Home » Nailing the Approach to My Home Airport (KSMO)…finally!

Since earning my IFR rating this past June and buying my dream SR22T G6 airplane I’ve flown as many IFR approaches as I can to get proficient and be safe. And its true that the more you practice the better you get. But one of the toughest approaches for me to fly has been the RNAV 21 GPS approach to KSMO (Santa Monica), my home airport. If you’ve ever flown through the ridiculously busy airspace of the Los Angeles area you know how hectic it can be. The controllers are monitoring hundreds of planes from small GA aircraft to huge airliners and things are happening very fast. And in the case of the RNAV 21 approach, it requires you to fly through the San Fernando Valley at 5,000 and then make a very quick steep turn and descent to hit the FAF and engage the glidepath. Well I’ve found a million ways to keep missing that glidepath. And each time I’ve gone back and studied the video trying to sort out the proper sequence of events, pitch and power settings to get it right. And finally today I got it right. And it reminded me why I love flying so much. It requires your full attention, your ability to think ahead, to acknowledge and learn from mistakes, and to visualize complicated procedures in real time. But when you get it right it feels freakin great!! And the world below you is a safer place too. Enjoy and please feel free to leave your comments below.

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