Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sedona - Phoenix / Beechcraft Bonanza A36 (N7418F) / VFR

Despite previous experiences that should have taught me a lesson, I got lost again on this daylight VFR flight out of Sedona for Phoenix Sky Harbor. Just look at the map (the blue line is the route I intended to follow, the red line is the route I actually followed).

I went up to 7500 after departing KSEZ, and intended to “follow the river.” The problem is that there are several rivers, or riverbeds, in the area. After starting out at first over Oak Creek, which was easy enough to track, I thought I was following the Verde River, but after a while, seeing that I was actually heading east, I realized that I had followed some other small river. I turned around and went west, but I apparently went too far and ended up over what eventually becomes the Aqua Fria (when it's flowing). All of this was complicated by a mist below me that occasionally obscured details on the ground, so I'd lose track of a riverbed and then pick up the wrong one beyond the patch of mist.

I finally just latched onto a handy radial out of PXR that would keep me clear of terrain and followed that into the airport, making a right downwind to 26 at Phoenix after I finally got over terrain I could recognize.

Altogether it was a messy flight, and I even overshot the final leg on my approach to runway 26 at Sky Harbor. I need to pay more attention.

[P.S.: I've been flying a lot and logging very little, so many of my recent flights don't appear on this log. I hope the billions of avid readers of this blog don't mind too much. — AA]