Home > Skiing with 'MY SANITY'

Skiing with "MY SANITY"
   by Gary Sobek (rv6flier@yahoo.com)
   RV-6 N157GS
   Los Angeles, CA

Ed. Note:  This is a letter sent to some of Gary's friends that he was kind enough to let me post on this site as a 'How I Use My RV. - type story.

Skis in the RV-6.JPG (41853 bytes) Looking back at the skis.JPG (36561 bytes) Another view of the ski gear.JPG (43417 bytes)
"Loaded the skis in the airplane and took off for Lake Tahoe on Thursday December 31.   I can now say I have tried to do everything that I wanted to do with my airplane in 1998. I still want to learn more aerobatics and do instrument work.

Decending toward Stateline 3.JPG (31149 bytes) Departed Cable at a little after 8:00. The first 20 minutes of the flight were uneventful. When I neared Tehachapi, I encountered severe turbulence. An immediate power reduction got the airplane under control. I hit 3 G positive and –0.5. Altitude and airspeed were all over the place. Finally got under control when airspeed dropped to 100 Kts. and altitude was 500 feet higher than when I started. A west heading with moderate turbulence keeps everything under control. Turbulence only lasted about 10 minutes. After a smooth ride for 5 minutes, I resumed cruise speed. Near Mariposa-Yosemite, I climbed from 8,500 to 14,500 to get above the clouds. Could see Lake Tahoe about 50 miles from the airport but still had clouds between the airport and me. Descended over the lake and landed uneventfully.

Going skiing in an RV to Tahoe 1.JPG (32783 bytes)Met my friend Wayne and took him for a ride. There was a little turbulence over Minden and a few ridges around the lake. Tahoe Tower requested to report Emerald Bay on the inbound. While descending at Emerald Bay, we hit serve turbulence again. Slowing from 160 Kts., got the turbulence down to moderate. The FAA definition of Serve Turbulence is: "Turbulence that causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and/or attitude. It usually causes large variations in indicated airspeed. Aircraft may be momentarily our of control." The FAA definition of Moderate Turbulence is: "Turbulence that momentarily causes erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude (pitch, roll, yaw). Changes in altitude and/or attitude occur but the aircraft remains in positive control at all times. It usually causes variation in indicated airspeed." After a safe landing, fueling, and securing the airplane, Wayne dropped me off to pick up my rental car. I then did an EAA Technical Counselor visit of Wayne’s RV-4. Wayne will have an excellent aircraft when he is finished. His metal work is well above the first time builder. After checking in to my motel, I had a nice dinner and visit with Nick, Michelle and Vickie.

Mountains on the way home.JPG (36531 bytes)New Years Day got me up to go skiing. Picked up my friends and off we went to Sierra at Tahoe. Nick, Michelle, and I were third or forth in line when the lift started. Conditions were good. I started off a little slow since I have not skied in about 5 years. (I think.) I told Nick and Michelle that I was hungry at 11:00 so that we would miss the lunch crowd. After about a one hour break, off Nick and I went. After a couple of black diamond runs, we headed back toward the base lodge to pick up Michelle. Skied till a little after 3 when I got impatient of waiting in line and tired of all the people who were skiing on "my" mountain. J

On the way home.  Looking toward Mamoth Mt ski area 2.JPG (39924 bytes)Returning to the motel, I showered and got ready for dinner. I picked up Wayne and Terri for dinner at Fresh Ketch. Had a GREAT meal and a good time. What a fantastic way to end the perfect day. This was the best New Years ever for me.

On the way home.  Looking toward Mamoth Mt ski area.JPG (43754 bytes)Saturday morning, I loaded the car and headed for the airport. The airplane was covered with frost. My OAT said it was –8 C (17 F). After cleaning the frost from the airplane and doing a preflight, I phoned Flight Service to get a weather briefing. Due to the cold, the airplane started a little slower than I expected. Needed to use the primer to get fuel to the engine. On rentals, I usually used 3 shots. I only used one on "My Sanity" . I eventually used a total of 3 to get the engine started. Next time it is cold, I will use 3 to start with. I sat on the ground about 10 minutes to get the oil temperature up to 21 C (70F). With this oil temperature, I did my engine run up and found that I was ready for departure. Flew straight out runway 18 to 11,500. I altered course a little to the east to get me in the Owens Valley near Brodi. Stayed east of the mountain range all the way home. Over flew Mono Lake, Mammoth Mountain airport, and Edward’s Air Force base. On my descent into Cable, I called 8 miles out descending through 8,000. My friend Mary radioed back to meet at FlaBob for lunch. I then heard Marty call that he was departing North. Marty radioed that Fred was departing behind them. I called a frequency change to 122.75. OK Mary, Marty, and Fred are having lunch at FlaBob. We all checked in on 122.75. I maneuvered to reduce airspeed since I was heading right toward them at 170 Kts (196 mph). Now on a East bound heading doing 100 Kts, I was still to fast to join up with Marty in his Luscombe. Fred ended up forming up on me in formation until we encountered turbulence. Fred broke off as I fought the serve turbulence. Once under control, I called RTB. (Returning To Base) After touch down, I took on 15.68 gallons of fuel at a cost of $29.01. Had I driven, I would have burned more fuel and it would have taken 8 hours instead of 2 hours. It probably would have cost about $5 less driving but was the 6 hours of time worth $5?

First view of the airport.jpg (57668 bytes)I thought I would be in poor shape to ski like I did. I guess that I am not in as bad as shape as I though. I do have a few tight muscles but nothing bad. What hurts the most is my shins where the hair on my legs rubs in my ski boots. I remember now that when I skied regularly, the hair would get rubbed off.

Found a parking spot 4.JPG (36102 bytes)All in all, 1998 was the best year ever for me. I ended it doing what I wanted and started 1999 doing what I wanted. 1999 started out just as good as 1998 ended. This is the third time in my life that I went and did something I wanted regardless of what it costs.  I did whatever I wanted regardless of cost. I need to do things like this more often. I do not like to pay finance charges but a finance charge of $10 or $20 dollars for one month will not hurt me. I think this trip was worth it.

I am now ready for the next 4 months of work. I believe that I will need to work many of the weekends through the end of April. I also have agreed to wire a friend’s airplane. Do not expect to get any free time for myself till summer.

Happy New Year to all my friends. Hope everything goes as well for you as it does for me. I am bringing in the New Year with 300 hours on the airplane. (300 hours in my airplane is like 50,000 miles in a car.)"

Gary ( rv6flier@yahoo.com )