Monday, June 29, 2009

Castle Well - Gila Bend / Cessna 182RG Skylane (N7109V) / VFR

The sun had set only moments before I started out on this short little trip from the tiny private airstrip of Castle Well, one of those little airpark communities where everyone has his own taxiway to the runway. It's hard to find the airport even when flying, and it doesn't even appear on the sectional (although it's on the TAC).

The runway is only 1400 feet long, so I throttled up with the brakes on before rolling. I had to climb briskly after rotating to avoid a pole that was just beyond the runway (in real life, there is a highway with some poles not too far away from the field, but much further away than in the sim).

After take-off, as darkness fell (which happens quickly in the desert), I just aimed straight for the Buckeye VOR, which easy enough because runway 17 very nearly points at it. I went up to 4500 feet in good VMC. After crossing BXK, I turned to GBN and eased my way down to 3500 feet. A few miles out of the airport I veered east, in part for lining up with runway 22 at Gila Bend (essentially a right base), and in part to put more space between me and terrain, because there are some hills just west of the radial I was on, and I couldn't see anything on the ground, just some lights from cars and the lights at the airport.

Landing was extremely smooth and uneventful. It was a nice, short flight. I held altitude and course pretty well.