Stranded In The Southland

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Zipping Around the LA Basin

Well, I got my chance to zip around the LA basin today, stopping off at Brackett, Fullerton, and Riverside airports. It was wonderful just being up in the air on a beautiful day, seeing everything from a totally different perspective.

It was kinda tough, though, figuring out where I was going, communicating the the controllers, working the radios, and landing at new and different airports. Once or twice I wound up on the wrong channel, and I made some, errr, firm landings in a couple places.

Dad had suggested making some notecards with the details of each of the airports, which seemed to work pretty well (my instructor was impressed). Unfortunately, it was tough to keep track of everything that was going on and get it all right. Flying is so different from performance driving -- with driving, I'm interested in setting up the car just right on the course, and concentrating totally on placing it right and taking the corner just right. When flying, rather than concentrating on one tiny detail to the exclusion of all else, I've got to keep my eyes open and shift my attention constantly, from the attitude and altitude of the plane to other traffic to the radio to the navigation. Pwhew!

In any case, it was a pleasure to see some new airports and talk to some different controllers and just generally see what flying was like at different places. Woo hoo! For the next lesson, we'll be making a cross-country trip down to Ramona, near San Diego.