KBNG-Banning/Morongo/Cabazon




I didn't fly out to this one, but always wanted to.   I was always concerned about the "last mile" transportation.  No problem nowadays with Uber and Lyft!    We drove out to stay at Morongo, and I made a point to visit the airport for some pics and spoke with the airport manager while in town.    This is a perfect fly in destination, they have overnight tie downs where the Bonanza is parked the pics.  You can grab a rideshare from the airport office and stay at the giant Morongo hotel only 5 minutes away.  Morongo has a Casino, Lazy River, pools, waterslide, 2 jacuzzi's and 3 restaurants.   There is a bowling alley, Cabazon outlet and the huge Desert Hills malls on either side of the hotel, all are walking distance away.   We also visited the Thursday night street fair called Village Fest in Palm Springs.  We had a wonderful dinner and desert there, and it's only a 20 minute drive from Morongo. 

   Be sure and fly here in the MORNING,  Banning airport is in a huge mountain pass with the 10,834' Mt. San Jacinto on one side and the 11,499' Mt. San Gorgornio on the other side.   It's a big FUNNEL, so be concerned with the high winds and turbulence.  It won't be "fun" for your passengers flying in the middle of the afternoon here.   Note SOCAL TRACON has no radio, or radar coverage inside the pass, so expect them to drop flight following if you transit thru the pass.   Enjoy!


Snow Covered San Jacinto in the backround of the Banning Airport Office.



Banning/KBNG airport office.





Morongo Hotel in the backround of Banning airport.

Desert Hills, and Cabazon outlet malls.





Our little one loved the slide, lazy river, and pools at Morongo.





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Grand Canyon Trip, overnight stop at Havasu KHII

Williams to Havasu

After a windy and bumpy morning departure from Williams, it turned out to be a smooth ride to Havasu.  We had flight following with Albuquerque Center on 127.675 pretty much the whole way...over some very barren landscape, with no highways in sight.  It was about an hour flight, so it was wayyy faster, and more direct than driving. We got fuel and a tie-down at Desert Skies FBO, their service is awesome and are very GA friendly.  London Bridge resort is right next to the London Bridge, they have a pool, with a water slide, free breakfast, and were kind enough to pick us up from the FBO, and take us back to the airport the next morning.


The London Bridge at Havasu





The Desert Skies FBO was awesome, even popcorn and slushy machines!



London Bridge Resort

Topock Gorge, departing Havasu airport




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Flying over the Grand Canyon




Laughlin to Grand Canyon

I loaded the Zuni and Dragon corridor entry and exit points in our brand new Avidine GPS.  The flight from KIFP to the Grand Canyon was about an hour, and smooth as glass the whole way.  I'm thinking "this is going to be great tour"  Surprise, NOT the case at all once OVER the canyon.  LA Center stayed with us on the entire trip with flight following on 124.85, even into the corridor. Once we turned and entered the Zuni corridor we got rocked all over the place at 11,500 feet,  I couldn't hold a heading or altitude in the corridor, so I bailed out, and headed back to the plateau.    I headed to Valle (40G) airport for a landing as soon as possible to give the family a break from the roller coaster.  (I had also read there is a museum, Flintstones village and hotel there)  Going in this direction we now had some serious headwinds and turbulence. The windsock was all over the place at Valle, and on final I saw the winds reversed, and I had to switch runways.   I could feel the reduced performance of the airplane in the high density altitude when doing a go-around.  The runway at Valle has lousy pavement, (similar to Catalina airport) and I got it down the centerline fighting some heavy crosswinds.



KGCN, Grand Canyon National Park airport


Zuni Point Corridor




KCMR, HA Clark Memorial Field, Williams, AZ, 
our diversion and overnight stop

After landing at Valle to take a break from the bumps,  we departed again and headed south to Sedona for our planned overnight.    After more rocking and rolling once in the air, I decided it would only get worse the further we went, and diverted to Williams.  I knew there were lots of hotels there and it turned out it was a nice place to do an overnight.   It was our lucky day, we caught the only Uber in Williams, to get us to the hotel.   The driver also turned out to be the same lady who took our reservation over the phone at the newly remodeled La Quinta Inn.   We got a ride back to the airport the next morning with a (hotel recommend) taxi called Two Thumbs Up, again...the only taxi in town.  Williams Clark airport has a friendly A&P IA on site called, Performance Air Group, self serve gas (I picked up a few gallons) and a nice new terminal building.   I found out later that the Grand Canyon tour ops were cancelled on this day due to all the winds.  Thanks to Robert for all his training with me, as I used every bit of airmanship learned on this trip.













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