Flying Across America

Promoting General Aviation

Best of day 12: Flight of two to Catalina Island!

When we took-off from Chino this morning, we used a slightly different radio call-sign: “Cessna 512R flight of two”. This is the standard phraseology for formation flying. Formation flying? Yes, our lead supporter in Chino flew with us to Catalina Island in his own Cessna 150. We took-off side by side and flew to the Island in formation. We were talking to ATC and squawking while he was listening and following us. We did break off the formation shortly before landing. Seeing an aircraft that close was an exciting experience.

Flight of two Cessna 150

We chose Catalina as destination from the first day of this project. Because it’s a bit farther away than the west coast and because of the reputation of this airport. It is on top of an island and is know as “the airport in the sky”. Apart from the slope and the lack of movement, it looks really like an aircraft carrier. It looks impressive but landing there is not as hard as one could think and everything went fine.

Final 22 in Catalina Island

Reaching this goal, our turning point was an important step into this project. Flying across America took us 15 flight, 29h15 of flight time spread over 12 days. We’re still on schedule and we continue promoting General Aviation. Flying to Catalina was a perfect spot for this task. We had an interview with the local media and used it to say again how General Aviation serves the community. This is quite obvious on the Island as most of the supplies are flown there from the continent and the postal service is also ensured by General Aviation aircraft, like this Cessna Caravan cargo.

Cessna Caravan departing Catalina Island

After taking the mandatory souvenir picture in front of the airport sign, we met with the president of Friends of Aviation. This organization has been supporting us from the first days of our project and meeting him on the island was a great moment.

On Catalina Island

The aircraft we saw today did represent almost all branches of General Aviation. Light single engine and light twins, single and multi-engine turboprops, and even a light jet. While we prepared our next flight to Whiteman, we also saw the DC-3 based on Catalina Island take-off and fly a low pass above the runway, gear up!

DC-3 Low pass over Catalina Island

Our next destination for the day was Whiteman, due north of Catalina Island, but on the other side of Los Angeles International airport (LAX). And this was again a flight of two, flying to Nick’s home airport. We took some great picture of the Cessna 172 he rents. This is no Photoshop work, we promise.

Formation take-off

Flying over LAX was a spectacular moment. There is a VFR corridor crossing the area exactly over the airport. Having such freedom is a treasure that the General Aviation community shall protect, and this is what we work on with this project. This is by far not possible in all parts of the world and if this freedom were to be lost, regaining it would be almost impossible.

Over LAX

Reaching Catalina Island was an important milestone in this project, but we are only at the middle point of our flight. We must now fly back the Florida. And this is only the beginning. We spent the rest of the afternoon preparing plans to continue promote General Aviation when the flight will be completed. We have lots of ideas, but it is too early to say more about them…

In the mean time, don’t forget to buy miles today to take a chance to earn prizes in our raffle!

3 Responses to “Best of day 12: Flight of two to Catalina Island!”

  1. admin Says:

    Thank you. The formation flying and crossing over LAX were intense moments, we have lots of other pictures in our stock now…

  2. Dutch62 Says:

    Wow, great photography and Congratulations on a job well done! Well 1/2 way. Can’t wait to see you guys in Florida.

  3. Tweets that mention Best of day 12: Flight of two to Catalina Island! | Flying Across America -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by FlyingAcrossAmerica and flygrl67. flygrl67 said: GR8 blog post & pix! #aviation RT @FlyingAcrossUSA Best of day 12: Flight of two to Catalina Island! http://bit.ly/avT2IU [...]

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