A Low-Carb, High-Altitude Lunch

The difference between me right now and me one hour ago is significant: I’m no longer hungry, and I’m current to carry passengers.

I didn’t plan to fly today, but the weather got the best of me. It’s midweek, so of course an airplane was available. Plus, my currency had lapsed and I need to take up passengers this weekend, so I knew I had to get to the airport some time before then.

Lunch today was the perfect time. I had a long morning of work, and a good, solid break was definitely indicated. I logged into the flight scheduler and booked the airplane. I checked DUATs, just to make sure the perfect weather wasn’t just a tease for some regulatory flight no-no like a TFR (temporary flight restriction). I grabbed a food bar, my (mini) flight bag, and off I went.

I’m lucky to work near my airport, so drive time was about 5 minutes. I checked out the airplane, did my pre-flight, got my clearance and took off. I fly out of Oakland International (KOAK), which can often be a real busy, no-nonsense airport, so it was refreshing how light the pattern traffic was at this time of the day.

I did full-flap, half-flap, quarter-flap and no-flap landings, and I threw in a short approach, just because I love them so much. (And I’m fond of the term.) I did some soft-field take-offs, with nose-high climb outs, just because so they’re so much fun too. (Fear not, I had lots of airspeed!)

All of my landings were “greased” but one, and I’m absolutely certain all eyes at Oakland were looking the other way for that one.

About 40 minutes later, I taxied back to my tie down and shut down the airplane.

  • Total flight time: 40 minutes
  • Total flight cost: $48
  • Back to work before anyone noticed I was ever gone: Priceless.

For us pilots, the flight pattern is the fun stuff. Fortunately, it’s also the most affordable place to fly. If you ever think you don’t have time to fly, rethink what’s for lunch. Most of us could do well by trading in carbohydrates for carb heat anyway.

About David

David Diamond is a writer and 3D illustrator focused on aviation, who lives in Northern California. Visit his blog and portfolio at www.AirDiamond.com.

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