I departed Santa Rosa this morning at 7:40 a.m. to meet friends in Willows for breakfast. The air was smooth, with one light bump on the lee side of the hills as I followed mag heading of 008. The sun was rising at my 2 o'clock. Down below I could see dust rising up off the rolling rear wheels of the early vinyard tractors. I tuned in on 122.75 using the monitor function of my Garmin SL40 to listen for the others. At about 8:15 I heard Doug make the first call. I responded. In the next 15 minutes the others made contact. I took my time...steady at 95 KIAS. A slight wind from the Northwest kept the groundspeed at 86-88 KIAS on the Garmin 495 GPS. Soon I had airport in sight. I went through the mental checklist and made the 10 mile call. "Right one-six" came a reply. Review the written checklist and set up for right pattern landing. Nice...the air was smooth all the way down. I arrived at 8:30 with the sun now reaching up and kissing blue skies in the Sacramento Valley to the South of the airfield. Doug arrived first, then the others one by one. Everyone safe. Everyone smiling and commenting about what a beautiful day it is.
Apple walnut cinnamon pancakes are delicious on Saturday morning...especially after an uneventful and lazy flight to where they serve 'em. The company was great with Bill, Woody, and another couple I just met this morning. They are right when they say laughter is contagious. By the time we left most folks in the cafe were laughing with us. The waitress invited us back, probably at risk for her job!
We took some ground pictures of our four Zodiacs each with a different motor...a Continential, a Corvair, a Rotax and a Jabiru. Each airplane a beauty, glistening in the sun. Each the progeny of many hours of fabricating, assembly, and testing. I can see the pride in each owner.
What a blessing to share.
On the way out of Willows airspace we wished each other a safe flight and a "see you soon" over the com. I flew South, they flew North. I flew home to Santa Rosa relaxed and content. With another safe and uneventful leg of flight, I parked my plane in the hanger. I walked over to another friend's hanger and shared some wisdom about children and other stuff.
Flying friends are unique. They share, and they care about your safety. Better folks would be hard to find.
Thanks for a great day, guys!