Marc's Public Blog - Flying


All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips

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

>>> Back to post index <<<

2006/09/27 Flight to Catalina (KAVX) and back
π 2006-09-27 23:06 by Merlin in Flying

I hadn't gone diving in a while, and Jennifer never got her diver's certification, so I thought it would be a good idea to realize another plan of mine, and fly from Palo Alto directly to Catalina Island (which beats flying commercial, going to the ferry terminal, and taking the ferry by several hours when you compare it to a 2-2.5H flight in a trinidad TB20)

This flight to Catalina was however a perfect justification for the IFR training that I had decided to get, but barely started: we ended up leaving about 2H late due to a persistent overcast in Palo Alto, but ultimately still got to Catalina faster than if we had flown commercial, and no worries about swiss army knifes, baggage at the carrousel, and a potential missed ferry connection :)
By 12:00, PAO had enough of a hole in the clouds that I was able to climb over the top on upwind to the crosswind turn, and was already over the top by the time I ended back on downwind and towards Moffett. The Garmin 496 ended up being quite useful the tops rose increasingly when going south, and I was able to get real time top information, and find a course change that allowed me to leave the bad tops that were over LA when I had climbed to 14,000 feet and the tops were still rising somewhat. I was also able to use my brand new emergency bottle of oxygen that fits in my flight bag.
While climbing higher, I often found myself where I could technically still see some distand ahead of me, and even see the ground somewhat (when looking under the plane, not ahead), but the horizon was gone, so it was a good excercise in soft IFR while still being in technically legal VFR conditions (I did however get out of itby climbing and finding the edge of the clouds on the Garmin, and headind away from there).
The arrival at Catalina was uneventful as it had been VFR all day, with unlimited ceilings, and I got there in time to see the DC-3 air taxi take off soon after I landed. Landing fees, overnight for 4 days, and a return shuttle for two was $75, which all in all was quite reasonable, especially with the brand new paved runway that had just been renovated.





the bad clouds were now on my left, looming over LA










The flight back was even more "interesting", as being October first, we were out of the June-September period of time where it is illegal for rain to occur, and sure enough, by the time we biked up to the airport, we were greeted by IFR conditions with fog to the ground.




This was not a great sign, and weather forecasts showed rain on the route and low ceilings in the Silicon Valley (less than 4000 feet), so we aborted the rest of the bike ride (which wasn't much fun in dense fog), and planned on leaving a bit earlier than planned (15:00 instead of 17:00), especially so as to ensure a landing during daylight (night + low clouds + mountains in VFR = no good).
On the way back the Garmin 496 with real time XM weather showed the heavier parts of rainstorm, which way it was heading, and showed terrain avoidance making navigation with restricted ceilings easier. The flight back was barely 2H with light rain, smooth air, and outside of a somewhat dicy pass by Salinas which had a TFR that blocked most of the useable route for VFR people who couldn't climb, nor hit the mountains on the east, I was able to fly at 7,500 feet the entire way back until Salinas where I had to duck under the cloud cover below 3000 feet, and was able to navigate safely between mountains back to San Jose and Palo Alto.
All in all, it wasn't a hard flight, but it could have been, and the Garmin 496 is what made me confident enough in knowing where I was heading, and that ahead was going to be ok (of course, that's what flightwatch is for, but they were quite busy).





with weather like this, it was nice to have cloud tops, areas with rain, and TFRs all on the same screen




The SNS TFR, I could have done without... but check out the ground speed :)



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

>>> Back to post index <<<