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Hayward Executive Airport
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2013-Jun-29 : Flyout to Petaluma (O69)

On Saturday, June 29th, a few of the club's members (John Buckham, George Mendonca, Gary Oberti, Pat Polehla, Mike Smith, Betty Salcedo, and me) braved the heat and met to fly to Petaluma to have lunch at the "Two Niner Diner". The day started out cool but you could tell that the weather was going to heat up fast. We met at 11:00 am at the wash rack. Before departure, the pilots did their aircraft preflight checks, discussed the flight to Petaluma, as well as their runway approach. There were a total of four aircraft (Cessna 172, Citabria, Stearman PT-13, and a Kitfox) in the flyout and three passengers. Bob Tucknott joined us later with his Cessna 182 and another passenger.

George, David, and Kitfox At about 11:15 am everyone climbed into their airplanes and we departed the wash rack area. For the outbound leg, I had the opportunity to fly with George in his Kitfox. This was my first time in a Kitfox and I was looking forward to it.

The first three planes departed the field rather quickly. However, that changed quickly when it was our turn, as traffic on the ground and on approach increased as we were taxiing to 28R for departure. The tower asked us to hold at the end of the taxiway for about 10-15 minutes. This started to remind me of rush hour traffic. Fortunately, we opened the doors to let the prop-wash and cooler air in while we waited. The outside air was in the mid 80's by this time. I was beginning to wonder if the others would be sitting down to eat before we left Hayward. Just then the tower authorized us to depart and we were off.

As we were climbing out, I looked around and was surprised by all the aircraft in the air around the airport. We continued our climb and began our VFR flight to Petaluma, using GPS for a straight shot. The air was still and comfortable as we cruised for about 40 minutes to Petaluma. You could almost see forever and there wasn't a cloud anywhere, except near the mountains far to the east of us. We had a 5-10 knot tail wind helping us along.

We soon arrived over the Petaluma airport and observed the other members' planes on their downwind leg approaches. We entered the pattern and landed about 15 minutes later. The temperature at the airport was now approaching the 100's. Sitting outside was not an option. George secured the aircraft and we joined the others in the diner, hoping that it would be much cooler inside, which it was. As we were waiting for lunch, Bob, with a friend and his dog, Mack, arrived in his Cessna 182 joined us. Don had been flying around the Bay Area helping at Young Eagles' events at various airports and decided to join us.

Lunch was served and everyone relaxed in the cool air. The food and service was great, and we were able to get Mack a dish of water to help him cool down. The food, cool air, and good company allowed the time to pass quickly.

With lunch over, we left the diner and headed for the airplanes. On the return flight I accompanied John in his Citabria. This was my first time in a Citabria and as with the first aircraft. I also was looking forward to it. Our return flight also was clear, calm, and with a tailwind again. We encountered a brief patch of turbulence but otherwise the view was spectacular. On the return flight we were following Gary (and Pat) in his Stearman. Forty minutes later we entered the Hayward pattern and landed just behind Gary. John taxied to the hangers and we put his plane away.

This was a beautiful day for flying and I enjoyed myself immensely in the company of great pilots.

- David Counts

Number of People: 9
Number of Planes: 5 – Citabria, Kitfox, Stearman, Cessna 172F, Cessna 182
George's Kitfox John's Citabria
Gary's Stearman Mike's Cessna
Clear day 29er Diner Ceiling
The gang The gang
Washrack Panorama "Meet at the HWD washrack" panoramic pic (scroll to the right)