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Long Beach CA KLGB. Sitting on the south ramp I call ground and advise them that I would like to depart VFR to the practice area with information alpha.

They clear me to taxi and hold short runway 34L. I read back my clearance and take a look around. I haven’t flown at long beach before and can’t seem to figure out where that taxiway is (never a good sign :-)).

I ask for progressive taxi and soon enough I am holding short of runway 34L. After a brief run-up I switch to tower and am cleared for takeoff.

As I take off in the Beach Barron I think to my self “what a wonderful airplane, I just wish I knew this plane as well as I know my Cessna“. As I climbed out, I could tell this was going to be a good flight. The air was smooth and did I mention, I am flying my dream GA airplane!

After being handed off to departure, ATC called and requested that I reset my transponder. Sure enough in all the excitement I had forgot to turn it on.

I informed ATC that I wanted to head for the practice area. After a few minutes ATC advised me that I was leaving their airspace and to squawk VFR. I set the transponder to 1200 and got ready for some maneuvers. Just as I was getting the feel for the Barron I looked up and realized that I was IMC in a thunderstorm!

I made a quick 180 but I was still IMC so I looked up the So Cal approach frequency and requested an IFR clearance.

Me: So Cal Approach Barron 825TG

ATC: Barron 825TG SoCal Approach

Me: Barron 825TG is 20 miles east of Seal Beach VOR at 3000 ft requesting IFR clearance for Long Beach.

ATC: Barron 825TG squawk 2234 and Ident

Me: 2234 and ident 825TG

ATC: Barron 825TG is cleared to the Long Beach Airport expect radar vectors ILS 30, maintain 3000 fly heading 120.

Me: Barron 825TG is cleared to Long Beach airport via radar vectors ILS 30 maintain 3000 fly heading 120.

ATC: Barron 825TG read back correct.

After turning to heading 120 I briefed the approach and loaded it in the GPS and com radios.

After a few vectors the turbulence settled down a bit and this started to feel like any other IFR flight. Soon enough I was given my clearance for the ILS 30 approach at Long Beach. After intercepting the localizer So Cal handed me off to Long Beach tower.

Me: Long Beach tower Barron 825TG is on the ILS 30 with information charlie.

Tower: Barron 825TG winds 320 at 10 gust 19 cleared to land runway 30.

Me: Cleared to land 30 Barron 825TG.

As I passed “BECCA” (the outer marker) I set myself up for landing. Gear down (green light). Flaps set approach. Mixtures rich. Props set fully forward. Lights on. Fuel set.

The ILS went well. I kept the needles centered but I could feel the pressure of the flight on my mind.

800 feet. I broke out with the runway right where it should be! Cleared to land one last check. Crossing the airport boundary I bring my power back but I am not slowing down.

Okay… It looks like I am slowing down. Never-mind just fly the airplane. Flair… Airspeed isn’t moving. Touchdown.. Real nice.

Wait. What just happened! My left gear collapsed!

Seems I forgot to check all THREE green lights on the gear (our 182rg only has one light) and the instructor failed my airspeed indicator.

Good thing this was a simulator. Bad thing.. I was in Hanger C at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 with a bunch of airline pilots standing behind me!

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda