A quick trip report on my recent trip from KMYF(Montgomery Airport, San Diego, CA) to KMHR(Mather Field, Sacramento, CA) in a rented Cessna 182RG.
Heading 'North': It's not really North from San Diego to Sacramento, but it's close enough for us pilots. Both directions were done on an IFR flight plan, mostly for airspace avoidance and ease of transition through the LA Basin as there was no significant weather on the flight.
KMYF to KMHR: Filed: OCN V23 SLI V459 LHS GMN V23 LIN. 8000. This was what DUATS suggested and looked like a pretty normal routing, and if it was IFR then Linden VOR is a good transition point to vectors or the full procedure into KMHR(LIN V338 HNW for the full procedure if it were needed)
Cleared: Left Hdg 270 vectors to intercept V23 SLI V459 LHS GMN As filed; 3000; 10000 in 10.
So, pretty much the same routing, but getting us higher sooner.
Flown: Pretty much as filed, with an additional climb to 12,000 over the north part of the LA Basin before crossing into the central valley. A few miles after GMN cleared direct KMHR and kept that until we got the airport in sight.
There were a few bumps over the Tehachapis and widespread haze in the central and Sacramento valleys(4-10sm) but it was a nice flight once I got the Autopilot(Cessna Navomatic 300A single axis) trimmed out and happy.
Fuel: 40.8 Gallons
Departure and Arrival are the crossing times for the respective hold short lines, I love GPS track logs.
Distance(as flown): 413NM
Heading 'South' Once again IFR filed, haze in the valley but not enough to log any actual.
KMHR to KMYF: Filed: KMHR LHS V459 SLI V23 MZB, 9000.
Cleared(KMHR Clearance): Lt hdg 150, Vectors Direct FROGO FRA EHF LHS As Filed. 6000, 9000 in 10.
So, that was a bit of a change, but FROGO is a pretty common point for Sacramento area departures.
So, departed, transferred to the first controller who looked at the routing and told me he'd try and get something better.
Cleared: Direct LHS.
Ok, much better.
Flown: KMHR (vector until new clearance) LHS V459 SLI V23 OCN Hdg 130 then the visual for 28R, then really 28L.
So, as usual, unless the initial clearance you get is just wrong, it's almost always better to be in the air and negotiate a better route than sitting on the ground wasting fuel doing it. Although, in both cases I called for my clearance from a handheld to save the fuel.
The rest of the flight was as boring as the flight going the other way. The most fun bit was after OCN(at 7000) once I said I'd expect the visual, I got a descent to 3000, ao about 175kts over the ground in the descent, luckily the air was totally smooth and calm. And ATC also
told me to maintain that speed for the descent. Not quite as fun as when I've been handed off at some airports at 5 miles and 3000 feet high for a visual, but still pretty good. And, of course, as the 182RG has the aerodynamics of a brick with wings once I crossed 3000 there were
no issues getting to a nice gear speed(I prefer 120 or lower even though 140 is approved) and making the runway.
Fuel: unknown but the dipstick showed it should be about the same, didn't wait for the truck
Distance(as flown): 409NM
Frequency Changes:14(enroute, not tower or ground)
Of course, now I want something faster to fly that route, oh well.