Flight planning from Ohio to Oregon?

I am planning on buying an aircraft in Cleveland, Ohio next week and flying it back to Portland, Oregon.
Anyone have any suggestions for a good route to follow with airport suggestions?
Plane is a Cherokee 180, full IFR.

here is the quickest route.

I think he means IFR to be Instrument Flight Rules, not I Fly Roads :laughing:

treekiwi, sorry, I don’t have an answer myself but I am sure others will chime in shortly.

Got to admit MeekRN was quick with this one - I Fly Roads - loved it!

First off I would see what altitude you can get out of the 180 at the weight you plan on flying at and then what your climb rate is at different altitudes. Then go from there. Some of the Airports can have pretty high density altitudes going the northern route. I had to go the southern route when I delivered a Tampico to California.

I have never flown up there, but looking at the sectionals up there, that highway route through the rockies seems to be a do-able route.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: I’m still laughing…silly boy, tricks are for kids.

Allen will probably agree with me on a couple of these.

I don’t know how far you’re planning on flying each day on the trip out and back, so here are a few I’d suggest. I’ll assume you’re planning on stopping in Chicago. This is just me, but I’m not planning on spending a single cent in Chicago until Daley is out of office, and that’s just from Meigs alone. I would personally, if stopping in chicago, stop at GYY. Have I done that before? no. but like I said. It’s Chicago, and Daley.

Iowa City. Allen and I have it on good faith that the FBO there will treat you WELL, and you will not have better service anywhere than the Alexis Park Inn. The proprietors there are all pilots themselves (family owned and aviation themed). You won’t get better service anywhere in that area. make the stop at KIOW.

Towards home (read: Nebraska), I would say to save your money and head over to KMLE instead of KOMA, but I forgot that there isn’t an FBO at MLE, let alone pumps. OMA is obviously going to be pricey, so your choices in the area are to head down to LNK or across the river to CBF. CBF has cheaper fuel, but you’re 10 miles from the closest hotels.

EAR, HSI, and GRI all have great FBOs and easy accessibility, and are relatively close to eachother (no more than 30nm). So you can flip a coin there.

I’m not sure on anything else past there, as I haven’t been to anything that wasn’t the main commercial airport until you get to Oregon. the only airport I’ve been to there was KLMT, and you’ll probably be tracked well north of there.

If you stay north of Denver, you should be good. You’ll avoid some nasty headwinds coming from the southwest as you pass over the Rockies. By staying north of it, you should be okay, at least until you get to some of the higher elevations. I’d say once you get past Rock Springs, you should be good.


I have heard about this place being highly recommended and while I have not been there myself, I know of others that have and they gave rave reviews. I plan to make it myself being that it’s relatively close. Type in Google Alexis Park Inn and it will be the first link

BL, you probably have me mixed up with somebody else :wink: as I have not made any journeys that far west myself. I most certainly agree with your thoughts on CHI town, not one red cent from me either.

Best I can say is I have been west of the Mississippi, but I’d hardly call Monroe LA of any significant distance :smiley:

Alexis Park Inn! I’ve wanted to go to that place ever since I stumbled upon their website. That is probably where I burn the second most of my play time (followed by FA of course). They have an incredible collection of aviation video’s and I’ve spoken to the owner/webmaster a few times - he’s very knowledgeable and a super-nice guy. One day, one day…


just get to PDT and then V112 BTG. thats all I can help with. I can fly the RT in my sleep (oh wait I have)

Thanks for all your help!! I’ll do a little research into some of the airports/hotels and come up with a plan.

You can do it in one day

edit- never mind.

its 14 hours and 1778 miles. that’s DIR.

I’d say stop in Bozeman montana. It’s a nice place to chill, kinda has an Alaska feel to it.

Are you a history buff, or would you be interested in it? If so, here’s an idea.

Granted you’re flying IFR, but looking where you’re planning to go and the route you’re taking, do you know you’ll basically be flying the entire Oregon Trail? Granted, you’ll pick it up in Omaha (where the Mormon Trail started), but looking at the route, you could stop at Ft. Kearney (KEAR), continue on the V airway to KLBF (just past Chimney Rock), Ft. Laramie (KLAR), through to Ft. Bridger (KBFR). And all the way through to Boise, Snake River, the Dalles, all the way to Portland.

Looking at most of the airports on the way there that aren’t completely commercial (closest being breaking off the trail to SLC (Mormon Trail) and Boise), every airport has an FBO with decently priced fuel.

That might not be a bad idea for you. The only thing to take into consideration is if you’re taking any oxygen tanks with you. Cherokee 180 has a ceiling somewhere between 10000 - 15000ft, right? I know some of the MEAs on some of the airways (V4 and V6 in particular through Wyoming) are around the 10000 MSL range.

But wouldn’t be a bad idea to file IFR, overfly the Oregon Trail, avoid the commercial areas, and see the land how the settlers did.

Compare the map above to this, overlay a low Enroute chart, and off you go.


Thanks Tyketto, great ideas. Service ceiling should be at least 15,000 depending on density altitude. I’ve actually flown through to SLC before IFR in a 160hp Skyhawk and they cleared me to fly 12,000 on a route that is normally MEA of 16,000…all because I had VNAV GPS. It was great, plenty of terrain clearance and no VOR reception issues due to GPS. I may drop down into Boulder to visit my son, but won’t try and get over the Rockies in this rig…just not enough climb.