Trip report: 49 states in the books . . . +1 for me


Matthew Curcio
 

I think I’m friends with a good many of you on the book for those I’m not, after I got back from Alaska I decided to see how fast I could knock out the Lower 48 in the q. I had been to 47 and my airplane had been to around 20 with me behind the stick. I’m most lacking in the east coast so it seemed like it made sense just to fly to all of them. I made a pretty well optimized route and set of the Thursday after getting back from Alaska (4 days downtime) we hit 4 on Thursday and then left from Arizona and made it to Pensacola, checking off 10 more states on Friday. Saturday I made it up to Delaware and that was good for 10 more states. Sunday morning I blasted off for a quick stop in Jersey and then up the hudson route with some incredible views up the middle of NYC. I ran into some friends of friend in New York and then headed for new haven Connecticut and had the best pizza for lunch I’ve ever tasted. Made it up to Maine and then over to Ohio for 10 more states by Sunday night. I spent Monday - Friday in Ohio hanging out with family and friends for the fourth. I left Ohio Friday at 5:30pm and was able to make it to Minnesota for 5 more states before sun set. Left bright and early Saturday morning and made it though all the way to Washington and Oregon before sunset to check off state number 48 in 9 days (4 days of flying plus two less than half days). That made 49 states in 19 days for me and the airplane.

It was a lot of fun and I’m most proud of how the quickie performed. Very few airplanes would put up so little of a fight putting in 110 hours in under a month and I think the combination of a simple robust design as well as the thousands of hours we’ve spent flying and tweaking things in the last year and a half until everything feels just right really made this trip a lot of fun and far from a chore. I learned a lot and another thing I’m real proud of is that in 48 states I paid 0 for lodging, 0 for ground transportation, and a total of $5 for airport fees (thank you for literally nothing Signature in Asheville, NC lol).

I did find when I went to head back to SoCal from Oregon Sunday morning that the quickie had developed on unhealthy case of morning sickness. She cleared up when things warmed up and the valve guides loosened their hold a bit. It wasn’t the smartest of moves to fly home under those conditions but I’ve flown Oregon and the Central Valley enough to know you’re always in glide range of an airport. Soon as I got home I pulled the valve covers and springs and sure enough there was a healthy build up of carbon on all the exhaust valves. It took me all night Monday and a bit on Tuesday working the dental floss, pushing valves into the cylinder trick and cleaning the valves and guides. It was a fun chore as it definitely requires a bit of finesse but the valves and guides are squeaky clean now and all lapped up, valves and seats for the latter that is. I’m replacing these jugs come annual (going to higher compression and getting rid of the AD’d cylinders) so I just need these to get me to Oshkosh and back and another 50-100 hours or so in the month or two after.

I had some airline miles to burn so I decided this past weekend to airline it out to Hawaii so I could make it 50 states in 22 days. It wasn’t in the cards for the mighty quickie or course. I rented a DA40 and did some flying around the island which was an interesting experience. I’ll be ready for a break after Oshkosh! Hope to see you all there. If anybody wants to see pics from this trip feel free to friend request me on Facebook.

I will get around to putting these pics and the Alaska ones onto a good shared drive eventually.

Matthew Curcio
419-290-3773

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