June 07, 2006

Just Another Bay Tour

Another Bay Tour, this time with Rob P., a colleague from my day job in San Francisco. A cool, luminous late afternoon and early evening, a steady seabreeze, a cloudless blue sky: Northern California flying! It's a relief to just get in the 172 and go, no flight plan, no vectors, no autopilot, no endless knob-twiddling or menu-searching, no ILS or localizer, just the Blue Book, the sectional, the terminal chart, and a briefing from DUATS. Cool! I keep saying I should do this more often, but sometimes it's hard to find the time.

We cross the hills and run up the Diablo Valley and over Concord (KCCR), land at Napa (just to show Rob what it's like), then fly slowly over San Pablo Bay towards Angel Island and the The Bridge, maneuvering lazily at various altitudes, watching for the other traffic. Rob seems to enjoy it immensely, and after maybe half an hour he's having no trouble keeping the plane within 100' of the assigned altitude and on heading from the right seat, without his ever having flown any sort of plane before. By the time we've landed back at Hayward (directly into the sun) he's asking me what it would take for him to get flight training...

2 comments:

Matthew Stibbe, editor of ModernPilot.com said...

Although I live in London, I've done the 'Bay Tour' three times. Once in a BA 747 on the 'Bay Tour' departure out of SFO. The second time in a PA28 out of SQL when I had about 10 hours total time and the third, again from SQL, in a DA-20 after I had my PPL but when I was renting a flat in San Francisco. Each one was a 'perfect moment' and reading this post made me pine for my favourite city. Thanks. Matthew

Hamish said...

Matthew -- thanks! I'm always amused when I'm pottering about on the Bay Tour under the SFO Class B and hear a Southwest 737 pilot out of Oakland also on the Bay Tour passing just over me for the Golden Gate heading for the Golden Gate at 200 knots...