Today I completed an interesting flying trip to Santa Ana’s John Wayne airport to visit a company that has a cure for cold sores. I’ll talk about my flight down in this post, and next I’ll write about the company.
It’s always exciting to fly a small plane in the Los Angeles basin, at least for a “non-native” pilot like me from Northern California. I use to bring an extra shirt with me, because I would often land with a sweaty back after flying through the warm, moist air with all that nervous energy. I’m more relaxed now, but definitely on high alert. Definitely.
There is always of lot of 737 jet traffic in and out of the John Wayne airport. This time they vectored me out towards the channel islands, then past the airport against the hills. Once there was a break in the 737 jet traffic, I was brought in on the approach. Near the airport, they asked me to side-step over to the shorter runway so they could continue bringing in the “heavy iron”.
We had a productive meeting right there at the airport with six people in the conference room that Signature Flight Support provided. Fuel is quite expensive there at almost $5.50 per gallon, but the facilities are first rate and it is very nice to have a conference room waiting for us.
Leaving John Wayne always takes me a while. The easiest way is via an IFR flight plan (in which case you have a pre-planned route and/or controllers tell you exactly where to go), but the pre-planned route is complex and just programming the GPS takes quite a few minutes. Craig got bored and started doing a crossword puzzle while I got my clearance and futzed with the instruments.
Then when airborne we were vectored around, sometimes a short-cut on the pre-planned route, and sometimes a vector away from traffic. Finally we were cleared to climb to 10,000 feet and up and out of the LA basin. Then the iPod came out for some music piped into the headsets and it was clear sailing all the way home.
Near home the sunset was beautiful. I dropped Craig off at Jackson airport, then headed home to my home airport of Placerville. Tomorrow I’ll write more about the company we visited.