Gone viral – Superbloom 2019

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!

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Monterey (KMRY) Trip Report

If you followed the planning and preparation for our Monterey trip, thank you! It’s always instructive to see how a flight goes relative to what you expected, so here’s our trip report.

Summary: the trip went about as planned, requiring a mixture of VFR and IFR to keep to a schedule, but could probably have been accomplished VFR if we were more flexible on time.

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Cross Country Planning/Prep (KMRY: T-5 days)

Pebble Beach

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

I Love (touring) LA (from the air)

Hollywood SignCue 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

Going to Cable (CCB)

Left downwind runway 24 at Cable

Left downwind runway 24 at Cable

For pilots training out of El Monte, most of your experience will be with towered airports. Pilots need to be comfortable with operating at non-towered airports though, so the first non-towered airport my primary students normally visit is Cable Airport. Cable is a privately owned airport, but open to the public – it’s been owned by the Cable family since it was opened in 1945. There’s a restaurant on the field and they used to hold a great air show every year in January. Continue reading