C.K's Flight Log 2012

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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 2-10. Stop by and say "Hey"! Latest flights first : Note: All flights since May 2004 are in Mooney M20K 231 N3636H unless otherwise indicated. Flight track graphics from FlightAware And send comments,dang it, flight@ravenware.com

28 September 1 October 2012 RHV-BOI-RHV time5.7
Early Friday departure. Still busy going into the rush hour for San Jose, so had to wait about 12 minutes for IFR release. Almost got some IMC, ended up being about 15 seconds worth on my normal 290 heading climb. But since it was still near push time, so NorCal kept me over SJC in the climb, as you can see on the flightware track. One full circle, then off on course. About Sacramento got Direct Rome (REO), and there we are, a smooth, stright, lkine for 2 hours or so. Nothing much else, then down to BOI, nice landing.
Monday got the ship ready by 9, got clearance, then called for taxi instructions. BOI is down to one runway and has some taxiways closed, so the taxi instructions mught me a little more complicated, got 'em, read 'em back and got a "Excellent readback". OK. Gentle takeoff, got the turn to D>REO while still over the runway. Before I got to REO got D> SAC, so there's another 2 hour straight line. Around Reno two ineteresting things, (1) the controller actually asked me for a ride report there at 14k and (2) Truckee was reportings a barometric pressure of 30.43 and every pilot (including me) was asking for that pressure to be repeated. Per usual, got a vector to ECA and immediately cancelled IFR, on into RHV, OK landing.

21-25 September 2012 RHV-BOI-RHV time5.7
Off we go. Smooth out of RHV, nothing unusual util Reno. Approach confused me momentarily by telling me to take a vector and join an airway, I said "i'm on the airway", he said (again) the next airway, V-113, not V-6 that I was on, I had confused myself. He just wanted me to clip the corner a bit so he could release departures from Reno. Then the rest of the flight had constant light turb. When I was about 30 miles south of the Owyhee moutains I again hit some more serious stuff, tossed around pretty well a few times. Had a sector handoff and I reported in "3636H, level, 1 5 thousand, continuous light to moderate turbulence". Controller replied "Sorry, I don't have any reports at your altitude" Well, that's what I'm giving you Son, now you have one.
By the way, the whole way I was flying over a thick smoke deck at, say, 13,000 ft. Salt Lake Center gave me my "Pilots discrction 1 3 thousand" way early, and I stayed high above the smoke. BOI was reporting 3 miles in smoke, so I dialed the approach into the magic box


Handed off to Boise Approach, and he didn't mess about, immediately gave me D> BOYCA, the initial fix for the GPS approach, no messing about pretending I might see the airport. Beautiful lil Garmin 530Wand the autopilot took us there without a hitch, handling both lateral and horizontal guidance flawlessly. Well, I did interrupt autopilot control for about 15 seconds while it looked like we would be going below the 4,300 floor required at MIGEE, just being very precises. Very nice landing.
Back on Tuesday because I had a party to throw Monday. Everything looked fine down at RHV, but the clouds between BOI and the Rome VOR were interesting. Took off, turned south, and was cleared to 14k. I asked the controller if I could level off at 10k to stay out of the bases, he said fine but thought that later controllers might need me higher sometime after REO. I said "fine, the clouds will be clear after REO", bless XM weather and sattelite view in the cockpit. You may also notice that he cleared me D> SACramento at that time too, so nice shortcut. Got to REO and asked for 14k, climbed up. Motored along at a good clip for a flight in that direction, 175-185 knots GS.
About an hour in the cloud deck below me started rising, so I asked for and got 16k. That time of the year when I want to start avoiding clouds.
Once past the Sierras got my first re-route into the Bay Area. Everything was looking VFR, so I cancelled, dropped to 14.5k, aimed directly to SUNOL. Near Sacramento I started a nice easy 500 fpm descent, and timed it just right, was at 4.5k right by Livermore. Then on in to RHV, pretty good landing, just a tad high.

14-17 September 2012 RHV-BOI-RHV time 5.6
About a 8 minute wait at RHV for a 737 going into San Jose, then up and out.Smooth flying at 15k, until right above Reno when I took some sizable thuds and bumps. Only lasted about 3 minutes, no idea what caused it. Smooth again until about 40 miles south of the Owyhee mountains, then chop. Stayed at 16k for a while to stay out of worse, crossed the mountains and started down. BOI is down to one runway again as they prep 10R/28L for new tower and ILS, so a bit of vectoring and "maximum forward speed please" to get in ahead of the CRJ that was about 4 minutes behind me. Kept up to 185 knots until 5 miles on base, then speedbrakes out, then gear down, and made a nice pretty landing.
Planned to take off at 9 on Monday, filed for 8:30 to give me wiggle room. And needed it since I was paid and preflighted by 8:45. Engine was a little sluggish starting, no idea why. But then fired up cleanly, taxied out and off. Still smoky in ID and Nevada, cleared out about 12,000 ft. Regular flight down the airways, interestingly no wind to speak of, getting 170 knots groundspeed. Of course didn't want that this one time, since I was wanting the clouds to break up in the Bay Area. Little bit more activity down near Reno as air race participants and guests were buzzing around, somewhat busy. I was past Lake Tahoe and still on the NorCal sector over Reno, and I asked subtly "NorCal, 3636H, did I miss a handoff?"i.e., "I fly this route a lot, you should have handed me off by now" She came back and asked where I was going (well, the IFR strip kinda shows that), I replied, and she quickly handed me off.
SJC and RHV were still reporting 1,500 ft ceilings, so I stayed IFR instead of canxing as I usually do. And of course I filed for the SAC VOR, got the expected re-route to MOD. Then 35 seconds later "On second thought, turn to 190 direct ECA then direct RHV". Then D> CEDES, with a turn to "200 after CEDES, vectors for the approach". All set up for the 31R Z GPS. Got to CEDES and turned, and looked to my right and could see RHV cloud-free. Don't like to make the approach into RHV if I don't have to, since it ties up SJC, so cancelled and turned D> RHV, dropping 5,000 ft. in 3 minutes. Very nice, if a tad long, landing at RHV.

16 Aug 2012 BOI-RHV time 3.1
Back to San Jose. Very gentle flight, but in IMC mixed smoke and clouds for about 30 minutes over N. Nevada. Then broke out on top, but solid smoke layer below until past Reno.Cancelled IFR near Stockton, good landing at RHV. Big smoker about 80 miles NW of Reno.

14-15 Aug 2012 BOI-KSUN-BOI time 2.1

Tuesday morning off to Sun Valley for a board meeting of a charitable organization I'm a board member of. Still smokey, but KSUN was reporting 7 miles in smoke, just fine. Very quick flight over, too quick, got put in a hold off the Hailey radio beacon, first time I've ever been given a "real" arbitrary hold. Easy, one turn, then on in. Viz was better than expected, very gentle approach, and a great landing if I do say so.
Wednesday icky. Got to the airport, reporting 1 mile vis in Smoke. Fine for me to take off in, waited 8 minutes for a KingAir to come in. There's only one way in and out at Hailey/Sun Valley when it's IMC, so you're waiting. Got up, climbed to 14,000, still in IMC for Smoke. Many bus jets starting to stack up over the Hailey radio beacon, they were not legal to land in 1 mile vis and were trying to figure out where to go next.
Near Boise was fun. Airfield was reporting 7 miles in smoke, but no-one could find it. The end section of the flight is to the left, ATC giving me various vectors and turns when an airplane ahead of me was having difficulty seeing the field. As a buddy on one of my mailing lists said "Ah, the dreaded kidney bean approach!" Did the GPS approach in, saw the field about 3 miles out, very pretty landing.

10-12 Aug 2012 RHV-RNO-BOI time 3.2

Up to Tahoe for a Shakespear on the Lake weekend. Airplane fully loaded with 2 of us and baggage, 20 pounds under gross. Approach had me on a 240 heading (the opposite way for whence I wished to go)for a while in th climb,. lots of airliner traffic to clear. Then turn towards Reno. Winds had been reporting calm, but by the time we got to the Reno area not so much, Reno was reporting 14 gusting to 22. ATC held me high (13,000) way too long, descended at 1,500 feet per minute to try and get down. Very choppy, with some good gusts, and I couldn't bleed off enough altitude, did an overhead pass of the airport and got lined up again. Not a go. Gusty all the way down, and at about 20 ft. I revved up the engine to go around and do it again. Tower offered me the crossing runway, which had just opened, but I opted to stick with the sight picture I had just developed, plus the 10,000 ft runway. Landed, not my best, but all the parts stayed on. Taxiied to Million Air, those folks took very good care of us.
Out Sunday morning to go up to Boise. Out at 9 AM, nice coolish, still air. Smoke smoke smoke, here's a column of smoke going up past 17,000 ft. Vis at BOI was reporting 3 miles in smoke, and I was cleared for the GPS approach way south. Flew the approach, runway clearly in sight at about 2 miles out, OK landing.

3-6 Aug 2012 RHV-BOI-RHV time 6.2
Tower advised me that there would be a two minute wait for clearnace, then cleared me 5 seconds later. Stayed at 15,000 ft., winds weren't favorable higher up. Pretty smooth, except for some strong jolts for about 8 minutes above Truckee. Hazy from the fires, but not too bad. OK landing at BOI.
Back out Monday morning, nothing really to report, smooth steady flight .

20-24 July 2012 RHV-BOI-RHV time 5.9

Up and out Friday afternoon. No delay for IFR release, standard clearance, left turn 290 vectors SJC. Slightly different from there, getting to 1,200-1,800 ft I usually get a right turn to join V-334. Today at 1,200 ft I got a right turn to 240, then a D> SJC resume own nav. I liked it, just a little different. Next hour and a half was smooth, well, light bumps. About 45 minutes out of KBOI it got serious, lots of good, solid jolts. Took it off autopilot for the last 30 minutes because of altitude excursions and to smooth it out a bit. Was given the standard "pilots discretion to 1 3 thousand" quite a bit earlier than usual, and took it to get under the line of clouds ahead. Then I asked for a diversion to the right (as you can see on flightaware) to not be under the bigger of the buildups. Still bumpy. But below 4,000 ft. on final it was smooth. Floated quite a bit over the runway cuz I kept getting gusts, but set her down very smoothly and off at Echo, which is dandy. Parked. And the line guy asked me if I wanted to be fueled up Monday morning. I said "sure" he said "you get a dollar off per gallon if you fuel on the weekend during the Summer" Uh, really? OK, fuel me Sunday night!
No-go Monday, the Nevada desert is covered with T'Storms. Then up at 7 on Tuesday, and it looks similar. But not really, the trend was easing up. By 10 AM it looked very smooth except right south of BOI, so off and up by 11 AM MDT. Aas you can see by this FlightAware track, I asked for and got a rather wide deviation to get around the cell south of Boi, this is why I always take off with full tanks IFR. Climbed high, also, there were little buildups all the way to Lake Tahoe, climbing up to FL220 (22,000 ft.) got me above everything and in nice smooth air, bless my turbocharger.
Landing was not great, but the rest of the flight was….

3-5 July 2012 RHV=BOI-RHV time 5.6
Up for the 4th. Out to the airport, and oddly, on a bright sunny Summer day the winds were from the South, so take off 13L. Right turn to the SJC VOR instead of left, variery. Kept an eye on a C-130 flying over me, then off enroute. Had a very nice tailwind, hit speeds up to 220 knots across the ground in level cruise. BOI was reporting winds at 14 gusting to 22, which is within limits for me so just got ready for a little fun on landing. Approach kept me high (like 7,000 ft.) until I was lned up for FInal. Had a couple of strong jolts of turbulence passing through 7,000, but smoothed right out. Just had to drop 5,000 ft in a few miles, bless my speedbrakes. WInd was strong, but steady, slightly to the right of the runway, nice easy smooth landing.
Monday kinda raced to the end of the runway to beat the crowd (BOI was down to one runway), but a Southwest 737 got there first, I'm holding short waiting. 737 starts to roll and Tower says "3636H line up and wait, caution jet blast" I reply "tower, 3636H line up and wait in about 5 more seconds" tower replies "roger". 737 is about 500 ft above ground and I'm cleared for takeoff. I did, and since I get off the ground so much sooner than the 737 I didn't hit a ripple of wake. Smooth flight, typical 150-157 knots into the wind. Canceled IFR over Stockton, in to RHV and again we're operating to the South, weird. Nice smooth landing.

15-18 June 2012 RHV-BOI-RHV time 5.9
Straightforward flight up to Boise, made a very nice landing. Return flight had two interesting things (after making this trip 50+ times anything helps) . Over the Nevada desert had to relay a freq change for an airplane too low for ATC to contact, nice to be of service and nice to fly high all the time and not worry about losing touch or radar contact.
In the vicinity of the SAC VOR. 3 of us checked in, within a 3 mile radius of each other, headed for RHV, me, a Baron, and a Seneca, all VFR flight following 6.5k ft (I had canceled IFR south of Tahoe).
The race was on, the Seneca was slightly ahead of me on the right, the Baron was slightly behind me on the left. ATC let us all know we were headed to the same place and (unusual) read us the RHV ATIS.
And the race was on. After about 6 minutes I had passed the Seneca, but I could see the Baron at my 8 o clock. I was still in the lead at Livermore, but then he short cut across the hills to the south. I was tracking him visually and quite frankly I think he was way too danged low over the hills and valleys. I wasn't going to cut that corner, so he pulled ahead. Landing was Baron, Me, then Seneca, all touching down in a 4 minute block.
Unfortunately as I got within 20 miles or so of RHV I started getting a slight misting of oil on my windsheild. Landed and parked, and oil streaks on the prop and cowl indicating a prop seal was leaking. Airplane to shop for a reseal.

10 June 2012 BOI-RHV tim: 2.8
Left the airplane resting up at Boise last Monday since the forecasts for San Jose were looking iffy. And I was right, it was storming like heck at my scheduled arrival time.So a rare Sunday flight back because of a Monday morning event. Paid for fuel and O2, then preflighted, taking a good look at the fuel since there had been some strong rains over the week so want to look for water. Clean. Start, taxi, take off, up to 14,000. Nice surprise, had a slight tailwind so was 170-180 over the ground going this direction instead of 150. Smooth flight. A good amount of traffic on the freq, encouraging. Canceled IFR over Stockton, cruised to SUNOL. RHV was reporting 14 knot winds, so I expected some jolts through the Caleveras pass and got them, some interesting wing rockers.
Then land, very nice landing today

1 June 2012 RHV BOI time:2.7
Nothing to load into the airplane, so start up and taxi out. 8 minute wait for clearance because of traffic into SJC, but then up and out. At 15,000 ft by Sacramento. Looking to the right of course there is a bg old buildup past Lake Tahoe...

Which was returning red on my XM weather. Not a factor to me. Passed that, and heading towards the FMG VOR, got cleared D> REO. And the fun began. For no danged good reason had 1.5 hours of light to moderate turbulence. Only in actual IMC for about 20 minutes, but the ride was lumpy and bumpy all the way along, with some good wing-waggles to 30 degrees or so. No AIRMETS, no prog chart indications, no pireps, just a whole lot of bumbs and skimming through the clouds. Cloud deck was between 14.5 and 17k, so I was in and out frequenty. Turned off the autopilot and hand-flew most of the time, autopilot wants to fight the turbulence, hand-flying yu just kinda go with it and then get back on course and altitude. I was apparently the only one at turbocharged airplane altitutes, so I kept my pireps up. In fact, again, there just weren't many airplanes in the sky. Scary becuase I worry for General Aviation, but it does mean that the controllers are not too busy and much chattier.

About 5 miles past the Rome VOR the bumps smoothed out. Stayed at 15k over the Owahees, then bombed down into the Treasure Valley at 220 knots. Cleared for the visual 10 miles from the airport, make a nice approach and landing.

17 May 2012 RHV SNS MRY WVI time:2.3
Instrument proficiency check time. Up and out from RHV for the 13 GPS into Salinas. Instructor failed my pitch trim motor and autopilot (pulled the CBs) on climbout, so flight to and first approach was all manual. As you've read in these logs, I fly by electric trim most of the time, so it was good practice to be spinning the wheel today instead of using my thumb. First approach, with actual solid cloud deck from 2,200 to 900ft, was just about perfect. Missed the approach, did the hold, then second GPS into SNS, this tme on autopilot. Since this is an approach with vertical guidance, just kinda sat there and watched the airplanes keep the needles centered. Honestly, on this approach I flew it better than the AP. Then off to Monterrey to do some ILSs.Missed the first early because I was not tracking course well enough. Second one, on backup glideslope indicator and nav radio, was fine, looked up when we cleared the overcast at 800 ft. and I would have made it easily. Over to Watsonville for the localizer, that went fine too. Then back to RHV for the GPS 31z, which too was OK. We had already done unusual attitude and partial panel under the hood, so I'm all current again. A workout, but fun.

12-14 May 2012 RHV BOI RHV time:6.1
Getting the RHV-BOI express back in the sky. Off of RHV at about 1:30. BTW, had both mags and the battery changed at last annual and that makes a huge difference on start, she fires up in a second. Was going VFR today, so simple climb up to 15,500. Picked up flight following near Sacramento. Had been planning for VIP TFR over Reno with a round-about loop. But my 396 datalink was not showing the TFR, queried ATC and she said "nothing goin' on". Straigtened out the flight path and went on up. Very very dead airwaves, perhaps 3 other airplanes on freq. Gentle landing at BOI.
Took off later than normal on Monday, cloud cover had come out of nowhere to coat the Bay Area and wanted to give it some time to burn off. 9:40 into the air. Calm flight until about 15 miles above Reno, then the rest of the flight was pretty steady, light to moderate turbulence. Not bad, but steady. About 10 miles away from Stockton I descended from 10.5 down to under the cloud deck at 3,500 all the rest of the way. OK landing.

6 May 2012 RHV E16 time:1.9
More touchup flying with Don. Sky looked like we might get some good IFR training in, but by the time I got to the airport the sky was breaking up. Took off for San Martin (E16). South of RHV the clouds were solid below us, so we decided to try for a popup clearance to go into San Martin. Just as a reflection of how slow things are in aviation, we got the clearance (under SJC's approach path) in 45 seconds. Shot the GPS 22 Z into the airport, went pretty well. Then we did 6 more landings there, some brisk winds with gusts on final. By the end was very comfortable again and greasing them. Back to RHV since I had to go to work, nice landing (better have been).

4 April 2012 RHV CVH RHV time 1.5
Winter weather (ice) finally gone. Up with Don to brush up on skills and do my Wings flying for this period (replacing a biannual flight review). Going to be a good day, partily cloudy and windy. Took off, lots of bumps up to 3.500 ft, did standard airwork One slight variation today is Don had me do my stalls (power off and on) under the hood, which was interesting. Though as I've said before, my particular Mooney is so gentle in stall it's just not an issue. Then over to Hollister for landings. Did 3 on the prevaling wind runway, first one not so good but then back into the swing of it, even with the gusts pushing me around. Took off and lined up for the crossing runway so we could have a nice, 15 knot direct crosswind to play with. Of course, first we had to keep an eye on a Piper appaerntly coming in who didn't bother to announce his position or intentions. Anyway. first crosswind landing I went around about 20 ft off the ground, just wasn't going to work. Second one was much better, took back off (combining a xwind landing with an xwind takeoff) and back to Reid-hillview. Very satisfactory landing there, back to the hangar. Came home and finished up one more on-line safety course, clicked a few buttons, Don clicked a few buttons, and I'm good for another 2 years.