Sunday, February 8, 2009

San Francisco - Los Angeles / Beechcraft Baron 58 (N2735W) / VFR-IFR

This flight to Los Angeles was two hours long, which is a long time in my book.

It was getting dark as I left KSFO. I took 28R, like most pilots who had checked the wind (ATC was offline), but some were taking off on 1L and 1R, so you had to keep your eyes open. Right downwind off 28R and then I crossed the field to make my way to OSI on V25, which I would follow all the way to VTU.

I started VFR, but updated weather from LAX made it sound like it might soon be IFR, so on the way to RZS I asked for a pop-up IFR clearance to my destination. I rarely ask for pop-up IFR clearances, so it was a refreshing change for me … and for ATC, which doesn't handle a lot of pop-ups, either (at least on VATSIM). I was ultimately cleared direct RZS direct VTU direct SADDE direct SMO, at 6000. Everything went very smoothly. I took the ILS approach to 25L, but in fact visual conditions prevailed and I could have done a visual approach, too. In any case, it perked both me and ATC up, since it was out of the ordinary. On VATSIM, at least, traffic tends to be overwhelmingly big iron on a handful of routes (the ones that pilots who can only push buttons on the FMC can handle). Pop-up IFR into LAX is quite unusual. I'll have to do it again sometime.

Lots of turbulence on both this flight and the preceding flight. No flickering of scenery, which was interesting.