2004 Wickenburg Pancake Fly-in
Ray Kouns, a Cozy builder from near Wickenburg, AZ invited me to a pancake fly-in and car show at the Wickenburg airport (E25) on Saturday October 30, 2004. I decided to go up thru the Phoenix Class B airspace to get some experience flying the transition route across the valley. I left Chandler at 8am for the 65nm flight and climbed to 3000ft until obtaining clearance to enter the Class B from Phoenix Approach. I was assigned 4500 ft and the West transition. For those unfamiliar with the Phoenix airspace, the VFR transition runs north and south over the top of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the 5th busiest in the US. Depending on the traffic conditions at Sky Harbor you either fly to the west of the runways or the east as you transition from north to south or vise versa.
It was a beautiful day in the Valley of the Sun, a cool 60 degrees that time of the morning and clear blue skies. As I passed over Sky Harbor was to my right and downtown Phoenix was to my left. I took a quick picture of the downtown area as you can see from the photo below. The Diamonbacks ballpark can be seen with its roof open below the sky scrapers of downtown. This picture is looking west-northwest.
After crossing the valley I was given vectors to Wickenburg and set up on a right downwind for runway 23. A "squadron" of 3 RV's made a low pass across the runway and then got in the pattern ahead of me. After landing they took their time to exit the runway (they had to do it together apparently), so I did a low pass myself as I did a go-around. Finally landing, I was instructed to park at the west end of the parking area. There were a number of planes that had flown in, a few Kitfoxes, the RVs, a Glastar and some warbirds. The Cozy got quite a bit of attention as it was the only canard there. I milled around a bit with Ray, got some pancakes and coffee and looked at the cars on display. In all I spent about 3 hours before heading for home. I made a low pass along the runway as I departed so Ray could get a picture and then flew home around the Class B to the south just for more scenery. Total flight time was 1.3 hours there and back cruising at 140KIAS. It was a fun day and I plan to do more this winter.