Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gila Bend - Phoenix / Beechcraft Baron 58 (N744TL) / VFR

I don't know what it is about this Gila Bend - Phoenix route that attracts me. I could never stand driving it in real life. I guess it's just a familiar route that's easy to fly visually.

I had one of my Barons parked at this dusty, searing-hot little airport . (I always seem to have something parked there.) I picked a Baron because it's fast—192 knots in cruise—but not so fast that I'd be scrambling to stay ahead of it for the entire short flight.

I filled the main tanks, but not the auxiliary tanks, which is SOP for me in a Baron. I've yet to have a flight where I needed the tip tanks, since the main tanks give me nearly five hours of autonomy at a minimum. I took off to the west, as usual, and flew into a downwind leg to take me north towards Highway 85. Gila Bend Municipal Airport's airspace runs right into the Class D of the Air Force airport to the southwest, and I prefer to avoid that, although the tower is usually not open.

The flight was uneventful. I was directed into the downwind for runway 26 at Sky Harbor and landed long to save taxi time to the northwest ramp where I intended to park.