Marc's Public Blog - Flying


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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

Table of Content for flying:

More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999



2010/03/20 Flight and Snowboarding weekend Mammoth
π 2010-03-20 00:00 in Flying, Snow
We had a nice early spring weekend coming up and while I was pissed off for not being at kirkwood enjoying the fresh powder last weekend, I made plans for flying to Mammoth this weekend.
I owed Arturo a flight there since he had never gone, so that was a good time to make good on my promise, and thankfully he was able to come that weekend, so it was a plan.




plane was quite loaded, getting the snowboards in was 'fun' :)
plane was quite loaded, getting the snowboards in was 'fun' :)

Mammoth 1
Mammoth 1

Mammoth 2
Mammoth 2

Mammoth 3
Mammoth 3

Mammoth 4
Mammoth 4

Mammoth 5
Mammoth 5



The conditions at Mammoth were typical spring: a mix of icy, corn, and slush. The second day was actually pretty icy due to some pretty strong winds which kept the temperatures low and prevented much the ice from melting.

Honestly, the conditions weren't great and Mammoth would totally rock on a powder day. It's however unlikely that I could fly there just around a storm without getting stuck there, but I plan to try one day :)

Anyway, Arturo had a great time discovering Mammoth with snow, and as a piece of advise don't play the "name this peak" game with him: you will lose flat out :)

We covered most of the mountain, except some really boring/icy parts (although we did do some other very icy parts too :) ).


All pictures are georeferrenced. You can just click on them to see their location on a map.


we saw the Mammoth skiing later :)
we saw the Mammoth skiing later :)












nice view, but a sucky icy ride down
nice view, but a sucky icy ride down

Cloud 9 Express was shut down but we got on top of it
Cloud 9 Express was shut down but we got on top of it

Here are the snow days stats for Day1 and Day2.

Here are a couple of runs off chair 23:




The flight back was interesting: we had 50mph winds on the peak of Mammoth and wind was due east, which meant potentially sizeable mountain waves over the Sierras and we were on the wrong side of them (mountain waves can smack your plane down much faster than you can fly out of them).
Mountain Waves, how to recognize and deal with them are subjects of entire books, but on that day they were hard to see due to low moisture (no clouds to give clues) and the wind was strong enough that they could potentially cause up and downdrafts of 1000fpm or more (note that in our case we were flying against the wind, which is much harder).

Anyway, I called the FSS folks (flight weather forecast), and watched a few planes crossing the Sierras without being smacked on the ground, so I felt confident enough to go up and try crossing back to go home (with a backup plan of coming back if things looked bad).
We first headed north towards Mono lake for a scenic flight and so that we could come back via Yosemite and lose the "name the peak" game with Arturo :)
I was able to pick up some nice updrafts from the mountain wave while flying up hwy 395 and with 15,000ft of altitude in the bank, it felt reasonable to start crossing. I basically was pitched up flying at 90kts and the downdraft was gentle enough that it allowed us to mostly maintain altitude (it would go up and down 500ft, which was reasonable).

The flight back made for some nice pictures:



the nice crater by mono lake, much nicer as seen from the sky
the nice crater by mono lake, much nicer as seen from the sky





lenticular/rotor cloud visible on the leeward side of Tahoe
lenticular/rotor cloud visible on the leeward side of Tahoe



not quite maintaining altitude with a good pitch up and 45kt headwind
not quite maintaining altitude with a good pitch up and 45kt headwind





Despite the strong headwind over the Sierras and the scenic detour, the flight was 1h45. It was quite nice to be on my couch, stuff unpacked, having dinner and looking at my pictures a mere 3 hours after we left the slopes.


More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999