Friday, January 04, 2013

Pasadena and Back

As you know, I haven't been flying that much lately, for a variety of factors.  It really hit me when, on the day before Thanksgiving, we were on our way to San Diego, and got caught in nasty traffic on "the" 405 on the way down.  It was infuriating, but even more maddening to realize that this was exactly a time we should've been flying instead of driving.

So when we found ourselves with the opportunity to go to Pasadena to watch Stanford WIN the Rose Bowl, we jumped at it! And when the weather turned out to be sunny all the way, I rented the only thing I could get my hands on: an overly cushy (read: expensive) 172.

I'm now at the point where I would trade cushiness for flight performance any day.

The flight down was fine, but it took us a while to get up to 9,500.  The LA airspace was busy as expected, and I did a very good job of being on top of things.

The way back was worse; we took off after the parade, the game and a nice dinner on New Year's Day, about 9pm. Several mistakes: I didn't put my flight plan into my GPS before taking off (duh); I underestimated the terror of flying not that far over high mountains at night; I underestimated the difficulty of climbing to 10,500.  So...let's just say things weren't going smoothly.  But in the end, we ended up overflying I-5 on the way out (far more comfortable than the original plan), my awesome wife was on top of things with the charts enough that I sounded relatively competent with ATC, and we made it home safely.

Before midnight - in time to toast to 2013!

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