MEDFORD, OREGON – Field Morey, an FAA-Certified Flight Instructor from Medford, Oregon, with roots in Wisconsin, and Conrad Teitell of Greenwich, Connecticut, an attorney with Cummings & Lockwood, successfully flew to all 49 state capitals in the lower 48 plus Alaska in just two weeks. The flight, which was flown in Morey’s 2013 Cessna Corvalis TTx, started September 16, 2014 at Medford, Oregon (KMFR), returning to Medford on September 29. The objective of the flight was to raise public awareness of the value of smaller municipal airports as important business assets for cities and as the gateway for bringing tourism to an area.
The entire flight could be tracked as the pilots had an onboard Spot Generation 3 GPS tracking device, showing the real-time location of the Corvalis TTx. Some elementary school teachers tracked the plane, and gave lessons in time, distance and U.S. capitals.
The Cessna Corvalis TTx is the fastest single-engine, fixed gear production aircraft on the market, Morey said, and has a maximum cruising speed of 235 knots. The aircraft’s speed and avionics enabled Morey and Teitell to fly over 12,000 miles with stops at 57 airports in two weeks.
The airplane was nicknamed “The Green Hornet,” and was equipped with a Garmin G2000 “glass cockpit” panel that includes NEXRAD radar for storm avoidance, anti-ice equipment, and terrain and traffic avoidance devices, along with the latest autopilot technology, essential for avoiding crew fatigue.
Midwest Flyer Magazine (MFM) asked Field Morey about the trip:
MFM: How did you decide on the route?
MOREY: “We did not use a computer program, but took the obvious route to Alaska and back, then on to Wisconsin where we would make a decision with respect to any current or future hurricanes. That left us two alternate routes to decide upon. Fortunately we did not have to change our route from Plan A and rebook all the accommodations as a result.”
MFM: What altitude did you fly at mostly and why?
MOREY: “The legs were short enough so we did not take the time to climb to a high altitude and wear oxygen. Had we been flying say from Oregon to Wisconsin, we would have been flying in the flight levels. Most of our legs we flew at 11,000 or 12,000. On one leg we took her up to FL180 to get above icing. Icing was only an issue on one leg of the tour.”
MFM: Did you encounter any weather along the route?
MOREY: “On the second day we landed at Ketchikan, Alaska in a 200 ft ceiling due to fog. The leg from Santa Fe to Phoenix was at the south end of a monsoonal moisture system, streaming north into Utah and Colorado. We caught the end of that and bumped along in the cumulus. Going higher would have meant much stronger headwinds. Speaking of headwinds, we had tailwinds and VFR weather on 50 of 57 legs!!! The only other weather issue was that we had to settle for an ILS instead of a visual approach going into Boise, Idaho, due to smoke from the western forest fires.”
MFM: How cooperative was ATC?
MOREY: “Very cooperative! We filed IFR for every leg. I must say that Canadian controllers are friendlier than the U.S. (Unions???)”
MFM: How did the aircraft perform?
MOREY: “As we told the Cessna folks when we stopped at Wichita, the plane performs wonderfully.”
MFM: How many hours total time for the trip?
MOREY: “We forecast 77 and clocked in at 76 on the head.”
MFM: Did any governors greet you upon your arrivals and what comments did they make?
MOREY: “Negative… just a whole lot of General Aviation terminal people. Notice I dislike the term FBO?”
MFM: What kind of media coverage did you get?
MOREY: “Lots of network TV affiliates and local print, including AOPA.”
MFM: What was your statement or speech or main comments at each stop with the media or local officials?
MOREY: “GA aircraft bring business and tourism to the area and General Aviation airports – especially reliever airports – should be supported, not only for the fact that they relieve congestion at the main airport, but as I cited the case for C29, Morey Field, they attract businesses to locate in the community.”
MFM: Did the tour live up to your expectations?
MOREY: “Went far beyond…. we didn’t want it to end.”
MFM: What would you do differently?
MOREY: “Stay a day at each stop.”
To learn more about “Morey West Coast Adventures,” and “IFR West,” visit www.ifrwest.com/cat.