Friday, December 14, 2012

Home From Monterey


Spending a few hours in downtown Monterey was downright wonderful. But then, to make the day even better, we got to go flying!

I love this picture of Gladys. It makes her look huge…in a good way!

No, it doesn’t make you look fat, Gladys!


We were supposed to leave around 2:00 PM today, but it ended up being about an hour after that. Which meant that I had lots of time to enjoy all of the airplanes coming in and out of Monterey this afternoon.

This is a Pilatus PC-12, which is a rare machine in the aviation industry. It only has one engine, on the nose, instead of the two engines that most general aviation turboprop airplanes have, like a King Air. They are everywhere and great to have, from what I hear from both the pilots and passengers.

Both Pilatus and King Airs are wonderful. The PC-12 can seat up to eight and has a giant cargo door in the back. I’ve seen people load a full-size motorcycle through it. Pretty impressive!


Well, speaking of King Airs! This is their largest of the family from Beechcraft, the King Air 350. Because they are cheap to operate but still pretty fast, lots of King Airs are seen around airport ramps. They are little work horses as well and can seat eight people in back, plus a ton of bags.

A turboprop is when a jet engine powers a propeller. It is more fuel-efficient but can’t go as fast or as high as a true jet. They work really well for shorter hops but can stay up for about seven hours because of their fuel burn. I would hate to be up that long when I could probably do the same flight faster by a few hours in Gladys.



Hello, pretty sunbursts and sign! It has been a nice couple of days here in Monterey.


This Citation Ultra/Encore is a cute little jet. See the tail number? Any time you have a “QS” on the end, it means that the airplane is owned and operated by NetJets Fractional Ownership. They usually have red-and-black paint jobs as well, in case you can’t see the tail number clearly.

NetJets is pretty cool…you buy a “share” of an airplane and then get allotted a certain number of hours in that airplane. You can always take a bigger or smaller airplane for a particular trip, if you want, and the price will be adjusted for that trip. You pay an annual fee, plus whatever your individual trips cost.

It solves a lot of headaches for people who fly but not enough to justify owning their own plane.

Personally, I would find it very easy to justify owning my own plane!


I am surprised at how many airliners fly into Monterey. Even Allegiant flies here, and they fly into Mesa, too! Now this getaway weekend with Hubby is becoming more of a possibility…

Truth be told, I’d rather go to Disneyland.


Well, hello, McDonnell Douglas MD-80! What a pretty (and loud) thing that you are!

Do you know why? These are still old low-bypass engines, which have to move a whole lot more air to get the same results. That’s why they are so loud…lots of moving air!

Most airplanes now have a high-bypass area engines, which allow more air in at once and, thus, don’t have to be so loud. And now you know.

That wasn’t enough? Check out more information on both turbofan engines.


This is still the prettiest girl at the dance today.


The Monterey Airport is so beautiful, but it has terrain. I always prefer leaving terrain-filled and unfamiliar airports during daylight hours so that we can see what’s going on. We are actually taking off away from the mountains today, so we will get a wonderful view of the beach!

Remember…mountains always win.


Airport runway signs are color-coded to help you get around. The black sign is where you are, or a location sign. This sign shows that we are on Foxtrot Taxiway. And runway signs are always in red, because you never want to accidentally cross onto the runway. That would be bad news, folks.

Also, if we wanted Runway 10R, we would turn left to get to it because it is on the left side of the sign. To get to the opposite end of the runway, Runway 28L, we would turn right. Does that make sense?

Direction signs, like upcoming taxiways, ramp signs, etc. are usually in yellow. And they all light up at night so they can still be helpful!

And now you know.


Boy, I’m chatty today. It’s a good thing that it’s Friday, huh? Let’s taxi to Runway 28L for departure over the ocean! That will shut me up! *snort*


Wow, this is just gorgeous! Had I taken a picture in the opposite direction, we would have been looking into the sun towards Cannery Row.


You can see that we have a thin layer of puffy clouds to get through on our climb today. We made our right turn to join the departure to get out of this airspace. Above Monterey itself isn’t very busy, but it is controlled by Southern California Approach Control, or SoCal. And they are dealing with airplanes from San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose…so very busy airspace indeed!


This is almost the same shot, but just as we are entering into the cloud layer. I love that you can still make out the shoreline. So pretty!


Soon, we were above the light cloud layer and still in the climb. Aren’t these clouds pretty? Luckily, they weren’t very bumpy today.


Oh, neat! This is called the Pilot’s Rainbow! It happens very rarely, as the airplane has to be at just the right angle between the sun and clouds. And the clouds actually have to be just the right puffiness to make it really visible! Gladys is the shadow at the center of the rainbow…so pretty!

Of course we would name a rainbow after us. Why is anyone surprised?


As we continued our turn, the views of the beach just kept getting better and better. Look at how big those waves are! Is this the North Shore of Hawaii?

Let me check a map…

Nope. Not Hawaii. The water is way too cold for that.


It’s amazing how just a different angle of light can completely change a picture. I still love it, but now it looks all late-afternoonish and dreamy.

Cannery Row, where I was just a few hours before this flight, is just inside that little bay towards the top.


Well, it’s time to kiss the ocean goodbye. But not literally, because you might actually kiss a fish.

And you know how I would feel about kissing a fish…

Ew and a half.


It was a beautiful flight home, since the sun was setting behind us as we trucked along. And we passed some other airplane contrails. Where do you think they were heading?

I always play that guessing game!


Ha! We’re higher than this guy! Probably because he is already descending for an airport in the Bay area. Oh well. We’re still higher, and I’m going to count it.


Oh golly. This is one of my favorite pictures from the evening flight home. It is the sunset behind us, as seen through my icy window. Isn’t that pretty?

Ice crystals can make the prettiest shapes…it makes me think of that part in Fantasia where they are ice skating and making frozen lines!

I’m sure that we all think of cartoons when pondering life’s true beauties.

Totally normal behavior.


As we continued to fly east, we lost the sun pretty quickly. Which made for some beautiful shots that could never be properly captured by a camera. I’ll just say this…the sunset took my breath away!


Soon we were receiving heading vectors as we arrived into the Valley of the Sun. Hi, home!


In case you didn’t know, Phoenix is a very large city. We’re the fifth-largest city and the seventh-busiest airport in the entire nation. We done got lots of folks!

It’s always fun to see it all lit up from the sky. From Gladys, the best views take place!


Sigh. Let’s just enjoy this for a moment.

Just kidding. We are too close to home to relax now! It’s busy coming into this airspace, and I get to talk on the radio a lot. You could probably guess how much I love that!


This pretty girl made it down. We got five passengers and their bags loaded into their awaiting cars and then prepped Gladys for a few nights here at home.


She said hi to some of her friends in the hangar. I told her to stop associating with the Beechjet.

Giggle giggle. Just kidding.

I had a blast flying one for five years! But I am so much happier at my present job…it is a dream come true for sure!


I mean, look at this thing! What’s not to love?! I feel so blessed to get to do this for my living. Talk about perfection in every way!

Any fun weekend plans?

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