Saturday, September 12, 2009

Phoenix - Prescott - Phoenix / Piper Dakota (N9708W) / VFR

Another flight in the Dakota. The ST-30 autopilot is primitive but nice, since it takes up no extra space and provides the essential autopilot functions in two axes. No GS tracking or intercept functions and no automated climbs or descents to capture an altitude, but what it does do still saves a lot of work.

I joined the 359 radial out of PXR on the way out, and flew that up to MAIER, and then towards KPRC. The weather was good and the flight went uneventfully.

The only excitement on the return flight, which followed the same route, was some developing thunderstorm activity northeast of Phoenix. It was in my way on the way back down from MAIER, so I had to swing wide around it. It didn't cause me any problems. There were quite a few lightning strikes in the skies surrounding me but I was in clear VMC all the way to landing in Phoenix. I was assigned 8, then 7R for traffic; the latter put me right next to Cutter, so that's where I parked.