A Pilot's Journeys:  The Continuing Adventures of PilotGuy 



"Sunrise into sunset into sunrise.  Wild clear air, rain and wind and storm and fog and lightning and wild clear air again.  Sun fresh and cool and yellow like I'd never seen.  Grass so green it sparkled under the wheels.  Sky blue and pure like skies always used to be and clouds whiter than Christmas in the air.....  And most of all... freedom."


Excerpt from "Nothing By Chance" by Richard Bach


Pictured Above:  (Recent picture taken 11/22/04 before for my Commercial lesson with the sun in my eyes; squinting to look at the camera <grin> and my CFII is snapping the picture)


Once I got my license/certificate,,,, it was time to fly to new places! 

What follows are my ongoing pilot journeys! Enjoy!!! 


Important Note:  I know we, pilots, can spout off terminology and jargon that can be confusing.  We don't usually do this on purpose - we simply forget, sometimes, that the jargon isn't 'common knowledge'.  In an attempt to answer the latter problem, anytime I use terminology or jargon I've set up the jargon/terminology as an underlined hyperlink which you can click which will take you to a page which will explain it.  Hope you find it helpful.  Please don't hesitate to let me know if there is terminology/jargon that is left unexplained of which you are uncertain - I want to make this a site that everyone can understand and enjoy (non-pilots and pilots, alike).

What follows are some of my favorite destinations for fun flights.  I think I should preface this section by paraphrasing (very loosely) something that singer-songwriter, Nanci Griffith said in introducing one of her songs about a small town.

'My greatest fascination in life is finding a small town, with a local store where you can still get a custom-mixed vanilla Coke, where you can hear a popcorn popper go 'pop, pop, pop'; and you can find an old record bin, where you find an old record for .69 cents that you wanted 'all your life'.... '

I guess, because I was raised in the city that I've always enjoyed the pleasure of a slower pace in a small town.  I've often opened up my aviation sectional (which is sort of a 'map' for pilots) and purposely sought out small towns that were near a small airport, that I could fly to.  In the process, I've discovered many hidden 'treasures' and I share many of those right here in the 'Journeys' section of my website.  So, if you are the kind or person, like I am; whose greatest fascination is finding some small town that no one has heard of and exploring the simple 'wealth for the soul' the little town has to offer - then you will likely find pleasure in some of the towns I visit in this 'Journeys' section.  These little places are rich in history and simple 'adventures' to be had - you need only approach these special places with the eyes and heart of a child; and I promise you that your soul will be enriched by your meanderings, many-fold.



   Where it began... San Carlos Airport (SQL) San Carlos, CA  KSQL



First Passengers




Reid-Hillview  to Ukiah Airport   (Taking Dad for His First Flight) uki

FlyKid's First Flight

Reid-Hillview to Watsonville:    2nd Flight for FlyKid  WVI

Reid-Hillview to Truckee/Tahoe KTRK

Reid-Hillview to Columbia Airport (California)  022

Reid-Hillview to Merced Airport  kmce

Reid-Hillview to Auburn Airport  AUN

Reid-Hillview to Oakdale (The Hershey's Chocolate Factory)   O27

Reid-Hillview to Los Banos Airport  KLSN

Reid-Hillview to Hanford Airport  HJO

Reid-Hillview to Castle Airport   (Rich's first-time in a light aircraft) KMER

Reid-Hillview to Salinas Airport: FlyKid's 3rd Flight  Updated: Recent pics of KSNS Airport 1/21/09

Reid-Hillview to Oceano Airport  L52

Reid-Hillview to Hollister Municipal Airport  3O7

Reid-Hillview to Sonoma County Airport  KSTS

Reid-Hillview to Modesto Airport  KMOD

Reid-Hillview to Madera Airport:  (Taking Dad For His Second Flight)  KMAE

Reid-Hillview to Mefford Airport (Tulare, CaliforniaTLR

RHV to Hollister Airport (Rich goes for his 2nd flight!)  3O7





..... AND 10 days later Richard's nephew, James, goes to Hollister, too!  3O7





PilotGuy has his first REAL emergency landing!!!


Beginning training for my Instrument Rating; see my Instrument Training 'diary' by clicking here


I DID IT!!!!





Celebrating passing my Instrument Checkride!!!!!


Now, onwards to the training for the Commercial Certificate!

FlyKid Rides The Skies!


The long solo Commercial Cross-Country Flight    PTV - WLW - O08 - RHV


Father's Day Flight with Dad to Visalia Municipal Airport 

  FlyKid and PilotGuy head off to Mendota, California

FlyKid Comes Along to Watch PilotGuy Practice the Commercial Maneuvers


Celebrating passing my Commercial Checkride,, at last! 


Beginning work on my Flight Instructor certificate!


FlyKid to Hollister for the $100 hamburger flight! :)

Flying the San Francisco Bay Tour with a lunch stop at Petaluma Airport's 29er Diner!

(Note:  Be aware that I kept the file sizes large to maintain detail and that if you are accessing this page with a dial-up modem,

 you will likely have to allow some time for all the images to download.  But trust me,,, it will be well worth it! :)

Flying to Watsonville for the 42nd Annual Watsonville Fly-In & Air Show

A Pilot's Journey Comes Full-Circle:  The Student Becomes the Teacher.  Passed my CFI Checkride! PilotGuy is now a C.F.I. (Certificated Flight Instructor)

Rich flies the skies to San Carlos Airport!

My CFI Cross-Country Adventures - Special Dual Cross Countries with flight instruction students

(these are ongoing adventures)

Click this link for an overview of what this special section is for

Flight to Red Bluff Municipal Airport with a lunch stop at Willows Airport


Flight to Oroville Municipal Airport with a stop for lunch!    

Flight to Van Nuys Airport in Southern California.  Van Nuys is the airport where the movie "One Six Right" was filmed.

Flight to Placerville
Dual flight to Placerville Airport

Rich and Charisse and I, go for a Bay Tour and lunch at Petaluma Airport

Gold Seal Flight Instructor January 28, 2008 - Got my FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificate!

11000th Flight InstructionFebruary 5th, 2008 - Gave my 1000th hour of instruction as a flight instructor ! 




Over 2,000 hours of  instruction given as a flight instructor! 10/2009

Click here for my list of favorite aviation related websites on the World Wide Web!



If you are wondering whether you should start your flight training in one of the new, so-called 'glass cockpits' - like the new Garmin 1000 equipped aircraft,,, you might want to read this:

I would say (as would many flight instructors and a variety of aviation organizations) that the average beginning student would be MUCH better served with the more conventional round gauge  instrumentation display, instead.  Learning in a Garmin 1000 as a primary student will add at least 10 to 15 hours to your training program (that's at about $169 an hour for the 'glass' versus around $100 or less, for a conventionally equipped cockpit).  Figure that if you choose to learn to fly in a so-called, 'glass cockpit' (i.e., with a G1000 for example), you will spend at LEAST an additional $2500 to $3200 (or more), over the course of your training when compared with the cost of renting an aircraft with a traditional cockpit.  Wouldn't it be MUCH better to have that $3000 or so, to spend on lots of fun flights for you and your family/friends after you get your pilot certificate ?  Remember the Private Pilot certificate is a 'license to learn'; once you get your 'ticket' you should fly, fly, fly and learn all that flying and the sky has to teach you.

  Keep in mind too, that unless you have the $$ to BUY a G1000 equipped aircraft (about one quarter of a million dollars to start), you will find infinitely more flight schools to rent from which have the conventional round gauge cockpits.  What good is a pilot certificate and training in a G-1000 aircraft if you have a very limited number of flight schools to rent them from, in the first place (they aren't that common)?  Contrast that with the hundreds of flight schools that have the conventional round gauge aircraft for rent!   Wouldn't it be nice, when you are visiting some other state, to be relatively certain that you will be able to find a plane to rent, for some fun flying with your family?  You won't have that option if you get your training in a G-1000?  You'll pretty much be a 'slave' to the one school where you took your G1000 training (good for the particular school, but not necessarily good for you!).  Some of these schools that have the G-1000 will argue that it is part of the future, which it is.  Problem is the economics of it all to the average flight school.  Think about it....  A new, basic G1000 equipped Cessna is going to run a school at least, $250,000.  For that same money, they can get three or four older model Cessna 172's which greatly increases the number of training and rental planes that flight school has available on their flight line.  So, if you are one of these business owners - where would you want to sink your dollars?  In just one plane,,,, or get three or four for the price that one G1000 plane would have cost you?

The biggest challenge for an instructor with any new student, is encouraging them to look OUTSIDE the aircraft and learn to fly by visual reference.  With all the colorful and bright twin computer screens of a G-1000 cockpit (which of course requires more pilot interaction to access the various nested menus and functions) trying to lure the attention of the student, well, it only makes the process far more complicated.

The technology is exceptional,,, but I'd say to get your certificate with a traditional cockpit and then if you want to, you can always take the two or three hours of training to get checked out on the G1000. 

So, I guess this was a long way to give you the simple answer; 'no' you would be better off spending your aviation training dollar on a conventional round gauge equipped  aircraft!

Click here for my suggestions of helpful pilot products!


 Graphic designed by: Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws" (copyright owner)  http://www.wizardofdraws.com

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