Saturday, May 27, 2017

My neck of the woods...

Life's been a little hectic recently, but made time this weekend for a glider flight. I'm sure glider's come under the GAC remit... if not then by all means discount the flight time, but enjoy the screenies.
(NOTAM - a real thunderstorm chased away my gliding opportunity today at the club (Bowland Forest Gliding Club) where I'm a member I.R.L. The sim won't actually fry me with a real lightning strike, so carry on!!)

Our club does have a K21, although not in these colours.

Waiting at the end of RWY12. There's the hill in the background (Parlick)

Here's what the view for takeoff looks like. The field does slope downhill for a bit. The clubhouse and hangar are behind the trees to the left. Longride Fell is dead ahead.

The winch cable's live and we're waiting for the "all out" signal. A bit of a crosswind, but no real problem.

After a good launch (about 1200 feet) we head towards Parlick to hopefully find some ridge lift and some thermals - after all there's the odd thunderstorm about.

After a beat or two up and down the east bowl, we're heading back south west. A local beauty spot - Beacon Fell can be seen in the upper centre of the shot.

The view out of the left side of the canopy shows Longridge Fell stretching across the top of the shot.

At least there's no rain yet!

I can see my house from here! We fly over my home town, well village really: Chipping.

I mentioned Beacon Fell earlier - here's a closer look, just above the side of the cockpit. All pine trees and scrubland, but a nice place for a picnic all the same.

There's the west coast of England in the distance. (FSX NOTAM the dark blotches are the shadows created by Cumulus X, but they don't quite work properly in FSX:SE under DX10)

Back to Parlick to top up some height. The club field is just above the glider in this shot.

We needed the height to ensure we could fly out to the town of Longridge itself yet still not have to land out. Longridge is where I spent most of my life until my mid twenties. I can see my parent's house from here!

Well, we've not been hit by lightning nor rained out of the sky, so time to head back. Flying past the airfield with a fair bit of height to lose - no problem for me LOL!

A bit fast on approach, but that will soon bleed off.

No landing shots as I was concentrating..... :)
Waiting for a tractor to come and recover us.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Redding to San Francisco

From Redding we'll be flying down to San Francisco today.
 Another King Air is taking off just as we are about to turn left to get to the end of runway 16 at KRDD.
 And away we go.
 I filed for 10,000 feet but found the top of the clouds was still above us.  I asked for twelve and that was a lot smoother ride for my passengers.
 By the time we spotted the Pacific it was time to start down.
 A lot of low clouds (fog?) but you can just make out the runways of KSFO ahead.
 Under the clouds a nice view of the city.
We landed on runway 19L and taxied to the FBO.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sometimes You Just Can't Get There

OK guys, picture this: Over and off shore from Florida sits a huge high pressure system, and it's stalled there. Over and off shore from New England sits another high. And it's stalled there too. Now draw a line from central Louisiana and extend it out over the Atlantic in a slightly curving arc that lies right over the line between Eastern WV (Greenbrier Co. included) and Western Central VA. It's a stalled (as in blocked) low and it's pumping huge amounts of Gulf of Mexico moisture up and along that line. Thunderstorms lie in an almost unbroken stream along that stalled low. And do you know what happens when those T-storms get to the WV-VA mountains? They dump rain like mad in an effort to get over those mountains. They also make a lot of fog and very low hanging clouds.
Got it?

OK, good. We're off:

For the past week and a half we've had rain, fog, and low ceilings as the order of the day.
Yesterday, May 23rd I loaded up a charter to Hot Springs VA from Guntersville AL. Bass fishermen bound for Lake Moomaw VA. Having their boats trailered up while they relaxe at the Omni Hot Springs Resort.

Using real time wx from Active Sky Next I started my flight under widely scattered showers and some sun. Hot Springs Ingalls Field was currently reporting 500 ft ceiling and 10 mile vis underneath that, with my arrival time forecast being the same.

We're over Lake Guntersville here and on our way for the hour and 45 minute flight northeast.

An hour and a half later and no, this isn't KHSP. It's the final approach for runway 6 at KROA Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, Roanoke VA, about an hours drive to Hot Springs

By the time we were 100 miles out from HSP things had deteriorated badly there, weather wise.

What had been a reported 500 foot ceiling (I think I can get in there) and 10 mile vis was now a 200 ft ceiling and vis at less than 1/4 mile. No, that ain't gonna happen today. Not with this airplane and the IFR facilities at Hot Springs.

Nice displaced approach at Roanoke.

I informed my 6 pax of the landing change due to the weather and that Bunny (you remember Bunny) had laid on a Chevy Suburban (all amenities included) for the drive to Hot Springs.

While disappointed by the delay in getting into the Omni Resort, they seemed pleased with a lavish Suburban complete with complimentary bar.

No, I couldn't get there yesterday, or today either--the wx is no better. And it's supposed to be this way for the rest of the week!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Low to High

One of the fun training flights for us old timers (actually crew familiarization into/out of specific airports) was the flight from Palm Springs CA to Telluride CO. Sometimes we'd get a chuckle out of the trainee when we arrived at KTEX.

Altitude provided the fun.

You see, sometimes we'd forget to mention the sudden and extreme altitude change's effect on the human system to the newbie. Most of us spent a lot of off time hiking, skiing, running, whatever, at higher altitude. Most of the time above 6K feet in Colorado.

Getting ready to leave Palm Springs on one such familiarization flight.

Taxiing out for a take off on 13R for the hour and 3/4 flight. In case you have forgotten, Palm Springs is at sea level while Telluride lies at just over 9000 ft. Quite a change if you aren't prepared for it.

Final begins at 13000 ft itself. Still within pressurized cabin settings and we'll drop into Telluride quickly. The airport is a sort of aircraft carrier field. Bulldozed out both the side of a mountain and with an abrupt drop off at the approach end of runway 9, the normal approach direction.

Ahh, here we are.

This and the next two are scenes from a normal Telluride arrival and taxi in.

Anyway, we'd send the newbie crew member out to unload our luggage and any freight we might be bringing along. If the newbies weren't careful they'd run out all full of lemonade and vinegar and start grabbing and tossing bags and boxes to show the proper level of energy and spirt and in about 30 seconds we'd see him (or her) land flat on their duff. Yep, altitude effect at work.

It only ever happened once to any newbie. Still worth a chuckle though. Then we'd lend a hand and get things unloaded--all the while moving properly slowly.

Portland to Redding

A quick flight from Portland, OR down to Redding, CA.
 We're in a King Air 350i and there's not much ground to see this morning.
 You can see our way points on the MFD.
 Ahh, the clouds are moving out of our way.
 We're at FL210.
Time to make our approach.