Archive for April, 2006

What goes up…

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

A beautiful radio exchange from AVWEB‘s Short Final.

A couple days of flying

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

I’ve been able to get up in the air twice this week, once purely for training and once for a little training and a little fun.

Training first: my primary CFI, Andy Hoover, took me up Thursday (30 Mar) and beat up my IFR skills. One of the sad facts of life of flying in SoCal is that we really don’t get a lot of hard IFR days to keep current and safe without going up and getting under the hood. Even though Andy’s spending most of his time flying for American Eagle, he’s good enough to come round every couple months and work me out as well. He really had a sadistic streak going this time; we did an ILS at the top of the green arc to a hold, then a partial panel ILS into Bob Hope – featuring some patented SoCal vectors in lieu of a hold, so it was basically a partial panel hold. We finished off with a different failed instrument instrument for the VOR-A into SMO. Nothing the way it usually works, and all of it went pretty well. After a couple years of this I seem to have a little of it down.

Today, I worked off my PDT disorientation by taking an early afternoon jaunt out to the inland empire. First stop was San Bernardino (SBD) to work some engine out landings. It’s an old military base with a 10000 ft runway, which makes it a great spot to practice things you need a big margin for. Unfortunately, SBD was pretty crowded. There were 3 or 4 of us in the pattern most of the time I was there, with a few more at the peaks. I hung around for a while shooting touch-and-goes and practicing uncontrolled field radio technique, and working landings in up and downdrafts. Good fun. Spotting someone out in their warbird doing a quick aileron roll for the fun of it en route only improved my mood.
After I got tired of that, I went next door to Flabob AIrport (RIR) for some lunch. Flabob is a great little GA airport. It’s a cool little field, but it’s really odd going from the 10000’x200′ runway at SBD to RIR’s 3200’x50′ strip. From wide, long strip illusions right to short, narrow strip ones. Whee!

There are many, many interesting little planes tied down at Flabob and an active pilot community that seems to have good relations with the surrounding community. It’s the site of EAA chapter 1 – where that very cool organization was founded. It’s always an interesting place to drop in to. I walked around, took some pictures and had a practically free chicken-fried steak sandwich. Hard to imagine better.

The trip back to SMO was uneventful – well as uneventful as getting into SMO ever is.