Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

36 leg Achievement

Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby Talan2000 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:07 pm


Ok, we're headed back east to a closed/inactive/private patch of dirt in the middle of nowhere where the most interesting terrain feature on the chart is "Beware multiple ditches" that as it turned out would be advice to heed...

Lessons Learned:
Departure Procedures: Ok, redundant, but look for them EVERYWHERE. There's one to be flown out of here and even a hold if you don't have the manly climbing power of the King Air :)

I tried to be proactive and let ATC know I Knew about the ODP by starting this flight at PRADO (where the ODP sends you to hold) but apparently they didn't get the message in the flight plan routing OR as is more likely they always issue you the Departure procedure verbiage (that is IF they issue the departure procedure verbiage as we have learned that they don't technically HAVE to and you can fly it anyway - phew - is that mouthful of obstacle clearance "concepts" or what?)

MEA: Since we're all focused on obstacle clearance, and rightly so, I filed at FL190. I wasn't kidding around any more down low :) I looked up winds aloft which were favorable and more favorable higher up - as I knew because they were UNfavorable on my flight just completed from the EAST! ATC cleared me to 9000 expect FL190 in 5. No problem. Problem was ATC was Under Instruction and left me at 9000 for longer than I was super happy about. So I waited patiently and when I got to my preplanned location in relation to those big piles of rocks ahead of me on the airway I informed the controller as nonchalantly as possible, "N3298S is going to NEED higher SOON". MEA on V16 at SETER is 13000. The controller came back with a clearance to 13000 pretty quickly and I climbed to 13000. I think I saw some goats on the ridges though.

Comms Problems: Nearing 15AZ I was switched (probably late) to LA Center. I called at least three times to Center and got no response. Weird. So I switched back to SOCAL and radio checked. Confirmed new freq. (It was the same) and then called back. This time they answered. Sounded surprisingly like the SOCAL guy. Must be his twin brother. I mention this 1) to illustrate hopefully proper (lost) comms procedure but also to highlight another GREMLIN. Because I had another LOST Comms moment on the next flight. And this was more annoying as it was SOCAL handoff to tower that never came despite three + calls...anyway that's the future.

Ditches: Ok so I canceled IFR to spare everyone another lost comms rigamarole (maybe its a reception issue way out there?) and landed on dusty old 15AZ. I was happy with my VFR nav at the end...follow the road east to the river. turn left along the river. It's at a bend in the river. There! So after stopping in about 1000ft I back taxied and swerved off the runway a bit to clear it for any drones or any of you guys behind me when WHAM! that grey dirt in front of me turned out to be an irrigation ditch right next to the runway! The Gremlins got my engines again - this time on the ground. Touche, gremlin, touche.
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby flyingdrill » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:37 pm

This was a good one. Used the Malibu, and I was easily up to the 5200' required by the DP at PRADO, with no hold required. I'd been doing some holding in a Redbird sim the other day, so I would have been fine, but better if you don't have to bother ;)

All went well till I was really getting close to 15AZ, when I was asked to report when I'd spotted it. I later realized that I had seen where it was, but hadn't been sure that what I'd seen from 6000' was the field! As I got closer, I couldn't see it again, so canceled IFR and circled to find the field. This dirt runway is difficult to see in X-Plane from a lowish altitude (well, probably not that easy in the RW), and each time I saw it, I changed direction to get into position to make my approach, when I lost sight of it again. Frustrating, but I got the bearing from the 530, and made a decent approach and landing. Not somewhere I'm desperate to visit again, as I couldn't find anywhere to get a Diet Coke and a burger.

I told Center that I was safe, and now should start to plan how to return to civilization.

Interestingly, before I had departed Bracket, a Cessna had called (I heard him on KPOC's ground frequency) with some sort of engine failure and smoke, and was asking for the nearest field. He was given Bracket, and then said he might have to ditch in a lake, or something like that. I started to watch him from outside my plane, and saw him approach from a distance, and make a decent landing on 8R - with a tail wind. I couldn't see any smoke (!), and he was able to taxi off, so I could use 26L. I also heard someone with nav. instrument problems. Maintenance standards in the sim world could be slipping :D
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby Talan2000 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:30 pm

This WAS a hard field to spot. Glad you avoided the ditches!

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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby bbuckley » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:41 pm

Fun flight. I took the Phenom 100, and since I had landed at 15AZ before, I knew basically where it was and that I could get the Phenom in and out. All went great with the flight except approaching Blythe VOR the controller (Keith) asked if I was familiar with a "cruise clearance". I was familiar enough to know that I wasn't familiar enough, so I had to admit "negative". But I had planned to cancel my IFR approaching BLH anyway so I cancelled IFR, descended and went in uneventfully VFR.

I have now studied the cruise clearance a bit and will watch the PilotEdge workshop on Mastering Enroute Procedures. I think that's the right one...
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:07 am

We generally don't issue those clearances because 90% of pilots aren't familiar with them, but since I was fairly swamped at the time and since the clearance would've reduced workload, I thought I'd give it a shot. I also figured that if you weren't familiar, you'd be interested in learning about it after the fact...and that's exactly what's transpired :)
Keith Smith
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby bbuckley » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:02 pm

Exactly. Another great learning opportunity.
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby Dean33 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:02 pm

Well I just flew this leg to 15AZ in the turbine Duke in P3D

Maybe Skyvector announcing the airfield permanently closed should have been a clue but when I got overhead and cancelled IFR I realised the airfield just wasn't there!

I was using Aivlasofts EFB so I knew exactly where 17/35 should be - but I saw nothing except tumbleweed!

Fortunately PEAware recognised I had completed the flight.

Next leg back to civilisation!

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Pilotedge - I11, CAT11, A-Z (ZLA),

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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby stevekirks » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:43 pm

I wonder if there's another "Q" airport that we can use instead, if this one is closed. Has anyone checked in all of the sims to see if it's showing up there?

Steve Kirks (sKirks on Twitch)
KSGF--I-10 rated
Student Pilot
Alphabet Challenge
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby rtataryn » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:33 pm

It's in X-Plane. I flew there last week.
PPL, Instrument rated, ASEL, ASES
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Re: Alphabet Challenge Leg 16 KPOC - 15AZ

Postby kullery » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:41 pm

15AZ is still available in x-plane

The most obvious replacement would be:

This reduces the entire challenge by 174 miles.

Footnote: I believe CL46 was famous as the destination when Keith and Chris exhibited their teamwork by getting lost on their way back to KWHP on a shared cockpit flight in the 407.

Others to consider are:

Ken Ullery - PPL-SEL, 1G5
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