Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mission get granny

Since my first son was born I haven't been up to the snow, which kills me because I love the mountains and used to live to go snowboarding.  With that in mind we finally decided to get on and find a nice big fat Tahoe pad for a long weekend. The plan was to bring the kids up to Tahoe for the weekend, bring my mother in law "grandma bee", and also my sister and her family.   Grandma Bee was going to drive the 7+ hour trip from LA to our house, stay the night and then we would drive the 4+ hours together to Northstar... hey wait a minute, that's entirely too much driving and I own an Baron now for crissakes.  I checked my work schedule... meeting at 1pm, 285 nautical miles each way...  doable!

I woke up at 5am, worked until 8, then headed to the airport... after drive, coffee, preflight and airport chit chat, I was wheels up just before 9.  There was an airmet today for turbulence, but on the way down I just got a bit of light chop.  Weather was scattered/clear on both ends with a long stretch of overcast in the middle.  The Garmin showed light rain at the surface, but on the way down I climbed to 12.5 and was well clear of the tops.  Cool thing was the wind, the higher I climbed the more the wind pushed me along.  Here I am doing 232 kts over the ground...

I ended up putting the wheels down at 10:15, loaded up and then got robbed blind by McGuire aviation on the fillup... $5.29 a gallon!  I didn't need to fill up but I thought I'd avoid the ramp fee.  I liked it better when it was MillionAire, but at least the office girls are cute!  Here we are on the way back heading back out over the overcast, only now the 42 kt tailwind was a 54 kt headwind.  Ouch, I looked down during my climb and was getting 80 kts over the ground!

So my 1.5 hour return trip took a bit over 2 hours... unfortunately the airmet turned out to be accurate on the way back. I went lower to try to dodge the headwind, but then it got bumpy. Not too bad though, and Bee handled it like a champ. I'm loving blue tooth on the Lightspeed Zulu headset too, you can actually make calls in the plane. At altitude it doesn't work so well unless you slow way down and fly low. I pushed my meeting back an hour and it's all good, got a full work day in and logged another 4.1.

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