Weekend jaunt to California City

I found some time to cruise out to California City Airport this weekend. California City is in the high desert, north of the LA basin near Mojave. I took one of my student solo cross-country flights there and I like to go out and check in every once in a while. On weekends the field is usually bustling with gliders and skydivers and others having a good time. There’s been a restaurant there on and off, but when it’s there it’s always very hospitable.

I headed off at a reasonable 10:00 AM hour, planning to head up north of the airport and do some air work. Work has kept me on the ground lately and I wanted to shake some rust off. The weather was nice and I was able to cruise out pretty easily.

On the way out, talking to Joshua Approach, I heard the worst radio discipline I’ve ever heard on an approach frequency. Now, admittedly the frequency didn’t sound busy while it was going on, but protracted air-to-air communications between pilots discussing the flatulance of one pilot’s dog is really out of line. Don Brown would have had a heart attack.

As I say, I went up north of the airport to get some air work in and did some credible slow flight, a couple pretty good steeps (if I do say so myself), and some decent stall recoveries. I was pretty happy with all of the work. While I was doing it I got to hear Joshua Approach deal with some confusion from one pilot squawking the code assigned to a different aircraft while in a restricted area. The plane that was supposed to be squawking that code didn’t clearly state its position and it took a while to work it all out. Nice debugging on the fly by the controller, though.

I settled in to the airport and had lunch. The restaurant has been taken over by the folks who run Foxy’s Landing at William J. Fox Field in Lancaster. The food’s good here and the people friendly. There was a car club and some other folks hanging around that day, so the place was pretty busy. I think under the Foxy’s folks it’ll stay open for a while, which is great news. I also learned that Foxy’s is running a restaurant at Mojave, which means I have an incentive to stop by there now, too.

On the way out I took some pictures, including a beautiful restored Culver Cadet and some sky divers.

The flight back was pretty routine, but clear and beautiful. I got to pull a pretty nice “plan minimal time on the runway” landing at SMO, too. Fun day.

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