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Bridge… What bridge?

Tuesday 12 October 2010
USABlue Sky Flying AdventuresFlying

I think this is the best day of our flying tour so far… We stopped at nice places and we’ve seen things that I thought we would never get close to.

While loading up our plane, we saw the new Cessna 162 SkyCatcher; this is airplane was recently introduced to the market. It’s not yet available in Europe I think. It’s a small 2 seater aircraft; very basic but with a glass cockpit. The stick is a bit special. It moves from side to side in order to control the ailerons. According to the owner, that’s something that looks strange, but works great. Nice plane, but not for me… It’s too small, too light. I really like the 182 we’re flying during this tour. It’s got a great engine; enough power to take 3 people, a lot of luggage and still allows for enough fuel to fly for at least 3 hours.

We’re on route to Murray Field, but before going there, we will make a detour to see mount Shasta. Today’s tracks will bring us back to the coastline and therefore we need to fly over the mountain range between us and the coast. The weather is good; visibility perfect and the wind isn’t very strong. Good conditions to cross these high hills.

Then we follow the coast to another beautiful airport: Shelter Cove. This is a place where people that can afford it, have their second, third or fourth house. They come here to play golf or just relax. And that’s all that you can do here…

We were just in time for the weekly farmer’s market.

After some fish and chips at the local “restaurant”, we pottered around before taking of for the next stop.

We filmed the departure of “Team Slow”; right on the centerline at hole whatever of the golf course:

I can’t imagine doing something like that at an airport in Europe… It’s great to fly in the US!

On to Sonoma; another stop to stretch the legs.

Next stop: Half Moon Bay. This is where we will say goodbye to Marianne and Henk; they will spend a few days in San Francisco and this airport Is the perfect stop to take a taxi to their hotel. On our way to the field we had the opportunity to fly along the bay area. Here’s the Richmond San Rafael Bridge:

Here’s Alcatraz Island:

And the world famous Golden Gate Bridge:

It still amazes me that we are allowed to fly here. This is one of the biggest cities of the USA; there’s a big airport nearby and the bridge must be one of the most protected locations in this country. But there we are at a 1000 feet over it… It’s a big place…

The G1000 is extremely helpful when navigating this area with all its different airspaces. Another nice feature: TIS or Traffic Information Service; it shows aircraft that are close to you. Have a look at the screen:

Time to say goodbye to Marianne and Henk and get out of here. We’re running out of time and the fog is coming in. On our last track to Monterey it’s strange to see the fog over the ocean and touching land. It’s difficult to distinguish land and water. We made it just in time to Monterey; both from a daylight as a fog point of view.

We ended this very pleasant day in a nice restaurant at the pier. As stated in the beginning of this post: this was the best flying day so far. The views, the weather, even the landings; everything was just perfect.

That’s it for today. Have a look at the pictures of today: Flying from Benton (O85) to Monterey (KMRY) and the tracks of today:

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