C.K's Flight Log 2006

Go to 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2005 2004 2003

Places I've been, how I got there, comments on airports and navaids. I fly out of Reid-Hillview airport and I'm parked at Hangar J-4. Stop by and say "Hey"! Latest flights first : Note: All flights since May 2004 are in Mooney M20K 231 N3636H unless otherwise indicated. Further note: if you see an na after an approach count, that stands for not actual's, meaning I shot the approach in VFR conditions without a hood. Flight track graphics from FlightAware

And send comments,dang it, flight@ravenware.com

19 Dec 2006 RHV Time:1.1 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Two weeks, too much ice on the weekends. Airplane started up fine, down and around. Practiced climbing and decending turns. Landing was a little long, but OK.

2 Dec 2006 RHV Time:1.1 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Ditto. Up and around to heat up all the bits and pieces. AIRMET for moderate turb below 6,000 ft., I barely felt anything, maybe some light. Good landing.

15 Nov 2006 RHV Time:1.1 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Ice on the weekends, and too busy during the past two weeks, gotta fly a little! Very nice morning, still air, clear, and in the 50s. I hadn't fueled since the last Boise trip, so had about 32 gallons of fuel on board, and the light loading plus the cool air and she just leaped off the runway. Climbing out I was seeing 1,500 fpm rate at 115 knots indicated, which is pretty danged snappy. Out and about, did some steep turns, then some slow flight. Back on in, nice landing.

28-30 Oct. 2006 RHV-BOI-RHVTime:5.9 Landings: 2 Approaches:0
Starting to get chilly on preflight! Easy takeoff, climbout. I had filed for 15,000, but winds were looking a tad higher at 17,000 so on up. Not bad, better than last week, 178-185 knots ground speed. Only interesting thing on the way up was when I was giving my typical mid-desert pirep, and two radio outlets were replying to me, stepping all over each other. I had to tell one of 'em to hush up so I could hear the other. Lots of traffic heading into Boise, all popping up within a few minutes from Caldwell, Nampa, and some little airport to the south. I was 13 miles away and still at 10,000 ft. and was gettin' no luv from Approach. I called twice in 3 minutes with "Approach, 3636H, airport in sight", meaning "Dude, can I decend at least a little now? Or send me somewhere!". He turned me after the second one, only 10 degrees, then finally got things sorted out and headed me west. He finally got everyone sequenced, I was vectored out to over the Nampa airport before I was turned in for landing. My partner finally made it to the airport in time to watch me land, which was good cuz it was a sweet landing.
Monday morning brrrr! 29 degrees F at the airport, scraping frost off the wings. Slightly slow starting, but she caught and off we went. And climbed out impressively, the cool air does get this airplane rocketing off the ground. And then the normal V113, V-6 CEDES routing, had a 5 knot headwind so no stellar time. Nice flight.

21 Oct. 2006 RHV-BOI-SCK-C28-RHV Time:6.6 Landings: 4 Approaches:0
Nothing much to report on the trip up. Except a wind on the nose that kept me at 159 knots ground speed, yuk.
Trip back started with the battery dead, I had bumped one of the luggage light switches unloading. Western got me going. The trip back was my "300+ miles with 3 stops" for my commercial rating, so I stopped at Stockton and Byron on the way back, then into RHV. Again, winds on the nose kept me slow. Ah well, if I were in a Cherokee I would have been going 95, so it ain't bad.
Kinda silly going into RHV, the ATIS was reporting mist and few clouds at 1,500, which is right above the MDA. I figured to play it safe, so wanted to shoot the approach in (I had canceled IFR on landing at Stockton (or so I thought, my FlightAware track shows that they kept me IFR)), so over Livermore I asked the controller for a popup IFR clearance and the GPS 31. He acknowledged the request, but that was it. Then when he handed me off he told me to ask the next controller. The next controller acknowledged, but said "Two aircraft jsut passed by one at 6 miles and one at 2, they coudl see the airport, why not wait a little?" Sheesh, I just want to shoot an approach, not re-route all aircraft on the west coast. As I crossed the hills I could make out the rectangle of RHV ahead in the mist, so told the controller and he dropped me like a hot rock. "Squawk VFR, contact tower, goodday!". Probably for the best, my flight had to be in day-vfr conditions to qualify for my commercial so if I had gone through a cloud (even a lil one) I would not ethically been able to claim it.

20 Oct. 2006 RHV-SCK Time:2.5 Landings: 1 Approaches:6
The careful reader of these chronicles would note that I fell out of 6 month IFR currency 20 days ago. That's no good. Went up today with my instructor to fix that. Out to Stockton, flew 4 ILS's and one GPS there. Don failed my AI and my Sandel on the 4th ILS, the transition to backup instruments, my new electric AI and my #2 CDI/nav that ILS was probably the best of the bunch. If you can spring the less than $2,000 for Sportys backup AI,I recommend it, it may save your life. Back to RHV, and did the GPS into there, so we're current. Good flyin'.

8 Oct. 2006 RHV Time:1.0 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
No Boise trip these 2 weeks, so up and south to get her a little air time. Nothing much to report, nice clear calm day. Nice landing. Swept the hangar.....

23-25 Sept. 2006 RHV BOI RHV Time:6.3 Landings: 2 Approaches:1na

Gosh, hard to find something to write about on the flight up! Wheels up, flight plan to FMG, asked for direct Boise, and that's pretty much it. Not a bump or ripple anywhere, though Salt Lake Center was telling everyone who checked in "continuous moderate chop all altitudes". Well, not at 15,000 where I was, and I let her know. I was at 15,000 instead of my usual 17,000 because the winds were a little backwards, on the nose on this flight instead of to the side or on the tail, and they were weaker down lower. Still made fine time. In the Boise area it was a little crowded, I was #4 of the GA aircraft and there were 3 737s on approach, but no issue except the controller scolded me to "keep your speed below 130 knots for the twin Cezzna ahead of you". Nice flight.

On final for 10R at Boise Air Terminal

Return flight on Monday was 'bout the same. Took off at 7:08 mdt, gentle, smooth ride all the way home. Actually had a slight tailwind instead of the usual headwind, so quick, too! Really quiet between the Rome VOR (REO) and Reno's Mustang (FMG), gave me a chance to fix my Garmin 395 and, uuuhhh, read the paper. After one 22 minute stretch of silence the Salt Lake Center controller called me for a radio check since he hadn't heard anything from anyone in a while. Once past Tahoe it was a little ugly, the fires down in L.A. and up in Napa had shoved a thick smoke layer between 6,000 ft. and 10,000 ft, glad I was IFR for the limited visibility. Landed at RHV in less than 3 hours for 450 miles, then spent the next hour fighting traffic to get 20 miles to work. Sheesh.

















22 Sept. 2006 RHV SJC Time:1.8 Landings: 17 Approaches:0
I haven't done dedicated landing practice with an experienced Mooney instructor, so did today, as you can see! 17 landings in an hour and a half or so is pretty much a lot.
Interesting weather day, bright and clear with no wind on the ground. Took off and got up to 1,500 ft for the 4 minute flight to San Jose and aimed mid-field (the crossing point to get to the GA runway, overcross the two commercial runways) and it was pretty danged obvious that the winds aloft were ripping. The nose was about 23 degrees to the left of where I was going. Dropping down to 1,000 pattern altitude the winds disappeared again. Interestingly, no turbulence in the boundry. Noting interesting in the first 14 landings, then on the 15th a flock of pidgeons crossed the threshold right when I was 10 feet over the ground and *wham* one of the little darlings impacted my landing gear. Smooth landing, nothing amiss. Finished up and back to RHV.
Got out of the airplane and ewwww a good size pidgeon is all mooshed up in my gear. 20 minutes later, with gloves, a stick, and a healthy amount of cleaner everything is back to normal.

10 Sept. 2006 RHV Time:.6 Landings: 3 Approaches:0
Work, a week's vacation in Cozumel, time to fly a little. Just some landings, they were OK (and progressively better), but not great. Moved to a new hangar at RHV too, 2-10 if you're looking!

21 Aug 2006 BOI RHV Time:3.6 Landings: 2 Approaches:1
Back from Boise. Out to the Boise airport at 6:30, was really suprised to see a good bit of weather to the north and east of the airfield. It's been very benign and clear for nearly a week, and nothing in the weather charts indicated this might be there. But nothing to worry about. Took off from 10R (the airliner runway) today because they were cleaning up some spare parts someone had dropped behind from 10L. Up to 16,000 ft, and continuous light chop from Boise for about 60 miles along the route. Then things smoothed out and the rest of the flight went fine. Headwind, though, at one point ATC asked what my airspeed was, I had hit a 25 knot on the nose stretch. Another aircraft confirmed the headwind. Again, smooth air, just strong. And this was right over the Tahoe bowl, where you might expect to get some mechanical turbulence. Nope, just slow.
Into RHV, ceilings were being reported as 1,200 ft. (our MDA is 1440) and weren't lying, so I diverted to my alternate, Stockton, landed and hung out for an hour, then back to RHV for a nice VFR landing.

17 Aug 2006 RHV BOI Time:2.9 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Boise for business. Out to the airport and ready at 7, engine turning. Arrrg. Winds are dead calm in the Silicon Valley, that means San Jose (and RHV by extension) are taking off to the south. So there I am in the middle of the "push" (SJC spewing aircraft one a minute and landing one a minute) with the runways facing the wrong way for me to get an IFR slot. 20 minutes on the ground waiting for clearance. There was no marine layer, so I really considered going VFR, but I don't like crossing that much barrenness and MOA without being in the system. And I like being really in the system, not just flight following where they can dump you out. So 25 minutes, and I'm off.
Standard 10,000 ft til SAC, then up to 17k. Suprisingly, the air was dead still the whole route. There was an AIRMET for occasional mod. turbulence from the surface to 18k, then a turb layer from 23k to 28k, so I was expecting to bounce around some. Nothing. Nada. I made 8 pireps to make sure everyone knew that they was noting doin' at 17k, c'mon in the water's fine. Straightforward flight, the MOAs were hot so I took the crooked route instead of direct, but still made good time in the winds. Decending from 17k into Boise I was hitting 208 knots ground speed, which is fun in still air. Floated over the runway for a bit, heck, it's 10,000 ft. long, down and parked at Western Aviation.

12-13 Aug 2006 RHV PRB RHVTime:1.9 Landings: 2 Approaches:0
Justin Winery annual event. Left Reid at about 11:30, straight out to the south, pretty much direct to Paso Robles VFR. 8,500 ft, not a bump or ripple the whole way, nice easy landing on 19. Park, go to pick up the rental car dammit I had reserved it at SLO, not PRB, what an idiot. Oh well, Enterprise scared up another one for us. Back Sunday noon, a teeny bit more bumpies on the foothills north of PRB. But also a nice tailwind, so I was seeing 170 knots groundspeed down at 6,500 ft, which was reallly nice. Back to RHV, and some bozo has a stuck mic while teaching, so on RHV's tower freq all we hear is a flight lesson "OK, you need to clear the engine. Slowly, don't slam the throttle. OK, start climbing again" Switched to RHV's secondary freq, that's up and running, seems the main freq has been blocked like that for more than 1/2 hour.5 knot variable wind, and when I was touching down it was a tailwind, so I landed a bit longer than I like. Not a problem on the air part, but as I've mentioned in the past my brakes ain't the greatest in the world, so it was tight at the end fo the runway. Into the hangar, nice flights.

30 July 2006 RHV Time:1.1 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Up and around. Taking off 13 instead of 31 today, no idea why, prolly just controller practice since there was no wind. Los Banos, Tracey, Livermore. Steep turns, some slow flight. Back over Caleveras so i could do a sraight in for 13, since I don't do that often, but no, just when I'm over the reserviour they're changing the traffic back to 31's. Very very nice landing.

16 July 2006 RHV Time: .5 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Get up and around. Very light on takeoff, only 120 pounds of fuel and just me, she started skittering on the runway at 50 knots, pulled her up and into a very nice climb even in the 94 degree air. Flew down to Watsonville, coupla steep turns, no actual fog ont he coast so couldn't do any approches. Back to RHV, kept the speed brakes out all the way to the ground since she was so light, very nice landing.

1-5 July 2006 RHV BOI RHV Time: 5.9 Landings: 2 Approaches:0

4th of July in Idaho. Knew that the sun would be beating down on the Northern Nevada desert, so got out to the airplane ready to launch at 7 am. Standard clearance , SJC SAC FMG, SDO REO. Typical summer solid marine layer at 1,200 ft(note). over the Silicon Valley. As usual, this was nothing much, just a 400 ft. layer of clouds with not a bump in them, broke out at 1,600 and off to SAC. Cleared to 17,000 and D>Boise about an hour into the flight. I had a nice tailwind, so my groundspeed was 180-195 knots the whole way, very nice.

North of Reno interesting things were happening to the east of my route. The Garmin 396 with XM Weather was painting some interesting radar returns, and simply looking out the darned window showed two very pretty thunderheads forming. And yes, I left my camera on my kitchen counter so I have no pictures. About 90 miles north of Reno I asked to divert to the left, and was approved, you can see the big jog in my path. Not really necessary, the storm was far to my right (over 30 miles on the 396) , but adding distance can't be bad. Not a ripple or bump on the route, all the activity was to the east. The frequency was alive with commercial and others diverting around two big cells that had showed up, and the poor woman working SLC Center, seemingly by herself, was very very busy. I even had to relay some comm for lower flying aircraft (Cezznas) for her. About 55 minutes from Boise I couldn't keep clear of clouds, but again the 396 nexRAD gave a good sense of the reasonable calm, and I had nary a bump as I went through the puffies. Outside air temp was 30 degrees f, bit I didn't even pick up a trace of frost going through the clouds, which surprised me. 45 minutes out I got the typical "descend pilots discretion 13,000" and this time I took it, a gentle decent would keep me below the clouds. 500 fpm decent into Boise. Air was very smooth, and I was running 200-210 knots ground speed into the Treasure Valley. 15 miles out I just had to bleed speed, speed brakes out, drop the gear, slow this efficient airplane down! Vectors to a left base to 28L, nice smooth landing. Except for staying clear of the lil TStorms to the east, an uneventful, nice, flight.

Wednesday in Boise was overcast up high, about 16,000 ft. Much stratus, but some bubbling and vertical activity also, which made me glad I had gotten up at 5 AM. Out, preflighted, and off the ground at 7:06 MDT. Standard RENOL, REO, SDO, FMG, SAC SUNOL. And, as you can see, the Military Operation Areas were hot, so I was kept on the Airway through Idaho and most of Nevada.

I had filed for 16,000 ft., but the DUATs report had pegged the bottoms of the clouds at 15,000 ft, and also the winds were steadily stronger right on my projected nose as altitude went up, so when the Boise Approach controller cleared me to 16,000, I asked for 14,000 and got it.

Worked out well, this did put me a good 500-1,000 ft. below the bottoms of almost all the clouds.

It was slightly more turbulent there, light and somewhat continuous, but not an issue. By the time I was 90 miles north of Mustang I was cleared direct Modesto, D> LICKE. Which was good, because the headwind was pushing me back to 150 knots ground speed. For you that might seem fast, Mr. or Ms. Supercub pilot, but it's yuucky in a Mooney 231. One more change of routing to CEDES D> RHV, and that was the flight. The Cezzna ahead of me at RHV stayed on the runway too long and I had to go around, so the trip took 4 minutes longer than I had hoped.

30 June 2006 SCK RHV Time: .5 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Back from annual. Straight line.

14 June 2006 RHV SCK Time: .6 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Take the airplane up to Stockton for annual. Took a route over the hills that I hadn't taken before for a little variety. Simple, short, flight.

4-5 June 2006 RHV STS RHV Time: 1.5 Landings: 2 Approaches:0
Time to get some more wine. Up to Sonoma, IFR on the way out because I kinda wanted to go over Oakland and on the shores of the SF Bay instead of up the "normal" for me Livermore-Concord route. Basically got that routing with SJC-SABLO-SGD. But the best laid plans, and the best supplied clearances, go awry, as here:

We took off and went initially over SJC, but then the controller had to turn us northeast for traffic, and as you can see we ended up over Livermore after all, then straight up to STS, with a right pattern onto 14 (as you can see, pretty neat, huh?). By the way, I'm not sure why the flight track looks all jaggy, we were straight and level at 5,000 on AP so it was straight as an arrow. Fine landing (LOTS of traffic), parked at Sonoma Jet Center, good kids there.
Flight back on Sunday. I filed IFR because there were some low scattered clouds that I wanted to be able to fly through, instead of dodging. Well again, best laid plans and all aren't necessarily the best. Got our clearance and we were sitting at the end of runway 14, and there was a parade of corporate jets waiting to take off. Ground said "3636H, you have a minimum 10 minute wait for release behind the jets, but I can get you out VFR at once". Well then. "Sonoma Ground, we can depart VFR". "3636H, can you get to 19 past the Citation?" "Affirmative" "3636H cleared for takeoff RWY 19". And off we go. Nice winds at 5,500, unusual, and we made it back to RHV in 41 minutes VFR. Nice landing.

13 May 2006 RHV Time: .9 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Around the flagpole to keep the engine happy. Smooth, pretty day. Only interesting thing was when flying east over the hills to Los Banos I had to dodge a Cezzna also at 5,500 headed west, straight at me. He didn't react, I don't think he saw me at all. Nice landing at RHV, just re enforced a great Mooney 231 lesson: Trim to land, trim to flare, and everything works out very very smoothly.

28-30 April 2006 RHV BOI RHV Time: 6.2 Landings: 2 Approaches:0
Boise and back. Flight track: Pictures from this trip

Taking off from RHV we went kinda west for a while as NorCal moved some corporate jets out ahead of us, then let us go on course. As you can see, we took the full V-6 V-113 routing for the first 2/3s of the trip the MOAs were hot so we had to color between the lines. Had a 4-8 knot headwind, so our speed was a conservative 165 knots across the ground. If you'll notice the little jog right below the Oregon border, that's when the controller finally gave use D-> Boise. Landing was on ry 28, at 8:30 local, which meant the sun was low ont he horizon right smack in my eyes. Could hardly see the runway, just glad the VASI lights were as bright as they were. And, of course, because I couldn't see worth a darn it was a picture-perfect full stall barely noticeable touchdown. Parked at Western Aircraft this time, fine place. Oh, by the way, here is my IFR Note Log for this flight.

Trip back on the 30th:
Off and up to RENOL, slightly bumpy low but smoothed out completely by 5,000 ft. As you can see by the track, the controller asked early if I could "accept direct FMG" and I replied that I would accept direct to anywhere along my route, so he cleared me direct SUNOL. And that's pretty much it. You might be able to notice a slight deviation in the track around Reno/Tahoe (where the track crosses the Nev/Cal. border), I asked for and got approval to deviate around some buildups, that looked like this;

Not too threatening, but why go through them if you don't need to? Full size pic here . Cancelled IFR right past Byron because the controllers were heckfire busy and wanted to ease their load a little, on into RHV. Slightly flat landing, but OK. Off and parked.

18 April 2006 RHV Time: 1.0 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Gotta heat up that oil! First good day in weeks, went up for a little fly-around. Engine started on the first pull, well, with a lot of priming like a 231 likes, but still the first pull. Wind was up a little bit, 280 at 15. Takeoff was fine, bumpy turnout and climb, but things were smooth above 4,000. Flew down to Frasier Lake at 5.5, then left to Los Banos. Over the hills, then did a couple of steep turns, very on-PTS, less than a 75 ft. deviation at only one point on the right one. Back to the valley and up. Nearing UTC I dodged (literally) a Cezzna doing what looked to be air work on the approach path into RHV, which I would consider dumb. Then on to land. Wind was still up, 280 at 16-80 knots, but that split the wind nicely between crosswind and headwind, not too much of either. Greased it on to the runway, tucked her away.

24-27 March 2006 RHV SDL RHV Time: 7.2 Landings: 2 Approaches:0
Scottsdale for Spring Training! Pretty uneventful trip. The trip down ( ROM AVE GMN PMD PSP BLH BXK PXR ) was uneventful, we passed through the cloud deck before reaching ROM, and all was smooth. Of course, the area around Palmdale I was at 17k (as usual) and I was apparently kinda in the way of traffic going into the LA basin. Got a few vectors back and forth to let fast-movers get by me. Don't really know how to avoid this, I might try the OAL-LAS-DRK route next time. But it can be bumpier over the mountains.

Normal routing down to Phoenix. Crossing Buckeye at 6k I got a sideways vector to let 3 Gulfstreams pass me by (Scottsdale services a lot of corporate jets). Fine, except it was a little bumpy at 6k. More of an irritant was that he lost me on RADAR, there's a ridge between the antenna and Me. Hate to be on a vector and not in radar contact at 6k, too many chances for VFR traffic to not expect me to be where I am. In the end worked out fine, the next vector was almost direct to Scottsdale. Not much wind at SDL, and I landed, um, abruptly. But as my partner said "Well, we didn't bounce at least!". She had been on a commercial airliner the day before where the flight crew apologized for the roughness of their landing, so this was at least better than that. Taxi to Corporate Jets, very good service as in the past.

Got up early Monday morning to beat weather into the SF Bay area, planned to be on the ground at least four hours before forecast ceilings would be coming down. Taking off we were held on a northward vector longer than I would have thought, then got kinda looped around back to Victor 16. The Luke AFB controller was talking to a fast-mover (probably a pilot in training at Luke) about us and about staying VFR. There was a hard cloud deck at 9k, so I think he was just easing us around some military training activity. Pretty uneventful flight back (same routing reversed), though I spent about 3/4 hour in IMC. Very thin IMC over Arizona, just like flying through a heavy fog. Great to have the Garmin 396 with weather onboard, kept me aware that the weather I was expecting at San Jose was actually moving slower than expected, so things looked dandy. Weather in the bay area was still ceiling unlimited and 6 miles vis when we got in, but the wind was up, 18 knots. 18 knots straight down runway 13, though, so a very easy, smooth, landing.

22 March 2006 RHV SCK RHV Time: 2.3 Landings: 1 Approaches:6
Gosh that was a month gone by! Today went up with my IFR instructor to shoot approaches with the new Sandel 3500. Wanted to have a good right-seater as I learned how this thing worked. Worked great! This is a really excellent piece of gear, you can read about my impressions of it here. Did the GPS into Stockton, then 3 ILS's. Little rusty, and trying different configs with the new gear, but the approaches were safe & legal. Back to RHV to shoot the GPS there. Uneventful. Now comfortable with the device, current, and ready to fly.

21 February 2006 RHV Time: .8 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
And the airplane is finally back. Went up this afternoon to get a feel for the new Sandel 3500. Nice unit, I'm a little concerned about it's course tracking. Heading was solid, but heading was slow. But anyway, engine started on the first pull (!). And the landing was, if I do say so myself, superb. If there would be a criticism I was a little left of centerline on touchdown. But a nice fam flight for the new gear.

15 January 2006 RHV 1O2 Time: .9 Landings: 1 Approaches:0
Our stock is at $85, time to put some money in the airplane. Up to Lakeport/Lampson Field to drop the airplane off at LASAR for installation of a Sandel 3500. VFR flight, nice, clear, smooth, and the rains have come so the hills are all green. Nothing much to report, though I did choose to have the speed brakes deployed on landing to insure that I stuck to the ground on this somewhat narrow runway.

8 January 2006 RHV Time: .5 Landings: 3 Approaches:0
Jeez, another long gap. Spent XMas up in Boise flying commerical (lots of turbulence and ice on the route, not something I thought would be wise to fly in). 3 very nice landings, airplane started fine, everything hunky-dory.