Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Van Nuys Calling Me Back


Early this month was really busy with lots of trips to the same airport in California. I try to get different shots so that it doesn’t seem that I’m just posting the same pictures over and over.

I’ve never been bored in an airplane, so I hope that you enjoy so many trips to Van Nuys. I do!


This airplane was scheduled to leave before us, so they got the #1 departure spot. We were back by the trees for our departure, even though we ended up leaving before these guys!


Good morning, Pretty Girl! Let’s go to California today, shall we? Yes, I know that we were just there. It will be good for us. At least we get to stay the night this time.


I vacuumed and got the inside ready for five passengers today.


This is a common staging spot for departing aircraft as well as for airplanes conducting engine test runs on our ramp. As you can see from the trees in the background, engines create lots of thrust! Look at all those missing leaves and bent branches!

That tree needs to be hugged.


I opened the valve to drain the old ice to make room for the new. I promise that Gladys didn’t have an awkward accident here, though it may seem that way. She always gets so embarrassed when this happens with people around.


We had an eleven o’clock departure today, which meant that we landed at eleven in California. I love the time change. It especially helps when going to the east coast, since it is now only a two-hour difference.

Although, I must admit…there are considerably fewer trips to the east coast with this new job.


This pretty Gulfstream landed while I was waiting for my passengers to arrive. Can you see how the thrust reverser buckets are deployed behind the engines? These change the direction of the engine thrust to help airplanes slow down even faster. It’s loud!

Gladys is so agile that she doesn’t need thrust reversers. We can still stop in about 2,500 feet on a runway, if we really want.


Now it’s our turn to make some noise! Here we are heading towards ZEPER for the departure out of Phoenix airspace. As soon as we are out of Phoenix airspace, we are in Los Angeles airspace. The end of our departure procedure here is the beginning of the arrival there!

Did I just confuse anyone else?


Goodbye, Valley of the Sun! I’ll be home tomorrow. And you better not be so hazy when I get back.


This pretty mesa is just north of town. Arizona has such beautiful natural features in every view. I love living here…in the winter!


With a true airspeed of 441 knots, we were zipping along rather nicely to California this morning. Even with a slight headwind, we made it in about fifty-five minutes.


Can you see the wind arrow? The wind is coming from 298 degrees at forty-three knots. So we have an almost-direct headwind of forty-three knots right on our nose. It is expected when heading west. But hopefully that wind will stay to become a tailwind when we return home tomorrow!


We always pass this freeway town. I can see tiny trucks and cars on the freeway below me, and my heart goes out to them. They have to drive about six hours to arrive in Los Angeles today. Can you see why I have started to hate road trips now? I will make that same journey in less than an hour!

I’m so spoiled.


Here we are over Palm Springs just before we begin our turn south towards L.A. Isn’t that such a cute airport?


Soon, we are over the mountains on our descent into Van Nuys. Today, the winds command us to land on Runway 34L. And it was bumpy, too! But only because we had people in back who don’t like bumps!


There are some pretty reservoirs just north of town. I wonder if this is a popular weekend destination for Los Angeles residents, or if they all just prefer the beach?


Here we are, turning our base-to-final leg for landing. The runway is 8,000 feet long, and I got permission from Tower for a long rollout since our FBO is at the end of the runway.

“Long landing is approved.”


Soon, we were on the ground and getting our passengers on their way. Usually, a car service picks them up. This time, with so many people, they decided to rent a suburban. We had to wait almost a half hour for it to arrive, even though we had reminded the car peeps again that morning that we needed it.

I hate waiting when my passengers should have been on their way a long time ago.


While they waited inside the lobby of the FBO, I waited outside for the car to arrive so I could load all of the baggage. Meanwhile. I got to admire this Cirrus SR22, based in Canada (see the “C” in its tail number? That means they’re Canadian). They make these beauties in Duluth, Minnesota, not too far from where I did my flight training in Nort Dakota, eh?

I would be totally fine with this as one of my future family mobiles someday. Just sayin’.


It’s amazing how slowly time creeps by when you’re waiting to get people on their way to meetings! They had actually dropped off a compact car, which would never work for five people. So we had to wait for them to bring the right one.

Tick tock tick tock.


Gladys held their bags until the suburban finally arrived. Yippeeeee!


We were eventually on our way to the hotel. We went back to the same Holiday Inn Express in Woodland Hills that we usually stay. It is about ten minutes away from the airport. And it has a million things to eat within walking distance, so it is my favorite place to stay in Van Nuys when we spend the night.




I’m glad that we are here for the night! It’s always fun to wander on foot to places surrounding the hotel. Tomorrow morning, we will be heading back home.

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