First Cross Country - Willows CA

Today was my first “cross country” (defined as > 50 miles distance). Our first destination was Willows, CA.

The highlights: * Cutting through Sacramento International’s airspace: a bit unnerving * New skills: flight following, ATC’s approach/departure control, estimating ground speed based on visual references and the clock * Listening to radio chatter for YOUR plane’s call sign, and ignoring everyone else’s, from the tower controllers for said air space: difficult (hopefully with practice, this will get easier for me, but my hearing loss does not help this situation any) * Private air strips make lousy references if they aren’t paved. * Power lines make lousy references from 4500 feet - even the big ones, you just can’t see. * My predictions for ground speed, based on some rather vague forecasts, weren’t too far off from reality * Damn, that was some good burger! That tasted like local grown beef, not the commercial crap. * There is a Walmart parking lot *right* next to the airport. Keep this in mind if you suddenly at 5000 feet think you need a wallyworld!

Next cross country will be in a couple weeks; this time we’ll do a more formal flight plan, record it with the controllers, and head to Modesto.

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