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Archive for March, 2017

COPA Mexico Adventure 2017

by on Mar.15, 2017, under Flying

Joyce and I took off early on February 17 on our way to meet 43 other  members participating in the annual COPA Mexico Adventure. Since we had to cross the country we planned to stop in Houston and visit our friends Clark and Julie Blackman and Christine Romsdahl. We made a fuel stop in Fair Hope, Alabama then dodged some storms to arrive at KCXO, Lone Star Executive airport. We had a great visit and dinner and launched for El Paso where we spent the night before leaving for our first Mexico stop Ciudad Obregon. We cleared customs, refueled, then flew the last 25 minutes to Alamos where the 22 COPA Cirrus aircraft gathered. We stayed at a incredibly charming resort and spa, Hacienda de Los Santos. The village was clean and safe as well as charming. Alamos was the northern most silver city and generated enormous wealth. The resort is made up of four of the former silver barons mansions put together to create a unique place. The second day some flew over the Copper Canyon in the morning and others explored the resort and village. The founder of the resort,Jim Swickard still acts as host at times since he is a pilot and caters to flying groups. He also owns the airport and was kind enough to give us a personal tour of the village. The gathering was great as people arrived they congregated for lunch and then in the tequila bar, where there were old friends met and new friends introduced. Over the two days of our stay there was lots of time to socialize, explore this beautiful place and soak up the unique history. The hospitality, food and drink were excellent and the only regret was we couldn’t stay longer.

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Manzanillo, Mexico

by on Mar.15, 2017, under Flying

On Tuesday February 23 we left Alamos to fly to Manzanillo with the COPA group. We had decided to fly in loose formation with Charles and Debbie Langdon down the Copper Canyon on our way. We got a great view flying down in the canyon, which is Mexico’s Grand Canyon. We stopped in Mazatlan for fuel, then continued to Manzanillo, flying along the beautiful coast and over Puerto Vallarta on the way. When we landed we had 22 Cirrus that had to get fuel at a self service pump, which turned into a social event as we all pitched in to push planes in place. We stayed at the Grand Isla Navidad, which isn’t in Manzanillo, but in Barra Navidad, about 20 minutes from the airport. The hotel turned out to be great, with fabulous grounds including a golf course and a little village a short boat ride away to explore. We had lots of time to socialize with fellow COPA pilots, and ended our stay with a grand cocktail party and dinner on a terrace overlooking the bay.

The Cocktails and Dinner on the final evening of the COPA event was particularly jolly. Lots of sharing of experiences, new friends made and old friends enjoyed. It was a perfect warm Mexican evening to celebrate the end of a great get adventure together.

Tomorrow, Friday, we all fly out to another Mexico destinations or on to home.

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Cabo San Lucas and Homeward Bound

by on Mar.15, 2017, under Flying

On Friday , Feb. 24 we flew the three hour flight from Manzanillo to Cabo San Lucas arriving in time for lunch. We flew in loose formation with Charles and Debbie Langdon and spent the next few days doing fun stuff. We landed at the General Aviation airport, MMSL and were treated royally, including cheap hangar fee and “free”  Cervazas and tequila. We checked into our Hotel, the Casa Dorado, which looking out at the cape and is where the action is. Great room, and a perfect place to get some sun and relax. Breakfast was at “the office” on the beach, which was a jumping place to start you day with a bloody Mary or Mimosa then brunch. We found some good restaurants, explored and generally had a great time.

On Monday Joyce and I started our journey home. We flew up the Baja Peninsula and crossed back to Ciudad Obregon about a hour and forty five minutes, cleared customs then flew to El Paso to clear US customs. We overnight-ed in El Paso and then left early to get ahead of a front causing very high winds. The flight was less than three hours to San Marcos, Texas where visited our friends Lou and Lynne Earle. The next day we again left early to beat the winds and flew direct to Fair Hope, Alabama again another three hour flight. We celebrated Joyce’s birthday at a great resort on Mobile Bay. On Thursday, March 2nd. we flew the final two hours and forty five minutes back to Hilton Head. We had tail winds all across the country, had to make a couple of instrument approaches and had gusty winds on landing at every stop, good practice. One day short of two weeks, 37 hours in the cockpit, 15 legs and over 5000 miles added up to a fun flying trip. We visited with friends, we saw lots of interesting sights, we made new friends and managed to learned a few things. GREAT TRIP!

 

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