Well this will go down as one of the epic days in aviation. My daughter asked a couple of weeks ago if we could go flying. After the shock wore off I told her OF COURSE!! I booked the aircraft on the spot. That was two weeks ago. Of course a storm had to move in this morning… BUT! It’s a California storm which means high overcast, wind from the south, and MAYBE some rain here or there. Perfect flying conditions.
We got to the airport at 8am. I was wondering what condition the airplane would be in because it was rented for the two hours leading up to my booking. However, when we got there the prior pilot was walking out as we were walking in and passed off the key to me while letting me know he had topped off the fuel tanks. Thanks random student pilot!
It was a little chilly so my daughter Angela sat in the plane while I did my pre-flight inspection. Everything checked out so I couldn’t think of any reason not to fly. We started up the plane, taxied down to runway 10 (since the wind was out of the southeast) and did my pre-takeoff checklist. We took to the runway and started the slow climb up to 2000 feet MSL (Mean Sea Level).
At first we headed into the Sierra foothills but it proved to be a little bumpy there due to the winds from the south blowing over the hills and causing mechanical turbulence. Instead I decided to take us back out over the valley and give Angela some flight time. The whole point of flying was that she wanted to try actually flying the airplane. And fly she did. It was a little daunting for her at first but after she got a feel for the controls, and how you really only need a light touch, she really settled into it. We just flow around Escalon and Riverbank and then over our house and church in Modesto.
The map above shows our general route of flight. The yellow highlighted part is the portion Angela flew.
Or if you don’t read aeronautical charts, here’s a regular map with a simplified version of our route:
I think she did great and I hope she wants to go again! I would love to have her as a flying buddy. We’ll pick a time when the weather is better and we can fly longer. Maybe head over the San Francisco Bay or over to Half Moon Bay. But we’ll go somewhere.