Boeing View 2007A New Camera Brings New Views:
Sun, Snow and IceDec 27, 2007
It was short lived, though, we were headed for snow-drenched Denver. A snow storm was dropping about a half-inch per hour. Not that there was anything "stormy" about it, there wasn't, it's just not much to look at.
With the tools available now, landing in such weather is really quite easy. Instruments guide us down a stabilized approach that takes all the guesswork out. Taxiing to the gate is more challenging. Using a heads-up display, I even get to fly the thing.
Leaving Denver during moderate snow was interesting. It was my first opportunity to view their de-ice process and it worked pretty well. One flaw was the numbering of each parking spot. Our charts don't show the numbering system so you're supposed to look at the pavement labeling. But if you're looking for that, you're getting deiced. If you're getting deiced, it's probably snowing. If it's snowing, the numbers are probably covered. They were.
Thankfully, they told us to follow the only other "company" airplane de-icing.
Snow WhiteJan 8, 2007
New year celebrations included rescuing my small airplane from the snow stricken heights of Albuquerque, NM. That ordeal is described elsewhere but this week's work gave me a new perspective on their blustery blanket.
Flying the 737 from Chicago to Phoenix took us just north of Albuquerque at 40,000 feet (we started using even altitudes in 2005). As you can see from the picture, remnants of this storm have a long way to go before meltdown.
Below that shot is the view we enjoyed going from Phoenix to Sacramento. Over the Sierra Nevadas, never a boring flight even after a hundred times, it was again spectacular.
1. Albuquerque from about 40,000 feet.
2. The next flight went from Phoenix, AZ to Sacramento, CA which affords a spectacular view of Lake Tahoe.
Desert SunJan 23, 2007
Four days in a row out west provided some respite from winter. Precious little, though, as winter seems to be following me around this year. Las Vegas, for example, was only about 40°F on the night I got there. Brrrr. Not that it mattered for such a short overnight.
I'm always pining for new picture opportunities and sometimes they come from the strangest places. I wonder how obvious it is what this is a picture of. Probably most recognized it pretty quickly as the business end of a 737-700 jet engine. These CFM-56 motors churn reliably for millions of miles. That's fine by me. So far I've only had one engine failure in a certified aircraft and that was a piston powered machine.
This week's flying was again over those spectacular Rockies. I marked a couple more places in my "places to PPG" list, too. I sure hope there's a launch nearby. Next year the Enterprise will be in Florida so I'll have fewer opportunities to explore it out here.
Looking over the many, many square miles of seeming nothingness it sure seems like there's room enough for paramotor pilots. I marvel at this space and its beauty. Certainly there's enough room for conservation and motorized enjoyment? We all live in this country and I despise one segment trying to sequester vast parcels in the name of "conservation." Yes, there is a need to have quiet areas and I'll even cede that they must be large—sound travels, but it doesn't travel a 30 miles.
A friend tells me that Lake Mead is at it's lowest point in years. Where'd all that rain and snow go? Apparently they're just drawing too much out. Hopefully somebody is minding the water store for long-term survival—I plan on traveling the lake for a week or so on a houseboat in a few years. It would be nice if there were water there.
BURRichest People in the World
What are these, some of the riches people in the country? Burbank, CA. Land of Hollywood and megabucks. Look at this airport (pictured right). There are no jetways, no Starbucks, the runway is barely 6000 feet long and people deplane down stairs. Remember those? Actually it works amazingly well given that we can use both aircraft exits. Plus consider how often it rains here.
Burbank is among our shortest runways in the system. No messing around here, especially after the runway mishap from a few years ago. So don't go crying to the crew when it's a little "firm." Git' er down and stopped. Don't mess with finesse. If it's soft, it was lucky. Soft isn't important, hitting the landing zone is important (as always actually). Soft happens occasionally but don't expect it!
This one happened to be soft (and short) so nobody whined. It's kind of cool because, once we cleared the runway, our gate was immediately in front of us (A1). It was such a brief taxi that we had to wait for the motors to cool.
ChemTrailsFrom the department of "Ridiculous things people believe".
Jan 31, 2007 The next picture shows an SWA airplane leaving contrails. That reminded me of an interesting question I got a while back about contrails. The person pointed me to a web site that claims they are chemical dumps by the government. When I realized they weren't joking, I about fell over.
Apparently, these bright individuals have discovered that our government is spraying a chemical cocktail, presumably to affect our behavior, using commercial airlines. Airline pilots are part of the conspiracy or, depending on what nonsense website you read, unwitting delivery boys. So that's why we all fall so quickly in line with everything the government says!
The conspiracist's websites describe how anyone who does not believe this theory is naive and already affected by the chemicals. Okaaay.
I'll admit that there are a very few things that airline employees are not supposed to divulge, but they regard only security procedures. Rest assured, dumping thousands of pounds of chemical agent over an unsuspecting populace is not one of them! Contrails are little more than water vapor being stirred into a visible form under the right atmospheric conditions.
Mind you that I don't doubt bona fide conspiracies take place (Watergate is one where they got caught), but "chemtrail" type claims only put their proponents in a bad light.
Sunset StripWeather Bullet
Dec 5, 2006 We dodged a bullet. Lousy weather was feeding delays to many of my compatriots whilst I skated on early arrivals and visual approaches. Warm sunshine kept things pleasant. Plus, hitching a ride on the jetstream put us 20 minutes early, especially helpful when it's your last leg.
Looks nice from the air. This was during climbout from runway 19L. We turn right, head southwest then turn back toward the northeast. The destination was Washington, DC.
Departing Vegas was gorgeous. A lot of folks denigrate this city because of it's sleazy reputation but there's a lot more to it. For one thing, the beauty is hard to beat. I've paramotored here several times and have truly enjoyed that perspective.
Flying there in the jet is nice, too. Bummer that our flight took us right over the Hoover Dam--I can't take pictures straight down.
Â© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!