Las Vegas's Premier Flying Club - Giving You A Reason to Fly!
Posted by: In: News 01 Jun 2019 Comments: 0

Musketeer Sport Rental Special!

From June through September 2019, DFC is offering our Beech Muskeeter Sport for only $95/hour wet! That’s a discount of 10% off our already heavily discounted member rate! This will provide our members with a great opportunity to get checked out in the baby Beech, or for those who are just looking for a reason to fly.

Members: email admin@desertflying.club to schedule your checkout, or contact us through this website to schedule your flights / checkouts. If you’re already checked out, your bill will reflect the already discounted rate automatically.

Have fun, and be safe flying out there!

Posted by: In: Learn To Fly, News 05 Mar 2019 Comments: 0

Las Vegas VFR Sectional

Box indicates Skydive Operations over dry lakebed.

Box indicates Skydive Operations over dry lakebed.

Las Vegas Airspace Transition: GA Pilot’s Guide

For many GA pilots, the allure of trips with friends for fun and adventure is a big reason to fly. For flyboys in the southwest, sunny Las Vegas can be the next step beyond that classic $100 hamburger! Only a few hours from the bustling airspace of Southern California, the Las Vegas terminal area offers impressive views from the air, including the Hoover Dam, astounding Red Rock Canyon, and of course the iconic Strip. Read on to learn the nuances of a trouble free day navigating our busy Bravo airspace, and how to set yourself up for a successful red carpet ride down the Strip! With a little luck and some pre-planning, you can fly abeam Las Vegas Boulevard, with a view to rival those spendy Heli-tours. Just remember to observe your clearance minimums as the Stratosphere looms in your windscreen before the entrance to the KVGT pattern!

Arrival into Las Vegas

For our exercise, we will be approaching Las Vegas from the south with a destination of KVGT North Las Vegas. Be sure you take a moment to look at the Las Vegas TAC and FLY charts to familiarize yourself with the local landmarks. You’ll want to be aware of The Ridge, Bank of America Bldg, and the Stratosphere (referred to as Monument on the chart, but as its namesake on the radios). Also, take note that there are heavy skydiving operations just south of Jean airport, east of Interstate 15. They will announce on Jean’s CTAF (122.9) during active jumps.

Las Vegas TAC   Las Vegas FLY

Stratosphere

Set your course towards Jean airport (0L7) as you near Las Vegas. Your best bet is to have been using flight following on your trip in, but if not, contact Las Vegas Approach on 125.9 sometime before the mode-C veil. “Las Vegas approach, Piper 123XH, 30 miles South at 5,500, request bravo transition to North Las Vegas.” Depending on your altitude, this is also a good time to start listening for KVGT ATIS if you have a second radio, otherwise you end up with a high workload as you transition the bravo and get handed off to VGT tower. For the pilots who don’t often operate in Class B airspace, remember that ATC must explicitly clear you into the airspace; a vector and a transponder assignment wont be sufficient to keep you out of hot water if they didn’t say the magic words.

Once you have set your transponder and been cleared into the Bravo, expect to be vectored just west of KHND, and then directly over the numbers for RWY 25 at KLAS. This is where it gets fun! Shortly after you have flown abeam the end of RWY 19 and confirmed visual of the Stratosphere, expect to be granted own-nav, direct to KVGT, and instructed to remain above 3,500 until cleared below by North Las Vegas tower. This is a good time to slow the plane down, adjust your heading to get a bit closer to the scenery, and take in the view.

EncoreWynn

Soon after you fly abeam Wynn Resort (two striking bronze colored ellipse towers), you will be handed off to North Las Vegas tower. Mention the current ATIS identifier on initial contact, and expect to be given a turn instruction and your runway assignment. Depending on winds and traffic at VGT, you will be instructed to turn in before the Strat with a direct-in approach to RWY 30L/downwind for 12R, or turn after the Strat to fly a left base/cross into 25/7. Just remember that the tip of the Stratosphere is at 3,187’ (that’s above VGT TPA!), so maintain that lateral clearance; there’s a good chance that you will descend below it as you make your final turn into KVGT.

If approaching from the southeast, expect vectors to the Henderson (KHND) airport and from there a northerly heading as previously stated. There is skydiving activity at the Boulder City Airport (KBVU) so you will want to use caution when transitioning overhead. Also use caution for multiple helicopter tour operators operating between the ridge (south of KHND) and the Boulder City Airport (KBVU). They all will be on KBVU CTAF until the Boulder City substation (depicted on TAC southeast of KBVU) where they will switch to 120.650. It is recommended that you get flight following from Las Vegas approach when you approach from the southeast. Do note that if you are at an altitude of 8,500 ft or lower in the vicinity of KBVU, you may not be able to communicate with Las Vegas approach as there are many dead spots which are blocked by mountains and the Approach control transmitter site. You may also request the Cortez Arrival into KVGT with Las Vegas approach which starts at Lava Butte(depicted on TAC chart south east of Nellis(KLSV)). You will need a Bravo clearance to fly this arrival. The instructions for this arrival can be found on the inset of the TAC chart. Expect numerous helicopter arrivals to operate underneath you at 3000 to KLAS and KVGT. Their route will take them from Lava Butte to the Stratosphere tower, almost directly under the same path you will take. Also note multiple arrivals to 19L/R to KLAS if the winds are from the south or southeast. Expect to maintain 3,500 until entering the KVGT class D airspace.

If You Don’t Get Cleared into Bravo

If for some reason KLAS isn’t able to accommodate your flight through their airspace, there is a VFR Flyway, which is illustrated on the TAC chart. Follow the 15 Freeway while descending below 4,000, and turn west before you enter KHND airspace. The SFC Bravo is 6 NM from the LAS VORTAC, so use your DME to remain clear of the airspace, following this route to the north. Contact KVGT tower before you reach the Bank of America building.

Touchdown

Once you’re on the ground, you will find transient parking just north of taxiway B at H, with self-serve fuel a bit further north nearby. Do look ahead at the hotspots indicated on the VGT diagram, as this airport is well known for runway incursions. You’ll typically find Ground Control to be accommodating, and it is recommend to request a taxicab over UNICOM (122.95) if you’re planning to use one; the wait can be at least 30 minutes. The fare will average $30-$35 plus tip to get to the Strip. KVGT does have a restaurant on the airport. There are also a number of restaurants at the nearby Hotel/Casino. A second option is to head back to Henderson Executive where there is a great diner with fantastic second floor views of the runway, and a full bar for your passengers!

Heading South

So you’ve won the jackpots, seen the sights, and eaten at the buffet, but now it’s time to think about your trip back out of the valley. Luckily, the transition south is almost identical to the flight in, so go ahead and request the Bravo transition south when you contact KVGT Ground for taxi instructions. KVGT may or MAY NOT coordinate for you, but if not they will give a departure heading, and frequency to contact LAS TRACON to make your request once in the air. Dial this into your second radio if you have one, because you’ll need it soon after rotation.

If you are interested in seeing the Hoover Dam and the tallest concrete span arch bridge in the world request an east departure with KVGT tower. You will also want to make this request if you are headed back to the state of Arizona or towards the Blythe (BLH) VOR. You’ll be handed off to Nellis approach upon departure. You can expect to maintain 5000 and expect vectors to pass right over the center of Nellis AFB (KLSV). Inform them that you will cancel over the Gypsum Mine which is just east of KLSV and depicted on the TAC (on the sectional it is depicted as plant and strip mine). Pilots are requested to monitor 120.65 and it is highly suggested. Be alert for high volume tour traffic in the area. Also observe FAA advisory circular (AC) 91-36, which requests 2,000 AGL clearance in noise sensitive areas. Most of the tour companies over the Hoover Dam will approach the dam from the northwest or will approach from the Boulder City substation which is depicted on the TAC chart just southeast of Boulder City Airport (KBVU). They will be helicopters and will be operating at 3500 on the tour. Be alert for fixed wing tour traffic as well departing from KBVU heading east as well as those returning from the Grand Canyon landing at both Boulder City and Henderson Airports. If you want to skip the dam, inform Nellis approach that you’d like flight following. Expect the vectors out of KVGT as stated above. As you get towards the Gypsum Mine, expect to be handed off to Las Vegas Approach and expect Higher with them.
If the dam doesn’t interest you, you’ve requested a departure to the south-southwest from KVGT tower. Expect a heading assignment on departure with a frequency to contact Las Vegas Approach. You can expect vectors to the west of McCarren airport. You will most likely receive a Bravo clearance unless McCarren is landing runway 7R (usually in the summer months). Out to the west you can expect stunning views of Red Rock National Conservation area off the right side of your airplane. Use caution however getting too close to the mountains out west when the wind is high as downdrafts and turbulence will be present.
Flying around Las Vegas Airspace

Arrows indicate Lava Butte and Hoover Dam

If you’d rather get right out of town without traffic advisories, depart heading 220, remaining north of the Bank of America Building. Once you’ve passed Bank of America, skirt the SFC section of LAS Bravo, remaining 6 NM from the LAS VORTAC and below 4,000’. Follow this around until you have visual of the 15 Freeway, and turn south once you are abeam KHND. There will be varied terrain to the Starboard side of the aircraft, so beware of CFIT and keep a close eye on your altitudes as you climb out; You’ll be flying beneath a major approach corridor for McCarran. It is also recommended to be on frequency with Vegas approach, which KVGT should provide as you exit their airspace(expect 125.9). Be sure not to cross into KHND airspace as you round the bend unless you have radio contact with Tower.

Arrows indicate(North to South): Bank of America, 15 FWY, Turn point

Arrows indicate(North to South): Bank of America, 15 FWY, Turn point

A well-prepared pilot will find the trip into Las Vegas to be straightforward and rewarding! Check back with us soon, and consider attending our free safety meetings!

Posted by: In: News 01 May 2016 Comments: 0

Small Plane Crash near Las Vegas, April 2016

It’s a sad & sobering thought in any pilot’s life when we hear of something that hits close to home: a plane crash. According to news sources, this recent Saturday, April 30th, an Extra 300 that departed from Henderson Executive Airport crashed near the Nevada California border, killing both occupants on board. Not much is knows about the accident other than that. There seem to have been a rash of airplane accidents recently in the Las Vegas valley area. Each time it happens, we’re reminded as pilots of the risks we take every time we climb into the cockpit of an airplane. Our loved ones feel the stress when we hear about accidents like this. We’re reminded that the thing we love so much – flying – is rife with risks.

These kinds of incidents are a good reminder to us that proper & frequent training, and a healthy attitude toward safety & the risks we take, are a key to minimizing that risk. We should take each one of these as an opportunity to reflect on ourselves as aviators, and confront the deficiencies we know we have. Every pilot could be safer. Each flight could have been a little better planned out. We could have been slightly more prepared and familiar.

What happened recently is a tragedy, and our hearts & prayers go out to the families of the crash victims. I urge all of our members and pilots in our communities to always play it safe when it comes to aeronautical decision-making. General Aviation still has an excellent accident record & it is still a very safe industry, but there’s always something more we could be doing to ensure airplane accidents don’t happen or if they do – they have a successful outcome.

Here are some links to the developing story. Again, our best goes out to those involved.

http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/31857609/metro-responds-to-reports-of-downed-aircraft

http://www.ktnv.com/news/plane-crashes-in-dry-lake-beds-near-jean

Posted by: In: meetings, News 24 Sep 2015 Comments: 0

BIG EVENT: PILOT SEMINAR

Desert Flying Club, in conjunction with AOPA, is hosting a Rusty Pilot seminar. This a major event where you receive nearly 3 hours of FREE ground instruction, AND your endorsement for the ground portion of a flight review!

That’s right – come join us in a big hangar for a pancake breakfast, seminar, raffle prizes, and aircraft static displays! Here are the details:

When: Saturday, October 10th
Where: 1450 Jetstream Dr, Ste 100, Henderson, NV
How Much: FREE, but you have to register to attend.
Who: Any & all pilots. Get back into aviation, or just brush up on your knowledge & make friends!

AGENDA:

6:30am – 8:00am: Free pancake breakfast. Come hungry, stay for the event!
8:00am-11:00am: Presentations on private pilot material – Rusty Pilot presentations
11:00am-11:30am: Raffle & Prizes
11:30am-1:00pm: Aircraft static displays + hangar talk (Cirrus, Mooney, Archer + more on display!)

Don’t forget to tell all of your aviation friends who want to get back into flying or haven’t flown in a while. Also, any other pilots are welcome to attend this event. You don’t have to be rusty!

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

SEE DETAILS & REGISTER HERE

 

Posted by: In: News 15 Mar 2015 Comments: 0

Pilots May not Need Medical Exam for Third Class Category + New Bill of Rights

Many members of Congress recognize the need for the legislative branch to be involved with general aviation (GA).  The Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) has an extensive rule making process that generally takes many years before guidelines change. During that time, new advancements in technology and other outside events require significant changes to the rules.

On August 3, 2012, Congress pass the first Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which was introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklamoha).  This bill specifically focused on providing “fair treatment of pilots in FAA enforcement cases and NTSB reviews, streamlined the notam program, and required a review from the Government Accountability Office of the FAA’s medical certification process.”  The bill was a great start to providing fairness to a dwindling and pilot population.

During the debate of the bill, Congress received many comments from pilots that the bill should be expanded to change the requirements for VFR and IFR flight by general aviation pilots.  The requirement of receiving and 3rd class medical certificate is difficult, expensive and burdensome on many pilots.  Additionally, the FAA has not seemed to keep up with advancements in medical science, including making arbitrary decisions on health issues.

Additionally, the safety record of the sport pilot program of self-certification using a valid state issued driver’s license has been outstanding compared with the general pilot population.  What does not make sense is that there is an arbitrary gross weight limit on the aircraft that pilots can fly with a driver’s license, compare with other general aviation aircraft.  There are many other options for pilots in proven air frames, such as Cessna 150/152 or 172, Piper Warrior or Cherokee,  that are often cheaper to acquire, easier to maintain and often easier to fly.

Last year, Senator Inhofe started a new campaign to address the lingering concerns of pilots about the third class medical certificate requirement.  On February 25, 2015, he sponsored the bill in the Senate and a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.  The bill lays out the following changes that are to be put into affect with 180 days of the bill passing:

  • With a valid state driver’s license a pilot may:
    • Transport up to 5 passengers
    • Fly under visual (VFR) or instrument (IFR)
    • In an aircraft that is authorized to carry up to 6 persons
    • Has a maximum takeoff weight up to 6,000 lbs.
  • An airman can appeal a FAA enforcement decision not just to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) but also to a federal district court.
  • Change some requirements of notification of enforcement or pending investigation.
  • Continued improvement of the NOTAM program.
  • Increased protection for pilots who fly as volunteers for non-profits.

The rule specifically for the self-certification using a driver’s license is far broader than the stalled FAA’s rule making process.  Allowing pilots to fly with just a driver’s license in most GA aircraft is a game changer for the entire pilot population.  Considering this change, there are many potential benefits, including:

  • It will allow healthy individuals to flying GA aircraft without the worry and, often difficult process, of obtaining a 3rd class medical certificate.
    • Someone with, for example, controlled type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, would be eligible to fly, whereas under current rules, may not get a medical certificate or could have their medical certificate denied.
  • Remove the fear of potential removal of pilot privileges due to temporary health changes or issues.
  • Allow sport pilots to easily receive a private pilots license and fly larger aircraft in different environments, which are currently disallowed under sport pilot rules.
  • Increase the demand for popular and inexpensive certificated aircraft, such as Cessna 150/152 and 172 or Piper Warrior or Cherokee.
  • Lessen the cost to get a private pilot license.

There are some potential downsides to this new rule.  Part of the push in the industry towards light-sport aircraft (LSA) is that a pilot can fly them without the 3rd class medical.  Without that limitation on other GA aircraft, the demand for LSAs may decline, especially since the performance and capabilities of the aircraft do not often justify the cost of the new aircraft.  For example, the average Cessna 150 can be purchased for $20,000-$30,000 that has similar performance characteristics of a used LSA that costs on average $60,000-$70,000.  This change has the potential to stifle innovation in the LSA market unless manufacturers change quickly to offering higher performing models to compete in cost and capability with normally certificated GA aircraft.

In all, if this bill passes as-is, it will create a huge benefit for the private pilot population.  Desert Flying Club encourages all its members to reach out to your congressional representatives and encourage them to support the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.  It is possible that we could see this change happen in 2015, which would be an exciting change for general aviation!

Posted by: In: News 20 Jan 2015 Comments: 0
Posted by: In: News 02 Oct 2014 Comments: 0 Tags:

Desert Flying Club is forming as a non-profit organization, and we need your help!

We have formally incorporated as a non-profit in Nevada, and our current acting Board of Directors have been meeting, discussing the formation and future of the club! It’s very exciting, and there is lots of work to do.

That’s why we need your help! There will be a lot of volunteer time & effort that goes into forming this organization and making it truly a great place to rent inexpensive airplanes, meet life-long friends, and become a more competent, safer pilot. So we’re searching for motivated people who can fill the following roles:

  • Board of Directors
  • Safety Officer (holds safety meetings & promotes best-practices that will increase our safety in flying)
  • Event Committee Member (organizing fly-outs, social events, member communication of events, etc)
  • Flight Instructors (must be DFC-approved, and have a current CFI rating)
  • Aircraft Lessors (own or want to buy an airplane & offset your cost of ownership by leasing back to DFC)
  • Members! (we are accepting membership applications! Contact us for more info!)
  • Any & Every volunteer – you tell us what you’d like to do or if you’re just interested in getting involved!

We have seen an immense amount of interest in the club so far. Get involved in the local aviation community & be part of something growing! You can email info@desertflying.club or use the contact us page to let us know if you or someone you know is interested in helping.

– DFC Board of Directors