One week ago today, I took some friends (both named David) on a flight to check out the wildflowers in Southern California. Later that day, I posted a few pictures on my WingsByWerntz Facebook page of what has been termed a “superbloom” of California Poppies (the state flower – Eschscholzia californica) near Lake Elsinore. One week later, Facebook tells me those pictures have reached over 2 million people!
It’s been a strange experience to see pictures I took get thousands of likes, comments, and shares. I’m a professional pilot, but an amateur photographer. I’ve even had people email copies of the pictures to me without knowing I was the one who took them!
The current requirements for private pilot training (14 CFR 61.109) dictate a long cross country flight “…of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations”.
I’m planning a flight to Monterey (KMRY) next weekend. I’ll be taking two student pilots, with one flying each direction. Over this coming week, I’m going to use this real trip to illustrate how I approach analyzing, planning, and flying a longer flight. Now, this is a flight I have done before, but I’ll do my best to approach it from the standpoint of flying to a new destination. This first article will be long, since there really is a lot to talk about… Continue reading →
We’ve had some hot days recently in SoCal. Luckily, we can often get away from the worst of the heat with a short flight and have many options to boot. My home base of El Monte (KEMT) was experiencing temps in the mid 90F’s (35C) on Saturday:
Cue Randy Newman… I love to take people up in the air so they can see the perspective I enjoy so much. Los Angeles has a lot of great sights from the air. Because flying around LA’s complicated airspace without a plan is a bad idea, I’ve settled on a standard tour that I use when taking friends and visitors up for a flight. It can be adapted based up desired length, conditions, and what the passengers want to see. Although this is written starting and ending at El Monte, it could be easily adapted for most airports in the LA basin. Continue reading →