James: The current issue of IFR has an article on MSA’s. It is quite an eye opener, since some of the data that the FAA is relying on may not be entirely accurate.
The only source to the pilot of MSA is the altitudes on the DP or on the chart.
Anaheim 3 is a handy chart to have. I don’t have the tower enroute city pair list here, but part of the TEC from the west side of the basin over to Brackett, Cable, etc. involves POXKU, or in ATC speak Victor 8 Victor 363. I think it may also involve WILMA or ATC speak Victor 25 Victor 8. If you are flying GPS, these waypoints will save figuring out the airway intersections by VOR radials. The clearances are almost universally to an intersection defined by Victor airways but if you know the intersection name and it is in the Garmin database that works great.
You will frequently get a clearance from SoCal consisting of a vector to join an airway. What I do is engage heading and altitude hold (if not already on) look at the chart and the flight plan page of the Garmin to figure out if you need a new waypoint to get the airway segment involved, highlight the “downstream” waypoint to make that airway segment the active leg of the flight plan and then hit HDG and NAV together to arm the course intercept. It is a little complicated for Victor 8 since there is a bend at SLI.
I am assuming that you were give a northwest vector to join the piece of Victor 8 between PDZ and SLI. This would mean putting in PDZ just prior to SLI then highlighting SLI and pushing the direct to key to activate that segment.
Once you have that in place, check to see that the rest of the flight plan is consistent with the clearance. You may need to delete a waypoint or two or three if they no longer apply.
It also helps to “replay” the sequence using the Garmin simulator to go through each step that is needed to fly the clearance.
I don’t yet have the digital recorder set up on my Cirrus, but that would be very helpful in terms of review and learning from the flight just completed.
I was a little rusty coming into Oxnard last weekend. When SoCal gave me a simple clearance of a vector to join the Oxnard localizer, I started by looking at the approach plate for the frequency for the localizer. What I should have done is just hit PROC and select the ILS 25, vectors, and activate the approach. Then hit HDG and NAV together and the plane will fly the clearance. Remember to load the NAV frequency (or check to see that the GNS 430 did that automatically).
When I am close to the extended centerline, just switch to VLOC and fly the approach. By doing this in the simulator post flight you reinforce the steps that get you to the route you need with the least amount of keystrokes and looking.