Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Little More Flying

After Tara and I got back from hiking we grabbed a quick snack, I got cleaned up, and Timmy and I went over some more ground stuff for his BFR. We figured we'd go do some airwork and shoot a few practice instrument approaches up at Flagstaff. But first, we made a detour on the way to the airport...

...for some more off-roading! This was great; the only other people we passed were the pink jeep tours. Timmy drove right up onto the rock; at one point he actually got out of the FJ Cruiser to make sure he had enough clearance to clear a rock ledge. It was pretty neat.  :)

The real reason for the off-roading was so I could see a sinkhole nearby. This one had a fence around it, but it was pretty close to the path and was a pretty decent size.

After gawking at the sinkhole for a few minutes we made our way up to the airport. Time for some more flying!

Oh, SEZ...even your ramp is pretty. It had been gusting to 40 earlier in the day, but it was starting to die down a little by the time we were ready to take off. (And by a little, I mean only gusting to 35 or so.)

Seriously, this is the easiest airport ever to spot from the air. We climbed up a bit in the valley, then made our way north toward Flagstaff. I let Timmy enjoy the view for a few minutes before putting him under the hood.

The winds aloft were so strong that at one point our groundspeed was over 210kts. Not bad for a fixed gear single engine plane!

Just a little bit north of Sedona the terrain rises, and pretty soon we were flying over the high desert.

Timmy had told me that Meteor Crater isn't too far from Flagstaff, so we flew over to check it out. It was really cool to see from the air! It's about 50,000 years old and three-quarters of a mile across; in the 1960s, NASA astronauts trained in the crater before flying the Apollo missions. We turned it into 'turns around a crater' for some extra airwork.  :)

After checking out the crater, we made our way over to Flagstaff for a few approaches. You can see Humphreys Peak off to the side when you're on final; it's a bit over 12,000' high. I tried to take a picture when we on final, but the turbulence was pretty ridiculous; at one point we hit a bump so strong my feet flew up off the ground. I don't think I've ever had that happen before! Timmy's plane handled the bumps really well, though.

We shot an ILS (or more like the autopilot shot the GPS so Timmy could review which buttons to push when), then came back around and Timmy hand-flew the RNAV Y approach before I let him look out the windows again. We eventually made our way back toward SEZ, then Timmy offered me the controls for a while. We buzzed around for a bit, watching the sun go down and listening to XM radio. It was fantastic...what a nice way to wrap up our flying!   :)

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