Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday's Video - Landing At AVX

The sight lines for Avalon always seem to give pilots consternation. I found it fairly easy in a
PA28-161. I watched a number of pilots coming in and almost each and every one came in low and had to add power...then, they landed long. Yes, it is hard to ignore the cliff on approach, visually. For pilots who can't routinely nail a spot landing, this airport is not for you.

I used to fly groups up to Calistoga after working the graveyard shift. (Typical load was 3 young *single* nurses. It was great to be a heterosexual in the Bay Area). The runway was short and narrow. I could get that plane down and stopped in the first 1/3 of the runway. The nurses would rent bikes and spend the morning wine-tasting. I couldn't taste, being PIC, but could reload my wine cellar from brands I already knew. If you can land at a short strip like Calistoga, then Avalon is a no-brainer and worth the trip.

Commentary: For would-be pilots, the advantage to learning at a smaller airport is that you will feel more comfortable landing at smaller airports. The downside is your radio skills will not be at par with pilots who learned in busy urban airports. For me, the big airports hold nothing to my heart and flying is all about the smaller airports. Your results may vary.

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