Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Last landing in the US

It had to happen eventually.
The usual coastal cloud layer was building up over Montgomery airport, I was coming from the West just in between San Diego class Bravo airspace and Gillespie Delta airspace, at 2900ft, cleared to land about 8 miles from touchdown (welcome to the States!). No way to get the runway in sight, being over the remote layer (it was thin and stable at 1400 to 1600ft) with a strong sun in front of me, and the controler put me on runway 28 R as there was some other airplanes in the pattern doing touch-and-goes 28 L.
Coming back VFR with a poor visibility, when we're cleared for runway 28L, we usually follow the freeway till it leads us to the stadium, turning point to intercept the final path on a 280° heading.
Today, I was on 28R with a well-equiped plane, so I loaded up the GPS ILS approach as a back-up and help for situational awareness and put the ILS frequency 111.7 into the two VOR/ILS instruments (which had been checked and were both current). 30° interception on the LOC, and a bit later on the glide to start the descent at a constant rate. I was doing 100kt on long final, reduced to 85 as I got closer and finally 75kt with 10° flaps on short final. I touched down on the runway markers which are what we aim for, but it doesn't always work that well. Pretty happy with the result.

Some figures from those 2 months 1/2 in the States:
Just over 50 flight hours,
10 different planes flown on a total of around 5500nm (10200km ; 6300 miles).
Lowest outside in flight temperature: about 0°C, highest outside in flight temperature: 47°C,
Longuest flight in a day: 700nm (1300km),
14 States visited (California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, District of Columbia, New York State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware).

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Last flight in America

Last chance to fly this week, I had planned 5 flights and had to cancel all of them due to some clouds being too low over the San Diego coastline.
The chance turned up on sunday and I went for a flight with a French friend in the desert. 4 hours between San Diego, Agua Caliente, Borrego Sprins, Ocotillo and French Valley on a shiny C172-180. No better way to end 2 months 1/2 in such an awesome country!
With a temperature up to 47°C, it wasn't cold, so to speak.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Washington DC and New York

I'm back from a week in DC and NYC, and although this isn't aviation-related apart from the Air and Space Museum visit, I thought some pictures were worth be put on the blog.
I also received my US Pilot Certificate that will replace the temporary one.

Sunset from above the clouds ...

That was on the flight Atlanta - Milwaukee - San Diego, onboard an AirTran 737-700 at 38,000ft.
The video gets interesting after a 1:22 when I zoomed in towards the clouds.