February 01, 2014
Fred's a colleague of mine, and has put up with enough of my stories at work about flying to call my bluff and ask me for a flight sometime. So here we are at Hayward (KHWD), taking the California Airways DA-40 for a nice VFR Bay Tour. The weather's perfect (creepily so, given the drought here in California), and, really, there's not much to say about the resulting 90 minute flight around the Golden Gate, Angel Island, San Francisco's Fishermans Wharf (we both work across from Pier 39), the Marin Headlands, Richmond, Napa, Concord, and other places nearby except it was a pleasant return to VFR flying with a passenger who's not a pilot but keen about flying.
The only drama — and really, it wasn't very dramatic — came on returning back to Hayward from across the hills when someone spotted what looked like clothing on the threshold of runway 28L, which was closed for maybe ten minutes, meaning we had to do a bunch of maneuvers to let the planes originally cleared for 28L land in front of us on 28R (it happened just as we were cleared on right base for 28R). Fred was following along well enough on the radio to understand what was happening, which was impressive; we ended up on an extended downwind waiting for a Mooney to flash past us. Otherwise, a scenic but entirely undramatic flight with a couple of touch and goes at Napa to keep proficient.
I'd spent much of the day before the flight wondering if I'd get the details — fuel pumps, flap settings, prop settings, etc. — correct on my own, but in the end, the combination of the iPad checklist app and my own memory seems to have served me well. I know I keep saying this, but I should do this more often...