Friday, October 17, 2008

Avalon (Catalina Island) - Los Angeles / Cessna 182RG II / IFR

With all $100 hamburgers consumed, my virtual passengers and I piled back into the aircraft for a return trip to LAX. It was well after sunset and the sky was nearly dark, so to be safe I filed IFR with a TEC route, which in this case consisted of just SLI. With clearance from SoCal Departure in hand and a release for departure, we taxied out to 22 and left the island. I turned to make direct for SLI and checked in with SoCal Departure. We were directed to maintain 5000, and we moved uneventfully towares SLI. As we reached the shoreline, ATC took us down to 3000, and in the clear weather we confirmed that the field was in sight. ATC asked our pleasure and we replied that a visual would do well for us, so we were cleared for the visual runway 25L approach, and told to make a final of less than 2 miles. I released the autopilot and started a gentle descent and turn towards the runway centerline. I did have the ILS dialed in, but it wasn't necessary to use it.

SoCal handed us off to LAX Tower, and they asked me to call on 5-mile final, which conflicted a bit with what SoCal had asked. I said nothing and continued heading for the 2-mile final. As it happened, before we reached the centerline Tower cleared us for landing on 25L. We could see and hear a departure on 25R as we came in.

Since visibility is limited in the sim and “turning your head” is difficult in a sim, I turned at an angle to the centerline in order to be able to see the threshold, and then turned onto final as I got to the centerline. I was very well positioned and nicely slow, so landing was a breeze, as gentle as a whisper. A quick stop (I wasn't going very fast at touchdown), and a handoff to ground took me to Mercury Aviation on the south ramp, where I shut down for the evening.

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