Thursday, 17 June 2010

Flight to Las Vegas - Part 2: Monument Valley

The whole flight was : Las Vegas -> Page -> Monument Valley -> Page -> Kanab (night stay at Kanab due to an electric failure on the plane, which I'll give details in a future post). Kanab -> Las Vegas.
Not a great weather unfortunately, hence the cold-ish pictures, I really have to come back there and see Grand Canyon on my way to Page and Monument Valley under a shiny day.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Flight to Las Vegas - Part 1

I flew to North Las Vegas airport (KVGT) last wednesday as my parents were visiting the area.
I met them at the airport and we spent my birthday on the strip. What could be seen at first as expensive was actually really affordable.
The hotels are pretty cheap (they hope to take all your money when you go down to play in the Casinos), and ... I put $1 in a slot machine to give it a try and earned ... $40 !!
That's a good way to spend a night isn't it?
I was planning on flying with my parents to Grand Canyon, Page and Monument Valley on thursday but had to cancel due to a pretty bad weather in Northern Arizona and windy day in Las Vegas. That gave me plenty of time to spend in this incredible city with my parents.

For those interested, my flight plan from San Diego to North Las Vegas was:
KMYF (Montgomery Field) -> Julian VOR (JLI) via El Capitan Reservoir (no Class Bravo clearance, I picked up Flight Following a few miles before JLI on the usual 124.35) -> Thermal VOR (TRM) -> Twentynine Palms VOR (TNP) -> heading 028° direct Jotnu, a waypoint at an intersection between two VOR radials, to fly just in between the 2 MOA and East of the Restricted (R-2501) -> heading 005° direct Goffs VOR (GFS) -> Henderson, cleared through the Bravo airspace, and vectored overhead McCarran Airport, and vectored again for a right downwind entry at North Las Vegas, where I was passed onto North Las Vegas Tower -> landing runway 12R. My cruise altitude was 9500ft all the way to Las Vegas. 2h / 250nm flight.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sedona (KSEZ)

700nm (1200km) of flight in the day, this is my longest up to date, and what a flight!
It wasn't particularly hard to plan, I simply chose to fly through the 3 VORs along the route (JLI Julian direct PKE Parker direct DRK Drake) and then follow a radial to my destination: Sedona KSEZ. Despite the flight being above the desert most of the time, there were some really nice sceneries, especially over the Colorado River south of Lake Havasu.

I had flight following all the way from San Diego, and on the way back they gave me the ATIS at Montgomery, got me cleared through the class Bravo, and passed me onto Montgomery TWR.
I took the Cessna 172-180 N9488G, which, with only me in, had a lot more power than needed. Climbing at 1000ft/min all the way up to 10,500ft to then fly at 130kt TAS, that's pretty impressive for a Cessna. At some point on the outbound flight, I had 150kt ground speed thanks to a light westerly wind. I greatly recommand Sedona Airport restaurant, especially the local meal with cactus and avocado.
Don't forget to check out the video on a post below.

Big Bear City and La Jolla

I flew some friends to Big Bear City (East of Los Angeles, up in the mountains ), where the airport stands at some 6700ft above the mean sea level. When we landed, the density-altitude was 8600ft. I took a 180hp Cessna 172 to be more comfortable, even though the runway is large enough. We had lunch there, just before they closed, before heading back to Montgomery (San Diego).

After a short flight along the coastline on sunday, we went to La Jolla, one of San Diego beaches famous for its numerous earless seals sunbathing between the swimmers. It's quite worth the sight!

Videos of the flights to Sedona and to Thermal (Palm Springs)