The flight back

Approaching Ashland

Sunday 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 Camp.
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 pumps.
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 strapped in.
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 to imagine.
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 pump.
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 well.
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.

Takeoff from 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 hours notice.
2. File the eAPIS Notice of Departure on the computer.
3. File the flight plan with Lockheed Martin on the east coast.
4. Check for the e-mail notifying the receipt of your eAPIS application.

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 marginal.
In the end I phoned CBSA and was told to go. I received the e-mail when I arrived back in Canada.

Takeoff from 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 their airspace.

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.

A picture on the wall in the loo at Medford

Oregon is cooler and damper than California with a lot of water.
The mesas are north of Medford.

Scattered cloud was encountered from north of Salem

The Puget Sound

The Sun was setting slowly in the northwest over the San Juans

The Cherry point refinery indicated the tailwind.



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