C.K's Flight Log 2011

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9 Sept - 12 Sept 2011 RHV BOI RHV time:6.1
To the airplane and add one more bag. Yes, there are 6 pieces of lugage in the airplane and just me, none of it mine.Take off and out, smooth up to 17k at Sacramento. Looking ahead there was a broken deck of clouds all along the route, and to the East thunderstorms were popping up. Ahead of me over Reno was a thin line of green on the NexRad XM radar picture, nothing to worry about. Bumpy, but I didn't even pass through the green, there was a gap in the clounds. About 20 minutes later I could see the deck rising, so I asked for and got FL190 which kept me out of all the clouds. The Treasure Valley was a surprise, though. Smoke from upstate fires had blanketed it, couldn't see a darned thing. ATC was giving everyone a chance to try and see the airfield by 7 miles out, then if they couldn't was giving them the localizer back course approach to the 28 runways. I respectfully suggested that since I was /G I would love to have the GPS RNAV Z or Y, and ATC said "Oh, yes, that's a good idea". LOC BC forsooth, I think I did one of those during training. In the end I could see the field and went in visual. Of course, it took an extra minute or two to see the field since I was looking in the wrong place, even though I've landed here more than 30 times from that same direction, idiot. ATC also kept me at 7,000 ft until I acquired the runway (TZE is 2,858), 6 miles out, bless those speedbrakes for an elevator ride down.

Monday morning planned to leave a little later to let Reid-Hillview clear up before I got there. Clouds all over Nevada, I had filed for 16k, amended that for the first part of the flight to 14k. After about an hour climbed up to 16k to stay above. Down nearing Reno the clouds rose up. I deviated right to avoid some green/yellow radar returns over Reno itself, and headed into the clouds. No bumps, just cottonwool. I was watching things closely, and after about 5 minutes what you don't want to see started happening. Ice started forming on the leading edges and windsheild. Not fast, slow rime ice. I immediately called ATC and asked for an immediate descent to 14k (I could see below me that it would be clear). Got it, and dropped down. ATC asked "3636H what's the problem? Did you lose pressurization?" Well, no, I don't have a pressurized aircraft. Gave him the details of the ice. Rest of the flight was normal, cancelled IFR over Sacramento, it was misty but clear for the rest of the flight.

12 Aug- 15 Aug 2011 RHV BOI RHV time:5.8
Out and up. Nothing particularly different on the flight to BOI. Monday's flight was pretty strightforward too, except for ATC issues. Something has changed around Reno. Area around the Reno airport used to be handled by Reno Approach. Now NorCal Approach handles itand something is wacy about the handoffs from Oakland Center. When I was switched over to NorCal the controller asked me what my destination was and what routing I was on. Huh? I've been on a plan for the last two hours.d I gave them my currently active clearance. She said "OK, I'll enter that". Huh again? I wasn't in the system? I was a minute ago! Even my AirNav track shows this, my initial flight on the 15th of Aug is unterminated, result unknown. Then a new flight shows up from KFMG to KRHV. Of course there is no KFMG, that's the Mustang VOR. They should coordinate handoffs a bit smoother.

29 July- 1 Aug 2011 RHV BOI RHV time:5.8
Out and up. keeping a close eye on thunderstorm activity to the East. Could hear lots of commercial traffic diverting around going into Salt Lake City, but my route was very clean.
Except for this little guy

He's sitting right over the Sod House VOR which is a bend point in Victor 113. Radar was painting the inside of it yellow with some flecks of red, didn't want to mess about. Asked for D> REO (Rome VOR), got it, and put me comfortably distant, distant enough to get that pic. Then near the Idaho border it was pretty cute, the Prog Charts were showing a cold front, and like good little weather elements there was a line of clouds just right where the blue spikey line on the progs said they should be. A couple of bumps going through, but nothing to speak of. Nice landing.

Monday was, finally, a reasonable headwind day. Made 155-165 knots across the ground the whole way, which I am not going to complain about.

22-25 July 2011 RHV BOI RHV time:6.2
For some unknown reason, traffic was taking off to the South today. Tower advised me that it would be a while for a release, so I said that I could tke a VFR departure and did so, picked up Approach on the climbout and activated my flight plan.

Then pretty much nothing along the route, very smooth, mellow flight So here's a picture of me flying. I wear a full O2 mask for any sustained operations above 10,000 ft. I find I stay better saturated, I feel better after flights, and I use less O2 when I usee the full mask.

Then another Headwind Monday. Slow slow slow. Then the re-route circus began;
Zulu time Clearance
14:30 D> SAC
15:45 D> FMG D> RHV
17:26 D> ECA
17:27 D> ECA 215 radial CEDES (yes, one minute later)
17:40 D> CEDES
Bah. Figure out a clearance to give me and stick with it guys. Got to CEDES and could see the airport was clear, canceled and landed.

8-11 July 2011 RHV BOI RHV time:6.5
Out to the airport in plenty of time. Got her started, taxied out. Picked up my clearance, was cleared to line up and wait on the runway. Then the tower asked me if I could please get off the runway again. We've got two trainees in the tower right now, it shows. Cleared back on the runway. And for the second time in two weeks my initial turn is changed. I'm always given "Left turn heading 290", last two weeks that's been amended at the last minute to "Left turn heading 270" Dunno why. Given some broad vectors to follow an Airbus, then out of the valley, up to 17k. Lots of thunderstorms to the East, but the nearest to me was 100 miles away.

Nearest I had to see was these little clouds in Northern Nevada at 16k or so, a long line of them. Little guys wanting to grow up to be Boomers.

But KBOI was going to be interesting, the TAF had been predicting stronger and stronger winds throughout the afternoon. When I hove into view the winds were at 18 knots at 340, so 60 degrees off the landing runway. No reported gusts, but you just don't know.
Tower cleared me to land, with the addition "full length landing authorized" which meant I had 10,000 ft of runway to get the airplane down on. On final I configured to everything normal except flaps. I went with 3/4 flaps instead of full flaps.

Crab on final was about 20 degrees right of centerline and she tracked well. I was on glide, but added a little power at 300 ft AGL to put me further down the runway for landing, I didn't want my gear snagged by the approach lights if I picked up a gust near the end of the runway. Eased on down at 80 knots.Over the runway, pulled power back, nosed up a little to see what the gusts were doing. Not much. Held it there, nose about 10 degrees off centerline, very slow sink rate. Left wheel touched, little rudder and the right came down nice and aligned with the centerline.
Had just passed delta (my normal exit point), so slow cruise to Echo and off

Monday looked great. And was great, except for a nasty headwind. Was doing 165 KTAS, ending up with a groundspeed of 125 knots at 16k. Dropped to 14k and gained 5 knots Slogged along at 139-143 for 3 hours until starting the descent into the Sacramento area Got my typical re-route to end at CEDES, would be nice if they just give me that initially instead of giving me MOD LICKE first, then changing it later. Stayed on the clearance until about a minute away from CEDES, since the TAF and METARs were reporting clouds at 3,000 ft. At CEDES I can see the area over RHV, and it was clear, so I canceled, bombed on down into the valley, and made a nice little landing at RHV. 3:33, one of the longer trips back from BOI.

1-5 July 2011 RHV BOI RHV time:5.8
Hit the airport at about 12:35, pulled the airplane out, taxied. Then sat at the end of the runway for 8 minutes to get cleared for IFR release, no idea why, it's not a busy time at SJC. Got a 270 turnout on takeoff instead of 290, for some reason, then Departure turned me right, then left. The left turn was heading me right at the hills and I was level at 4,000, and the hills are at 4,200, so I kinda prompted him for a turn. Turn, then over Livermore another turn to the East "for climb". Bah, you've always climbed me straight to SAC before, guys. Finally at 17,000 ft. Pilatus on the way to Tahoe was behind me, kept asking for 17k and ATC kept saying "no, the Mooney ahead of you is at 17k". You'll notice a little jog on my path around Tahoe. Controller turned me to the west to avoid going over Trukee which was heckfire busyand had glider activity. He promised me D> Boise after the vector so I was fine with it. On to BOI, landed just fine.

Back Tuesday morning. Very very strightforward flight, nothing but a headwind keping me at 150 knots.

27 June 2011 BOI RHV time:3.1
Out to the airport at about 7:20, picked up my O2 and paid for my gas. Clearance ready, immediate taxi, takeoff. Note that with the now-standard Boise 2 departure there is no altitude specified in my clearance, you fly as filed to 10,00 ft, then ATC will give you final OR if lost comm just go to your filed altitude. Got direct SAC within 7 minutes of takeoff, straight line for 2 hours. Cancelled about SAC , on in to RHV and an OK landing.

24-26 June 2011 RHV BOI ALW BOI Time: 5.3
Got to the airport at 6:20 to get an early start since I had hoped to get out last night, but desert thunderstorms closed the route. Preflight done by 6:35, heck with it, need to gain some time. Tower not open yet, took off VFR. Set course direct REO , direct Boise. Could have just gone direct Boise, but it's Friday and the MOAs south of Boise are probably hot. Difference in flight time? 2 minutes.
Called Approach over Livermore to pick up a code. First call no response, waited 2 minutes and called again, got into the system (as you can see on FlightAware). Climb up to 17,500 and set 31 in MP and 2500 rpm, 13.1 gph,
Very very quiet and smooth flight. Only three commercial liners on the freqs, and about 6 private airplanes. No bumps. 190 knots over the ground. Bombed my way down to Boise, nice landing. Parked and drove home for an hour or so to pack, asked for 10 gals of fuel for each side. Filed IFR to Walla Walla because of clouds over the Blue mountains. Back out, start, taxi and go. Calm 50 minute flight, then time to descend. Solid clouds starting at 8k, some good solid bumps going down. Broke out about 5500 ft. Very close to the airport with 4000 ft to shed to get to TPA. Speed brakes out, take the elevator down. Interestingly, the tower couldn't see me until I was halfway through base, kept asking for position reports until he finally saw me. Nice approach, but very strong crosswind on rollout, did a little skittering here and there on the runway until I got the flaps up. Taxi to parking with the fly-in crew. Then off to Wine Tasting!

Up Sunday and out to the airplane. Loaded 2.5 cases of wine and baggage. Had not taken on any fuel so no worries on weight. Winds this morning 8 knots right down the runway, so no crosswind hijinks to worry about. Had filed for 10 AM, but was all ready at 9:20 and the sky was severe clear between Walla Walla and Boise so took off VFR calling a West turnout. As I climbed out the Tower told me approach had my clearance if I wanted it I replied that I'd be staying VFR and that I meant a Left runout to the East, I'm such an idiot. Switched over to Approach and picked up flight following, not my clearance. Easy 50 minute flight back to Boise. Poor woman running the Salt Lake sector was being bombarded with VFR requests from some very bad radios, she had to start "unabling" them. Very nice landing at BOI, taxing to parking and unload. Had a nice chat with a NASA T-38 jock who was standing around the flightline.

17-20 June 2011 RHV BOI RHV Time: 5.6
Finally, deep into June the last icing AIRMET is goine and I can fly to Boise!
Tried for a take-off about 3 PM Friday afternoon. Reid-Hillview was busy, and NorCal departure was busy, so spent 20 minutes idling and burning fuel. Then takeoff, and as you can see if you zoom in to my flight track on FlightAware you'll see that as soon as I go tot he SJC VOR the controller, instead of turning me East, gave me a 180 turn back south for about 3 minutes, before turning me back on course. Ad, yeah, well, that was about the only interesting thing in the flight. By the time I cleared the Livermore Valley NorCal gave me Direct Rome VOR (REO), direct Boise airport So 2.3 hours with one slight bend in the road.

Was interesting to see this much snow still on the hills at Tahoe this late in the year. Landing at BOI was a breeze on 10L. The new tower makes the airport stand out very well from a distance, I was able to call "airport in sight " 25 miles out and get cleared for the visual, which gives plenty of time to set up for the landing you want to make instead of getting vectors which could make your plans haywire. A little long on the landing, but off at Echo and over to Western for parking.

Monday Morning was warm at 7:30 when I got out, lazy me. Clearance included the Boise 2 departure, which was a new one on me. Fortunately my 530 and ForeFlight on my iPad had it right handy. Pretty simple DP, just says "Sidestep off the runway, then go straight an climb until we tell you", never saw a DP so plain. All the MOAs were apparently cold this morning, as soon as I reached 16,000 ft. I was given Direct Sacramento, very unusual for a weekday. had a slight tailwind, unusual, so made 175-180 knots groundspeed. Very quiet on the freqs, just me and a few commercials, until I got past Reno and then the typical NorCal crowds showed up. Cancelled IFR abeam Stockton and off to RHV. Landing was not pretty.

14 June 2011 RHV SNS MRY Time: 2.1
IPC time. Up and did hood work. I'm really good under the hood, so that was pretty straighforward. Coastal fog meant that the approaches were going to be in actual, which is the best kind. First approach was the GPS 13 into Salinas . Ran the approach well, broke out at about 600 ft. and would have made the landing fine. Missed the approach and spun the hold at Marna. Requested the ILS into Monterrey next. Monterrey was socked in solid. First ILS was no good, by the time I was at 1,000 ft. I was too far left and too high and too fast. Missed the approach at 600 ft. and vectored out for another try. Second one was much better, needles within a dot. Hood up since we were in solid clouds from 3,000 ft. down, at DA of 480 couldn't see a thing, missed the approach and vectored for one more. 3rd was as good as the second, still no joy on seeing the ground at 480 ft. Got vectors back to RHV to run the reasonably new GPS Z 31, which has (at last!) at DA of 510 ft. Approach was good. Landing wasn't great, I bounced. Don started to say hold it down but I had already pushed in full power for a go-around, which is what I would have done had he not been with me. Circle and make an OK landing. One note: This trip all my charting was done on my iPad. Area charts and approach plates on the iPad, very very easy to do, easier than my Jepps.

7 May 2011 RHV Time 2.2
OK, so I had to open another App Store (Mac this time) so more time on the ground. Went up with Don to do general air work and landings. Good slow flight right at 60 knots, steep turns. 3 landings at Los Banos where the wind was almost a direct crosswind from the west. Great practice, my crosswind approaches were fine, just eased up on the first one when the wheels touched and started to skitter sideways. Full aeleron to fix, remember, the landings not done until you're stopped. Then went 10 miles north to Gustine, where surprisingly, the wind was a direct crosswind from the east. Complete 180 degree change in 10 miles, very strange. We overflew the airport twice to be sure. Nice landing. Then back to RHV.