guapacha.com

Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for the ‘Flying’ tag

New Flip Video – Flight from San Diego to Imperial County

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I just posted a new video on my Viddler page, this time some clips of a flight I took last night from San Diego to Imperial and Brawley airports. There’s more of a narrative at the post there, but since I know many of you don’t read it I thought I’d also post the video here in case you wanted to see it.

The mount that I bought for this flight was too big for the dashboard so I had to hold the Flip in my hand, so there are no takeoffs or landings – need two hands for that! It’s a bit shakey, and the propeller looks really spooky in the shots, but it’s a new video so what the heck! I’ll try for a better solution next time.

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March 19th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Posted in General

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Big Weekend Coming Up

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A lot of big things happening this weekend, many of them without me (can’t be in three places at once):

  • The launch of the PS3 in Japan
  • The AOPA Expo 2006 in Palm Springs, seems like I miss it every year it in CA
  • The Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo. The event has already started but this weekend sees the highlight with the parade Saturday morning, and the various rodeos throughout the weekend. Yee-hah! And all that.

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November 8th, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Santa Rosa Island

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click to see photo setThis past weekend I flew Teri to Camarillo for a surprise trip to Santa Rosa Island. The island lies 40 miles off the coast of Ventura and I had signed us up for a tour with Channel Islands Aviation who would fly us there, and arrange for a guide.

The self-flying was fun, including a return trip with only one working brake, and you can read about it on my flying blog if you wish.

I can heartily recommend the tour. The island feels quite isolated and is beautiful with untouched beaches and rolling hills, just beware the high winds and the hunters (though hopefully they will be gone in 2011). We had a great guide, Inge, a volunteer with the National Park service who had a great passion and knowledge for the island. The trip across the sea to the island was also fun, our pilot Curtis skilfully brought the plane down on the dirt strip in very high winds and thanks to several people not showing up he was able to join us for the tour.

To the pictures I took, click on the photo above or go to this link to my flickr photoset.

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September 6th, 2006 at 7:31 am

Posted in California,Flying,Travel

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My Airports

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Been trying to think of something neat to do with the Google Maps API and finally came up with doing a map of the airports that I’ve flown into. Yeah, its been done before but first time for me, and isn’t the first time always special?

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November 3rd, 2005 at 2:27 pm

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British Airways Chaos

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So poor BA has had to cancel all its flights in and out of Heathrow for two days thanks to some wildcat strikes. Some dodgy dealings by its catering contractor led to a walkout causing some short and long-haul BA flights to leave without food on board. But then today some good old British workers decided to strike ‘in sympathy’ and bring BA to it’s knees.

BA has nothing whatsoever to do with the problems at the catering company, other than being a customer. So why then did the baggage and ground handlers feel compelled to ‘join their brethren’? It would be easy to say its because they are bunch of lazy tossers, easy because its true. I say sack the bleedin’ lot of them, they are in breach of their contract, they can’t argue they are supporting downtrodden BA employees because they’re not and so the strike is totally illegal. Even their trade union says so.

Meanwhile people have been stranded on planes on the tarmac for in excess of 6 hours because they can’t go to the gate as there are no tugs to take the plane there, no people to put the bridge over and open the door etc. And there there is the chaos inside the terminal (though I’d rather be there if I had to be somewhere).

This could turn into a real nasty situation for BA (and the other airlines affected such as Qantas), I hope they are able to sort it out quickly.

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August 11th, 2005 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Flying,Great Britain

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New Addition To The Guapacha Family

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Been planning on this one for a while but finally gotten to the point where I want to do it – leftturnwhenable.com will be a bulletin board site where San Diego pilots can share trip ideas, routes, problems and, most importantly, find trip buddies and safety pilots. Nothing there yet, but look out for it soon.

Oh, the reason for the name? When landing at Montgomery Field, if you land long and fast (or look like you had any difficulty) rather than tell you to take exit whatever they tell you to make a “left turn when able”. I always know I blew it when I hear that.

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July 15th, 2005 at 8:36 am

Posted in Flying,General

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New Blog: My Flying Journal

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I am excited, all a tremble even, to annouce that my new aviation-related blog is finally working. Drum roll please…… http://flying.guapacha.com is going to be part flying-diary, part aviation news and information. Mostly its a way to journal my flying but I will also post interesting snippets from the various professional pilot forums I read, as well as accident reports, safety tips etc. Its a brand new site so it may have teething problems, please leave me a comment or send me an email if you find problems or have suggestions.

Now that I have a WP1.5 site up and running, expect this site and the MINI site to be upgraded in the next few weeks.

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March 14th, 2005 at 3:08 pm

Posted in Flying

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Something to watch at lunchtime

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March 11th, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Flying

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Plane Crashes

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Yesterday there was a plane crash at Gillespie Field here in San Diego. The pilot died and his passenger seriously injured. Any plane crash is terrible but to get so close to the runway and not make it is just awful. I used to read a monthly magazine dedicated to NTSB accident reports but had to stop after it became clear just how crazy it is to strap wings and a motor to your back and leave the ground. A large number of accidents occur from which the pilot had no possible chance of remedy, others where the pilot was unprepared and did a bad job, and of course there are very many where the pilot did it all himself. I’d like to think I’ll never fall into the latter category and I have my fingers crossed that when the time comes I’ll be ready for it – but who knows?

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January 13th, 2005 at 1:13 pm

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I Want to be an Air Traffic Controller

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I do. I think it would be a cool, mental challenge to sequence planes so that everyone gets where they are going without making that horrible screeching noise when metal rubs on metal. There is currently a shortage of ATCs, which is predicted to be a major shortage in a few years time. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says about staffing levels in SoCal.

Los Angeles Traffic Control: 310 positions authorised to work at facility, 272 actually employed, only 217 fully trained and working. This number will drop to 206 by end 2005.
SoCal Radar Approach: 260 positions authorised to work at facility, 248 actually employed, 241 fully trained and working. A shortage of 106 controllers is predicted next year.

This week the FAA announced a scheme to aggressively hire new ATCs and to extend the mandatory retirement age for some, so if you want to be an ATC get your applications in (but expect a 1 in 4 failure rate on the course). But I won’t be sending in my application, there is a maximum age of 30 for applications so I am too over the hill for this ‘dream job’. Was that a sigh of relief I hear??

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December 23rd, 2004 at 9:34 am

Posted in Flying

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