Archive for February 2010

Annual Flight to KHUT

February 28, 2010

Took the Mirage last week in for it’s annual inspection at Kevin Mead’s place in KHUT.

I broke this year’s flight east into two days due to work schedules and weather.  There was a nasty storm over the Rockies last thursday, and another big storm scheduled to arrive on Friday in CA.  I figured I needed to get out of CA thurs but couldn’t do my normal straight shot to KS.  I elected to make one of my all time favorite legs for day one: PAO-ABQ (Palo Alto, CA to Albuquerque, NM) to fly south of the storm over the Northern and Central Rockies.  This is normally a 3-4 hour ride in the Mirage, but on Thursday, I was treated to over 65kt tailwinds at 230!  It was spectacular, and fast!

I departed around 1pm, which meant that I landed right around sunset.  This is one of my all time favorite routes due to the sheer beauty of the trip:  you head east over Yosemite, the Seirras, then dogleg south and fly right over the top of Vegas, on to cross Lake Powell and Meade, then the Grand Canyon, a beautiful stretch of Northern AZ, (which includes the beautiful and surreal Barringer Meteorite Crater), and into the snow covered southern Rockies of NM.  Albuquerque airport is always interesting due to the extensive military training that goes on there, and Thursday night was no exception, with the deafening roar of F-16 “Fighting Falcons” doing fly-bys and approaches in the sunset.  . . .Awesome.

As always the folks at Cutter are efficient and friendly, and after a good night sleep, day two took me from ABQ east into KHUT in a short hop of 2:50 at FL190.  The flight from ABQ was beautiful: over Santa Fe, on into western Oklahoma then into central Kansas from the south west.

After a quick turn, I was boarding Frontier for Denver then back to SFO.  I’ll do the flip-flop in 2-3 weeks (hopefully).

Some pics of the trip below.

Malibu to Ted Conference

February 18, 2010

Left a rainy and somewhat dreary Palo Alto yesterday am heading to the Ted conference in Long Beach.  Was on top in a few minutes and broke out at about 2,600′. The ride down was severe clear and visibility unrestricted . . .in the distance off the left wing I followed the Sierras down through Gorman.

FL190 was smooth, and Ground speeds in the Mirage hit 220, with the help of a little nudge from the north.

Controllers had me above most of the SoCal traffic, then brought me down for an easy left downwind entry to couple up with the ILS to 30.  On the downwind, flew right over my destination, the Long Beach Convention Center.

Here are some pics from the ride.