At 5 am the weather check said that the trip was doable so the fearless adventurers departed for San Diego early on Saturday morning. Katie and I in the RV4, Dave Biddle in his RV-6a, Tim Coldenhoff and his wife Yvette in their new RV-9a with the Subaru engine, and Glenn in his RV-4. Being smarter and having more time off, Gary Gunn and his wife Sue flew to San Diego the day before in their RV-6a. The plan was to join up in the air over Glendale airport, but due to a mix-up in frequencies and timing, everyone did their own thing. When we got near San Diego, the ATIS for Brown field still had it as IFR. Being as everyone was hungry and we knew that there was good food at Gillespie, Dave, Glenn and Katie and I diverted to Gillespie http://www.airnav.com/airport/KSEE. Tim and Yvette flew to Brown and found out that the field had just went VFR so they landed and got the last pancakes from the breakfast being serve by the local EAA chapter 14. Here is the rest of the gang eating breakfast outside of the restaurant at Gillespie field.
After eating we headed out to Brown Field and found out that unfortunately, one of the long time local Vari-EZ pilots had fatally crashed on landing at Brown Field and it was closed. See http://www.trioavionics.com/dan.htm for a tribute to Dan Patch. We all diverted back to Gillespie and were joined by a bunch of the SoCal RV group.
After about an hour, we departed Gillespie and the Gillespie tower controller sounded happy to get all of these experimentals out of his hair. Brown Field had opened back up but the tower operator was only able to handle some of the planes that wanted to land there. The others he told to go away and contact him later. We were one of the many planes that had to circle outside his airspace for 45 minutes before he let us land.
By the time we landed and got our car, the EAA chapter 14 event was winding down and we hurried to San Diego to see the U.S.S. Midway before we ran out of time. We rendezvoused with Gary and Sue who rode the trolley http://www.sdcommute.com down from Palomar http://www.airnav.com/airport/KCRQ and we all toured the Midway together.
This is a picture of the engine control room on the Midway.
Katie tries out one of the ejection seats.
The deck of the U.S.S. Midway
Dave and Glenn had to get back to Phoenix so Gary and I took them back to the airport while Katie and Sue walked over to Seaport Village and found us a nice seafood restaurant to eat dinner at. After a great dinner and great company, we bid Gary and Sue adue at the trolley station and crashed for the evening.
We arrived at Brown Field the next morning and waited and waited impatiently for the Fog to lift and the Field to go IFR. We got there at 7AM and were not wheels up until 11:30 AM. We did find out that there is a restaurant on the field and they serve a great breakfast!
We learned a lot about the California daily marine layer on this trip! Tim and Yvette didnt get out until a lot later because they had flew up to Palomar airfield Saturday afternoon. Being closer to the coast, it took a lot longer for the fog to burn off. Gary and Sue also had to wait until the afternoon to get out on Monday. Dave and Glenn had went back to Phoenix Saturday afternoon and it looked like they were really going to get bounced around in the summer afternoon heat, but Dave said it wasnt bad at all. Go figure.