This last weekend a few friends and myself decided to take this new RV10 on its first real cross country trip to Wyoming. One of the main motivations in building this airplane was to use it to travel to Wyoming. I do spend a lot of time there in the winter. Driving by vehicle it takes almost 12 hours, flying takes under 3. Hmm, wonder which I would rather do?
So anyway, Friday morning at 6:30 am we jumped in and headed west for Sheridan, WY. With a pretty hefty head wind, out time en-route was shown to be 3 hours and 4 minutes. The morning weather was a bit hazy and the runway a bit slick from an overnight freezing drizzle. We then climbed to 8500 ft and set the autopilot so we could sit back and enjoy the overhead stars.
About 45 minutes into the flight it started to cloud up and almost immediately started to snow. Visibility was still good and ground easily visible. After about 10 minutes of flight into the snow I could see that we were getting closer to the clouds so decided to drop down to 6500 feet to stay clear. This worked out well and within another 30 minutes we were back in the clear. For the rest of the trip out, the winds were more favorable up high so we cruised at 10500 for the rest of trip.
On arrival to Sheridan, weather was very good with a scattered layer at 20,000 and winds 4 knots right down the runway. I did the RNAV approach to Rwy 32 into Sheridan and before long we were on the ground.
We had a very good friend who drove out the day before with our snowmobiles and gear so he came to the airport to pick us up. He was already waiting as we taxied into the local FBO. Once stopped, we unloaded, the FBO took the plane to a nice hangar to rest for the next couple of days, and off we went to the top of the Big Horn Mountains.
The next couple of days were filled with great snowmobiling out of Bear Lodge Resort. Had pretty good weather and found some great snow.
Sunday morning we awoke, took some time to chat, packed our gear, and off to the airport for the trip home. Once again the weather in Sheridan was pretty good. A scattered layer at 8500 and a broken layer at 12,000. The surface winds were forecast to be 25 -32 knots which did not sit real good with me but at time of departure, they were only 12 gusting to 18. After a getting the tanks topped off we taxied out to Rwy 32 and off we went. During the first 20 minutes of flight we had those overhead clouds then it turned perfectly clear and smooth for the rest of the flight. Had some great tailwinds helping us along. Our ground speed read 216 knots and time en-route ended up being 2 hours and 15 minutes to touchdown in Wahpeton.
This was a great first trip and look forward to many more.