Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pretty Sunsets from the Western Sky


It was a quick overnight trip to Van Nuys. I had a fun day exploring (and eating some delicious food, too). But now it’s time to head home.

Just in time to do laundry and head out again tomorrow for the long weekend on the road! I love this job.


The FBO formerly known as Pentastar was one busy place today.

Guess who this Gulfstream IV belongs to? I’ll give you a hint…he is a famous comedian who loves Jell-O. And his last name rhymes with Flosby.


Every time an airplane left, another quickly replaced its spot on the ramp. California is a popular destination. Who knew?


I spent a few minutes in the pilot lounge, tracking down some hotels for our upcoming trips this next week. We waited at the airport for a few hours today, and then our passengers arrived early!


The FBO is next to the train tracks, and the entire building shakes when one goes by. And they’re very loud. I guess that they like to make their presence known, huh?

Airplanes aren’t like that at all.


We were there in the late afternoon as all of the locally-based traffic helicopters took off to do their evening commute work. Van Nuys is a very busy airport.

Today, it was even busier than normal. We waited over half an hour at the beginning of the runway before So Cal Departure could fit us in for takeoff.


But I didn’t know about the future delays when I took these pictures. Ignorance really is bliss!


I love having real stairs on this airplane. The Beechjet had little fold-down stairs that were nothing but a headache. They broke all the time and felt really flimsy.

Gladys’ stairs, in stark contrast, are beefy and gorgeous. It’s just one of the many things that I love about her.


This is another reason…the massive baggage compartment! It’s probably three times the size of the Beechjet and can fit at least a dozen bodies.

Or so.


When we contacted Ground Control to begin our taxi to the active runway, we were told that we were number seven in line for departure, and the delay would be about fifteen minutes. Just like Teterboro, which is a reliever corporate airport near New York City, Van Nuys is always the first to get the shaft when the Los Angeles airspace gets too busy.


There were some pretty sunbursts and and Gulfstreams to admire on our taxi to Runway 34L this afternoon.

Isn’t that paint job cool?


There are six FBOs on this airport, and we passed a few of them as we taxied to the opposite end of Van Nuys today. Lots and lost of big airplanes park at Signature, but we don’t know why! Signature is always way more expensive for fuel…and everything else!

We avoid them like the plague, if we can.


There are a few L-39 fighter jets for sale on the field, if you’re in the market. I’ve flown one of these airplanes a few times when I worked for Eclipse. The customers did upset-recovery training in the company’s L-39 to help them become even better at getting out of sticky situations.

So I could share with them what to expect, I got to do the course, too. It was awesome!

Except that I am so not a fighter pilot.


And these are just a few of the countless helicopters based on the field. In addition to several traffic helicopters, which are already in the sky, several private helicopters are based here. I think these are similar to those rich guys in NYC who commute via helicopter.

Can you imagine? What a rough life!


We were third in line on our side of the runway, and there were three other big airplanes waiting on the other side. We watched and listened on the radio as airplane after airplane landed…but none took off.

Basically, the airspace above us had become saturated. And So Cal Departure wasn’t taking any newcomers. So we all got to patiently wait at the beginning of the runway until the controller started to let us each get out of there.


As you can see from the timer on my Primary Flight Display, it was quite a wait! And a few times, new airplanes asked about the progress up above. The Van Nuys Tower Controller got mad at them and told them to wait, and he would get us out as soon as he could.

Amazingly enough, I kept silent on the radio for the entire duration of our wait.

No one will believe that, I’m sure.


This guy was number eight in line, and we heard him get cleared onto the runway (line up and wait) right after we departed. Once the airspace loosened up a little, the Tower Controller got all of us out in about ten minutes.


As we taxied onto the runway for our turn, we could see several other jets that had lined up behind us to wait their turn.

We are lining-up-and-waiting on Runway 34L while the airplane that just took off in front of us gets a little head start.


Airborne at last! And with the evening sun at our backs, we made our way towards home.


We headed towards the coast before being turned north to join the arrival into Phoenix tonight.

Is it pollution or romantic mist near the water?

You decide!


Goodbye, Los Angeles! It will be a few weeks before I’m back to visit you again. Hang tight until then, yo.


Our flight home had some bumps, but you can see why in these clouds. Do you see how calm they are until these little wisps pop up randomly? Those pleasant-looking wisps are indicative of some gross air system moving through.

And moving air systems usually means anything but calm air.

But the beginning sunset is pretty, huh?


Oh my stinking heck. Isn’t this gorgeous?!


This one is fuzzy, but I really love how abstract it looks! We are very close to home…flying over Deer Valley Airport on our way to the east side of the Valley of the Sun.


This one isn’t quite as blurry. You can almost make out a mountain or two down there.


And here we are done for the day! I was back here just the very next morning for a weekend trip, so I only had a few hours at home before we were back at it again.

It’s a busy month, and we’re right in the thick of things! But what a nice evening flight home. Even with the wait, we were back on our ramp at 7:15 PM. back to the skies tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Make my day. I love comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...