Thursday, December 25, 2008

Palm Springs - Santa Monica / Beechcraft Bonanza A36 (N6835W) / IFR

Time for the return trip. I shifted the passengers around to move the center of gravity forward a bit; otherwise we were fully loaded just as before.

I changed the flight plan going back, replacing DEWAY with KBNG. This took me off the airway up to PDZ and also more centrally through Banning Pass, where the terrain is at only 2200 feet or so. Thus, I didn't have to fly back at 12,000 feet; I settled for 6000 feet instead, and then slowly climbed to 8000. As I approached PDZ, I asked for lower again, 6000 or below, and was given 4000, which suited me fine.

The weather was cloudy and at times I couldn't see anything outside the window. I suppose this might have disconcerted my passengers, but since I've been flying IFR for 15 years or so, it doesn't bother me at all (as long as I have my instruments!). After PDZ we were offered direct ELMOO, which I accepted, and after that we were cleared for the VOR runway 21 approach at Santa Monica. All went well and we landed quite smoothly in rain and mist.

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