AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 32

PILOT BRIEFING
MILESTONES

|

A great adventure
49 state capitals in two weeks
BY DAN PIMENTEL

THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF FLIGHT, pilots have always been
up for a good challenge-one that will test both their airmanship
and their airplane, and provide some excitement along the route
as well. Such was the case of the Capital Air Tour, an impressive
and complicated trip completed last September by pilots Field
Morey and Conrad Teitell.
The trip's 57 legs started with the requirement of a demanding "adventure flight" to take Morey's 2013 Cessna Corvalis TTx
to all the U.S. state capitals in the lower 48 and Alaska. While
flight planning for the Capital Air Tour, it struck the pilots that,
as staunch advocates for general aviation, they would be staying
overnight in 14 cities where they could create opportunities with
local media to talk up general aviation. Two clear objectives-the
benefits of smaller GA airports and the technology found in modern GA airplanes-were identified that would provide a focused
message when TV and newspaper reporters were listening.
Morey, 75, is a CFI and ATP based at Rogue Valley International
Airport in Medford, Oregon, and has been an FAA designated pilot
examiner for 38 years. He's received the FAA's Wright Brothers
Master Pilot Award and, in 2004, was inducted into the EAA
Aviation Hall of Fame. He'll tell you that with 35,000-plus hours,
he's been "off the Earth" a total of four years-many of them flying IFR adventure flights for his company, Morey's West Coast
Adventures.
It was on one of those flights that Morey met Teitell, 81, an
attorney and private pilot from Greenwich, Connecticut, who flies
out of New York's Westchester County Airport. After earning his
instrument rating on one of Morey's IFR adventure flights, Teitell
formed a strong bond with Morey, and the two started planning
something bigger.
"When Field told me that he was taking delivery of the Corvalis
TTx," Teitell said, "I immediately said we should fly it to all the
states in the lower 48 plus Alaska. Without a nanosecond's hesitation, he agreed, but said we should do it in 14 days. We would
have also included Hawaii, but we couldn't locate any FBOs in
the Pacific Ocean."
From the time they departed Medford, Morey and Teitell
were general aviation representatives, passing out printed materials from AOPA as they invited local media reporters into their
GA world. The result was a wave of coverage in daily papers and
on the evening news-all positive stories showing a side of GA the
public rarely sees.
"At every opportunity on the tour," Morey said, "I would tell of
my personal experience of turning a 160-acre cow pasture into the

32 | AOPA PILOT January 2015

DISTANCE: 12,560
nautical miles
SPEED: Averaged 167
knots
ALTITUDE: Most legs
flown at 12,000 to
13,000 feet
OPERATED at 65-percent power
RUNNING 50 degrees
lean of peak
BURNING 16.7 gallons
per hour
YIELDING exactly 10
miles per gallon

airport my family founded, Morey Field in Middleton, Wisconsin.
Every media report that I viewed or read included the fact that
our tour was promoting GA airports and talked about the financial contributions these airports make to their local economies."
"We had enthusiastic newspaper and TV coverage," Teitell
said, "and the excitement extended to the FBOs, airport managers-even air traffic controllers, who asked if we were the two guys
flying to 49 states in 14 days."
A hit at each media stop was Morey's Corvalis TTx, known as
the Green Hornet because of its lime-green factory paint scheme.
"When I would fire up the Garmin G2000's big screens on the glass
panel, the cameras would roll every time," he said.
The speed and altitude capability of the airplane were critical to the mission. "The TTx has an advertised top cruise speed of
235 knots at 25,000 feet," Morey said, "but we averaged 167 knots
for the 12,560 nautical miles of our tour, with most legs flown at
12,000 to 13,000 feet. We operated at 65-percent power running
50 degrees lean of peak, burning 16.7 gallons per hour, yielding
exactly 10 miles per gallon-with tailwinds and blue skies for the
majority of our trip."
Some elementary school teachers used the Capital Air Tour to
teach students about time, distances, geography, and the U.S. state
capitals. Teachers such as Elizabeth Bandow, a first grade teacher
in Boise, Idaho, used the Spot real-time tracking map online each
day to follow the trip. "We would look at the map at various times
during the day to see the Green Hornet's new location," Bandow
said. "The kids were locating the states on the map and reading



AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 2
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