Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marcus (Ajo) - Phoenix / Piper Dakota (N9708W) / VFR

I decided to return from exciting Ajo to only-slightly-less-boring Phoenix, via a southerly route that avoided the restricted areas on three sides of Marcus airport, the airport that serves Greater Ajo. As it was, my left downwind departure was perilously close to these areas, although I think I managed to stay clear of them.

I proceeded back down to Ajo, only a short distance from the airport, then turned to 079 or so to head east. When I intercepted the 198 radial out of Stanfield (TFD), I turned onto that, went to TFD, then contacted Phoenix Approach and turned towards PXR. ATC gave me vectors and altitudes before I reached the Class B, which is a bit odd, but VATSIM controllers handle such a preponderance of IFR traffic that they seem to forget VFR procedures. Similarly, I was cleared for a visual approach to 25L, whereas strictly speaking I should have been directed into the pattern instead. I didn't say anything, as I got safely down onto the ground either way.

I landed a bit long to save time, but then drove past the taxiway to Cutter while I was trying to set my trim back to neutral, so I had to make a U-turn on Hotel to get to the FBO. Other than that, all went well. When I parked, the last bits of light from sunset were disappearing from the sky to the west. The weather was good, apart from intense heat.