Linda and I finally got to go on our flight. She has been nervous about going (both for the
kids’ sake in case anything went seriously wrong, as well as due to a dislike of flying in general), but she gave me a coupon for an hour of flying in December.
We took off mid-day, got flight following, and went around Palos Verdes at 2,500ft. At one point Linda saw what looked like a whale, so we circled to get a better look at it — unfortunately I couldn’t see it, and it dove deeper, so we continued on. We went up the river at Long Beach, got a look at our old condo there, and then continued on around Downtown LA.
Around Griffith, two unusual things happened. First, I told ATC I was going to climb back up to 2,000ft (I had dropped down to 1,500 to stay out of the Bravo), and they asked me if I was going to stay out of the Bravo. I told them I believed the Bravo started at 5,000ft where I was, and they said that they were aware and were offering to let me into the Bravo to make it easier. Since I had no need to be higher I said “no, thanks” basically. In retrospect I should have accepted: they handed me off to Burbank’s ATC, who told me to make an immediate 180 and then continued vectoring me with few details for a few minutes, querying my intent, etc, and being rather curt before allowing me to proceed towards Santa Monica.
We hugged the foothills, went almost to the coast, and then took the mini route home for a nice landing back at Hawthorne. All in all, it was a nice trip: I am not sure how much Linda enjoyed it and how much she tolerated it, but I think it went just fine. The weather was predicting LLWS and turbulence but none materialized.
All in all, I think there were only a few things I didn’t do right. I didn’t perform an in-cruise checklist (because I gave my checklist to Linda to hold during takeoff, to make her feel less anxious, and didn’t take it back until descent). I didn’t turn the landing light off after take-off — I keep forgetting about this step.
Totals: 1.2 hr in a C172.