PD-2 May 2013 Trip Report

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In late May, 2013, part of the Plane Driven team enjoyed a very fun trip from Ft. Myers, FL to Seattle, WA in the PD-2. The trip began with very little deviation for weather, and a direct routing to Rapid City, SD, with multiple fuel stops and one over night stop. Upon landing at KRAP, during a beautiful sunset, the weather check did not look promising for the rest of the trip. A week, or more, of adverse weather was about to plague the Mountain West. After spending the morning checking weather, the decision to transition to drive mode was an easy one. The FBO ramp was crowded with small planes waiting for better weather. Even the locals, who are used to a bit of wind were talking about how windy it was.

After an hour to transition, we hit the road with crosswinds gusting to 45 MPH and numerous rain showers. We had previously completed severe crosswind testing on the highway, and were pleased to see just how smoothly the PD-2 could drive through these adverse conditions. The thought occurred many times, just how great it was to be able to drive through all this bad weather. We certainly did not want to be flying through it.

Although there were some narrow bands of flyable weather, things did not really improve until over 1,000 miles on I-90. At Moses Lake, WA, with good weather ahead, we transitioned back to flight mode and flew over the Cascade range to the Seattle area.

Please excuse the crude nature of our video clips. We did not plan this trip as a documentary of the usefulness of flying a roadable aircraft. However, as we were driving over snowy mountain passes, we realized this story needed to be told.