Buying a new aircraft usually involves a trip of some length to pick up said aircraft. I recently had the pleasure of helping ferry a DA42-VI from the Diamond Factory in London, Ontario to Fresno, California with the new owners. Crossing the continental US in a light aircraft seems to involve equal parts careful planning and good luck with weather. On this trip we were fortunate to have mostly good weather. That left picking stops along the way the would break the journey into manageable chunks. It's important to pick stops that have good deals on fuel, but long trips are made easier for the pilots when there is good food and pleasant facilities for rest and relaxation. Using ForeFlight to plot a direct course is a good way to start. Then, break the trip into reasonable chunks (probably 3 hours or less) and examine the course for airports that offer the amenities you need.
|Into the Cold and Rain|
|Making our way on Taxiway Foxtrot|
After a tasty lunch provided by the kind folks at Diamond, we began preparations for departure. With the eAPIS data filed, I called the CBP office in Port Huron to confirm our arrival details. FltPlan.com came in handy for filing the ICAO flight plan and getting a weather briefing (sorry ForeFlight, couldn't justify the Canadian subscription cost for a single, short trip). Soon we had our IFR clearance and launched into light rain and snow showers, providing a excellent opportunity to demonstrate the DA42's TKS ice protection system to the new owners.
|Rain, Snow, and 30+ knot headwinds|
|Waiting on the Compass Rose|
|Somewhere over Indiana|
|Good Morning, Council Bluffs!|
|Near Leadville, CO|
|Descending into Richfield, UT|
|Time for fuel and a Bio-Break|
Departing Richfield after refueling, we made our way across Utah and Nevada, then descended into Fresno just as the sun was setting.
|Crossing the Sierra Madre|
|Proud new owner|