On Sunday we decided that it was time to get back in the air again. After putting a new tailwheel spring chain on the airplane (the right one this time--last time it was the left), we headed out toward the south, aiming for Watsonville and ultimately the Pacific coast. The plan was to fly up the coast roughly 60 miles to Half Moon Bay Airport.

Approaching Half Moon Bay Airport

Before too long were we on the ground.

Kathleen and N5156X at Half Moon Bay

After arriving and tying the plane down at the far south end of the field, we walked through the path to the gate that leads to some of the nearby shops and restaurant. The nearest establishment to the airport is Mezzaluna, a nice little Italian place. They make a fantastic meat sauce.

We spent a bit of time walking by the ocean and checking out a few of the local shops before heading back to the airport for the flight back home. With full bellies, we decided to take out time and do a bit more sightseeing and photography along the way.

Half Moon Bay Airport

Along the way we got some excellent shots of the coast, including a lighthouse.

Lighthouse Along California Coast

And the part I had most fun with was along the coast near Watsonville. We dropped down a few thousand feet, slowed the plane down, and put the camera out the window.

N5156X Over California Coast

Kathleen in N5156X near Watsonville

On the way home we swung by Frazier Lake Airport to play on their wonderful grass airstrip a bit.

Approaching Frazier Lake Airport

Just Landed at Frazier Lake

Taking off From Frazier Lake

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon! :-)

Full pictures are available here: Half Moon Bay Lunch Flight on Flickr.

Posted by jzawodn at August 20, 2007 06:31 AM

Reader Comments
# Jeffrey Friedl said:

Wow, that's certainly not a run-of-the-mill date. You shouldn't have fixed the spring first, though, as that's the quintessential plane version of the "oops, ran out of gas" trick. :-)

(I noticed, with appreciation, Kathleen's Y! Finance hat.)

on August 20, 2007 03:24 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Trouble is, she was in the plane last weekend (or was it 2 ago?) when we tried to fly to Placerville to look at an airplane... and the tailwheel spring chain gave out before we left the ground.

At least I now have spares and know how to fix this particular problem. :-)

on August 20, 2007 03:34 PM
# BillyG said:

What an awesome skill to have!

on August 20, 2007 05:18 PM
# optional said:

one of those rare days each year when HAF is not fogged in!

on August 20, 2007 05:46 PM
# busybee said:

Amazing - I'll keep this in mind next time I think driving somewhere for lunch is excessive! I know - its totally not the same thing, but still..

on August 21, 2007 08:01 AM
# Tom Joy said:

Hi Jeremy,

Fun flight! Did you see suitable emergency landing sites along the coast between Watsonville and Half Moon Bay? What altitude did you use for that stretch?



on August 27, 2007 12:17 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


There aren't a lot of good landing strips, but there's a lot of beach that appeared quite landable. We were pretty low on the way there (~2,000 MSL) but about double that on the way back.

on August 27, 2007 12:20 PM
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