Building Time: LVK-PVF

Since my last post I’ve had my head buried deep inside books, approach plates, and websites designed to make the vast knowledge a pilot must know a little bit more comprehensible. I’ve learned about turbocharged engines, oxygen systems, and “advanced aerodynamics.” The days since my last flight have drawn out like the slow recession of a tide. I’ve been waiting for that tide to again rise and give me life. This, as you may or may not have noticed, is a metaphor for my anticipation and yearning for another flight; something that again gives me life in this cycle of flying and studying.

The other day I opened my sectional chart and wondered: where have I not been? One of my goals from here on out is to leave my comfort zone (within the realms of safety, of course) to help further my skills and ability as a pilot. I found Placerville. I’ve never been there, and it is placed in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, one of my favorite places to fly. So let it be written, so let it be done.

My route would take me over Los Vaqueros Reservoir, over to Sacramento VOR, and direct to Placerville airport. My route home cut directly through the central valley because navigation is so easy. Mt. Diablo can easily be seen 100 miles away and acts as a homing beacon back home.


The only thing notable about my departure was that the ATIS was out of service. ATIS is a system that tells pilots, over a certain frequency, vital weather knowledge and other notices. I climbed over the hills, past Mt. Diablo, and over “The Delta” near Rio Vista.

I reached the SAC VOR (VOR stands for VHF Omnidirectional radio Range, and is a type of navigation aid) and turned towards the East. At this point the city of Sacramento was passing to my left hand side and the suburbs were ahead of me.


Upon reaching Placerville I heard a very interesting advisement over the radio. “Placerville traffic, Cessna N1234A, caution deer on the runway, Placerville.” If I were to hit a deer on the runway it would certainly ruin my day and the plane would not fare too well either. Luckily they had moved off the runway by the time I was ready to land.

Placerville (PVF)

Placerville is beautiful airport, and the runway has a nice up slope which provides a nice challenge. During the flight back I enjoyed the most magical time of day in which to fly: sunset and twilight. In my experiences, nothing really compares to the sight of a sunset from the air (I enjoyed mine from 6,500 feet). Right about now is the time to be jealous, envious, whatever. Life is good. Tomorrow I’ll hit the books again. Next week I start my commercial license training, maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.


~ by Marcus on September 2, 2010.

3 Responses to “Building Time: LVK-PVF”

  1. looks like a sunset at 6500ft is going on my bucketlist.

  2. Wow some nice pics

  3. The Placerville airport is in a lovely setting. Your pictures and graphics are great. Omi

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