I love watching airplanes....

For the first time in a couple of years, we have had some measurable rain. 

I had invited a friend over on Wednesday, for a mid-afternoon cup of tea and some freshly-baked lemon loaf (with Meyer lemons from my bush/tree).

She wanted to know how I was able to see the Blue Angels aircraft, at the Oakland Airport, a few weeks ago. I asked her if she wanted to see where I parked. It was a chance for us to get out of the house and breathe some fresh air. 

The day before, I had driven around the Harbor Bay Business Park. It had been years since I've been out there and I was fascinated with what businesses were there, as well as what businesses were shut down. It seemed that some of the buildings were empty.  (Good news for coffee drinkers....Pete's has a large facility  at the biz park.) 

Joanne had never seen the biz park. She had no idea that it was almost sitting on/in the bay.  I pulled the car over where a sign said something like 'No Parking" but it seemed okay - minimal car/truck traffic. 

The clouds were awesome. The lenticular clouds look flat (like lenses), with smooth air underneath them. But any pilot knows to get through the churning rotor clouds (which can be very rough) before s/he gets the benefit of that smooth air. I'm primarily speaking about sailplane pilots. 

In Minden, Nevada, at Douglas County Airport, there would be events featuring wave flying.  You'd be towed up to a point where you'd release the tow line. Then you were on your own.  Of course, you'd need an oxygen tank in order to keep breathing, because there's not too much oxygen at high altitudes. Then you would fly at rather high speeds (not to exceed the redline speed) between the rotor clouds, and look for lenticular clouds to keep you flying higher. 

(Back in the day, I was able to make a very high flight up to 19,000+ feet which qualified for a 'Diamond' Badge. That was good...but then I had to go through the rotors to get back down, and land in a wind-whipped airport. That's ancient history)

Joanne whipped out her phone and turned on the app that tracks air traffic. The app could tell us which air carrier it was, where the planes were going, and where they came from. 

A woman was walking by and told us she'd never seen the aircraft land to the east @ OAK. She was wondering why the airplanes were landing in the opposite direction compared to what she was used to seeing. 

She introduced herself to us, saying she was Samoan. She lived nearby. I explained that all airplanes, including large commercial aircraft, prefer to take off and land into the wind (which was from the east), at that time. 

What a lovely day with my friends!

Now, that's living richly....marilyn


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