Sunday, March 22, 2009

Las Vegas - Desert Rock / Beechcraft Bonanza A36 (N3785W) / VFR

A bit after sunset, I made a short flight on my own to Desert Rock, a DOE airport perilously close to the forbidden “Box” (R-4808N) that is home to Area 51. It's not a difficult flight and I know the way.

I was sent back along Hotel to 19R, and from there I made a right downwind departure over the Strip and up to KVGT, where I joined the El Cortez transition westbound and caught up with the infamous Highway 95 that leads to Dreamland (almost). By staying west of that highway and following it, I could stay safely out of restricted airspace and still be led directly to Desert Rock. I tuned the Mercury NDB (which is at KDRA) just to be extra sure. I made my way at 6500, since 4500 is a bit tight at night.

Landing at KDRA was uneventful and very smooth. I had a bit of trouble getting in on frequency to cancel flight following, but other than that, all went well. Thank goodness I took care to get permission to land in advance, so no big guys with guns were there to meet me.