Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Portland - Seattle / Cessna 182RG II (N7109V) / IFR

The weather had deteriorated after a while in Portland, so I decided to file IFR for the flight back to Seattle. I simply filed PDX.BTG.OLM.CARRO.SEA at 6000.

It was really cloudy and misty and I couldn't see much of anything most of the way. There was some turbulence in the clouds but not a lot. I had no trouble maintaining altitude (I'm getting better and better at that).

Seattle Approach materialized along the way, so I checked in early and told them to give me a call when I was on their turf. After I crossed OLM Approach put me on a heading of 070 and kept me at 6000. This lasted an unusually long time while they dealt with other traffic. By the time I was turned towards the field, I was almost on top of the localizer and still at 6000, just near the Space Needle (I had clouds around me but it was clear below, so I could see downtown, albeit not all the way to KSEA). I had to scramble to get down to 3000, and as I was doing that I blew through the localizer, so ATC turned me around and set me back on the path. By that time I was at 1500, ATC sent me back up to 2000. I got the localizer and coasted in slowly, finally getting the glide slope as well, and by then I had the airport in sight and I was cleared to land on 16L.

I was very good on the needles this time, they were well centered for most of the approach. Touchdown was extremely smooth. I left the runway in a hurry because I heard traffic being brought in behind me. I parked in the rain on the GA ramp.

On the way in, heading 340 at 6000, some other aircraft that sounded like he was pretty close had to follow an RA. I found myself wondering if I was the traffic that triggered it. Since I don't have TCAS on the Cessna, I don't know. I didn't see anything outside, but visibility was terrible. I almost expected to see a 767 surge out of the mist at any second, but nothing happened. Thank goodness he had TCAS, at least.

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