Sunday, June 23, 2019

June 22nd

It's the AOPA Fly-in at Livermore, but that's a) insanely busy and b) controlled airspace.  Chris had flown down to meet up with some gyroplane guys on Thursday, but neither Randy nor I have a controlled airspace endorsement (yet), so we'd been talking about driving down.  The thing is, it's at last 2 hours each way in the car, so we'd pretty much decided not to go. 

Randy came up with a great idea - we'd fly to Byron, Paul would pick us up there and drive us to Livermore.  I got to the airport early so I could clean my air filter (it was out of oil, so it was due), got the plane out and was all ready to go when Randy arrived.  We were going to have a decent tail wind all the way down, and I took off first - I was at about 750' by half way down the runway, so I did an early crosswind and headed South.  I called McLellan to let them know I was passing to the East at about 2,000', then carefully threaded my way between Sacramento Executive and Mather's class D airspace, then pointed straight at Byron and started listening for Randy.  I was constantly telling him where I was, but he never really told me how far behind he was.  When I passed the 2,000' towers, I slowed down to ~65mph (airspeed) and told him not to run in to me.  As I was approaching Byron, he said he was 21 miles from Byron - I was about 10 miles from Byron at that point.  Oh well, at least he got to practice navigating by himself rather than just following me :o)  I was looking on the map, and at the hills in front of me, and thinking Byron must be on the other side - the tallest peak nearby was listed at 2,200, and I wanted to be comfortably over that because of the wind, so I was climbing towards 4,000' when I saw Byron.  This side of the hills.  Doy.  I descended (a lot), joined the pattern and landed.  I was getting off at the first taxiway and there was a glider towing up - I stopped to allow them past, but they wanted to get on the runway on the taxiway I was on, so I ended up taxying around a bit to get to the parking area.  I parked, then waved Randy in to park next to me (2 gyros takes up way less space than 1 fixed wing).  The Patriots jet display team are based at Byron (I didn't know this), and 2 of the jets were going out - I went out and waved at them, and they popped smoke back at me :o)  Paul showed up while I was chatting to a fire marshall, we loaded everything up and headed to the show.  The show was interesting - we watched the STOL demonstration (the highlight being Draco and Yee-Haw) and met up with a bunch of gyro guys who were in town for the show.  I got to sit in Peter's bright yellow AR-1 that he'd flown up from Los Angeles.

As everything started to shut down, Paul drove us back to Byron, and Chris flew from Livermore and met us, before heading out.  We headed towards Cameron Park, and once we'd got almost past Mather, Chris headed home, and Randy and I headed towards Lincoln.  After a while, I noticed Randy was drifting off to the West, so I followed him - he thought he was heading back towards Lincoln, but after we'd landed, we figured that he'd told his GPS to go to Lincoln, but we'd carried on to avoid Mather's airspace, and he was then headed back to get on that original track rather than using the heading bug at the top of his screen :o)

No comments:

Post a Comment