August 1, 2012

Flying the T-6 Texan to California

t-6_texan.jpgWhen I was learning to fly and would mentioned to friends and family that I was going to log cross country time they often were confused that I was flying just 50 nautical miles away. The FAA requires that a flight between two airports be 50 NM or more for it to count towards various certificates or ratings so the majority of my cross country time is in the 50NM to 100NM range.

However, tomorrow I am embarking on a flight that is more in line with the term Cross Country. I will be flying a T-6 Texan from Aurora Airport (KARR) just outside of Chicago to Chino, California.

Last year I had the opportunity to do aerobatics in a L-39 Albatros with Greg Morris of Gauntlet Warbirds. When I learned he needed to ferry the Gauntlet Warbirds T-6 Texan to California to be used for instruction at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School I decided I needed to find a way into one of it's tandem seats for that flight.

Here I am on the eve of the flight. During the flight which we are estimating will be approximately 12 hours of flight time, I will log dual instruction in an aircraft that helped train pilots from the greatest generation. The airplane I will be flying is actually the Navy version of the plane referred to as the SNJ and this particular aircraft was delivered to the Navy in 1944.

I have limited experience in the T-6 Texan. I rode along for aerobatic demonstrations with Aeroshell Aerobatic Team a few times and also was able to fly Bill Leff's T-6 Texan briefly prior to the 2008 Chicago Air & Water Show. However, this will be the first time I log time in the airplane in my logbook and I might not sleep much tonight in anticipation of this flight. This is an aircraft I have been in awe with since I was a kid. Stay tuned for updates on the flight in the coming days or follow along on Twitter.

Special thanks to Flickr user wxjeremy for allowing me to use his beautiful photo of the actual T-6 Texan I will be flying tomorrow.

Posted by at August 1, 2012 3:24 PM

This is just plain awesome. Have a blast - and be sure to take plenty of photos and video! :)

Posted by: Steve at August 1, 2012 4:30 PM | Reply

Good luck, sounds like a blast!

Posted by: Mike at August 1, 2012 5:11 PM | Reply

Jealous! Have a safe flight and take lots of photos!

Posted by: Bob at August 1, 2012 5:52 PM | Reply

Sounds like a great trip! Looking forward to your post flight write up.

Posted by: Gary at August 6, 2012 8:41 AM | Reply

Excellent! A cross country of that distance is quite an adventure in any single engine airplane. The fact that it's in an SNJ...whoa...that's just gravy! Have a great trip and please share it with the rest of us when you return!

Posted by: Chris at August 7, 2012 5:33 PM | Reply

It becomes more easy for me.I just wanna enjoyed this trip fully and take all adventurous experiences.

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Posted by: Michael Port at August 13, 2012 8:10 AM | Reply

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