Some Lady Named Marie Osmond and 60+mph Headwinds

/*! elementor – v3.18.0 – 20-12-2023 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Some Lady Named Marie Osmond My youngest son is a student at Utah Tech University in St. George, UT. A gifted musician, he is there on a trumpet scholarship, playing in the Symphonic Band and Orchestra….

Written by
Richard Brown
Published on
31 Mar 2024

Some Lady Named Marie Osmond

My youngest son is a student at Utah Tech University in St. George, UT. A gifted musician, he is there on a trumpet scholarship, playing in the Symphonic Band and Orchestra. He also plays the flute, his declared major, as well as the piano. The Mooney has shortened the distance from a 6 hour drive to a 2-3 hour flight and we have been able to visit him and see many of his performances in person.

A couple months ago the following call took place.

Son: “Mom, are you and dad coming to my next concert?”
Mom: “When is it?”
Son: “The 22nd, some lady named Marie Osmond is going to perform with us. There’s a song called ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and that’s me, I’m the trumpet soloist for it.”
Mom: Trying to stifle a laugh at the ‘Some Lady’ comment – “Yes, let me talk to your dad, I’m sure we’ll be there.”

When my wife called me and told me of the conversation I was laughing at the ‘Some Lady’ comment as well and said we had to be there. “He has no idea who she is and how famous she is in the performing world,” I told my wife. My sisters and I used to listen to a record of the Osmonds, way back when Marie was just a kid. Now my son would be performing with Marie Osmond, I wasn’t going to miss it.

The concert was on a Friday night, which meant I either had to miss a day of work to drive, or if the weather was good, I could work until about 1pm and we could still get there in plenty of time. As the trip approached, I kept a close eye on the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday. We needed to not only be there Friday evening, but also had to be home Sunday for some responsibilities my wife had at church.

Getting to St George

Thursday came and I took another look at the weather and decided we would be flying. I would likely need an IFR clearance to get back into the LA basin Saturday, and the forecast winds coming home would make it a slow flight, but I had no idea how slow the flight would be.

I worked Friday at our Buena Park store which is just a couple miles from Fullerton (KFUL) so that I could maximize my time at work instead of wasting time on a long drive. My wife met me there just before 1pm with lunch and we were in the air at 1:10pm.

The flight was beautiful and uneventful, my favorite kind. The winds aloft were a light mix of headwinds, crosswinds, and tailwinds which all but cancelled each other out. No wind flight time would be 1:55 and we landed with a flight time of 2:03. That was much better than the 6:39 it would have taken to drive according to what Google showed when we were getting ready to depart.

National Rental had the car there waiting for us and we stopped by my wife’s dad’s home for dinner and to visit before going to the concert.


The concert was incredible. Marie puts on a great show. She would sing, chat with the audience and sing some more. About two or three songs in she talked about trying to expand her talents and that she wanted to learn to sing opera. I don’t know the name of the opera song she sang next, but it was amazing and got her a standing ovation.

The program didn’t have a list of the songs so I had texted my son beforehand if he knew when The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B fit into the show. I wanted to record it and didn’t want to miss any of it.

I may be a bit biased, but he nailed the solo in the piece! He even got a shout out from Marie at the end of the piece. Everyone was applauding and she turns to the orchestra and says, “Jarom stand up! Jarom Brown, your trumpet player, stand-up Babe. That was awesome. Thank you Jarom, that was awesome.”

Yep, that’s a proud dad moment!

We grabbed some pictures with him after the concert.

A Slow Grind Home with some IMC

I took a look at the forecast winds before going to bed and hoped they might be slightly better, or at least not worse when I looked in the morning. The next morning, they weren’t better, but they weren’t any worse. It was going to be a slow flight back, and I definitely would need an IFR clearance to get back into the LA Basin.

After meeting my son for breakfast we headed back to the airport.

Fortunately, it would be VFR most of the way, so rather than file IFR for the entire flight I planned to fly VFR and pick up my IFR clearance enroute. The Hector (HEC) VOR makes a great point to pick up an IFR clearance. It is located in Center’s airspace instead of a busy approach sector so they typically have more time for you. It is also one of the transition points for the EEMLN ONE Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) which is usually assigned coming back in from the north.

I did the math backwards to determine when we would arrive at HEC and filed an IFR flight plan from HEC to KFUL departing at the time I expected to get there. We taxied down to the run up area for runway 19 at KSGU in front of a regional jet. As he was approaching he called on the radio, “St George Traffic, SkyWest 4253, we’re going t be taking off here runway 19 in just a minute, Mooney in the run-up are you guys going to be ready soon or do you need a minute?”

It was nice of him to ask.

“We need about three minutes if you’re ready to go,” I replied.

“Ok, we’re ready so we’ll just go here in front of you, thank you,” he said.

“Yep, thanks,” I said.

It’s always fun to share the airport with the big iron.

We had blue skies with a few high clouds as we departed St George into what would be constant headwinds the entire flight. South of Las Vegas we left our cruising altitude of 10,500’ to stay below the cloud layers ahead. We were still VFR and 90 miles from HEC, and although we could have called up center to get a pop-up IFR, I didn’t want to be in the clouds yet. The outside air temps had been hovering between -3° and -4° C and I didn’t want to be stuck cruising in the clouds at those temps.

Further south it was supposed to open back up and then we would only be in and out of the clouds for a short time before descending to warmer air. I also hoped that the 50+ mph headwinds we had been fighting against might be better lower, they weren’t.

IFR Clearance and Approach

I had timed everything well, we would be reaching HEC within 5 minutes of my planning.

Me: “LA Center, Mooney 1015E, 20 miles north of Hector, we’d like to pickup our IFR.” (I forgot to give him my current altitude)
Center: “I’m sorry, calling Center, who was that?”
Me: “Mooney 1015E, we’re eight thousand five hundred, twen- no nineteen miles north of Hector, like to pickup our IFR.”
Center: “Stand by please.”

Normally they come back to you fairly quickly. I had timed it right so the strip should have been right there but it must not have been. There was chatter between Center and a number of other planes and eight minutes later without a call back I was thinking maybe he forgot me in the shuffle.

Me: “LA Center, Mooney 1015E, just checking on that IFR clearance.”
Center: “Just trying to find your flight plan sir, stand by, sorry.”

I’m not sure if that meant he was looking, or he had forgotten, but either way I was back on his mental radar.

Center: “Squawk 4722.”
Me: “4722, 15Echo”

We weren’t IFR yet, but one step closer. Twenty seconds later he was back with our clearance.

Center: “November 1015E, you are cleared to the Fullerton airport via direct to Hector and the EMMLN ONE arrival, climb maintain one-zero thousand.”
Me: “Cleared to Fullerton airport, direct Hector, the EMMLN ONE arrival, climb maintain one-zero thousand, 15Echo.”

The climb put us into the clouds, and we started bouncing around. The autopilot was doing a good job holding altitude and heading but I kept one hand lightly on the yoke in case it decided to disconnect and kept my instrument scan going even though they were blurry at times due to the bumps.

Ten minutes later we were back in clear skies with just a trace of ice on the outside air temp sensor in the left window and the air smoothed back out. We hadn’t gone very far with the 45-50 mph headwinds which would soon be 60+ mph. It was fascinating to me to look at the clouds we were flying over. The winds were over 45 mph but the clouds didn’t look like they were moving at all.

A Bonanza coming the other direction checked in on the radio.

Bonanza: “Joshua Approach, Bonanza 832H, level niner thousand.”
Approach: “Bonanza 832H, Joshua Approach, Palmdale altimeter two-niner-eight-four, traffic twelve o’clock, one-zero miles turning southbound level one-zero thousand, a Mooney.”
Bonanza: “32Hotel is in IMC.”

About 20 seconds went by.

Bonanza: “32Hotel is out of IMC, I can look for traffic.”
Approach: “November 32Hotel, roger. November 15Echo, traffic twelve o’clock, five miles, opposite direction, a Bonanza at niner thousand.”
Me: “We’re looking but about to go IMC, 15Echo.”
Approach: “15Echo, roger.”

Silly me, I thought we might end up IMC before we saw him, but we had 63 mph on the nose and he had the same winds pushing him along and we spotted him before reaching the clouds.

Me: “Traffic in sight, 15Echo.”
Approach: “Roger.”

With that we were back into the clouds where we would remain for most of the next 22 minutes on descent. I watched as the speed of the headwinds went from 63 mph to 65 mph, and then peaked at 67mph. With our groundspeed dropping into double digits I was glad we were in a Mooney and not a slower plane.

A few times we broke out of the clouds and skimmed along the tops, one of the most exhilarating feelings as you get a true sense of your speed, before punching back into the next cloud bank. We weren’t very far onto the arrival before he took us off of it.

Approach: “November 1015Echo, descend maintain 8,000.”
Me: “Descend maintain 8,000, 15Echo.”

That simplified things as I didn’t have to hit crossing altitudes at the waypoints ahead.

A few minutes later after flying through a bunch of rain he cleared us down to 6,000. When he cleared us direct DOWDD I tossed out the request for the RNAV into KFUL.

I knew he wouldn’t give it to me, but I hoped he might pass it on to the next sector. Having flown this profile before, I knew that once we got to DOWDD, it would only be a couple minutes before I would fly through final and they would hand me off again. At that point, they are working me around the traffic going into John Wayne which leads to time getting vectored around.

Anytime I’ve been able to get the request in early they are happy to give me the RNAV and vector me onto final from the north because it keeps me clear of the John Wayne traffic.

Approach: “Mooney 15Echo, cleared direct DOWDD.”
Me: “Cleared direct DOWDD, and we’d like to request the RNAV 24 into Fullerton if we can get it.”
Approach: “November 15Echo, roger, you’ll make that request in two frequencies, maybe the next one but probably two frequencies.”
Me: “Roger, 15Echo.”

Forty seconds later we were handed off and I threw the request out there again on my check in.

Me: “SoCal Approach, Mooney 1015Echo descending through 7,000 direct DOWDD and also we’d like to request the RNAV 24 if we can get it.”
Approach: “November 1015Echo, Ontario altimeter two-niner-eight-seven.”
Me: “Two-niner-eight-seven, 15Echo.”

No response about the approach, but the request was out there. I looked at the clock and knew the ATIS at KFUL would have changed since the last time I listened to it, so I put it on my second radio and copied it down. Then I let Approach know I had the current ATIS.

Two minutes after that I had my answer about the approach request.

Approach: “November 15Echo, do you want to start the approach from Pomona or do you want to start it from LEYMI?”
Me: “We can start it from LEYMI.” (That’s more direct)
Approach: “November 15Echo, roger.”

We cruised along just above the clouds for a few more minutes.

Approach: “November 15Echo, descend maintain 3,000, expect LEYMI shortly.”
Me: “Descend maintain 3,000, we’ll expect that, 15Echo.”

As we began the descent we went back into the layer and I hoped that I might get to log the approach. To log it you must be in IMC after crossing the final approach fix (FAF). Although I have flown that approach numerous times I reviewed the plate verbally as we approached 10 miles from LEYMI.

There was one more handoff and we were cleared direct to LEYMI. Two miles from LEYMI, still in solid IMC we were cleared for the approach. We intercepted final, began the step down, and were handed off to tower.

Me: “Fullerton tower, Mooney 1015Echo on the RNAV 24.”
Tower: “Mooney 1015Echo, Fullerton Tower, how ill the approach terminate?”
Me: “Full stop.”
Tower: “Mooney 15Echo, wind two-five-zero at niner, runway two-four, cleared to land.”
Me: “Two-four cleared to land, 15Echo.”

Still in solid IMC we continued down crossing HAVUR at 2,700’ and then beginning a descent down to 2,000’ where we would cross AKTAQ, the final approach fix. My hopes of logging the approach were dashed 1.2 miles from AKTAQ when we broke out of the clouds at 2,300’. There was the airport out in front of us. I would get to log almost 45 minutes of IMC in my logbook but no approach.

The flight home took over an hour longer than the flight there, coming in at 3:06 with headwinds topping out at 67mph, but it was still better than driving!

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Some Lady Named Marie Osmond and 60+mph Headwinds

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Richard Brown

31 Mar 2024

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