Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Salt Lake City - Phoenix / Cessna Citation X (N7446L) / IFR

When my lovely virtual copilot and I opened the aircraft for this flight, it was 21° F outside on the ramp and 32° F inside the aircraft. We wasted no time getting the APU up and running and warming up the cabin. As soon as our six passengers arrived (all good virtual friends of ours), we closed the doors to help things warm up.

Visibility at SLC was terrible: only about a quarter of a mile in fog. I couldn't see the taxiway leading away from the ramp. When it came time to taxi , I just inched forward slowly until I could see the taxiway lights, and then rolled delicately down Kilo to runway 17.

Just before take-off I got a cockpit warning that the rudder trim wasn't centered. I fooled around with it for a long time but couldn't get the warning to extinguish. However, it looked pretty well centered, so we departed with the warning, and we had no problems. I'll have to get that looked at.

It was very gloomy at SLC, but we eventually climbed above the clouds and fog, and things gradually cleared up as we neared Phoenix. Sky Harbor had practically unlimited visibility. We were vectored into a visual approach to 7R, although we set up the ILS just to be safe. I shut off the AP about 15 miles out and flew the landing myself, with excellent results.

As usual, we parked at Cutter. It was a lot warmer outside when we opened the door. “Warm” is about as cold as it ever gets in Phoenix.