Another cross country thread

Discussion in 'Upcoming Events and Trip Reports' started by davidb, Jan 26, 2019.

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  1. Feb 16, 2019 #41

    Toobuilder

    Toobuilder

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    Some of the worst hits I have ever taken in an airplane were Cajon pass (followed closely by Banning and Tehachapi). Even in the tough little Hiperbipe it felt like flying into a brick wall. No kidding - smooth as glass and then WHAM! All the stuff on the package tray behind us was now on the top of the instrument panel and our laps. Good thing I wasn't carying a frozen turkey!

    You could have made Lancaster or Mojave early this morning without much drama but the window was closed by 10 AM.
     
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  2. Feb 16, 2019 #42

    Topaz

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    I just saw that you were thinking of heading through the Banning Pass. I would've added my warning to the rest - worst turbulence I've ever been in was just on the east (Palm Springs) end of the pass. Scary.

    The southern end of the Cajon Pass is generally pretty smooth, but watch your altitude and don't plan on going through there high. There are airliners headed for LAX that come in over the pass headed south about 10,000-11,000 MSL and the ground at the mouth of the pass is about 1500-2000 MSL to begin with. They look mighty big in the window. I've only flown through the pass itself once, and it didn't get bumpy until near the northern end. But I've heard stories matching toobuilder's. It can get a little hairy in there if the conditions are wrong.

    If you decide to go the I-5/Tejon route, both Cable (CCB) and Brackett (POC) airports in the San Gabriel Valley (west of the Cajon Pass) have decent restaurants, and Brackett's (Norm's Hangar) is right off the runways and a very short walking distance from the transient area. If you're not staying overnight, they let you part right in front of the restaurant if you ask Ground. A good place to stop for breakfast or lunch if you're hungry. Flabob (RIR) has a good one, too, and lots of neat homebuilts, but is probably a bit south from your intended course. On the latter, cozy up along the San Gabriel Mountains the whole way, and you'll have smooth sailing with little interference from ATC until you're into the actual LA Basin, approaching where the I-5 heads north.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  3. Feb 16, 2019 #43

    Victor Bravo

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    I'm in the San Fernando valley right now, and it's solid low IFR in rain. Maybe 700 solid overcast. Get your plane covered and find a coffee shop .
     
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  4. Feb 16, 2019 #44

    davidb

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    I saw that as an option but I didn’t didn’t want to see the 40 knot winds coming that way tonight.

    Turbulence in my airplane is less like hitting a brick wall, more like inadvertent aerobatics.
     
  5. Feb 16, 2019 #45

    Toobuilder

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    Pay now or pay later... I think getting into the central valley tomorrow is going to be tough from here or SBD.
     
  6. Feb 16, 2019 #46

    davidb

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    I had flight following the whole way. I was at 4500’ and LA Center told me to cross directly over PSP. That put me exactly downwind of that big snowy peak. The bumps started picking up when I switched to PSP approach and they were fine with me altering course north of I 10. Air was smoother there. The seat belt sign was on but the flight attendants were still serving hot coffee, so to speak. I gather the wind direction, my positioning and the lack of any thermal effects all helped.

    As to the latter, that’s my plan to skirt the hills and make the cut up I 5.
     
  7. Feb 16, 2019 #47

    davidb

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    Agreed. Part of my thinking was from here I can jumpseat home if I get tired of waiting. I think I might have a chance to clear the hills and stay below the clouds tomorrow on the I 5 route.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2019 #48

    davidb

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    Yup, done. Still a chance I could end up at WHP tomorrow if plan A aborts after takeoff. Food and beverages on me.
     
  9. Feb 16, 2019 #49

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    I will be at WHP most of the day.

    From everything I heard, flying through I-5 over the Grapevine is absolutely the wrong thing to do tomorrow. I had a guy driving through there tonight on his way down here to puck up an airplane from me (trailer) and he said it was miserable...and that was at the altitude of a Crew Cab pickup !

    If you do not already know about it, there is an automated weather reporting station called Sandberg, I think it's SDB, which is just about exactly at the top of the "Grapevine" where I-5 goes through. Whatever electronic gizmos you have (or 1-800-WX Brief, or SoCal approach, Joshua, or whoever) I would ask them specifically about Sandberg. If it's low visibility, snowy, or cloudy there, you're not going to get safely through that pass.
     
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  10. Feb 16, 2019 #50

    davidb

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    Yes, I’m watching Sandberg. Not a good idea to even drive through any of the passes this weekend since they all will likely get snow. I had hoped for a break in the action sometime today (Saturday) but now it’s looking like who knows when next week. Any movement today will likely be just positioning my airplane to a safe spot for a few days.
     
  11. Feb 16, 2019 #51

    Toobuilder

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    Dead calm and CAVU here in Mojave. Figures, right?

    TSP is reporting LIFR, but from my vantage point the clouds can't even be seen, indicating they are just sitting in the Tehacaphapi valley like a bowl of pasta. It "looks" like a jump over the top at 7,000 into Bakersfield is doable. I wouldnt try it in the Tcraft but I'd certainly give it a shot in the RV.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2019 #52

    Dana

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    This thread needs pictures...
     
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  13. Feb 17, 2019 #53

    davidb

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    Took some but during the more memorable events I couldn’t risk taking the phone out of my pocket. Actually made it home unscathed today against all odds. More to follow after I get some sleep in my own bed. Good to be home.
     
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  14. Feb 17, 2019 #54

    davidb

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    Not much civilization between Phoenix and Blythe.

    E7D87496-C44F-470A-AD34-FB169378E0A1.jpg

    The approach to Banning pass.

    B5550BB1-834A-4580-BD7E-8C0BBE6E8CC1.jpg

    These two photos are taken from the hotel after I decided not to press on. The first looks tempting. The second is what I’d be in 30 minutes later.

    BEF7DF48-D74A-4D71-A533-97C564F43103.jpg

    89D333BF-55EA-4CA0-9FAB-01F0BB7A5862.jpg
     
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  15. Feb 17, 2019 #55

    davidb

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    My last day was long. Started with the leg from San Bernardino, across the basin to I 5 then through the hills to Bakersfield. The plan was to fly between the clouds and hills but that got pinched as I approached. Ended up crossing between 8500-10,500 riding the ups and downs rather than trying to maintain 8500 with the danger of getting pushed down into the clouds. Not a good idea to be on top without knowing there would be a break for the letdown into the valley but satellite imagery indicated I would be able to find a hole and I did. Through the pass I was offered glimpses of I 5 so that was good. Had to endure some more 40 mph ground speed again. Sorry, no pictures on that leg. I was concerned I’d hit turbulence that would knock the phone out of my hand and then fall somewhere jamming the flight controls.
     
  16. Feb 17, 2019 #56

    Topaz

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    Mt. San Jacinto. One of the three big peaks forming the eastern boundary of the greater SoCal area (the others being San Antonio and San Gorgonio. You flew just to the south of Mt. San Antonio - colloquially called "Mount Baldy" because the top is above the treeline - about 15 miles west of the Cajon Pass.

    You flew right over both Cable and Brackett airports along the way. Nice little airports.

    Just south (left) of that area of patchy cloud off at the mouth of the pass is where I hit bad turbulence in a C-152 some goodly number of years ago. About the worst I've ever seen, personally. Really got bounced around. Keeping the wings "level" meant anything less than about 30 degrees bank, only to be slammed over to a bank the other way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  17. Feb 17, 2019 #57

    davidb

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    The two pictures above from the hotel window are the mouth of Cajon pass.
     
  18. Feb 17, 2019 #58

    Pops

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  19. Feb 18, 2019 #59

    davidb

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    My bride wasn’t with me on this adventure but two years ago she was. While struggling through moderate to severe turbulence ( probably light turbulence for bigger planes) I looked over to see if she was scared. Bless her, she was calm and being rocked to sleep. Sometimes she has more confidence in my judgment and abilities than she should.

    I’ve been in light turbulence at 10,500 in a C-152 over the Sierras and that was scary. This airplane has plenty of power and control authority so not so scary.

    A friend of mine tells a story of mountain flying in a Champ with an A65. He was following a road and got to 50 feet agl at full power and best angle of climb in a sustained downdraft. His mom was in the back seat and didn’t show signs of panic. Thank goodness for strong women that know when to feign calmness.
     
  20. Feb 18, 2019 #60

    davidb

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    Big brother was watching:

    8519DDD7-76A4-44DE-9A14-1569760EE9F2.jpg

    D036F384-8D2E-4191-9B10-1E675ABC2240.jpg

    29B7EBE8-3DA5-4F01-901A-A213B474A8C4.jpg
     

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