Friday, August 04, 2006

Flying to a Gig!

Today was the first time I successfully flew to a gig! I've been performing with my a cappella group Boyz Nite Out at the Stanislaus County Fair for the last 9 days, which seems totally unbelievable. It's been such an effort to get out and perform every day, and I can't believe I still have 2 days left.

Anyway, that's a different story. The real story is that I actually flew to Modesto today, and I flew back after the gig at night! The flight there was quick and easy, except that I got there much faster than I thought I would and had to take a quick descent path. When I got there, the main terminal building (where I thought I wanted to go) was closed, so the tower directed me to Sky Trek Aviation, an FBO next to the terminal. I landed, and what a squeaker! One of my best landings ever, so great that I actually was cheering out loud for myself! I taxied over to Sky Trek, and they helped me park. They actually waived their $25 fee even though I bought no gas (I intended to, but I'd used so little that they had nothing to fill).

The gig was quite good, one of our better sets. But performing takes a lot of energy. I got to Sky Trek at about 9:15, and did a thorough preflight before taking off. I set the VOR to the opposite as it was when I came in, and sure enough it led me directly to Tracy. I turned on my portable GPS (the one in the plane was completely uncooperative) and it helped guide me back to San Carlos.

San Carlos was a bit stressful; I asked for advisories, and somebody with a thick French accent murmered something completely unintelligible. Then a few minutes later, he said he was lining up on runway 12, which was news to me because I was preparing myself for 30. Anyway, I made left traffic for 12..or I tried to anyway. I could not see the airport! At all!! So I guessed. Turned out, I guessed right, which is a very lucky thing. Since I wasn't sure where I was, I turned base very early (I got really nervous about keeping clear of SFO's class B airspace), and my final leg was very steep and my landing quite long. But all is well that ends well!

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