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ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:49 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
Cheers! I hope it was a great year for you and your family. We will miss those we lost, are thankful for the new additions and look forward to more adventures and memories in the near future.

Here’s to 2016 and hope 2017 is even better!

It has been a great year flying the RV-10. We have had some great trips, used it for quick getaways and fun flights around Utah. My two most memorable flights of the year just happened a month ago when Anna (6.75 yrs) and Emily (5.3 yrs) took to the front seat for some stick time, we will get to that later.

I decided to do one 2016 trip report to summarize the year and share some pictures. This year we went back to the places we really like, Baja Mexico, Lake Powell, Oshkosh, Johnson and Smiley Creek, Tucson and just some local flying. Anna and Emily are now getting old enough to really enjoy some of our most memorable trips we have had in the -10.

Traveling can be tiring, and all the prep, maintenance and cleanup sometimes seems overwhelming. My wife and I ask each other from time to time if all the "work" is worth it. Our answer was yes this year and I hope it is for many years to go. She is a trooper and is an expert planner, packer and co-pilot. Could not do anything like this without her and I can't imagine going the places we do in the plane (or boat) not knowing all the systems, like most of us do, when (not if) something breaks or fails. It is the main reason I do all my own maintenance.

Cameras - This year I bought a new Canon G7X point and shoot camera after the trip to Mexico. So most of the Cabo trip is with my Canon 5D and then almost everything else is either the G7X or iPhone. The 5D still takes better pictures but the point and shoots are getting close. The G7X has a 1" sensor and I believe is the same sensor used in the Sony RX100 line which are also amazing cameras. Pretty soon we will have 1" sensors in our phones.

Cabo in February
The past few years we have flown commercial to Puerto Vallarta for a winter break but this year decided to try Cabo and invite my whole family. We flew to Cabo in 2011 and rented a house in Los Barillies and in 2010 I did a guy trip but this was the first trip with RaNae, Anna and Emily down the Baja to stop at Alfonsinas and see the whales.
Here are the two previous trips.
Baja, Mexico - February 2010
Cabo San Lucas/Los Barriles Baja RV Trip - April 2011

We went out to the hangar a few days before leaving to get the plane ready for the trip. The girls cleaned while I packed. I know....plexi-glass cleaner on the wing, oh well.

For the first part of the trip, we would be traveling with two other planes, another RV-10 (Sean and Hollie Strasberg +2) and a Baron (Gar, Spook and kids). They left before us and headed to Phoenix Wednesday morning and we left after work and headed to Yuma for the night. The plan was to meet up at San Felipe Thursday morning for customs. There were three more planes coming down from our airport (KBTF) Thursday, they would land a few hours after we did.
We had a monster head wind to Yuma but it was pretty smooth. The next day we planned our arrival time at San Felipe.

Kids before our departure from Yuma. (it is not always loves and hugs:D)

Our group (Mulege) They are all really fun to fly and hang out with. Never a dull moment.

The only thing that has changed since our last trip down the Baja is that Mexico now requires an eAPIS form. There are some good articles on AOPA about this. You simply fill out an Excel spreadsheet, e-mail it to them and wait for their response. Everything went as planned there.
First stop after San Felipe was Alfonsinas. When we landed at San Felipe, did all the usual paperwork and they were very nice. It takes about an hour with no one in front of you. One hiccup, they did not let us file for Alfonsinas and told us it was still closed. Luckily another airplane from our airport who has done this many many times told us they always say that and you just tell them another airport and go to Alfonsinas. Sooooooo........I learned something from a leadership coach early on in my career during some training that I use quite often flying. Worry once, plan your response and forget about it.
Fine, possible jail time, worse????......OK, lets do this!

Good to be back to Alfonsinas

Flew down the runway to check for soft spots. I read on the Baja forum there could be a soft spot around the middle of the runway. We stayed to the right and it was solid.

The authorities pulled up with smiles, checked our paperwork and left. They were very nice. Nothing to worry about.
The Baron had to land at Rancho Grande Airstrip which is just a couple of miles away, our planes were 40 ft. from the hotel. There were quite a few Americans who drove down to Alfonsinas from the US, came out and watched us land. They thought it was really amazing and were very fun people.

The hotel at Alfonsinas during the flyby.

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:50 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
The kids loved the beach and we will definitely stay two nights the next time we come down.

Sunset with low tide gave opportunity to the kids to find new things

Sunrise is spectacular anywhere along the Sea of Cortez. The food and margaritas here are great. Don't plan on 5 star hotel rooms but definitely plan on 10 star views.

Jim Hoddenbach, who flew down from KBTF and picked up his dad along the way, took these pictures of Sean and I taking off. One of the pictures of Sean taking off made it into the May Van's 2017 calendar. You should take a look at some of his work here and subscribe to his Instagram. Jim loves flying and exploring the Baja.

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:51 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
We left the next morning (Friday) to head to San Ignacio to see the whales. We filled up with fuel at San Felipe and I told RaNae that if we could make it to Mulege with over 30 gallons, we could make it to Cabo without stopping at Loreto or La Paz for gas without a headwind.
The kids were having fun in the back on the way to see the whales.

The proper way to eat licorice.

Final approach into Bahia San Ignacio

Don't land on the first quarter of the runway here. We landed long and still made the turn off into the parking area.
Emily loves to tie down the plane and make knots

I was not in charge of the tour this year and just paid our money, put our vests on and headed to the boat. This year was more expensive than last, I also think it is becoming more popular and all the tour companies are trying to create a more "high end" experience with included meals.
Walking out to the boats in low tide.
It was another amazing experience. This was the first time I saw a mother with her baby. We got very close to touching one but it was about one foot away from our reach. The kids still thought it was amazing. We saw dolphins as well and that was probably their highlight from the boat tour.

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:52 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP

We had lunch and headed over to Mulege for the night to stay at Hotel Serinidad. It is a short flight over the mountains.

Approaching the airport we saw lots of planes at Hotel Serinidad. They were the Flying Samaritans who come down from the US to help the remote villages with medical treatment. Awesome!

Our three planes parked at the north end of the runway.

One of my favorite pictures of Emily, carrying her backpack into the lobby to check-in.

Relaxing by the pool with my two girls.

Mulege is a great little town.
The next morning we were leaving our group and continuing down the Baja on our way to Cabo San Lucas airport (MMSL), which is the closest airport to the city.
All the Flying Samaritans had taken off except one C-180. The wire had broke off the contractor for the starter. Luckily, in my repair kit I had new terminals, pliers and Sean is an A&P. We had them fully repaired in 20 minutes and they were off.
I had landed at Mulege with 31 gallons remaining and there was a 10 knot tailwind to Cabo that day. We now had no problems getting there with the gas we had and landed with just over 15 gallons.

Time to leave the group

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:53 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
Nice flight to Cabo

La Paz


Before I left the US, I had read that it is good to get a quote for the fees. Here is what it cost me to land there for a week. There is no negotiating prices like the handling fee and I had already purchased the DGAC 2016 permit in San Felipe. Now, this airport is by far the most customer service orientated airport I have ever experienced anywhere in the galaxy. They were right out to us with water, flowers, asking what they could do and had transportation to the hotel immediately. We were also the smallest airplane there, they are probably use to the rich and famous flying in on their jets. They do not accept tips either. I had no reservations leaving the plane there.
Quote from MMSL

It was about a 20 minute drive to our hotel from the airport in a new Suburban.
Kids were in the pool fast after landing and checking in.

The rest of the family came in that day on airlines. All together, there were 13 of us there for the week.
Cousins arrived shortly after we did

Beaches of Cabo

Swimming with the dolphins

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:53 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
The marina is a must see. Very cool yachts and fishing boats everywhere.

The USA arrived in style in their destroyer from Japan headed to San Diego.

My nephew Isaac with two service women

We had a great time there and will do it again in 2017! The food in Cabo was great, always felt safe and the weather was perfect every day.

Time to head home. It was RaNae's birthday and the FBO gave us a cake before departure. Anna looks like she is ready to take a nap after all the fun.

Emily being funny in Yuma where we stayed the night after a late start.

Another amazing trip down the Baja with great friends, family and time with the wife and kids I will never forget.

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:54 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
Johnson and Smiley Creek - July 2016

We have been wanting so badly to take the kids to Johnson Creek and last year every weekend was packed and it just did not work out. We were not home one weekend in July this year but we made it to Johnson Creek! Our airport does an annual BBQ and camp out at Smiley Creek the second week in July, we decided to camp at J/C Friday night and then head to Smily on Saturday. The weather was going to be iffy on Sunday but it turned out to be great the whole weekend. It is about 2 hours from Salt Lake.
Setup camp

Had to get firewood for the night and Anna and Emily took the wagon back.

Making dinner

We slept good and I think everyone slept warm. The kids stayed asleep all night. It was probably around 40-45 deg that night.
Slight chill in the morning before our hike

Ready for a hike

Perfect day to be outside hiking. We tried to make it to the bath tub but did not want to push my luck knowing we wanted to enjoy the rest of the day.

Took the van into town for some lunch at The Corner restaurant. A new couple bought it and they did a very good job with lunch.

We then walked to the General Store for ice cream. I canít remember the name of the dog, but the kids loved him.

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:55 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
The measure of a fun day is how dirty you are! Thankfully, J/C has the best showers for cleaning up.

Emily was in the plane while we were packing up. I was wondering what she was doing.

Anna, Pinky and Johnson Creek

On our way to Smiley Creek

We were some of the last to arrive for the BBQ sponsored by Utah Backcountry Pilots.

The lodge catered our dinner and we stayed warm by the fire and played games outside all night. Fun times.

It was a short weekend but we had fun. Definitely want to spend more time at J/C next year. I need to get a new/lighter tent for the 4 of us.

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:56 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
Oshkosh 2016

Oshkosh is a trip we look forward to most of the year. To us, Oshkosh is a family/friends reunion first, and airshow and display is just an added bonus. We left on Saturday and planned on returning home the following Saturday or Sunday.
Flight Plan with weather

After our first stop we waited for about an hour to see if the weather was going to clear out but it was pretty stationary. So I planned about three alternate airports that had nearby hotels and started on our way. I already had friends sending me weather updates from KOSH and as I got close to the rain I just followed VFR airports which took me north all the way to KOSH. We were in rain the last 45 min but it was clear with about 2500ft ceilings and had plenty of places to stop if it looked like it was closing in. It was really nice to have XM weather, ADS-B and cell coverage to my iPad/Foreflight. I am glad we decided to keep flying as it was worse on Sunday.
Almost there.

Downwind for 27

Greeted with a Spotted Cow thanks to Sean and Tim. Every arrival should be this good.

You wonder why our kids can’t wait to get to Oshkosh?

EAA Skywriter

Always something flying by

Met Sean D Tucker

ScottSchmidt 01-01-2017 04:57 PM

2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP
Anna spotted the mermaids in the hangar and wanted a picture even though they are not the Disney ones.

The Good Life.

Martin Mars was fun to watch drop water all week.

A highlight for me was getting to fly Tim’s newly completed RV-14. It was really a joy to fly. I can see why this is going to be a huge success for Van’s. The seating position, width and baggage room are all perfect. Can’t wait to get back into the cockpit of this again someday.

One of the days I took my Dad and flew to Washington Island with Joe Waltz and his RV-8 to have lunch. He grabbed someone who was standing around his plane and threw him in the back. He ended up being a Russian gymnast and was a fun to talk with, and was also building an RV-7.

Planes at 2P2 (Washington Island)

Thanks to Joe again and his friends, we were able to tour the tower during the airshow one afternoon. It was an awesome experience.

RV's from the tower

In the tower with RaNae

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