Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Santa Paula - Avalon - Santa Paula / Beechcraft Baron 58 (N3862S) / VFR

I flew one of my Barons out to Catalina island and back today, all VFR through busy airspace.

I slipped through the LAX SFRA both ways. I monitored SoCal Approach but didn't contact them (it wasn't necessary for these VFR flights). The flights went well, and I occasionally heard myself being called out as traffic to other aircraft.

I filed at 3500 on the way down to Catalina, although I climbed to 5500 briefly to get over the mountains north of Los Angeles. I zipped back down to 3500 in time to slip under the Class B and through the SFRA, and I stayed there until I was out over the water, at which point I dropped to 2500 while turning west. That put me only slightly above the elevation of Avalon, which had clear skies as I approached. The landing was quite good.

After picking up some virtual passengers eager to get off the island, I taxied back out to return to the mainland after a half-hour or so. The flight back was even more uneventful than the flight over. I'm fairly used to the airspace so I don't have to scramble as much, although it's still delicate whenever one is in the vicinity of LAX.

The landing at Santa Paula was heavier than I would have liked, but it was acceptable. I finished the flight parked in a spot only a little bit east of where I had started 90 minutes or so earlier.