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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Endeavour’s Last Flight

The last flight of any aircraft must be a sentimental event. When that craft is the last shuttle to fly to its final resting place, even more so. When I heard that Shuttle Endeavour was coming to Los Angeles to become part of the California Science Center, I knew that I’d have to see it. As a pilot, I was hoping I could see it from the air. Today, I did that. Continue reading

Smooth flying to Mammoth (and back)

This may have been the smoothest flight I’ve ever had through the Owens Valley and over the Sierra Nevada. I accompanied two pilots on our FLIT Sunday to Mammoth Lakes, California.

Approximate route flown

You can investigate the route in more detail on RunwayFinder

As has become more common, we took off on runway 1 at El Monte in the morning with calm winds. LM had us soon climbing direct towards Clear Creek. That route keeps us in the shadow of the Verdugos, relative to Burbank’s radar, so radar identification took a while with SoCal Approach. We turned more directly towards Mojave, as we were able to see over the San Gabriels toward Edwards AFB; Continue reading