morning 8th June
Ted had to take the
car back to Sacramento and so I would have the lone
flight from Columbia.
I thought the agreement was to be at Sacramento at 11:00
and so I wasn't in much of a hurry.
Takeoff was at 10:11 and I flew west by northwest.
I spotted a float plane that was flying low level over
the desert to alight in a little lake west of Angels
Then it was over the San Andreas Fault again; still no
great disaster today.
I landed gently on
three zero at Sacramento Executive and taxied to the
After fueling there is no local parking spot to
temporarily park your aeroplane... Everything is a taxy
distance away so if you don't want to start a hot engine
you have a problem.
I pushed the aeroplane to a position beside a Grumman jet
and behind a Cessna, in a secluded corner out of
everyone's way. I'm very careful doing this.
Ted was waiting in
the Jet Center, I collected him, and we went to get
Some big woman in a truck came over to give me verbal
abuse and in no uncertain terms... I must move the
aeroplane right now.
I'll be just a few minutes I told her.
But she came back again as I was getting in... Jets come
though here she said...
If a jet was coming through we'd be out of there but how
a jet would get into the space we were in was difficult
The airport was peaceful, there was no traffic and this
impatient woman was yelling at me.
We left the ground
at 11:37 and contacted NorCal approach on 125.25 to be
guided around the Sacramento International control zone.
When flying into a headwind one should fly low and so we
stayed at 2,500 feet until Lake California where we
climbed to 4,500 feet to pass east of Redding.
At this level you can not expect flight following all the
way and so NorCal 125.4 took us from northwest fo
Sacramento to Sutter Butte whereupon we were told to
squawk 1200 and try Oakland abeam Chico.
Oakland 132.2 came in clearly when we were 8NM west of
Chico, and were with us as far as Castle Crags.
There was a lot of
smoke in the air as we flew over the Shasta Lakes, passed
Castle Crags, and then Mount Shasta.
We landed at
Medford Oregon at 14:28 and taxied to the self serve fuel
There we ran into a problem. The system asks you to enter
the zip code for the billing address for the credit
card... This meant numbers with no letters available for
a Canadian postal code.
Ted went into the nearby FBO and the lady at the
reception desk told him to use the local zip code: 97504.
The FBO I went to
many years ago, when I was stuck at Medford for two days
awaiting the weather, has gone out of business. Million
Air has moved in and put it out of business, and has
taken over the self serve fuel from the other FBO as
There's competition for FBOs...
We stopped for a drink from a pop machine, I had a muffin
for lunch, and we had some granola bars too.
Medford was at 15:37 and we climbed first to 4,500 feet
and then to 5,000 feet over the mountains.
Contact was made with Cascade Approach at 15:46 on 124.3
and we were passed on to 119.6.
We climbed to 6,500 feet and though we were still into
wind the true airspeed was a little higher and the
groundspeed was around 100 knots.
Seattle Centre was contacted on 125.8 at 16:55. North of
Salem we had to descend to 4,500 feet, below scattered
clouds, and were passed to Portland Approach 118.10.
The next frequencies were: Portland on 124.35 at 17:41,
and Seattle Centre on 124.2.
We landed at Olympia, Washington, at 18:29.
While the aeroplane
was being fueled I was in the FBO doing the following:
1. Phone Canada Customs 1-888-CAN PASS and give them two
2. File the eAPIS Notice of Departure on the computer.
3. File the flight plan with Lockheed Martin on the east
4. Check for the e-mail notifying the receipt of your
You should not wait
too long for the eAPIS e-mail prior to your departure.
I once waited and waited, and rescheduled my flight plan
from Seattle, while the weather went for excellent to
In the end I phoned CBSA and was told to go. I received
the e-mail when I arrived back in Canada.
Olympia was at 19:25 and we flew northwards at 2,000 feet
aiming to travel up the strait west of Seattle.
I opened the flight plan with Flight Service on 122.2 and
was given a cross border squawk code. I wrote this down
but we left (VFR) 1200 on the transponder as usually
Whidbey will give you their own code when passing through
The groundspeed was
high enough for us to be a few minutes early:
But as we
approached Bushe Point the sea indicated a very strong
gusty onshore wind which created small fractus clouds as
it was pushed up by the coast.
A cross wind is no good to you when exposed like this...
Running along a ridge is another thing, we were exposed.
The groundspeed dropped and we were now going to be late:
Once we were past
Anacortes the wind reduced considerably, and passing
Cherry Point it became a tailwind.
When I contacted
Whidbey they asked me to use the cross border code and so
this was set on the transponder.
The wind was light
and variable and we had our choice of runway when we
called Boundary Bay.
Arrival was on runway 25 at 20:53 which was eight minutes
late, and we taxied to the Customs box.
I phoned CanPass and was given a number... I was ready
and had written 2014 on my pad ready for what followed,
but the customs agent gave me a completely different
number! Last year they all started with 2013######.
Takeoff was at 21:02 and we landed at Langley at 21:14 to
place the aeroplane in the hangar.
It was a long day.