I need to sum the trip up. That will be a long considered post. For now I'll describe the final flight.
Derwood woke me up. I had a really solid sleep last night. It was a good time to wake up though.
The weather for our trip looked good. There was an airmen for IFR weather in the Chino basin but it hadn't eventuated. We decided to indulge in the hotel 'food' for a bit of a breakfast. Chino is on a different time zone so we wanted to wait until 08:00 local so we would get a METAR from Chino produced by a person, not a machine, at 07:00 Chino time.
Derwood dug up a taxi for us and he duly turned up in his Toyota capable of 7000RPM ( ask me how I know) playing Magic Carpet Ride. 'A little bit of rock on roll on' he advised. A nice guy, down to earth.
By 08:30 we were away with a positive weather outlook ahead. The briefer told me he wanted to visit NZ. I hope some of these guys do. And I hope I get to help them out one day, even a little bit.
The flight headed south initially. Level at 8500' I was keen to avoid the Las Vegas Class B so we tracked to fly around it. The terrain slowly changed from high hills, desert in style, to desert proper.
We flew along taking in the amazing colours of the land below as we flew to the South of Las Vegas.
“TRAFFIC” came through our headset. The box showed' about and close on the right. A quick scan and we had a Southwest 737 off to our right. He was on a high right base to the ILS into Las Vegas runway 26. What a cool sight. This happened again a little while later. While we were clear of airspace I can only assume we were probably giving the controller something to do. With the speed the second Southwest Jet flew by I'm sure he was just as interested in us as we were of him.
Shortly after that we spotted a Twin Otter heading for the grand canyon on a sightseeing tour.
We turned right at our track intersection to head more toward Chino. The land changed to a vast sandpit. Lots of nothing with the occasional road and railway.
I confess to not enjoying the desert flying. We both were certainly more on edge. Duane had told us that rather than water, you're better off with a .45 when flying over the desert. “just how long to you want to prolong it? “.
A we approach LA we shuffled for a frequency to get a clearance into the Class C. We got shunted around a few frequencies until we finally ended up being directed back to our first choice. They are busy. I can only assume the controller didn't hear me and thought we were somewhere else. Anyhow, someone finally acknowledged us which here is the equivalent of a clearance into the C. In reality a clearance isn't required but you do need to have two way comms. So if a controller doesn't want you, he just ignores you. They are extremely helpful for the level of traffic they have to deal with. I won't make comment on our own guys at home but I certainly will see them differently after this trip.
Before we knew it we were cleared to land on 26L and the adventure was over.
I find myself slightly emotional again. More to come I a day or two. I think I'll write it on the plane home.
For now I'm off to find my FedEx box of clothes. I'm sick of these ones!