A trip down memory lane
It was a cold winter day- sunny, but cold. The preflight briefer warned that it was going to be clear, but cold, with headwinds all the way up the Sacramento Valley. Lower is better he reiterated. Decision time was nearing. Go or no go? It has been so long since I had flown alone, I racked my brain to remember when last I had flown solo. Since getting my instrument rating, I have always had another pilot along, so I could fly an approach and stay instrument current. This flight though had to be done solo.
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Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus by my friend Laith Zori. Check out more here.
After I got my PPL, there were many a time when I would show up at the airport for a quick flight early in the morning before heading out to work or in the evening for a sunset flight. Living in a small campus town, close to the airport made this sort of thing easy.
Just an hour or so, flying along the coast, first heading west, then turning north, swinging around the Morro Rock, peering at the waves, the beach goers, the surfers and the rising or setting sun, following the coast up north towards the Hearst Castle.
Looping around Hearst Castle. Swinging by Piedras Blancas, before heading back south. Through San Simeon Bay, back over Morro Beach, and continuing south to Avila Beach, Pismo Beach and Oceano before heading back home.
What a fantastic flight, just like that!
If you are a regular at Oshkosh during Airventure, you know what I am talking about. Nine years ago, I got to take a ride in the coveted Breezy!
The air rushed at us as Mike eased the stick back. Whoa! This must be how Orville felt on that fateful day in December in Kitty Hawk when he lifted of the ground. The Breezy is no comparison to the Wright Flyer. The original Breezy was designed by Carl Unger. It is a “no cockpit” aircraft with a set of modified PA-12 wings and a continental engine. After almost 40 years of giving rides the original Breezy was donated to the EAA Airventure Museum.
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A memorable photo journey
Over St John’s River and Lake Poinsetta area at low altitude to view river, marshes, and wildlife in a 1940 Waco UPF-7 Biplane.
We then turned northeast and flew over the Indian and Banana Rivers towards Kennedy Space Center & Cape Canaveral.Approached Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to the northwest, and came in low flying down the middle of the Space Shuttle runway.
Flew over the nearby KSC/NASA Vehicle Assembly Building, new Blue Origin and Space X building, to the east of the Launch Complexes 39A and 39B.
A slow, low circle over the KSC Visitor Center, with Rocket Garden, Atlantis Center.
Then south towards Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, flying over the cruise ship terminals, cruise ships, and port, and then down along and over Coca Beach.
A little stick time for me as we turned west and headed back to Merritt Island for a landing.
What a fantastic flight. If you are ever in the Orlando area check out Florida Air Tours and take a ride with Mike.
End of a decade
2019 marks the end of the first decade in the 21st century.
I only flew once this year. And what a flight that was…
There was tremendous progress on other fronts, and I think next year should bring forth many more flying adventures.
The top five visited posts this past year were:
- GA Flying over Niagara Falls
- Flying to the Bahamas in a C172
- Point-to-point Navigation
- Oshkosh Flyin: Rock your Wings
- Indian Women Pilots
Interesting to see that the viewership of my Niagara Falls article was double the Bahamas article which until last year was the most visited!
Photo courtesy Gert.
Here’s wishing an exciting and adventurous Roaring 20’s!