Things to See, Places to Go—By Airplane

By Scott Spangler on January 6th, 2014

Although we’ve never met face to face for more than a few moments at EAA AirVenture, Paul and Victoria Rosales and I have been friends for more than a decade. After building their Van’s Aircraft RV-6A, Paul made its first flight on July 4, 2000. Each year since, I’ve eagerly awaited their Christmas letter that summarizes the previous year’s aerial adventures. At the end of this year’s letter, Paul scrawled a note: “13 years now flying the RV-6A and almost 3,800 hours.”

The Rosales are not 1-percenters who spend their discretionary income going places. The last time we talked, Paul lived off his job at the Lockheed Skunk Works. Working second shift, he paid for his flying by substitute teaching. Victoria complemented both by developing a thriving Tupperware sales business. And they are never at a loss for things to see or places to go in their airplane, which is why I refer anyone who moans apathetically about $100 hamburgers to www.paulrosales.com.

The website collects Paul’s well-written travelogues in words and photos, and 2013 was a pretty typical year for them. In other words, they flew some place every month. Usually it’s within a state or two of their California home, and they usually take one big trip a year. In April 2013 they spent four weeks logging 70 hours and more than 10,000 miles flying around the Caribbean, where Paul pursues his other passion, scuba diving. Victoria relishes the warm and sunny weather.

Regardless of where they go, near or far, what binds them all is participatory aeronautical friendships. So if you’re looking at a New Year of boring meals at the same old airports, read on about some of the adventures the Rosales had last year. Maybe they will inspire you to fly out of your aerial rut.

On New Year’s Day they meet with flying friends at Lake Havasu for brunch. In February they flew to Long Beach to explore the Princess Diana exhibit on the Queen Mary. Then it was back home for their annual “Soup Night” in their hangar.

In March they flew to Vegas to see Bill Cosby, and “he STILL does a great show,” they report. They also participated in the 99s Poker Run; they got a lousy hand, but the BBQ lunch more than made up for it.

April was the four week Caribbean trip, and the full report is on the Rosales website. In May they attended a friend’s graduation from the Master’s College, and then it was off to Sacramento in June for the Golden West Fly-In. Besides going places, Paul flies formation in the RV, so he had company at the fly-in. He flew a lot of practice with 8- and 12-ship formations in July, was part of a missing man formation for Astronaut Gordon Fullerton in August, and in October he took off for Kansas City for the 49-ship formation that flew over the Chiefs vs. Raiders football game.

They start planning their next year’s aerial adventures before Christmas, and their motto is one every aviator who flies for fun should adopt: “Airports to land, people to visit, and restaurants to eat at.” Oh, and the Rosales do it all VFR. Now that’s a worthwhile New Year’s resolution. –Scott Spangler, Editor

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