Sunday, May 5, 2013

Planning for the Big Adventure

I haven't done much flying recently.. at least not much to report on. But I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning for my long solo adventure the first week of June. This flight has a couple purposes:
  1. Do some mountain flying
  2. Complete the solo cross-country requirement for the commercial rating
    (i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point.
  3. Visit my friend in Utah
  4. Do some flight-seeing and sightseeing in the desert southwest
  5. Land at Bryce Canyon, Utah
  6. Hike in Bryce Canyon
  7. Fly over St. George, Utah
  8. Fly the Grand Canyon
  9. Land at the famous Van Nuys Airport
  10. Visit another friend there 
  11. Hopefully fly with him down to San Diego
  12. Get down to San Diego for my Dad's retirement party
  13. Fly back with my hubby
  14. Most important,  do the whole thing safely with a lot of fun and a minimum of issues
I'll have from Sunday through Thursday to make it from my home airport, RHV and complete items 1 through 12. Then the following Sunday it would be time to fly back. I'm expecting to do most of the flight VFR with possibilities of IFR departing RHV, in the LA Basin and into and out of San Diego. It will be a good experience in real world flying and much fun. The only bummer is I will be doing the vast majority of the trip solo. "The only heartbeat in the plane" as my CFI likes to say. For a loner, I really don't like being alone. On the other hand, this means where and when and how I go will be completely up to me, which I like. :)

Rough Route for the Big Adventure
I've been looking at potential routes online and finally had time to sit down on the living room floor with five sectionals spread out in front of me to really scope out the landscape I'd be flying over.  Online resources are great but having that paper in my hands and being able to lay it out in front of me really helped me get the big picture of my route. This is what I've got so far.

There are many blanks and details to fill in yet. The details between some of my main stopping points, my route over the Grand Canyon, the IFR route from Van Nuys to Montgomery Field in San Diego, etc, etc, but the picture is starting to come together...  This is going to be a lot of fun!

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