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: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 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



2010/11/30 Flight Las Vegas back to Palo Alto
π 2010-11-30 00:00 in Flying
After 3 days in Vegas, it was time to go home. It was an uneventful flight with pretty nice views.

Takeoff from McCarran was pretty simple, go up, turn right and get out of their airspace :)
This allowed for some nice lower altitude pictures though :)



This airliner had to hold for me to take off. I got out as quickly as I could :)
This airliner had to hold for me to take off. I got out as quickly as I could :)














2010/11/30 Google Earth Render of Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon Flight
π 2010-11-30 00:00 in Flying
I made a few shots of the GPS track with Google Earth. The Las Vegas ones are very nice, although it's interesting to see the absence of smoothing of the GPS data and resulting staircase effect (they should probably fix this).

overall view of full flight
overall view of full flight

overall view of Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
overall view of Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

Las Vegas McCarran takeoff (blue) and landing (red)
Las Vegas McCarran takeoff (blue) and landing (red)


Other shot from the strip showing the first overfly on the way to GCN in pink
Other shot from the strip showing the first overfly on the way to GCN in pink

interesting staircase effect (I wasn't flying that way :-D)
interesting staircase effect (I wasn't flying that way :-D)

Grand Canyon Airport and South Rim
Grand Canyon Airport and South Rim


A quick loop around Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk
A quick loop around Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk

Hoover Dam with newly constructed bridge
Hoover Dam with newly constructed bridge

Here is the gps track and Google Earth kml track.

2010/11/27 Flight from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
π 2010-11-27 00:00 in Flying
After getting up around 06:00, packing tent, hiking up 11 miles and 4500ft up back to the top of the Grand Canyon, and waiting for a stupid taxi for almost 1H, we left the airport just in time to get some nice before sunset views on our more direct and faster flight to Vegas, escaping the bad weather that was coming the next morning.

We got out just in time, and landed at McCarran with sunset. The approach in McCarran was a piece of cake except for the part where I couldn't see Vegas or the runway for the longest time because the sunset was blinding me. I was vectored to the Stratosphere above 3500ft, and then right turn straight in to 19R, and right turn right into Atlantic Aviation. It couldn't have gotten any easier.



The views on that flight were really nice with the sun setting, although it was a bit harder to take nice pictures without an SLR camera.














follow me van from Atlantic Aviation
follow me van from Atlantic Aviation

Landing on runway 19R with taxi to Atlantic Aviation
Landing on runway 19R with taxi to Atlantic Aviation

2010/11/25 Flight To Grand Canyon Through Las Vegas
π 2010-11-25 00:00 in Flying
Jennifer setup a backpacking trip for us over thanksgiving, and going there by "regular means" would have been a flight to Vegas or Pheonix, and a 5-6 hour drive after that (probably 10 hours door to door). A less than 4H direct flight to Grand Canyon airport sounded like a much better idea (not counting much more scenic when overflying Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon, so there we went.

You can see this page to read about the trip to Vegas and the backpacking to the bottom of Grand Canyon.

I was able to rent a very nice turbo SR22, which gave us more options to cross the Sierras at high altitude if need be, de-icing just in case, and a chute in case things really went wrong (not that I would plan for that, but it doesn't hurt to have).

Thankfully the weather was actually perfect that day, which was far from being a given over thanksgiving.



The Sierras were already quite nice and snowy:



almost crossed to hwy 395
almost crossed to hwy 395



Bishop Pass trail to John Muir Trail?
Bishop Pass trail to John Muir Trail?


The flight is in pink
The flight is in pink

Eventually we made it to Vegas:

Vegas Suburbs, including a new one being built
Vegas Suburbs, including a new one being built



McCarran Airport
McCarran Airport


Then, I went for the Hoover Dam:

the new bridge is completed
the new bridge is completed




Google Earth already added the new bypass bridge
Google Earth already added the new bypass bridge

And finally I had a GPS plotted route through the Grand Canyon (which is actually fairly tricky since it's filled with no fly zones if you're below 14,500ft).

The flight is in pink
The flight is in pink

Grand Canyon West with the Grand Canyon Skywalk
Grand Canyon West with the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Skywalk
Skywalk

Flight over The Skywalk
Flight over The Skywalk




I had a follow the magenta line GPS track plotted to get in the hard to follow corridors
I had a follow the magenta line GPS track plotted to get in the hard to follow corridors



I then crossed to the higher altitude North Rim which was snowed in
I then crossed to the higher altitude North Rim which was snowed in

North Rim road was snowed in
North Rim road was snowed in


Grand Canyon Airport
Grand Canyon Airport



It was a great flight, fantastic views and weather for November.

2010/11/15 FOG Tour of San Francisco Tower
π 2010-11-15 00:00 in Flying
Dan Dyer nicely organized a tour of the SFO tower for a small group of us (limited by space in the tower itself), and I was able to get a spot. It was kind of weird to drive to SFO, find myself among travellers, go through 'secret doors' and find myself within the FAA facility and then the SFO tower, which hardly anyone else gets to see otherwise.

Greg, who was our host, took some time to introduce us to the workflow at SFO, and answer some of our questions for almost an hour, and then took us to the tower itself.
If you've never seen the SFO runway configuration, below is what it looks like. There are 2 long runways (NW-SE) for heavy takeoffs and landings, and two shorter runways for takeoffs. In the ideal configuration, winds permitting, planes land from the water and take off towards the water for noise abatement.


On a normal day, it works with just 4 people, and one is a supervisor who looks over everyone else to make sure nothing gets missed. It's also a lot more quiet than one would imagine, no people running around and screaming :)

The view is pretty fantastic and the job can be very challenging in days of bad weather. The day we came was an easy day where they were running all 4 runways at once in their usual configuration: the long runways for landings and the occasional heavy takeoff, and the shorter runways for takeoffs towards the bay.

note a bad office view :)
note a bad office view :)

this is a clearance takeoff strip with assigned runway and initial altitude restriction
this is a clearance takeoff strip with assigned runway and initial altitude restriction



the weather computer runs linux
the weather computer runs linux

planes and arrival scope
planes and arrival scope

planes arriving almost side to side
planes arriving almost side to side

the taxi map tracking planes landing and ready for takeoff
the taxi map tracking planes landing and ready for takeoff

solar panels
solar panels

See more images for FOG Tour of San Francisco Tower

More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 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