Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tucson - Phoenix / Beechcraft Bonanza A36 (N3759W) / VFR

I took one of my myriad virtual friends on board in Tucson for this short trip to Phoenix. The weather wasn't too bad in Tucson; there were even a few clouds in the sky. Phoenix was warmer (too warm for my tastes), but still tolerable, especially with low humidity.

This should have been quite routine. Off runway 21 at Tucson, I followed V16 to Phoenix, which is almost a straight line, there being only one turn at TOTEC. All went well until I approached Phoenix. I got my clearance into the Bravo, was assigned to 25L, etc. But for some reason I wasn't on the ball, and I started a right downwind to 7R. As I entered the downwind leg, ATC asked me what my intentions were. “Right downwind 25R,” I confidently replied. Then it hit me that I was going the wrong way. I said I was sorry and made a very sharp 180° turn to go the other way. Oops! Fortunately, I was not given a telephone number to call. As I came abeam the threshold of 25L, I was cleared to land.

Winds were very gusty and the landing was difficult. I didn't see gusts in the METAR, but it was gusty from over Ahwatukee all the way down to the landing on 25L. I gave the gear a workout, and my passenger did not seem to be impressed by my landing skills. Anyway, from there, it was just a simple taxi over to Cutter Aviation, my favorite FBO on the field, with its salvaged control tower (the old tower that Sky Harbor used for many decades, originally made from a fuel tank or something, from what I've heard).

It was a nice night and I was sorely tempted to go flying some more after dropping off my passenger (who was glad to get out of the aircraft after that landing), but I had a migraine by this time and, while a migraine doesn't prevent me from flying competently (mine are relatively mild), it takes the fun out of it.

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