Lesson 34 - Tuesday May 25th

Sightseeing with Relatives

A fun flight today,  as I got to take my sister Paula, and her husband Michael, on a sightseeing flight around LA, including a bunch of stuff new to me.  I also have photographic evidence.

The first new thing was the plane itself, 253FD, basically the same kind of plane as before, but much newer, only about five years old, full of bells and whistles. It's also got all the switches in all the wrong places, so I was forbidden to test anything electrical as I went out to do the preflight inspection.

Here I am holding a test tube of fuel, this surely must worry my relatives, who have no idea what I'm doing.

And why am I running my fingers up and down the propeller?  Surely not checking it for cracks!

I'd bought along a spare pair of headphone (just purchased a few hour earlier), for Paula, and Michael got this amusing set from Justice:

So, Tanya arrives, we all pile in, and after some confusion on how to turn on the fancy nav-com (turn knob), we are business as usual.  Paula and Michael sat in the back seat, Michael with his video camera, Paula looking slightly worried, but I can't pay much attention, as I've got to fly the plane.

Everything transpires as it usually does, after figuring out the new switches and stuff, and I request a right climbing 270 to the LA Special Flight Rules Area, which is given, and we taxi onto the runway.

Hurtling down the runway, Tanya had told me we should let it get a bit faster before we rotate, as the plane is naturally heavier (it has AC, not that we get to use it), and we have the two passengers in back, so I wait until we are about 75 kts, and rotate. 

Immediately the stall warning horn goes off, I relax back pressure reflexifly, and it goes away, so I continue to rotate, BEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPP, the horn goes, Tanya grabs the controls, "whoops, the plane IS heavy", we just lean off the angle a bit, and climb significantly slower (vertically).

That's the view of SMO as we are climbing while turing left.

Up and away, we fly in a nice big 270 until we are lined up to head over LAX at 3500 feet, and head on down.  I make the radio calls, and do reasonably well, although I keep drifting off the VOR radial we are supposed to track, but no worries, we drift slowly south, over LAX, then down to the Long beach area:

. There we circle for a while, as the controller is very busy, and Tanya suggests we take the LA River route, which is another way of transitioning the LAX airspace, this sounds like a good idea, so we eventually get a clearance, and set off.  Flying fairly low, we go up the river to the east of downtown and then swing around by dodger stadium to fly into SMO.

Dodger Stadium, surrounded by parking lots.

Downtown LA

Then we head straight back into SMO, it's a straight in landing, which I've never done before, but once you get to the twin high rise, it's essentially the same as when they extend your downwind out there, so no worries.  Tanya talks me through the landing, which comes off reasonably well, just a little bump as we tought down, but no major injuries.

Hurrah! All seems like a successful flight.  My happiness is slightly tempered when Paula tells me se threw up in a sick back as we were going up the LA river, but nobody noticed, so all is well.

Unfortunately this looks like my last flight with Tanya, as it's now a couple of weeks later, Tanya has gone from Justice, and I'm booked on Monday with Craig Lichtenstein.


(c) 2004 Mick West