SBA Redux

I didn’t know I had connivance. I’ll have to get those inserts for my shoes, which I think takes care of that.

Axel was a great passenger. He loved the entire ride and he pointed out all sorts of interesting nature events and talked about the recently published study about the effectiveness of prayer. He writes a column for the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal and that week’s column was about how we really don’t need to keep doing that study; prayer doesn’t work.

I was really happy to get the autopilot fixed down at John Wayne. Western Avionics did a really quick job while Adam and I found sandwiches (and then while one of Adam’s graduate students found him). It was such a good demonstration of how the autopilot takes a considerable task load off of the pilot, because I hand-flew the plane down to John Wayne, and then flew back to Santa Monica with the autopilot. I am no longer behind the plane when I am hand flying and I am much better at holding altitude and heading, but with the autopilot I have time to make notes and anticipate the air traffic controller calls.

I was also mesmerized by the DC3 parked near the DA40. I wrote the following about it (and had sent it elsewhere, but now I will add it to the blog):

Back in 1935 Santa Monica had a two-runway airfield called Clover Field. The Douglas Aircraft company built their airplanes here, including the legendary DC3. That was the year of the first DC3 flight.

Wrigley had one when he used to visit Catalina regularly (he owned the island) and the airstrip out on the island still has a couple DC3s which land daily (with mail and ?freight). It is such a great plane that there are over two thousand of them still flying sixty-five years later.

Different rides, Different times

Different rides, Different times

Clover Field lost a runway and eventually became Santa Monica Airport. It is slowly being eaten up by development at the edges. They closed the Airplane Museum which we used to go to regularly, but they will re-open it across from the soccer field soon. The most recent bite out of the airport property is a dog park and soccer field (separate bits of lawn) and to mark the new intersection they refurbished the airport’s remaining DC3, painting it white and spiffing it up. It will be mounted at an angle on a few pylons, appearing to be making a shallow turn right after take off. When I got to the airport today the plane was sitting right near ours. I parked the MINI in front of it for a little photo op. If I had more time I would have dragged the plane over and tucked it under the DC3’s chin, that would have made a great photo.

The sad thing is that they guzzle fuel. They cruised at 150 knots, but it takes 100 gallons per hour to sustain that. When Adam and I were last headed to Las Vegas we were only going 138 knots, but we had the fuel consumption down to 6.8 gallons per hour.

About Colin Summers

I am an architect, programmer, private pilot, husband and father. A couple of those I am good at.
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