Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Day 10


We slept in a bit in Ramona, and one of the guys from the airport was kind enough to swing by in his truck and give us a ride back to the plane. The day prior, we’d noticed a burning smell as we were navigating the low clouds on the coast and had discovered the landing light wire bracket had snapped and the wire was melting in the heat of the number 2 cylinder—so the days plans included fixing that.

We fueled minimally in Ramona and then made the short hop to Oceanside on the coast, a far less eventful flight the day before. There we met with some great guys from One Stop Aviation, who brought us over to their main workshop, where we got to meet Rick, the owner, who had overhauled Rusty’s engine a month prior! It was really fascinating to tour the shop with him and see all the work and gear it takes to work on these engines, he had Lycomings and Continentals from all across the world in various stages of repair. We told him a little about our trip and he offered to let us stay in his camper behind the shop—so kind. We accepted, and headed back to the airport to do some repairs and get flying.

After some work, the plane was good as new and we took to the sky. Today our plans included photographing LAX at 10,000 feet above the Bravo airspace, where we wouldn’t have to talk to ATC and could circle and shoot to our heart’s content. We also circled low over empty beaches and Disneyland, with bare empty parking lots as far as the eye could see. It was wild flying above places that were usually so populated, and it was surreal to be above LAX—besides seeing the ocean, that really hit home that we had officially made it coast to coast. The shooting was fantastic, circling high above that iconic field, and so, so cold—about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s nothing like tossing open the windows at altitude to shoot in those temperatures like that to make you feel completely awake and alive.

After we circled for a bit shooting and freezing, we headed back south to land at Oceanside, descending out of the Bravo airspace. I was ecstatic to be flying low along the coast, over the ocean and palms. It’s my favorite thing in the world.

We were happy and tired when we landed and taxied behind our mechanics hangar to tie down before heading over with new friend Keith to the shop camper, grabbed some Mexican dinner, and passed out early. California suits us real well.

Photo Gallery

Click on the image for full-screen viewing experience. All photographs © Filip Wolak.