When I returned to Michigan for the third time to provide Joe Blair with his cross country and additional training, we decided to fly across the state of Michigan from Saginaw to Traverse City. This trip was a total of 280 miles long and there is some pretty rough country in Michigan with swamps and forests that I was anxious to avoid. We flew along the major interstates as much as possible and when following the big roads was not the best choice we kept other open areas within auto rotation range. In the photo above we are in Joe's Rotorway 162F flying north out of Saginaw. The complete story can be read under Articles, Three at a time, it is the second story in that article.
When flying any aircraft but in helicopters especially, the pilot needs to be vigilant in watching out for towers and their guy wires. The day of our flight was cloudy but visibility was good. A shaft of sunlight broke through and illuminated a tower that we had seen on the sectional chart but had not yet spotted it. As you can see we had altered our course to the far right of the road that we had been following just to keep well clear of where the chart indicated the tower should be. Once the sun came out the very tall tower became visible as seen above.
We left Saginaw along the shores of Lake Huron and followed I-75 North to highway 72 East to Traverse City, along the shores of Lake Michigan. We made our en route fuel stop at a Houghton Lake airport seen above. Joe is in the red jacket going into the office to pay the fuel bill.
Where we had open fields below us we would fly a more direct route.
Above you can see Lake Michigan as we approach the shore line
At Traverse City where Joe's primary residence is located, we had a great baked salmon lunch prepared by Joe's wife and then we headed back home. In the photo above we are flying a different course home by following the Eastern shore of Lake Huron. It was an incredible flight and the little Rotorway 162F performed flawlessly. Of course by this time we had made many of the modifications that are mentioned in the Hints and Tips section of this web site.