After a medical leave of their own, John Ruley and his wife Kate have resumed their volunteer work for medical missions in northern Mexico.
From my notebook:
Nov. 7, 2014, Hotel La Herradura, El Fuerte, Mexico – I can’t recall ever being so tired at 7:45 p.m. A couple of margaritas probably had something to do with it, as did nine hours flying yesterday and today…
We started out from Modesto, Calif. (KMOD) yesterday. It was a nice flight down with surprising weather: marginal to IFR in the valley (three miles at surface, a lot less at pattern; tops 1,500) and clear in the Los Angeles basin (at least, as clear as it gets). I didn’t see Hawthorne (KHHR) approach lights until we were five miles out.
We were met by a friend who took us out for dinner and we bedded down for the night at a house owned by the Mission Doctors Association (MDA), where we met our passenger for departure the following day.
Our departure was almost an hour late, compounded by the FBO failing to fuel the airplane overnight. We made up some of that lost time when ATC gave us shortcut vectors, and instead of setting our usual 21 inches of manifold pressure at 2,300 rpm, I looked at the performance charts and bumped up the power to 22 inches at 2,400 rpm for 75 percent power at 9,000 feet. That increased our fuel burn to over 14 gph, but we picked up about five knots ground speed.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Mexicali International Airport (MMML). This was my first arrival ever at a Mexican airport where we weren’t met by an armed soldier or Marine, which I found a bit disconcerting.
The folks at the local Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC) office at Mexicali did their best to be helpful but with customs and immigration stops, the process still took an hour—and the fuelers wouldn’t take a credit card, so I burned a bunch of cash.
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