Follow me on my trip in a Cessna 152 across the wonders of the American West.

From Grand Canyon to Flagstaff and Sedona

The best picture on this page, well worth the download time. You see a well-contrasted view of   typical Red Rock County landscape under my wings.
Red Rock County below my wings

A hot and high takeoff from Grand Canyon
I left Grand Canyon after lunch, and took off on the gigantic 9,000' runway, distractedly remembering what I heard on the ATIS "Density altitude: 9,000". Of course I knew the problems of hot and high takeoffs, where the thin air reduces your engine power and portance at the same time, but I didn't check in the POH for the Koch graph. After all, with such a long runway (almost 3 km - more than is necessary to land a 747 safely in Geneva), what did I have to fear? I soon discovered what. The tower cleared me for takeoff behind a Twin Otter, and I slowly pushed on the throttle to reach full power. The airplane reacted very slowly and began its roll. After a full 4,000' of ground run, I was finally able to get the tires off the ground, and managed to keep the plane at Vy (67 knots). In the heat of the moment, I did not convert TAS to IAS, and I was probably flying too fast. I saw the end of the runway pass a mere 50' below me, and prayed that no sequoias were in my way... It took me about 2 miles and the help of some cumuluses to reach a safe altitude of 1,000'.

Reflecting on my good luck (and my foolish ways), I headed straight south through a bumpy afternoon, towards Flagstaff. The mountain was a good landmark, and with cumuluses giving me a lift and a let down all the way, I made it to Flagstaff.

I landed safely in cooler air at Flagstaff, and the sympathetic runway boys gave me a lift to the city, where they showed me to a youth hostel. I took a two-bed dorm room, which I shared with an Indian who came from his reservation to work during the week in Flagstaff. He invited me to come with him to a religious service, which I accepted, interested as ever in the ways of the Americans.
Red Rock County and Sedona
I had read about the beautiful Sedona airport in Flying. Sedona is right in the middle of Red Rock County, a landscape of red hills often seen in John Wayne movies, now the center of the New Age movement. The airport itself is on the top of a hill. I landed there to refuel and took breakfast among some German fighter pilots who were training there. As always, the people were extremely caring and courteous, which is something you don't find everywhere in the US.

Classic view of   Red Rock Country - like in the Westerns
This is where many John Wayne movies were shot

  A nice picture of the red rocks under my wing

Go to the clickable map to see the other legs and pictures of the trip, or use the arrows on your left if your connection is slow. Or proceed directly to the

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