Tag Archives: KLBB

Denver, CO

mooneyNow for a little fun in a Mooney Bravo. The Mooney has a ceiling of about 25,000 feet and we’ll need something with a little kick to get into the Rockies. I decided to fly to a little airport west of Denver called Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, KBJC.

I departed Lubbock (KLBB) VFR to the north and followed V81 from Plainview VOR (PVW) to Jeffco VOR (BJC). The route was PVW PNH DHT TBE PUB BRK BJC. I used SkyVector.com for my charts. Flying at 12,500 feet the clouds were thin and the winds were bearable.
Over Pueblo VOR (PUB) I could see the Rocky Mountains on the horizon so I knew it wasn’t too much further to Denver class B airspace.

The Denver sectional shows that KBJC lies just west of the class B airspace but within class E. I needed to transition class B to get there because I was on V81 from the south and descending from 12,500 feet. There’s actually several layers to the class B “inverted wedding cake” on that corner of the Denver TAC.

I got the transition clearance and started descending to 10,500 feet. Off to the right I could see the city of Denver. I started looking for my airport. Metro sits at an elevation of 5,673 feet, and there are 3 runways with different direction patterns. I was hoping I got the pattern right because there is 10,00 foot peaks less than 10 miles west of the airport.

When I contacted Metro tower I was instructed to make left traffic for 29L. I complied and went missed. When I came back around on the downwind I requested 29R and got it. I floated over 29R for what seemed like eternity and finally put her down in time to turn off at the B taxiway.

I pulled up to the tower and powered down.

Some navigation, some technical flying within Class B airspace, some patterns, and good weather made this a pretty good flight.

Lubbock, TX

172For 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.