First Cross-Country Solo

On June 15th, 2002, I did my first 'cross-country' solo flight to King City (just South of Pinnacles National Monument). Cross-country in this case means a flight to an airport beyond the immediate practice area of my home airport which requires flight planning, navigation and some real radio work with Air Traffic Control.

I landed into what seemed like a 30 knot headwind which was a bit of suprise - the forcast had been for 14 knots. When I got out of my plane to refuel it started blowing away from me. In fact, the hardest part of the whole trip was figuring out how to refuel, standing over the wing on top of a ladder in a howling wind with my plane bobbing around beneath me.

I took these pictures on the way back, at about 6500'. Unfortunately, it was a little hazy. I'm in the valley running behind the mountains that run along the coast by Big Sur.
This one is looking Northwest, and you can see the silhouette of Monterey Bay in the distance.
The one handed, over the shoulder, looking backwards shot. Pinnacles National Monument is the small group of peaks in the mid-distance. That's my radio antenna sticking up on the right.
I'm just above Salinas here looking North to Santa Cruz - you can see the plume of smoke from the Moss Landing power-station on the left.
Made it home safe and sound with only a few hiccups (acknowledged a frequency handoff and then forgot what frequency to switch to - a learning experience). Looking forward to lots more trips.


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