Friday, April 3, 2009

Montgomery Field - Phoenix / Beechcraft Bonanza A36 (N3759W) / VFR

This is a familiar flight along a familiar route. The weather was great, albeit rather warm, and I set out east from KMYF towards Interstate 8, which I then followed all the way to Gila Bend. I know the route very well these days and it's easy to follow by pilotage alone. I flew quite low most of the way, usually below 3000 AGL, to make it easier to follow the Interstate.

At Gila Bend I made my usual turn north to follow Highway 85 up to Buckeye. You have to be careful because the old U.S. Highway 80 is just west of 85 and you can end up following the wrong one, although 85 is wider and has a lot more traffic. By road, you take this highway to get up to Interstate 10 to go into Phoenix. Going from San Diego to Phoenix by road, however, takes seven hours or so, whereas even in my small Bonanza, it's less than two hours by air.

I have to pay attention on the way up this highway, because it branches off to the east just after a tiny airport (Pierce), with one branch continuing to the north. It gets fancier as it passes a prison to the south. Then it moves up to the “crook in the road” in Interstate 10 further north (north of the Salt River), at which point I turn east to go into Phoenix. On this flight I was really low, at maybe 2000 AGL (I don't remember now), well below the Class B, but I got my clearance early and made straight in for the airport, runway 8 (because it's close to one of my favorite parking areas). Visibility was excellent, and I set the ILS but just followed things visually. Landing was extremely smooth, and I was able to stop quickly (thanks to my low approach speed of about 90 KIAS) and taxi over to my preferred spots, in the shade.

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