Posted by: Patrick | November 17, 2010

Solo Practice area and divert to VNY for landing due to crash in WHP and runway closure

Today I had an adventure.

After taking off from WHP, I headed to practice area for my first out of airport experience and doing some solo practice work.
It was about 30 min over the flight that I heard on radio about the crash on WHP runway and towere was announcing that the airport will be closed to traffic for unknown duration. Now it’s me in the air on 5000 ft, and have to decide what needs to be done.

The first thing I did, I contact WHP, mentioned that I’m a student pilot and don’t have proper endorsement to fly to another airport, they called me back and told me that I have clearance to divert to another airport since this is an emergency.

My first choice was to communicate with VNY and see if they are going to allow me to land there. I always carried the nearby airport charts and information. I made this as a habit based on the instruction of Mr. Petrossy since last semester, which certainly becomes useful right in this moment. So I contact VNY while I was over the practice area and told them my situation that I’m student pilot based on WHP and I want to land in VNY since there is a crash in WHP runway and can’t go back to my home base. VNY asked me to squak code and ident, they gave me clear to land on 16R.

It was just couple of weeks ago that Mr. Woods and I flew to VNY and did some practice right there. I relied on all trainings and practices we had before and I had enough confidence that I can land safe there. I report 3 miles final to VNY and they gave me 16R clear to land, that was a change of the runway. I did my approach as normal, watching my altitude and airspeed closely and the next thing I know I was landed on 16R and exit on taxiway H and stopped. I changed the frequency to VNY ground and request a transit area for parking till I figure out what should I do next. They directed me to North Maguire FBO and I taxied toward the north side the of airport and parked by FBO.

At that point I contact Mr Woods telling him my situation. My flight partner, Kevin, was already called him and told them the situation. Kevin was driving to VNY to pick me up . Since I didn’t have proper endorsements I couldn’t fly back the aircraft to WHP. Airplane would stay in the FBO and later Mr. Woods would take it back to WHP.

Right here I want to thank to all my teachers and instructors that during the past months with their hard work and disciplined instructions, they thought me how to think and act in all flight conditions. Awareness and analysis of the environment and situation was the key factor and all hard trainings kicked in and allowed me to make a safe decision. I still need to learn a lot and having good resources by me will be the key factor for improvements.

Flight GPS track

11:32 minute

Flight Time : 1.0 hr
Landings : 1


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