Friday, May 3, 2013

Missed the missed

I flew down to Camarillo to have lunch with some friends and visit my company's team in Westlake.  I went VFR.  I knew it was overcast at KCMA but figured it was just the marine layer and would burn off by the time I got there. It became clear it wasn't going to burn off (XM) and so I requested a popup IFR. In fact the weather deteriorated and the field went IFR. LA center kept telling me to ask the next sector controller for IFR and it wasn't until I got to Mugu approach and was 10 miles from the airport that they finally acknowledged my request, but there were 5 or 6 planes ahead of me so he told me to maintain VFR and started to vector me on a long final. Since I was VFR I had to stay out of the clouds obviously, and that meant staying at 7500 ft since the clouds were up to 5000 ft. 

I got the ATIS again and they were calling for 2300 overcast, 1300 broken. I finally got vectored onto the GPS-Z 26 approach course but I was still super high and well above the glideslope. I went into the clouds and then heard the girl ahead of me go missed. hmmm... with such high ceilings people going missed is usually an indication that the field reports are optimistic at best.  Generally I don't like to descend at more than 1000 fpm while in IMC, so I stuck to that rule and came down slower than I needed to in order to intercept the glideslope. I realized I'd be high but the tower repeated ceiling 1300 broken. I figured I'd pop out and have plenty of time to descend more rapidly in VMC. Instead I was still in the clouds at 700 ft. Just as I was about to go missed I popped out and there was the runway but I still felt I was too high to safely land on the remaining runway, the tower ask if I was going missed and I replied "request special VFR circle to land 26". He told me squawk VFR make left traffic and so I did and came screaming overhead the cafe at 500 ft.  :)  Got a good ribbing from the guys on that one.  

Crappy weather!  Pretty unusual for Los Angeles to be cold and overcast when Northern California is 20 degrees warmer, sunny and gorgeous.   

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