Tuesday, October 9, 2012

AOPA Journey (Part 3- Arrived)

After an overnight in El Paso and a full regular day of work, it was time for the final leg of the journey.  El Paso turned out out to be a great place for an overnight stop.  Thanks to both NASA and the military there was no shortage of noteworthy aircraft on the ramp.  The coolest plane on the ramp had to be the NASA plane that the FBO staff refers to as " Shamu".  You can see why in the pic below:

The flight from KELP to KPSP was totally uneventful.

But the landing into Palm Springs was a bit exciting.  I was surprised to find that Palm Springs has no usable precision approaches. This is probably because it is in the desert and doesn't really need them.  They did have 3 RNAV RNP approaches, which I was not authorized to fly and a VOR GPS-B approach to runway 31L.  I had never seen a VOR GPS-B before.  So naturally, like any curious kid,  I asked ATC for it specifically.  For some reason, ATC didn't want to grant my repeated descent requests until I was rather close to the Thermal VOR.  This meant I had to descend @ ~ 1000-1200 FT/min all the way to the runway!

I used the Cloud Ahoy app again.  Unfortunately, I didn't remember to turn it on until I was climbing out of 12K ft. As such, only the partial flight recap  is available on their server :-(

I need to add it to my checklist for the trip home....

But for now, after the 2217 nautical mile trip, it's time to enjoy Palm Springs and the AOPA Summit (registration and the parade of planes starts tomorrow)!



  1. Are you going to be in the parade?

  2. @Geoff: If I was in it, I wouldn't be able to see all the cool airplanes;-) Sooo, I will just be watching from the sideline!

  3. Still very cool! I can't wait to see the pics! Thanks for making this trip and sharing your experience. It is always appreciated.

  4. Hello TJ. Did you take your girlfriend? Sounded like an awesome adventure.

  5. Hi TJ. I came across your blog by accident. I've enjoyed reading your stories and watching your videos. I am a private pilot since 2008 with 1500 hours. I did my initial training in a SR20. After becoming a pilot I purchased a brand new German Light Sport Airplane known as a Flight Design CTLS (www.flightdesignusa.com). It is a remarkable airplane that flies 120 knots and burns an average of 5 gph. I've flown my LSA to 8 Caribbean islands / countries and 25 states. I've put 1,300 hours on my LSA since 2008. During the last 3 years I've also coordinated an international Fly-In from Tamiami to Puerto Rico / Caribbean every December / January. We started with a few airplanes 3 years ago and now each year we get more interest from other pilots wanting to join us. The trip is a blast. We fly together from Tamiami to Puerto Rico for a week. During the week we have a big BBQ / party with the islands's pilot association that has now become an annual ritual. And during the week we explore other nearby islands from our base in PR. Then a week later we fly back all together to Tamiami. Since it's beginning we have one pilot that joins us from Texas on this annual trip to PR and beyond. If you ever need any additional info on flying to the Caribbean let me know since I'm quite familiar with the majority of the islands. And next time you are in Tamiami let me know since I would enjoy catching up. Anthony Perea

    1. @Anthony: Thanks! Send me your contact info via private message... Would like to find out more.

  6. WELL DONE !!! fantastic. We invite you to join us now to the CAribbean next April to discover 4 beautiful countries and meet the locals. You are invited by the Martinique Airshow organisers !the Caribbean Air Rally taking place every year brings 18 to 20 teams from 4-7 different countries to discover the Caribbean like no one has ever before.April 2014 Invited by Government of 4 selected islands and for the fifth year in a row, we will embark on a leisurely 12 day journey across the Caribbean creating opportunities for wonderful reunions and lifelong memories as we deepen our knowledge of Caribbean culture, heritage, flora, fauna and meet great people in the process sharing unique moments enjoying fun cultural activities organized by our hosts. Each event is carefully planned taking into consideration the hospitality, the activities and support provided by hosting destinations, partners of the event. Don’t miss the Martinique Air Show to which we are “special Guests” Air Rally organizers and Caribbean hosts are preparing a detailed program available this fall.join us !see past adventures airrally.com


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