philzLas Vegas&San Diego 2006


Like last year we had a company event in Las Vegas. This time, remembering problems with airplane rentals from last year I decided to not fly at all during conference, and instead stay one week longer and fly to San Diego for flying.


Like last year, Software University was conducted in few hotels: Venetian, Mirage, Ballys, Paris and MGM Grand. This time I was staying in MGM Grand, and first night in Venetian due to some booking mistakes. I must say Venetian room was the best from all I visited so far, Paris on second place.

Every day from about 8:30 to 17:30 I had almost full time booked for different sessions. I managed to pass 7 certification tests. I also received "NE Europe Services Professional of the Year" award. Nice, especially that it came with substantial $$$ amout attached. I decided to spend that on flying next week. Flying is quite expensive. :-)


Below few photos from different parts of this event.


Alltogether this was really productive week, and I'm glad I did concentrate on work stuff.

Flying to and in San Diego

I managed to arrange with Anglo-American, that on saturday morning one of timebuilders would fly a C172 to Henderson Airport, and I would fly it back to Gillespie, each of us paying for his part of flight.

Next day, after unpacking, checking my account at Anglo, copying all updated documents I took my favourite (so far) plane -N6ZP for a short local flight. It turned out this flight took few more hours than I thought at first. :-)

After about one hour of flying over the mountains I though: "well, why not fly a little more and do some night flying". Then I though "hmm, night flying over oceanside is sure more interesting". Then I though "it's dark long enough that I can do some night stop&go landings for currency". So it finally turned into 2.5hr flight.


As usual it was not really possible to do any photos after sunset. Too bad. I really must do something about that.

Multiengine Add-On

As one week was not much time, and I really wanted to do something challenging, and I also needed a BFR signoff I decided to add multiengine class to my private pilot certificate. This seemed to be doable in one week.

As Anglo-American has Beechcraft Duchess BE-76 airplane as a multiengine trainer, I bought my own Pilot Operating Handbook and spent lots of time reading it inside airplane.


Flying Duchess seemed quite overwhelming at first, not because it's hard to fly, but there is quite a lot more things to do and I needed to do those slightly faster than before.

It has two engines, so naturally I expected more than twice of workload of flying a C172. But then it also has cowl flaps, fuel pumps, propeller controls, retractable gear and three trimmers. After few hours of flying this wasn't a big problem anymore, but still I was forgetting to do something now and then.

One thing that was pretty disturbing for me at first was very different view from the cocpit - as airplane didn't had anything big in it's nose, from inside it was invisible. This gave a very "high pitch" view on approaches to land, especially after setting full flaps.

Other thing that is pretty important in multiengine training is flying airplane with one engine inoperative. To my surprise it wasn't either scary or hard to perform, even on first try.

On picture below you will see quite unique view for single engine pilot - stationary, feathered propeller - we were doing proper engine shutdowns and restarts in air. Another one is 140kts, 500ft AGL ride alongside coastline.


Unfortunately we were not able to secure a checkride for me - all examiners were so busy it should have been done two weeks in advance. Too bad I wasn't decided to go for multiengine before flying here. Well, at least I have complex endorsement, and a endorsement for multiengine checkride.

Las Vegas International

For a final flight I wanted to fly Duchess to Las Vegas. As Andy of Anglo-American was returning same day from his trip, I was going to pay one way flight. Nice!

To make it more interesting I decided to fly to Las Vegas International airport. I was told it has a landing fee, but still it was cheaper than paying for taxi from Henderson. Hopefully I didn't try something similar alone - so big airports really demand two pilots for smooth operation, and pace of controllers was slightly too fast for me, hopefully not a problem for my instructor. :-)


Flying activity:

  • Jan 21: 2.7 - flight from Las Vegas (Henderson Executive Airport) to San Diego (Gillespie)
  • Jan 22: 2.5 - local flight in Cessna 172, some night landings (green trail on map above)
  • Jan 23: 1.2 - intrductory flight in Beechcraft Duchess BE-76
  • Jan 25: 1.5 - multiengine training
  • Jan 26: 1.7 - multiengine training
  • Jan 27: 1.3 - multiengine training
  • Jan 27: 1.2 - multiengine training
  • Jan 27: 1.4 - multiengine training
  • Jan 28: 1.3 - multiengine training
  • Jan 29: 1.3 - multiengine training
  • Jan 30: 1.9 - flight to Las Vegas International (KLAS) in Duchess