We departed Paso Robles westbound with a low level run to the CA coast then turned north to check out the Hearst Castle. It was a stunning view of the area and we stayed low along the coastline for another 40-50 miles to get out from under the restricted airspace. We then climbed slowly climbed at Big Sur over some of the most beautiful mountain terrain in California. Halfway to Redmond, we deviated slightly west to check out Mt. Shasta and Crater Lake. This was my first time in flying in this ancient volcanic region and the landscape was as beautiful as I imagined it would be.
Our approach into Redmond was simple and we were greeted by a welcome reception hosted by Brad Stankey (GM of Mountain High Oxygen Systems and Jon and Fred Hadlich of AI Systems. The hanger was provided by Redmond Airports Leading Edge FBO. We enjoyed catered sandwiches and drinks and spent some time getting to know each other. AI Systems also hosted the breakfast this morning before our departure for Spanish Fork, with yet another delicious catered breakfast burritos and coffee (thanks again!).
After the reception, Fred brought the new STRATOS 614 VLJ over to the Leading Edge hangar and gave us all a detailed walk around the aircraft, followed by an extraordinary 1-hour tour of the STRATOS test, development and build facilities.
Yesterday we started the day by headed over to the Epic Aircraft in nearby Bend to tour their operations. Simply put, we were all blown away by Epic’s manufacturing organization, process control and overall attention to detail. This is nothing short of an exceptionally modern composite aircraft manufacturing facility. The tooling was incredible! We were walked thru the entire assembly build process from the raw pre-preg carbon freezers to final assembly, test, and delivery. Our host Mike Schrader (Director of Sales, Epic Aircraft) was impressive in his knowledge of the entire manufacturing process.
Our Redmond stop was capped off by an equally incredible tour from RDD Enterprises (rddent.com) and their LX7 conversion process for the Lancair 4P. It is a highly impressive process and the aircraft conversion takes only six weeks from the beginning (decomposition of the 4P, to ready to fly)!. The RDD partners (truly rolled out the red carpet for us with a BBQ dinner and yet an extremely detailed tour of their LX-7 operation. I cannot thank the RDD team enough for their time, energy and hospitality.
The Great American Lancair Rally has already met its goal of bringing meaningful learning opportunities to the participants at every stop and we look forward to adding even more to the agenda for the coming years (recurrent training, etc). The friendship and camaraderie at all the stops so far have been wonderful!
I hope you can get the 2019 Great American Lancair Rally on your calendar for 2019. You will have the time of your life, as we are all having now!
Click here for photos from Redmond.