Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Last Trip of the Year....Finally!!

It was the afternoon of New Years Eve so I didn't think that the traffic heading to the airport would be very heavy, but no such luck. My normal 45 minute drive time took nearly twice that long. The freeways in North Dallas were pretty jammed up for whatever reason. I had to call crew scheduling and tell them I'd be late for sign-in. They said OK and asked if I'd make it by departure time....All they really care about is if the flight leaves on time. I said that "yes, I'll make it ".

Today would only be one leg. DFW to San Diego. Takeoff was right at sunset and we enjoyed clear skies and the fading sun all the way to the TX-New Mexico border. The typical route of flight to the west coast takes us over El Paso or Albuquerque. Going directly over central New Mexico is out of the question due to the White Sands missile range and all the associated restricted airspace always being active nearly 24 hours a day. But since it was New Years Eve, the restricted areas were open and we were cleared directly from just west of Ft Worth to Gila Bend, Arizona. That took us directly over Alamogordo, New Mexico and the missile range.

Skies were clear and the 100 knot headwinds didn't seem to matter since the ride was smooth and the visibility was practically unlimited. El Paso went by on the left, Albuquerque on the right, then came Tucson followed by Phoenix and then Yuma. Just after passing the Colorado River, Los Angeles Center (ATC) issued us our descent clearance and before long we were on final approach to runway 27 at San Diego. I made a nice landing and even received a few compliments from some passengers.

It was a short walk to the hotel shuttle area but even that was a little too much for this kiddo! ....I don't think she liked me taking her picture.

The terminal in San Diego has a nice replica of Charles Lindbergh's airplane hanging from the ceiling. "The Spirit of St Louis". It was a Ryan NYP. The original was built in San Diego.

The layover would only be about 10 hours long and I hoped that the local party-goers would be at the opposite end of the hotel. I reached my room, watched a little football on TV, then hit the sack.

Pretty exciting New Years Eve...Huh?

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple


Teller said...

Sounds like an exciting New Years! I had an 0510 show on the 1st...kind of kills the evening. At least you had a great day of flying, it sounds like!

Len (Barfbag) said...

Hi Teller,

Yup, the flying is usually pretty good's just all the associated other bad stuff that working for an airline entails that ruins the job sometimes. I'm sure you know all about that stuff!