haven't called me back. The second one said he didn't recognize the city I was in. They have a nice pilots lounge there despite the outside looking like it hasn't been updated since the 60's. Kinda cool and kinda like a ghost town but I liked it in a weird way. I miraculously got a ping on my phone saying a driver from Uber was on his way and he would be there in 20 minutes. It turns out the driver just started with Uber that day while he was in between jobs. He was super nice and dropped me off at my hotel in town. I was able to walk to Walmart for some gloves and to dinner at a local burger joint.

    The next morning I had to wait an hour for another Uber ride but thankfully a young man decided to log in early and that provided me with the ride I needed back to the airport. When I arrived it was smooth and calm but close to 32 degrees outside. I had to choke it to get it started. This time I put on some snow pants with suspenders, some semi warm gloves, and a thin hat under my helmet. For the rest of the trip, I was warm all over except my feet which were semi cold for the first half of the day. I was loaned an electric jacket which provided more than enough heat for the trip to my upper half. Thankfully the Gyroplane had been wired for the jacket so I kept it plugged in the whole time. For day two I planned to continue staying under the restricted airspace and fly west towards Palmdale and Edwards AFB before headed north over the mountain range into Bakersfield. Thankfully the engine zipped right over the mountain like it didn't exist as I climbed to 8500 feet. I thought back over what Paul Hollinger from San jose who also owns a Magni had said last year in his post about it feeling uneasy as he was flying over Yosemite. I sort of felt that way also and I felt myself being careful not to "tip it over" at that altitude. I don't know why I felt that way! I could feel the warm air as I descended down into Bakersfield on the other side but the haze from the wild fires and just low level clouds were all over my route northbound from there. After refueling and answering questions about the Gyro to lookers, I modified my route to avoid the heavy haze north of where I was as it was clear VFR towards San Jose on the west side of the valley. I called and found the Lemoore MOA's were inactive so I flew northwest to New Colinga Municipal (C80). It was very quiet there but they had fuel and I saw one truck out there almost as if he was waiting for me to arrive as a safety lookout. He was gone before I finished fueling and I decided to head to a familiar airport called Byron C83 where I used to be based with a fixed wing in order to make that my last fuel stop before heading into Lodi, CA. I decided to fly northbound paralleling the mountain range I was at and more ocean fog was now creeping in as a solid layer. I passed by Monterey Bay and at one point I was watching traffic below me on the 15, to see who was going faster. Before I knew it I passed by Tracy and into Byron for fuel. I had a bunch of glider folks asking questions and it was neat to tell them about how a Gyroplane works. The downside with an aircraft everyone is intrigued about is that they watch you land and take off. Surprisingly my landings are much better than I expected but it is my takeoffs that need work. I feel I am doing a modified soft field takeoff rather than a smooth gentle lift-off. As a new person myself, I also felt unqualified to be explaining things to others about how a Gyroplane works but someone had to do it. Gyroplanes just aren't known that well in my neck of the woods. When I got to Lodi where it is kept at now, I was met with my family and of course the kids were all over the thing. I took advantage of that and had them literally all over it, cleaning the bugs off which saved me a lot of extra work. Hey, they wanted rides and I traded it for a little work.

    The weather has not been the best since I arrived back home but I managed to fly it a few days last week and even Saturday before my son headed back to school. Every time I took it out, there seems to have been a small group watching me to see how it works. I really appreciate how slow it can fly which affords me more time to avoid some of the low level crud and haze that I would normally be into much faster in a fixed wing plane. With the Gyroplane, I just buzzed around it or under it, or just slowed up and went the other direction. We got some breaks in the weather and I have been busy enjoying it with friends and I look forward to flying it around a little further to explore places I couldn't in faster moving aircraft.

    For the record, I was indicating about 105 mph at my fastest on my trip with about 96 mph indicated as ground speed. I probably averaged around 92 mph overall during my travels en route. I flew anywhere from 900 feet over the desert to 8500 over the mountains and the weather went from close to 32 up to the mid 60's but the winds remained fairly calm. Although I purposely decided to not take any photos during my adventure because I wanted to "fly the plane" and not be distracted, I've included a few photo's my kids took since I returned. I want to say a special thanks to my instructor Don Bradley, Greg Gremminger with Magni Gyro for all his help, Paul Salmon for graciously delivering it, and to Bob Heimberger for making the sale.
    Last edited by Spank; 01-03-2018, 07:21 AM.
    Thanks,
    Paul
    (925) 481-4304

  • #2
    OMG, tab, paragraph break, return key !?!?

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice write up.

      Thanks.

      Rob
      Rob Dubin

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Paul Thanks for sharing. That solar farm is amazing. Remember, I warned you - don't stay the night in Barstow :). Sounds like you made it work.
        If you are out west and looking for an interesting flight Vegas to N. Cal via your route is it. It's amazing how the landscape changes.

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        • #5
          Thank you for the great write up Paul and congratulations on your purchase.

          I am always amazed at how much adventure gets packed into a simple trip flying a gyroplane.
          Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

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          • #6
            Maybe I missed it in that long piece -- where will you be basing the aircraft?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Smack View Post
              OMG, tab, paragraph break, return key !?!?
              Don't smack him....He'll spank you !

              Congrats on your purchase ! The easy way to gyro flight.....CASH !
              Happy Flying, Chris S.

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              • #8
                Good one CLS, but it probably went over many heads.

                Wasp, we're based in Lodi, CA. but the funny thing is that I grew up very close to CLS447 in Pennsylvania. I've worked my way out here via a career stop in Texas.
                Thanks,
                Paul
                (925) 481-4304

                Comment


                • #9
                  Stuck in ol' Lodi again ! Pa born & raised ? Do you remember this place ?

                  You 2 are a team ? Good for you guys ! Have fun !

                  Chris

                  PS ....I just realized I have no signature line anymore !

                  Happy Flying, Chris S.

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                  • #10
                    Great news! Welcome to the family!
                    -Kurt
                    --------------
                    Time flies like an arrow; Fruit flies like a banana...

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                    • #11
                      Great story ! You got a nice Gyro and took an amazing trip. I enjoyed reading it very much. It excited me to know that soon I will be doing the same thing. Than perhaps you can read my story. Fly Safe

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