Fresno, CA (KFCH)

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Flew into Fresno Chandler Downtown Airport today. I had some work to do down at the Fresno Bee. The work was okay but the commute was great!

The air was cool and still this morning when I took off from Oakdale, CA (O27) at 9am this morning. I levelled off at 3000 MSL to enjoy the sights. The trip took about 35 minutes from take-off to landing, 45 minutes from engine start to engine shutdown. Considering it would normally take me about an hour and a half to drive there, that’s not bad.

One of my counterparts down at The Fresno Bee came out to the airport to pick me up and was very understanding about me being a little late. He hung around and waited even though they were having system problems back at work. Whatta’ guy!

He also related seeing a gyrocopter accident just before I landed. I heard Unicom announce that 30R was closed when I was on downwind. Not a big deal since I was headed in to 30L. Thank goodness they didn’t close the whole airport down like some communities would! My co-worker related that the gyrocopter was starting his take-off run but wasn’t getting into the air very well. He set back down on the runway a couple of times. The last time he set down it appeared like he had drifted off the runway because as soon as he touched down he started cartwheeling. The pilot got out and was walking around so we assumed he was okay. But probably very unhappy.

We drove down to the Bee where I spent most of the day down in the basement working on the server I was assigned to rebuild and eventually got it working well enough so that they could limp along through to the next day. After some mandatory visiting and shop talk I was driven back to Fresno Chandler Airport.

I packed my laptop and my CD collection up in the back seat and strapped in. It took about 45 minutes in the air to get back to Oakdale because of the afternoon Delta Breezes. Usually about 10 – 15 mph from the northwest. Just the direction I had to go, great. I climbed up to 4500 MSL for the trip home and found calm air again. There was very little headwind at this altitude so I levelled off and headed for home.

I got back to Oakdale and it felt hotter there than in Fresno! That is just wierd. But I made a decent landing, not great but good. I was glad no one was around. 🙂 When I got back to my hangar I shut the plane down, opened the canopy, and just sat and listened to the ticking of the engine cooling. I always pause for a few minutes after flying to just sit in the plane and express my gratitude to the Lord as He has seen fit to allow me to engage in such a wonderful passtime!

What a great commute I had!

If your interested in the trip I just took, here is the TripTick I created on AeroPlanner: Fresno 2-Aug-06 0929.pdf

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