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SWRFI Pirep.. (long)



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 16th 04, 10:05 PM
Dave S
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Default SWRFI Pirep.. (long)

I made a day trip out to the SouthWest Regional Flyin held this weekend
in New Braunsfels KBAZ, Texas and thought I would share a little of
what I found. Of course, once you have attended Oshkosk/Airventure,
nothing will compare or measure up... but overall it was an enjoyable trip.

I have to actually begin with the week leading up to the trip.
Originally I had planned to take 2 other individuals and camp overnight.
The aircraft I had reserved was a Cessna 177RG that had recently
joined the flying club that I was in (www.bayareaaeroclub.org) and for
payload issues I was going to have to depart with approximately
half-fuel. Given that I was perhaps 150 miles from the destination, this
wouldnt have been a problem. I made plans with the other pilots (and the
owner)who were scheduled in this plane to not refuel the aircraft fully
when they completed their flights, and leave that to the next pilot(s)
if someone should add on to the schedule.

Well, anyone who wasnt living under a rock in the South Central US was
aware that we had a slow moving cold front pass through and the area in
question caught many inches of rain, softening the ground and causing
flooding in some parts of the state. I made a conscious decision at this
point not to do fly-in camping as I did not want to 1) get the plane
stuck or 2) pitch a tent in a potential mudhole. So.. The plan changed
to a day trip, probably for Saturday. The lineup changed as well: One
student pilot who was riding with me backed out and my non-pilot friend
Russell (who had ridden to Osh with me before) brought his wife Jen
(who was fairly new to light planes, and never been on a XC before)

Saturday morning I headed out to KLVJ-Pearland Regional (formerly Clover
Field), readied the aircraft and was again greatful I had decided not to
camp. The aircraft had not flown all week due to weather, and was still
sitting fully fueled. THAT would have been interesting from a load
standpoint had we been taking gear. I briefed the weather the previous
night and that morning, and the primary concern was going to be
1300-1500 ceilings along the distant part of the enroute path.
Visibility was workable, with a few points reporting 8 miles along the way.

The published arrival procedure (for your average plane) essentially
involved approaching from the north, near a midsized town called San
Marcos along I-35. Traffic was to overfly an outlet mall, which was
south of town. The next waypoint was a heading of 145 until overflying a
blue water tower along a 2 lane highway, then South along the highway to
a blue water tank (a waypoint named BARBAR). This placed the arriving
plane due east of the field, and required a 90 degree turn toward a
National Weather Service radome. The Radome served as the 90 degree
entry point for downwind legs to the working runway 17-35. SWRFI did a
fairly good job of describing the procedure, and included color
pictures, maps and the like. There were alternate procedures for high
performance/fast movers and ultralights, as well. My flight plan
involved me flying to San Marcos, looping north and then west of the
town and then beginning the run along the arrival procedure.

We launched out of Pearland and essentially headed due West oncourse to
San Marcos. I contacted Houston Approach for flight following right
after departure, and was cleared to 4500 and oncourse. The ride was
smooth, and no real events. Radar services were terminated about 40
miles west and I called up Houston Center near Eagle Lake to continue
radar services. Near the midpoint, the reported/forcast lower layer came
into sight and I elected not to rely on a "sucker hole" later along
the flight path. I descended to 1900 in stages which gave me 13-1500
AGL. In doing so, I descended below radar coverage and was again
terminated from flight following. At about 70 miles out I began to
monitor the arrival frequency and began to realize that this was NOTHING
like Oshkosh and I started briefing the procedure with Russ to make sure
I had it down cold.

I was hearing all sorts of traffic calling in on the arrival frequency.
Keep in mind, this is NOT a "shut up, listen and rock your wings" kind
of procedure. You are supposed to report 5 miles out from Outlet, over
outlet, over BARBAR and then swith to tower and land short or land long
as directed. What I was hearing was numerous inbounds from the south,
east and west all wanting to shortcut the procedure, and fly direct to
BARBAR or some other special priveledge. I heard more than one person
calling in stating they were "unfamiliar" with the area and asking for
modified arrivals. I also heard many persons making long winded calls,
or overly detailed position calls, and the channel would be saturated in
short spurts.

Well, as I got closer, I was able to hear the ground component of the
arrival conversation and I decided that 10 minutes extra flying time
wasnt that much of an expense for the sake of following the published
procedure. I had since passed under the low layer and the skies had
cleard up, allowing me to climb again. I passed over the top of San
Marcos airport at 2800 feet and looped around town. It was at this point
I was glad I had 2 other sets of eyes in the plane. I fell in behind a
mooney and a 182 near the outlet mall, with other traffic converging. A
flight of 2 RV's shoehorned itself in and I made space. I reported in
over outlet with an abbreviated callsign and was told to proceed. The RV
flight separated in trail and everyone ended up at around 1700 feet and
90 knots.

As I approached BARBAR, the radio became saturated with call-ins, many
of them too long winded. I wasnt to pass BARBAR without a clearance, so
I started worrying about having to make the hold, or break out. At the
last moment, I was able to quickly report BARBAR and was able to make
the 90 degree turn to the west. I switched to tower and reported my
downwind. At this point it got a little interesting again. The lead on
the RV flight had made a close in downwind, base and final but
apparently the #2, whom I was in trail behind, was forgotten by tower
for a minute and we ended up going on a long downwind. He called in
saying he was on 3 mile downwind and was told that he wasnt in sight and
perhaps he should break out and start over. He said he was part of a
flight that had just landed and he made base and reported inbound. I
elected to follow, made base and final traffic and turned on my landing
lights. We lined up on a 3 mile final and the temporary tower called him
in sight and cleared him to land short. They then called me (high wing
cessna) and told me to rock. Once they identified me, they told me to
S-turn for separation and land short. The landing was smooth and I moved
over to the right side of the runway as I expedited to the turnoff. We
made the first turnoff (the midfield taxiway) and switched to ground.

I taxied along Echo monitoring ground, and the RV in front of me was
directed down closed runway 13/31 which they were using for parking. At
some point, ground had chosen to separate him from the other RV that had
landed before him (his flight leader) and he requested to be taxied to
park with him. Well.. They told ME to hold my position (at this point,
Echo at 13) which I did. Unfortunately nobody told the local boy
scout/explorer/CAP troup who was waving the red marshalling flags this.
So I'm sitting here, stopped with eye contact with the lil girl doing
the marshalling - shes waving me down the road.. and I'm pointing at my
headset and shaking my head no. Ground finally clears the RV's to go
roost together and I proceed to get marshalled to a point on the runway
edge. Mixture out, mags off, master off and pop the door!.

We signed in, paid the admission and commenced to looking at planes. I
noticed a few local birds (from Houston) along 13/31, and pointed out
things of (pilot) interest to Jen and Russ. I pointed out the Beech 18's
and the DC-3 there, similar to the types my dad used to fly cargo in. We
saw plenty of RV's in the showplanes, and lots of light/sport types. I
saw an immaculate supercub there as well. My primary interest, however,
was in the vendors. I am assisting a friend of Russell to build a
Velocity SE/SUV and we migrated to the avionics and upholstery vendors.
The outdoor vendors were kind of scarce, because the ground had softened
up the outdoor area considerably. All the vendors we saw under tents
were either along pavement or had LOTS of sawdust down in their tent for
moisture control.

I got to talk extensively with a vendor for Dynon and their small EFIS.
For under $2k, i was interested, but I had heard of issues regarding the
reliability and precision of the low cost EFIS accelerometers (more
particularly the style used in the pocket PC applications) but was
unsure if they applied to the Dynon product.

We met up with the Velocity factory reps, whom I had met Thursday at
Sugarland for a demo flight in the Velocity XL-5. Unfortunately we
rained out then, so I am still waiting for a Velocity ride . I also
did some climbing around in an RV-10. I must say, the room in the RV-10
is AMAZING. There is headroom and legroom in the back seat of the RV,
and I think Yao Ming, our 7' Houston basketball player from China, could
fit in the front. I might have some hard decisions facing me.. RV..
Velocity.. RV... Velocity...

We got to see two cherokee's do a mating dance on short final to 35 and
held our breath for a moment. One was behind, low and close in trail,
doing s-turns to spread it out. The one in the front was steadily
descending and crowding the one in front of it. Unfortunately I didnt
have my radio with me to hear what was being said, but the guy in the
back slipped hard and put it on the numbers and threw the brakes on. The
higher, leading plane landed halfway down the first half of the runway.
I am unsure if he was supposed to land long or what happened. I still
dont know why a go-around didnt happen. I am estimating separation
laterally got as low as 100 feet.

We rented a car and did lunch off-field. Russ and Jen are seasonal
regulars to New Braunsfels, and we went into old town Gruene, which is a
tourist trap along the Guadelupe River. We ate lunch at the Grist Mill
Restaurant, which is perched on the cliff overlooking the river and ate
outdoors. (If you EVER go to the Hill Country, this is a MUST DO place
to eat.. I've been going there for years). This is a well established,
reputable place... over a hundred tables.. inside and out. We checked
out the riverbank home that Russ and Jen's family would be staying at
for a week in August and then Jen dropped the boys off back at the field
and she headed for the Outlet Mall that we overflew. Her one question to
me was "how much weight" can I bring back. I thought about fuel used and
said.. "Seventy" about the same time Russ said "TEN!!!"

We wandered the flight line again for a bit, then made our way to the
seminars. I caught a fairly good one on weather, and Russ, being a
police officer thought he would catch the one by a former Texas State
Trooper helicopter pilot. The retired officer was fun, but the "cop"
stories or flying stories we were expecting really didnt materialize and
I'm sad to say it ended up being a "buy my book" kinda thing.

Jen returned the car, and thankfully hadn't shopped til she dropped. I
briefed with the onsite FSS reps and we walked out to the plane, passing
a fuel truck that was sunk in the soft ground along the planes. We made
an uneventful uncontrolled departure (tower closed at 1700 local) and I
picked up San Antonio Approach for flight following homeward bound. I
got handed off to center and cruised on up to 7500. There was scattered
layers on the ride home, but no precip and minimal turbulence.

The arrival into Houston was smoother than expected. Houston Approach
took my VFR handoff by special request, and I was cleared in direct to
Pearland and we packed the plane away in its roost.

Overall, I felt I had a good time. My only real choosing point/issue was
when I was on downwind on the arrival and I chose to follow the RV on a
cross country downwind (and risk getting kicked out to the beginning)
rather than call in and turn in close. For what it was, a smaller,
regional fly-in, it was well attended (Especially with the bad weather
leading up to it)

I have to be careful in drawing comparisons to OSH.. because this wasnt
OSH, but much of my frustration is with my peers who flew in. There was
entirely too much in the way of unnecessary chatter on the arrival
frequency. There also were completely inappropriate requests for
deviations to shortcut the arrival procedure. It takes less than 10
minutes extra in your average spam-can to fit into an orderly, detailed
procedure.

I do have to admit that the landmarks used are not the most-high
visibility objects. The land to the east of the Balcones escarpment, the
geological uplift that defines the Texas Hillcountry, is relatively flat
and featureless. The outlet mall's only distinction is that it is
surrounded by undeveloped land on the freeway, BUT the procedure DID
give the lat/long for it. There was a rock quarry located a few miles
southwest of the mall that was a reporting point for fast movers, and it
was VERY visible from the air. Perhaps a revised arrival procedure could
help for the everyman, but it seems too many people didn't even want to
do THAT.

One thing I did notice is that you could easily tell the arrival and
tower controllers were RIGHT next to each other. You could tell this
because you could hear tower over arrival's mike when arrival
transmitted and "background" noise did make it difficult to hear at
times. One other suggestion is to put someone with a marshallers radio
in the ground control structure. That way the marshallers know what
Ground is trying to do, and vice versa.

Dave




Ads
  #2  
Old May 16th 04, 10:12 PM
Jay Honeck
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I have to be careful in drawing comparisons to OSH.. because this wasnt
OSH, but much of my frustration is with my peers who flew in. There was
entirely too much in the way of unnecessary chatter on the arrival
frequency. There also were completely inappropriate requests for
deviations to shortcut the arrival procedure. It takes less than 10
minutes extra in your average spam-can to fit into an orderly, detailed
procedure.


We heard a couple of pilots at SNF this year who clearly had NO idea about
the special arrival procedures.

It's sad, but even amongst pilots there are a few dolts.

Thanks for the write-up! We hope to hit that fly-in someday...
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


  #3  
Old May 17th 04, 05:38 AM
Richard Lamb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dave S wrote:

I made a day trip out to the SouthWest Regional Flyin held this weekend
in New Braunsfels KBAZ, Texas and thought I would share a little of
what I found. Of course, once you have attended Oshkosk/Airventure,
nothing will compare or measure up... but overall it was an enjoyable trip.


Awesome report, Dave.

SWRFI has had a hard time getting re-established since leaving
Kerrville. New Braunfels has really gotten behind their airport,
which helps make something like this possible.

Chapter 958 has really put out too.
It takes a lot of work to put on a fly in of any size.

If you don't mind, I'd like to pass your comments directly to the
SWRFI staff. This is the second year SWRFI has been in New Braunfels,
and your feedback might be invaluable in polishing up the event.

Glad you had a good time.

Sorry we didn't somehow meet.

Try again next year?


Richard Lamb
  #4  
Old May 17th 04, 09:49 PM
Dave S
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default



Richard Lamb wrote:
Dave S wrote:

I made a day trip out to the SouthWest Regional Flyin held this weekend
in New Braunsfels KBAZ, Texas and thought I would share a little of
what I found. Of course, once you have attended Oshkosk/Airventure,
nothing will compare or measure up... but overall it was an enjoyable trip.



Awesome report, Dave.

SWRFI has had a hard time getting re-established since leaving
Kerrville. New Braunfels has really gotten behind their airport,
which helps make something like this possible.

Chapter 958 has really put out too.
It takes a lot of work to put on a fly in of any size.

If you don't mind, I'd like to pass your comments directly to the
SWRFI staff. This is the second year SWRFI has been in New Braunfels,
and your feedback might be invaluable in polishing up the event.

Glad you had a good time.

Sorry we didn't somehow meet.

Try again next year?


Richard Lamb



Feel free to pass them along, but I did already post the critique issues
along already to their "info" mailbox.

I want to emphasize that most of my critical comments are not directed
at the hard working volunteers who worked to make this happen, but at
folks who arrived unprepared or unwilling to fly the arrival as published.

I also hope to be part of the problem/solution next year. I have a few
acquaintances in EAA chapter 12 the "Houston" chapter which has been
located in a fringe suburb since the PATCO strike. I understand that
they may be moving to Ellington (EFD), which is much closer to me, and I
wouldnt mind being a part of something like this.

Dave

  #5  
Old May 18th 04, 01:37 AM
Ed Wischmeyer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


I want to emphasize that most of my critical comments are not directed at

the hard working volunteers who worked to make this happen, but at folks
who arrived unprepared or unwilling to fly the arrival as published.

The same thing happens at OSH and elsewhere. Nobody wants to be the heavy
when folks are showing up to have fun, but there have been a number of
egregious errors that really warranted certificate actions, and a huge
number of cases that really deserved written warnings.

Ed Wischmeyer
  #6  
Old May 18th 04, 03:38 AM
Richard Lamb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dave S wrote:
....
Feel free to pass them along, but I did already post the critique issues
along already to their "info" mailbox.

I want to emphasize that most of my critical comments are not directed
at the hard working volunteers who worked to make this happen, but at
folks who arrived unprepared or unwilling to fly the arrival as published.



Patriot missle batteries?



I also hope to be part of the problem/solution next year. I have a few
acquaintances in EAA chapter 12 the "Houston" chapter which has been
located in a fringe suburb since the PATCO strike. I understand that
they may be moving to Ellington (EFD), which is much closer to me, and I
wouldnt mind being a part of something like this.

Dave



Good

It's a lot of hard work.
But when people pull together,
wonderful things can happen.


Richard
  #7  
Old May 18th 04, 02:00 PM
ET
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dave S wrote in news:AIQpc.2915$SZ4.1699
@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net:

We got to see two cherokee's do a mating dance on short final to 35 and
held our breath for a moment. One was behind, low and close in trail,
doing s-turns to spread it out. The one in the front was steadily
descending and crowding the one in front of it. Unfortunately I didnt
have my radio with me to hear what was being said, but the guy in the
back slipped hard and put it on the numbers and threw the brakes on. The
higher, leading plane landed halfway down the first half of the runway.
I am unsure if he was supposed to land long or what happened. I still
dont know why a go-around didnt happen. I am estimating separation
laterally got as low as 100 feet.


lots of good stuff snipped

Wow I was there, and saw those cherokee's as well. I swear the left
wingtip of the following bird was barely a foot off the ground as he
appeared to vear right to avoid the bird in front. I believe they were
told to land one short and one long, but obviously the one landing long
thought that 100 feet from the numbers was long enough.....

--
ET


"A common mistake people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools."---- Douglas Adams
  #8  
Old May 18th 04, 05:53 PM
Ross Richardson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I must admit that that was a good description of the event. I was one of
the volunteers of Operation Thirst, providing water to all the other
volunteers. I took a break on Saturday morning and stationed myself at
the 35 approach end around 10:00AM. I had my handheld with me. I will
say the controllers did do a remarkable job for the couple of hours that
most of the arrivals were taking place. I was going to fly in on
Thursday, but TS stopped that and I had to be there on Thursday. I too
saw the fuel truck in the mud. What a mess. New Braunfels is really
behind the event, much more that Abliene ever was. We attended there for
4 years. We ate at the Grismill twice and Oma's Haus once. My wife and I
spent several days in Gruene at the Gruene Mountain Inn. Nice place

Ross

ET wrote:

Dave S wrote in news:AIQpc.2915$SZ4.1699
@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net:

We got to see two cherokee's do a mating dance on short final to 35 and
held our breath for a moment. One was behind, low and close in trail,
doing s-turns to spread it out. The one in the front was steadily
descending and crowding the one in front of it. Unfortunately I didnt
have my radio with me to hear what was being said, but the guy in the
back slipped hard and put it on the numbers and threw the brakes on. The
higher, leading plane landed halfway down the first half of the runway.
I am unsure if he was supposed to land long or what happened. I still
dont know why a go-around didnt happen. I am estimating separation
laterally got as low as 100 feet.


lots of good stuff snipped

Wow I was there, and saw those cherokee's as well. I swear the left
wingtip of the following bird was barely a foot off the ground as he
appeared to vear right to avoid the bird in front. I believe they were
told to land one short and one long, but obviously the one landing long
thought that 100 feet from the numbers was long enough.....

--
ET

"A common mistake people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools."---- Douglas Adams

  #9  
Old May 18th 04, 11:09 PM
Dave S
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ross and ET..

Where do you guys call home base? I wouldnt mind trying to catch up with
"local" guys from time to time. Either one of you heard of the Gulf
Coast Wings Weekend? Its comin up June 4 and 5.

http://www.gulfwings.org/

Dave
replace nospam with earthlink

Ross Richardson wrote:
I must admit that that was a good description of the event. I was one of
the volunteers of Operation Thirst, providing water to all the other
volunteers. I took a break on Saturday morning and stationed myself at
the 35 approach end around 10:00AM. I had my handheld with me. I will
say the controllers did do a remarkable job for the couple of hours that
most of the arrivals were taking place. I was going to fly in on
Thursday, but TS stopped that and I had to be there on Thursday. I too
saw the fuel truck in the mud. What a mess. New Braunfels is really
behind the event, much more that Abliene ever was. We attended there for
4 years. We ate at the Grismill twice and Oma's Haus once. My wife and I
spent several days in Gruene at the Gruene Mountain Inn. Nice place

Ross

ET wrote:

Dave S wrote in news:AIQpc.2915$SZ4.1699
:


We got to see two cherokee's do a mating dance on short final to 35 and
held our breath for a moment. One was behind, low and close in trail,
doing s-turns to spread it out. The one in the front was steadily
descending and crowding the one in front of it. Unfortunately I didnt
have my radio with me to hear what was being said, but the guy in the
back slipped hard and put it on the numbers and threw the brakes on. The
higher, leading plane landed halfway down the first half of the runway.
I am unsure if he was supposed to land long or what happened. I still
dont know why a go-around didnt happen. I am estimating separation
laterally got as low as 100 feet.


lots of good stuff snipped

Wow I was there, and saw those cherokee's as well. I swear the left
wingtip of the following bird was barely a foot off the ground as he
appeared to vear right to avoid the bird in front. I believe they were
told to land one short and one long, but obviously the one landing long
thought that 100 feet from the numbers was long enough.....

--
ET

"A common mistake people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools."---- Douglas Adams


  #10  
Old May 19th 04, 01:56 PM
ET
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dave S wrote in
k.net:

Ross and ET..

Where do you guys call home base? I wouldnt mind trying to catch up
with
"local" guys from time to time. Either one of you heard of the Gulf
Coast Wings Weekend? Its comin up June 4 and 5.

http://www.gulfwings.org/

Dave
replace nospam with earthlink


Well, I'm still a pilot wannabee.... but when I build my plane I will base
it at Zuehl airfield.. ( www.zuehlfield.com )

This was my first fly-in, so I can't help you much on others, but Gaveston
(the home of the gulfwings fly-in) is a beautiful area.

--
ET


"A common mistake people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools."---- Douglas Adams
 




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