Friday, April 19, 2013

Van Very Nuys


After dropping off some folks and returning home empty just a few days before, it was time to head back with lots more people for more meetings in Van Nuys. This little airplane has certainly earned its worth the past few months!


Did you say that you wanted to see another picture of the pitot tube? Well, OK then. We have three!


A little sunburst action never hurt any picture.

Well, actually, it probably has. Sunbursts have more than likely been linked to countless deaths all over the world. But in my pictures, I kind of like them!

It’s almost like the sun is photo-bombing my camera’s hard work!


And, for your viewing pleasure, the aft nacelle of the right engine on an Embraer Phenom 300.

Made your day, huh?

Yeah, me, too.


This little helicopter was working the traffic pattern today. Phoenix is a great place to do some flight training, but flying helicopters are crazy expensive!

You rarely meet a non-military helicopter pilot. Usually, people go through the military to get their ratings, then fly in the real world after their service has been fulfilled.

Had I done helicopters at UND, my students loans would have doubled. And I already think that they’re hefty enough already!


While waiting for my four passengers to arrive, another airplane pulled onto our ramp and was parked by our top-notch line guys. We really feel spoiled by these guys and love it!


During engine start, we watch the electrical page in addition to all of the engine instruments to the left. This shows the electrical page on our Multi-Function Display (MFD) just after the GPU has been disconnected.


With both engines started and people in back (not in that order), it was time to be on our way!

As you can see, we didn’t have to combat wind today.


And, as you can also see, Phil Mickelson was in town playing some golf. I think that he’s a good guy who is very family-oriented, so I’m tickled that he can treat himself to such a beautiful Gulfstream. I’m sure that he uses it a lot, too. He deserves it.


We flew over Deer Valley Airport on our way out of the Valley of the Sun today. That innocent-looking place down there houses several flight schools and is a zoo! I’m glad that we are plenty high to be above their traffic pattern today!


There isn’t a whole lot of material to photograph in the desert between Phoenix and Los Angeles. This dry river bed is somewhat of a stretch for entertainment purposes.


The miniature volcanoes are slightly better, but still pretty brown.


Don’t you want a drink of water now?


We passed over one of millions of busy freeways as we made our way to Van Nuys this afternoon. We arrived around 4:00 PM and will be staying until around midnight, when we bring five people home after some meetings.

Not too shabby for a work day, huh?


Hello, Van Nuys Tower! Man, it feels like I just saw you!


After we arrived on the ramp and got our passengers loaded in the awaiting car, it was time to drool on other airplanes that were prepping for departure.

Isn’t this Challenger pretty? They can go to Hawaii, so Micah Like.

Except who does brown paint any more? This isn’t the seventies, right?

It kind of makes me want a drink of water, you know?

Even with brown paint, it was a beautiful airplane.


It’s not every day that you get to see the upper body of a Phenom 300, huh?


Just a day after we left, we are back at Castle and Cooke Aviation. Fine folks indeed.


Since it was time for lunch, I decided to walk to something close. I haven’t explored around this new place very much yet, so I set out on foot to enjoy the beautiful day.

Castle and Cooke is tucked up in between some hangars on the far end of a long and rarely-traveled street. I bet this could be pretty scary at night.

If you know what I mean.


At the other end of the long street is a sign directing people where to enter for the FBO. It’s pretty hard to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for, which I didn’t.

I almost feel badly for those limo drivers…


I had every intention of walking about two miles to Sizzler. But then I saw this.

And it donned on me that I could eat breakfast for my late lunch. I really love breakfast, so it just made sense to me.


Before entering the premises, I used my phone to see if they had any healthy options. It all checked out OK, so I went inside.

My stomach was happy. It has gone hours without anything and was ready for something quick!


The menu was pretty impressive for a run-of-the-meal diner chain. I try to avoid chains, but you kind of take what you can get when walking!

I loved how easy it was to find healthy things to eat, and even additional nutritional information was next to those healthy things! Bonus!


A sandwich sounded good, and there was a nice selection of don’t-derail-my-goals options. But I was really in the mood for some breakfast now that I had seen the Denny’s sign!


I picked the Banana Pecan Pancakes with Scrambled Egg Whites and Turkey Bacon.


If you’re craving breakfast, and I usually am, then this is a great yet healthy way to satisfy those cravings!


And I didn’t even eat the whole thing (because the portion was massive), so I didn’t have to count the 720 calories that were in this whole dish! Yippeeeee!


While eating my breakfast lunch, I noticed this gal walking past with her dog. Do you think that she meant to forget getting dressed before heading outside with her pooch today? Or is it proper attire in this part of the world to be in your purple robe in public?

Cracked me up. And scared me a little, too.


It was a beautiful walk back to the FBO. And the evening sun behind any airplane is going to be a pretty sight indeed.


The FBO traffic slowed down quite a bit after 9:00 PM, so they pulled our airplane online and got it staged even a few hours before we were supposed to depart.

It was going to be a late night, but I had some pancakes in me.

We’re good.


Just before midnight, we were on our way! The haze made for a cool fuzzy picture as we left for home.


We arrived home, and I grabbed the passengers’ car keys from inside the locked hangar so they could be on their way. Then, I hung around for the pitot tubes to cool down enough for their covers to be on them.

Didn’t I just do this?!

Soon, things were all done with Gladys, and it was time to head home.


I just hope that I can stay awake for my drive!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

To California for Pie


It has been such a fun and busy few months at work. Already we were headed for another trip to Van Nuys after just getting back from there!

This time around, we left on a late Sunday afternoon to drop some passengers off. Then we returned home empty to bring more people over in a few days for more meetings. Isn’t this fun?


I love this picture. It’s a different angle of Gladys that I think captures her beautiful lines. Did I ever tell you how much I love this airplane?


I only got to go to the first of three hours of church, since mine doesn’t start until 2:00 PM now. Then it was time to go to work! I hate missing church, but it will be a quick trip over and back this afternoon.

This past Sunday was my first time in my own ward since the first week in March! Sheesh!

This pretty Learjet was also getting ready for departure tonight. It’s a pretty common thing to fly on the weekends in private aviation, you know?


The passengers arrived, and we were soon airborne. It’s a gorgeous spring in Phoenix, so the green grass is really loving the warm-but-not-yet-deadly temperatures.

Summer is right around the corner, I’m afraid.


But for today, it was nice to look down and admire the lovely weather. Wouldn’t you want to live here if it was like this year-round?

So would the rest of the world, I bet. I’m so glad that we get unbearably hot to keep the crowds at bay!


And then I had to deal with views like this for the next hour. Do you have any idea how difficult my job is?!

I could never get tired of views like this while zipping along at 450 knots true and 34,000 feet. It’s just not in my capacity, you know?


It’s a little difficult to see in the evening light, but on the left side of that dry lake bed is the famous Edwards Air Force Base.

The book that I’m reading right now talks about how the Boeing 747 used Edwards to test the  engine cut certification on takeoff back in the late 1960s. The runways are huge, and there is a giant dry lake available for more runway, if needed. Flight testing took place here to receive some of the required FAA certification before deliveries took place.

It’s a cool book!


Anyway, back to the flight at hand.

I’m going to torture you with several gorgeous sunset views from my office. Please humor me.


We descended into the northern Los Angeles valley towards Van Nuys tonight. And I sighed as I saw the colors in the sky. Yowsa!


OK, last one.

For now…


We were cleared to land on the 8,000-foot Runway 16R.


After we landed, we loaded up a car and got some people on their way to a full few days of meetings. We will bring more people over soon to join the meetings, then head out again on Thursday for NYC.

That’s right…New York City! One of my favorite places on earth!


I heard that this airplane owner was a little difficult to deal with. He owns DSW Shoe Warehouse, but that shouldn’t give him the right to treat people poorly. It drives me crazy when some snooty people are snooty!

Kinda makes me not want to frequent his store…as often.


But the owners of this beautiful airplane are swell indeed! I really love my bosses. I feel so appreciated and taken care of. What a difference, huh?

Hi, Van Nuys Tower!


El Capitan was in the mood for some down-home cookin’, so we can to Marie Callender’s for a quick bite before returning home without passengers.


I had a really nice experience last time I visited this restaurant, but it was a little disappointing tonight. Maybe their food is only good if you get the pie?


One convenient thing for me was the calories listed by each dish. You might think that you’re making a better decision by getting a salad, but some of the salads have more calories than a sandwich!

I love being able to see right away how many calories I’m eating. Modern technology wins again.


I quickly ruled out this selection, though the picture looked pretty. I didn’t think that a pot pie and then another pie for dessert would agree with my long-term goals for slimming down.

Am I right?


So I got this French Dip Sandwich with fruit. The description sounded wonderful!


I watched people enjoy the salad bar for their dinner. I knew that eating too much would be a direct result of adding this on to my meal, so I skipped it tonight.


The fruit was delicious! But the sandwich was just meh after reading the menu! I only ate about a third of it.

But, hey, I saved a bunch of calories that way!


While eating dinner, I texted Hubby to see if his parents, who were spending the night with us, wanted me to get them a pie. They did, and to my great delight, they ordered a Banana Cream Pie.

One of my favorites! How did they know?

Unfortunately for them, the went home the next morning and left it in our fridge on accident! So Hubby ate this entire pie all by his lonesome over the next few days.

He was in heaven. And I even had a few bites, too. It was ridiculously good.


With full bellies, it was time to hit the road, Jack. We got to go home for a whole day!

Once again, our “new” FBO at Van Nuys treated us wonderfully.


But Gladys got us home safely, and we were soon standing on the ramp at our home hangar.

It was still beautiful weather when we arrived. Did I mention that I love spring?


El Capitan headed home, but I had a few minutes to kill while waiting for the pitot tubes to cool enough for me to place their covers safely over them.

So what’s a girl to do all alone on an airport ramp next to a gorgeous airplane? Take pictures of a gorgeous airplane, of course!


I was quite proud of myself for not forgetting the pie in the nose compartment. It was out and ready to go home.

Next to some bananas are the pitot covers waiting to go on. They are like little quilted blankets to protect the pitot (pronounced pee-toe) tubes from the elements and little critters crawling inside.


Ahhhh, a nice parting shot of Gladys with the lit windsock in the background. Can you possibly get enough of this machine or is that just me?

Back to Van Nuys on our next trip.

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