Monday, January 14, 2013

A Pure Flight to Sin City


Just last month, we had a wonderful overnight trip to Las Vegas. I was particularly excited about this trip because a) it was a different location than we usually fly and b) I would have about twenty-four hours to explore Sin City on foot.

I love walking around towns, but something told me that this would be especially fun.


I’ve been here before. In fact, I’ve done lots of trips to Vegas.


Before we went, I knew that we would be adding some oil to the engines. As you can see from the red lines here, the oil level is slightly low. No surprise there, since it’s been a few weeks since we have flown.


So I got everything together that we needed to get this done. Ideally, we would have a can opener. We bought one after today’s fun of using a screwdriver to poke holes in the oil can! We also use a siphon to pour the oil, and lots of paper towels, since this is messy business!


With the Ground Power Unit (GPU) plugged in, we were ready to start setting up the flight plan in the avionics up front. It’s a quick flight to Las Vegas from here…only about forty-five minutes.


The flight plan is loaded with two passengers in back. Gladys, let’s get going!


One can rest easy that there will be lots of gorgeous eye candy on the taxi to depart. This particular Challenger has its own private hangar.

Whoop-dee-doo, Basil!


And we’re off! What a pretty view of Deer Valley Airport with a pretty little wingtip!


Gladys is wonderful in so many ways, but I love that we can look up any airport information on her giant screens. Here, we have pulled up all of the pertinent information for our destination today, McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Nice, long runway at 8,985 feet. And look! Here are all of the radio frequencies we need, too!

Of course, we usually just use the iPad for our chart and airport information. It has all of these numbers ready for us, too.


Well, let’s see. There isn’t a whole lot to see on the flight between Phoenix and Las Vegas. Lots of desert, a few mountains. Even a lake or two.


But every picture is better if a piece of Gladys shows up.


Man, I would hate to live here.


Here is a picture of Lake Mead to the east of Vegas. They took us the long way around today. We flew over the lake before starting our turn west towards the city.


It looks really low this year, huh? Maybe it just gets lower every year, now. I’m not surprised…have you been to Vegas in the summer?!


I love this picture, with all of the stark color differences between the sky and the lake and the mountains. And look! Jet streams, too!

And, though I could be wrong, that looks like a Gladys wingtip to me!


The desert just northeast of Vegas doesn’t exactly look hospitable. It wouldn’t be much fun getting stuck out in there!


Here’s our first glance of Las Vegas, now that we are actually turned towards it now. You can see the airport just to the left of the Strip.

This is going to be fun!


Yikes! This looks like a jagged backbone of some awful creature cruising the desert. I wonder how on earth someone decided that this looked like a nice place to live way back when…


This is Nellis Air Force Base, located just northeast of the city. They fly F-16s out of here and are responsible for so much airspace being used by the military in these parts.


Though I didn’t make it here during such a quick visit this time, here is a shot of downtown Las Vegas. Before the Strip originated, this is where all the action happened. They are trying to revitalize it to draw people back in.


Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what a huge city Vegas is! It isn’t all about gambling and drunkards, since lots of “normal” folks live here, too.

And I guess all of those casino workers have to live somewhere!


Part of the visual approach to land on Runway 19R is to fly a base leg directly towards the Stratosphere. So we did. Because we follow instructions, yo.

And I didn’t know it at the time, but our hotel was very close to the Stratosphere! How fun!


The little tiny building on the top-right corner of this golf course is where I slept tonight. Should I be ashamed to admit that I was back in my room by eight o’clock?



Starting from the left, you can see the Luxor, MGM Grand, New York New York, The Cosmopolitan, Paris, The Bellagio, and The Venetian.

We will take a closer look at these all this week, because I took approximately seventy-billion pictures.


Here is the Wynn and Encore on the north side of the Strip. How on earth do they keep this grass so green?


Cleared to land Runway 19R! (but please don’t land on the taxiway, because it is really wide here and could be mistaken for a runway!)


Hi, McCarran Passenger Terminal. We won’t be coming to you today. We are way too cool for that!


The airport is literally just a few blocks away from the Strip, so the taxi in is always lots of fun. Apparently, David Copperfield is playing at the MGM Grand. Who knew?

Just kidding. Everyone knows that he is there. He probably lives there.


And no visit to Vegas would be complete without noticing some pretty airplanes on the ramp. Most of these giants are owned by the casinos, who send airplanes out to pick up high rollers to come play.

Can you imagine? Because I cannot.

I don’t know if a casino really owns this Boeing 747, or if it is a private jet. And I don’t know which would be worse!


This Boeing 737 is a huge private jet owned by MGM Grand. They have an entire fleet of ritzy airplanes to pick up their nicest customers.

Yeah, still can’t imagine.


But I really loved this paint job on the Gulfstream V as we followed the “Follow Me” truck to our parking spot.


After we loaded the bags into their awaiting car and got my passengers on their way, I spent a few more minutes admiring some expensive metal on the ramp in Las Vegas.

Of course, I am particularly fond of this pretty girl!


But this Global Express was rather nice. And large.


And this Challenger 604 was awaiting some passengers to leave as well.


Hi, pretty lady.


We will only be here overnight, but Atlantic Aviation is always so good to us. I am really excited about this trip!

Hmmm. Maybe I’ve already said that.


It is fitting to end with one of my favorite pictures of the day.

All week we will explore this fun city. Come along for the ride!

1 comment:

  1. very interesting, loved the pictures!.. Whick


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