Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rainbows and Unicorns


OK, we didn’t actually see any unicorns on our flight home today. But you wouldn’t believe all of the rainbows! We should have cold fronts move through more often! I think my total count of rainbows from our flight to Van Nuys and back home empty was five.

Five. Five rainbows. Ah ah ah (in a Sesame Street’s Count von Count voice, please).


The Pentastar Aviation lobby is nice. I’ve spent lots of time here waiting for passengers to arrive since this past February when I started my new job.

Can you believe that it’s already been that long?


Pentastar is a small FBO chain that originated in Detroit in the early 1900s. That explains why the lobby has a bunch of really cool and ancient photography on the walls from Ford Motor Company and some early airplanes associated with it.

I want this picture. I need to decorate with more airplanes in my house, that’s for dang sure.


It’s such a beautiful cockpit.


And these are my absolute favorite shoes right now. Have you ever heard of Bobs by Skechers? They give a pair of shoes to a kid in a third-world country every time that I buy a pair of shoes. That’s a wonderful idea and all, but I am in love with the shoes because they are awesome, too.

My best friend, Ann, calls these my mermaid shoes. She was with me when we went shoe shopping a few months ago. Because of their white soles, I was afraid to wear them for a month or so. As you can see, I certainly got over that fear of potential dirt damage!

I get so many compliments on them, and they are so comfortable! I love them.


This picture showcases the pages that we have up on the Multi-Function Display, or MFD, when we start the engines on Gladys. I am usually in back with the passengers, handing out drinks and giving passenger briefings as necessary, when engine start takes place.

Because we were empty on our way home today, I closed the door, checked for seven green tabs to ensure that it was properly locked, and then climbed up front. Watching the entire starting process is always a treat!


We landed on Runway 34L just a few hours earlier and had a long roll-out to end at the Pentastar ramp. Luckily for us, a short taxi resulted from them switching to Runway 16R just before we took off from Van Nuys.

This beautiful Gulfstream V was headed out just in front of us.


Van Nuys is a great airport to base news and hospital helicopters because they can easily escape the LAX airspace from this satellite airport.


Here is a little Phenom 100 on final approach, and a small prop airplane on its final approach for the parallel runway just a few hundred feet away. This airport is one popular place.


This Falcon was also ready to leave. The Gulfstream left first, then we were next in line, then the Falcon behind us.


It had only been a few hours since we flew through all of that yucky weather to get here this morning. It was still lingering around California for our takeoff and had even moved into Arizona, too. It was a weather-filled ride home today.

Goodbye, Van Nuys!


I love going through clouds in a jet. Sometimes, it’s hard to grasp how fast we are zooming along until we burst through a cloud. I love that feeling! And the beautiful blue skies above remind me that I left my sunglasses in my flight bag waaaaaaaaaay back in the cabin.

I wasn’t even thinking of sunglasses when we were under such murky skies just a few moments ago!


These clouds were left behind from the cold frontal pass. Little did I know that I was flying home to freeze all weekend.


So we stayed up high today instead of descending into Phoenix on the arrival. We needed to fly over the Phoenix VOR (Very-High Frequency Omni-Directional Range) radio beacon to record our RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums) accuracy above 29,000 feet.

We simply flew over the checkpoint with all of our equipment transmitting down to the station. In a few weeks, we can check their website to see how well we did. It was the perfect time to perform this flight test since we were empty in back.

Look at the pretty virga again!


Let’s get our rainbow counting skills prepared for the rest of our flight back into Phoenix airspace now. Can you see our first one from our return trip? I love the gorgeous sun rays shining down near the rainbow.

That’s probably where the Lost Dutchman hid his gold, in case you’re wondering where to dig.


After our check, we were cleared to Willie VOR, then to Phoenix VOR, then to Scottsdale. I sweet-talked a shortcut to the north instead to set us up for our landing on Runway 21. Here you can see the Superstition Mountains underneath some gorgeous storm clouds.


I just love how the lighting plays such beautiful tricks when storm clouds move through. We are just ahead of the cold front moving into town now. The worst will be here later tonight, but we will be safely down by then.


This is one of my favorite shots of the day. It just showcases some of our typical Arizona desert so well. And, again, the lighting is just incredible!


Holy smokes. Not just one in this picture, but two rainbows?! What is going on today?!

I’m not complaining, mind you. I love all of these rainbows. It’s been years since I’ve seen one, and today I saw five! Is it March? Should I be pinched?!


Oh my goodness. This is so beautiful that it almost looks fake! Definitely my favorite shot of the day! Look how defined the rainbow colors are.


Hello, Home. It’s good to see you. I’ve haven’t been this close to you since…this morning! I guess we’re done with all of our rainbows for the day.


Or so I thought! Look! Another pretty rainbow by Tower. Should someone sing a song or something to channel all of these rainbow sightings?


We pulled onto our ramp and starting prepping Gladys for just a few nights in the hangar. We have another flight in just a few days with five people in back. Guess where we are going?

If you said Van Nuys again…then you’re right! I have all of the frequencies memorized because we’ve been there so much lately! How fun!


This guy pulled in right behind us. Ironically enough, the pilot in here used to fly with El Capitan in my old job in the Beechjet! He’s been flying Pilatus PC-12 airplanes ever since he left that company six years ago.


Good night, Gladys! Thanks for all of the rainbows today! See you bright and early in a few days!

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