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First S Utah Trip - BH4A

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  • First S Utah Trip - BH4A

    Last weekend, I was able to make my first trip to southern Utah Canyonlands. It was an amazing and challenging experience. I was lucky enough to have a very experienced coach along to help me through the "sensory overload" and tricks of canyon flying. It is a huge adjustment for a born and raised Louisiana flatlander. Having someone with experience along made it possible to do in one weekend what would have taken me at least 3 years to figure out on my own, maybe never! Beyond a doubt, it was much safer than on my own.

    Apologize for big dummy with a smile in the pictures. The "coach" was the photographer and insisted that I document the accomplishment by being in the picture.

    These were the strips I actually landed at. We made passes at many more. Didn't land due to winds vs slope, bumps that made a stable approach beyond my skills, or just plain sceered! After the high, medium, and low passes at Wee Hope, it took three approaches to finally land due to my limited skills and ability to stabilize the approach in the changing and shifting mechanical lift/sink.

    For me (MHO), training for this type of flying is one thing. Going experience the demands and skills required is very eye opening. I have a lot of practice and skill development to work on and hone to build my proficiency.

    Keep taking a bite of the elephant every day!! It is more than worth it.

    Fry Canyon

    Fry Canyon RS 9-Apr-21.JPG

    Wee Hope Mine

    Wee Hope RS 9-Apr-21 (3).JPG

    Happy Canyon

    Happy Canyon RS 9-Apr-21.JPG

    Rustler Canyon

    Rustler Canyon RS 10-Apr-21.JPG

    Mineral Canyon

    Mineral Canyon RS 10-Apr-21.JPG

    Mexican Mountain

    Mexican Mountain RS 10-Apr-21.JPG

    Nokia Dome

    Nokia Dome RS 11-Apr-21 (2).JPG
    Thanks too much,
    John Bickham

    Los Lunas, NM Mid Valley Airpark E98
    BH Plans #1117
    Avipro wings/Scratch

  • #2
    Stunning shots there !
    Nev Bailey
    Christchurch, NZ


    • #3
      Good for you, John!

      That's something to be very proud of! And what remarkable scenery! So glad you enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing it someday as well.

      All my best,


      • #4
        The pictures don't do the scenery justice. Since this is a "waste the day, sitting at the computer" day!!! Slammed together a YouTube video. I'm not a videographer !!! No music, narration, etc. Just engine noises.

        Here are more pics and link to video of Nokia Dome. The video is in wide angle view and makes the approaches and takeoffs seem flat. They are not. I am a bit behind the power curve on landings to shorten the rollout. I avoid low, flat, power on approaches. If you do that on these cliff top strips, you can eat the "back of the boat" if mechanical sink gets you.

        This was an uphill landing with a tailwind. The passes are to gauge the wind, check runway condition, slope, rises, dips, and pick your "spot".
        If I grade this landing (on a curve), I would give myself barely a C-. If you watch the landing rollout, you will notice my DC (Directional Control) exceeded the required limit of 2 feet. Just one of the things in this video that I need to work on and improve.

        Hope you enjoy. Idid

        Nokia Dome BH 2.jpgNokia Dome BH 3.jpgNokia Dome BH 1.jpg
        Thanks too much,
        John Bickham

        Los Lunas, NM Mid Valley Airpark E98
        BH Plans #1117
        Avipro wings/Scratch


        • #5
          And that is what long wings and smooth tires are made for. Way to go
          Revo Sunglasses Ambassador


          • #6
            Congrats John, your Bearhawk looks great, and you took it to some really cools places. Keep having fun out there.


            • #7
              Very cool!


              • #8
                Rob Caldwell
                Davidson, North Carolina
                EAA Chapter 309
                BH Model B Quick Build Kit Serial # 11B-24B / 25B
                Build Log:
                YouTube Channel:


                • #9
                  Great pictures and video. Those are all within 2 hours of me (by Bearhawk). Definitely something to look forward to.


                  • #10
                    I just drove from Texas to Idaho, including a night just down the road from Los Lunas and the airpark. I think I was in Utah the same time. I did drive around the airpark to have a look.


                    • John Bickham
                      John Bickham commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Stop by if headed back this way. I'm off the 18/36 runway, midway. My hanger doors streetside and runway side are usually open, if I'm not flying.

                    • svyolo
                      svyolo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hopefully I will be headed back that way in 6 or 7 months with a flying plane.