Rafael D. Cortes, a frequent contributor to General Aviation News‘ Picture of the Day, hasn’t submitted a photo in a while. He has a good reason: He’s been busy moving to a new city with a new plane.
His last submission was a picture of his then new — at least to him — Rans S-10 in Puerto Rico.
“I had to move to San Antonio, Texas, to be closer to my daughter, before being able to get the airplane inspected and flying, so I decided to sell it and find a new machine that matched my new flying missions here in the states,” he explains. “Well, here it is!”
“I just bought this very nice Zenith Zodiac CH 601XL-B, and had quite a few ‘firsts’ in it already,” he reports. “I just flew my first flight in the States as PIC, first very long cross country (712 nautical miles), first time seeing Alabama, first time landing in Mississippi, first time seeing Louisiana, landed in east Texas, and finally made it to my first landing as PIC in my home airport, San Geronimo Airpark (8T8) in San Antonio, Texas.”
“It was an awesome experience and I really put in practice every single thing I have learned since my first flying lesson in 2014,” he says. “The planning was carefully done and revised prior to each leg. I practiced my communications skills in the car, by myself, every day prior to the trip, revised my personal minimums, checked and rechecked all the paper work. I also flew the entire trip in my mind a few times, looking at all the alternates on the way in case something unexpected happened, and planning for those situations as well. Luckily the weather cooperated for the most part, and I was able to fly exactly as planned, and arrived, as planned, in time for the EAA Chapter 35 lunch at my home airport.
“I would like to thank my entire family and some good friends who were tracking me in real time and cheering for me the entire trip,” he adds. “Their support was extremely helpful for this trip.”
“I hope you enjoy the pictures,” he concludes, noting there are many more on his Facebook page.
“Although most of the posts are in the Spanish, the pictures speak for themselves,” he adds.