Sunday, November 30, 2008

Eugene - Seattle / Beechcraft Baron 58 (N2751W) / IFR

This was a longer-than-usual trip in a new Baron that I had delivered to Eugene (Mahlon Sweet) in Oregon. The weather being what it usually is in this part of the country, I filed IFR for Seattle. The straightest path had irritatingly high MEAs, so I chose a route slightly over to the west (V287, especially between BTG and OLM), and managed to fly it all at 6000.

Departure from Eugene was unremarkable. Lots of clouds and mist right from the beginning—dodging it all VFR would have been quite a chore, even though the weather was technically above minimums. With the temperature and moisture, I had all the anti-icing stuff turned on, just to be safe, and I had no problems with icing.

Things were uneventful for most of the trip. I was handed from Center to Approach and back again over Portland. After Olympia ATC switched me to vectors and sent me north. There was quite a bit of traffic, most of it big iron, and I was vectored around for a fair amount of time before ATC could slot me in for landing. Everything was landing on 16L, in part because very few pilots had the new 16R (although I did). I got 16L, too.

After circling around a bit under ATC control, there was finally a space for me and I was cleared for the ILS 16L approach. I had trouble getting the autopilot to take hold on the glide slope, and after fiddling with it for a bit I gave up and turned the AP off, flying the ILS myself. I did a pretty good job. I had more trouble with the glide slope than with the localizer, as usual. Landing was extremely smooth, though. ATC had warned of poor braking action on the runway, and sure enough, my rollout was quite long (though still no big deal in comparison to the runway length). In part it was just wet, but in part I didn't want to risk standing on the brakes, either—there was plenty of runway, so why rush? I did have traffic behind me, though, so I applied the brakes a bit more assertively as I slowed and finally cleared the runway.

I haven't yet tried the new 16R ILS. I'll have to test that out (offline). I fixed it up myself by modifying the default scenery.

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