In Depth Testimonial
This is why I fly on the PE network…
1) After a few vfr patterns and one overhead I decide to do an IFR flight, POC – SMO. I didn’t bother to read the TEC routes tonite (don’t know why!) and ended up filing something like POM V264 STABO V107 SMO. I did have the weather @ smo and it was IFR with a ceiling of OVC008, 3 mi in haze. No biggy…
2) I didn’t get the route I hoped. It was totally different that what I filed (sweet, I love challenges haha). New route: PDZ v186 DARTS direct SMO.
3) So I taxi out all excited about the random route, call tower. “Bracket tower, Cessna 8068c ready 26L.” Then he says he has a reroute for me and asks if I can accept the terrain ODP for 26L. Uhhhh… yikes. I advise I can but I need to look at the procedure for a few minutes. (I guess this is where my lack of real world instrument pilotage shows!)
4) It literally took me 5 minutes to remember where to find the damn terrain ODP pages off aeronav… ugh! Finally I call tower back (thankfully I was the only one at POC), and advise I’m ready to copy the reroute. The new “new” route is KPOC via ODP Ry 26L via PRADO V16 PDZ V186 DARTS direct lol. Ok, cool, so I think I have it figured out.
5) I’m airborne (whew I made it off the ground!), followed the ODP pretty well (yes I used A/P!!). Turning on V186 back to the NW I realize the darn airway bends just a bit…. UGH! So I find the correct radial off VNY after passing 12dme nw of PDZ. Mind you, I filed suffix /G but did not use the GPS at all (not yet)
6) Approach is quick to the draw and issues me the weather (usually I beat them to it rats!), I tell him I had it as well and he advises to expect VOR/DME-A into KMSO. No problem… VOR-A’s are easy peasy right? So I barely have the approach plate out and he clears me for the approach! Yikes!
7) I scrambled to get all the information into the radio and in my head, check the weather on skyvector one more time. 800ft overcast. OH man, the minimums are 1000ft!! (those are some high minimums lol). Then I’m scrambling (while flying the approach that I scrambled to sort out) to figure out the missed approach because I’m thinking that I won’t make it in.
8) Approach ships me to tower, I’m cleared to land Ry 21 SMO. Sweet, at least I’ve got the landing clearance (and I actually preplanned a teency weency bit and already had the freq in the comm swap window, whew!)
9) “Tower, cessna 68c, can’t quite see the field, I’m going missed.” LOL. Mind you, this whole flight was supposed to be no more than 20 minutes long per my original requested route….ha ha ha.
10)So I’m published missed at SMO…not too difficult, climb to 4300 straight out until intercepting the 250R outbound from SMO. Then I got all weirded out about the printing on the chart and quickly loaded the VOR/A approach at KMSO into my GPS, selected SUSP, activated the missed procedure. (At this point my brain was all screwed up, I couldn’t figure out how to get to SADDE for the hold), Not to mention approach is asking my intentions, “Uhhh, I’d like to hold at sadde, then I’ll check the area weather and find a suitable alternate, 68c.” Thank goodness for my trusty GNS430W. It helped square me away and increased my situational awareness about 200% hehe. I had no problems visualizing the hold entry (teardrop) once I approached sadde. Thank goodness for that ZLA pilot program and the vatsim forums yay!
11) I enter the hold, report established, and then finally I’ve check SV again and KVNY looks like the next best place to be. (MVFR conditions, with ILS16R – easy as pie). I tell approach where I’d like to go, read back the local IFR clearance and then I’m on my way!
The rest was normal, real basic, no issues, landed uneventfully at VNY, and now I’m at the ramp.
Time elapsed: 1hr + :)
I wish you and the PE team huge success for the grand opening – this tool is extremely useful and I’ll be chatting more with my pilot friends at work about it :)
Ryan Butterworth – Duluth Radar Controller