Page 40 - Nov 19 TNT
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 Only in America by Kevin Ware  I am 15,500 feet over the approach end of Runway 26L at McCarran International Airport (KLAS) in Las Vegas. I am in a Cessna 340 and not required to talk to anyone on the radio. But for awareness reasons, I have the tower controller on Com 1, who is talking nonstop to inbound airline traffic. On Com 2, I have the approach controller whose frequency I could not get a word in even if I wanted to. But with the transponder code set to 1200 and ADS-B on, I am perfectly legal up here. In fact, I have not keyed the mic even once since leaving Concord back in the San Francisco Bay area an hour ago. This could only be done in America. Two days earlier, my wife Kari and I left Seattle in our Cessna 340 for an extended personal and business trip through the Southwest. I regularly fly jets IFR in the flight levels and talk with controllers constantly, so when I go on a personal flight, I try to stay in the lower altitudes and avoid talking to anyone. Generally, the altitudes between 12,500 feet and 17,500 feet are nearly empty of traffic. This is because turbine aircraft really need to get into the flight levels for efficiency reasons, and non-pressurized piston aircraft try to stay below 12,500 feet because they don’t want to put on the O2 mask. So, in that one-mile thick slice of airspace between 12,000 and 17,000 feet, 38 • TWIN & TURBINE / November 2019 

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