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Hayward Executive Airport

2012-Feb-25 : Fly-Out to Monterey (MRY)

After attending the Young Eagles event with my husband, Mike Smith, and my daughter, Katie, I heard we were all going to lunch in Monterey. “Wow!” I thought. “And fly rather than drive?” Even better! And so began my first fly out experience.

co pilot It was a gorgeous, blustery day. I flew there with Gary Oberti in his Beechcraft Bonanza as co-pilot. Although I don’t have a pilot’s license, I learned that holding reference materials on my lap, like the Pilot’s Guide to California Airports, is just as useful. We took off from Hayward Airport just before noon heading south to Monterey. The aerial scenery from above was simply spectacular. In about 23 minutes, at a top speed of around 190 knots, we landed at the Monterey Airport. There was even parking service, as fellows in vests waving light sticks guided us to a parking spot.

It took about an hour before the entire gang arrived at the Golden Tee Restaurant on the airport. Among our group were fast planes and slower planes. There was also a new pilot. My husband just obtained his pilot’s license about two weeks prior to this fly out. A fellow pilot flew with Mike on his first experience landing in a Class C airport. More pilot code. Class C? Not sure what that means; being a teacher, a ‘C’ indicates average to me.

The creamy tomato basil soup was delicious, as was the grilled ham sandwich. I had a great time talking with members and getting to know them. Soon, it was time for us to return to Hayward. This time I flew back with my Mike and Katie in our Cessna 172F. I trust Mike as a newly licensed pilot. He spent many hours preparing for the check ride, and many more hours refurbishing his plane.

salt ponds With a headwind, our ground speed on the return trip was around 80 knots, and the aerial vistas were again spectacular. We flew back over Monterey Bay, heading north, and flew over the Santa Cruz Mountains. As we continued north, I could see the San Francisco Bay. To my right, facing east, were the all-familiar salt ponds where sea salt is produced through the evaporation of seawater.

Continuing north, we flew over Moffett Airfield. As we neared Coyote Hills, on my left, facing west was the Dumbarton Bridge. I have ridden over this bridge many times with my bicycle club. It is about 5 miles going in any one direction. It was really neat to see its span from above. Hayward Executive Airport loomed ahead. Mike “chattered” with the tower in some foreign language that I am not sure I will ever understand. But whatever language it was, we landed safely. The sun was beginning to set as we parked our plane on the ramp (there were no vested fellows here with light sticks to guide us). I looked at the tower on our way to the car, hoping it could read my lips in English as I mouthed the words “Thank you.” It was a great first fly out, with everyone returning home safe and sound.

--- Becky Smith

Number of People: 13
Number of Planes: 5 - 2 Cessna 172's, a Beech Bonanza, a Mooney, and a Grumman Tiger

Mike went east of San Jose
Mike went east of San Jose

Mike and Katie
Mike and Katie

Gary went straight there
Gary went straight there

Monterey from the Bonanza
Monterey from the Bonanza

Gary
Gary
Nancy
Nancy
Greg, Pat, Nancy, and Becky
Greg, Pat, Nancy, and Becky
Katie, Mike S., Gary, and Mike M.
Katie, Mike S., Gary, and Mike M.
John, Bob, Dave, and Tim
John, Bob, Dave, and Tim
Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay
Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Cruz Mountains
San Jose
San Jose
Moffet...
Moffet...
then home
then home
Monterey Bay...
Monterey Bay...
from a Cessna
from a Cessna
Point Pinos
Point Pinos
The Saddle
The Saddle
Dumbarton Bridge
Dumbarton Bridge
Home on the ramp
Home on the ramp

(Photos courtesy: Becky and CubbyBear Photography)