For this adventure I chose to depart College Station, Texas, Easterwood Field Airport (KCLL) and head northwest to Lubbock, Texas, Preston Smith International Airport (KLBB) in a Cessna 172. The terrain starts out flat and fairly low then midway it climbs to a plateau. Skies were clear, wind was calm, so I estimated this trip would take about 3.5 hours at a top speed of 100 knots.
I was flying offline and using Flight Simulator’s ATC. I used SkyVector.com for my charts. My flight plan route was CLL CWK LLO SJT BGS LBB.
Easterwood Tower gave me VFR straight-out from runway 34. I taxied out, did final checks, and away I went.
It was smooth sailing all the way, and the ETE was almost spot on. It took 3.5 hours to reach 20 DME from LBB VOR; approach’s airspace.
The Lubbock Class C airspace is 20nm wide and isolated on the high plains of West Texas. The last leg, BGS-LBB, was on V563 which took me through the Lancer MOA, but ATC cleared me through.
The first time I heard the ATIS, winds favored RWY 26, but when I arrived at LBB VOR, winds had shifted to the south and Lubbock Tower gave me a right downwind to 17R.
On the downwind winds were all over the place. When I lined up on final for 17R I was at about 4900 feet. I tried to coast in for the touch-and-go, but I was too high and too fast; Tower never acknowledge my go around. I re-entered the pattern – fought the downwind winds – and made my way around for 17R again.
On the second try for 17R I was at about 4600 feet and 90 knots. I touched down and Tower acknowledged my go around. Tower gave me 17R again, but I requested and got right traffic 17L. Why not make it a challenge! Runway 17L is only 2891 feet long, and it sits in the middle of hangers and lots of non-movement areas.
After Tower gave me right traffic 17L, off I went on the bumpy downwind. I lined up on 17L at about 4200 feet and 80 knots, but I was at least 6 miles out so I had plenty of time to float down. I brought it in on a gentle slope and touched down just past the threshold.
I taxied to fuel – I had about 25% fuel left in both tanks – and parked it in front of the FBO.
Total trip time was about 3:45 – not bad. This wasn’t a terribly technical flight, but I’m not done with the trip. I think I’ll continue northward.