Livermore and Concord

Memorial day weekend was good. Time away from work (good on its own merit!), the Sacramento Jazz Festival, absolutely gorgeous weather, and of course, flying.

As to the flying, this was the third assisted cross-country. The route was fairly simple and not that long, but definately a step up from the previous crosscountries and skirting into the bay area.

First leg was the home airport at SAC, then over Franklin F72, then aimed into the delta towards Byron. This is a fairly small town, but dense enough to show up in the chart as densely populated. My compensation for the wind calculations turned out pretty good; tho we had to actually shoot a bit off course intentionally as there was skydiving that day at that airport. My instructor’s advice was next time plan for the lake instead as a waypoint. The other item learned, was some of thoes big visible lakes on the map are totally invisible, when they are hiding behind hills. We ultimately arrived to Livermore LVK, which is a pretty darn busy airport, all things considered. Once we got over the hills and into radio range, the tower announced to everyone in the area about us as a new traffic hazard - a reminder that the radio frequencies we use are truely line of sight only.

Livermore to Concord CCR was fairly short. We simply followed the freeway up the canyon. Turbulance was a bit rough here; this is mostly due to the canyon we were in. Wind predictions were a bit wrong here, but.. I drive this section every week. I didn’t need a map for this. Getting to Concord’s airport was however a bit fun. The controller at the tower was testy (presumably working solo on a holiday weekend) and bit our head off for not calling as requested - alas, the radio frequency was too congested to get a word in edgewise to do so. Also, I managed to mislocate the airport diagram, so I was a bit lost once on the ground taxing.

We stayed only a few minutes, long enough to get my notes for the third leg - Concord back to Sacramento. Nothing to eventful other than we did follow the Sacramento river to Rio Vista, before heading almost due north back to SAC. I’m fond of the delta; I take the backroads in the delta when I drive to work most of the time, and have been driving through the delta since I was a teenager. It is neat to see the larger picture of the world, from the air, as compared to the roads I know so well.

My landings sucked this weekend. I’m going to hit my instructor up for some more time to observe what I’m doing, and see if we can’t figure out where I’m getting sloppy.

Next week: First cross country solo!

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