Golden West Trip Report 2002

by Paul A. Rosales

Hi All, we had a nice flight of 4 to Golden West on Saturday with Lucky, Eightball, Joker and myself/Victoria meeting up over Gorman. Luck led the way for an hour or so with his new TruTrak wing-leveler doing the work. After the A/P decided to take him somewhere off-course, Eightball took the lead to the north of Sacramento whereas I then took us into Golden West as a flight of 4. I was really surprised to hear all the radio calls to tower after having read the NOTAM against this.....I got us into the downwind following a high wing, and after turning base, Victoria points out that there is traffic merging into final from the other side...NOT GOOD having two airplanes 'wing-up' from opposite directions (left/right base) turning to final. Tower was doing it's best at 'lining' us up but it was pretty much on us. One comment we heard as we touched down was a P-51 driver 'complaining' that he's been calling for 10 minutes to land, and the controller replied, 'Yea, you and everybody else!'. I'm going to let the Golden West folks know that if they publish a NOTAM that calls for ONE of two patterns (left traffic 32 or right traffic 14) that they stick with it! We all got down without running into anyone and were all able to park together on the straw-covered field. Birdstrike was an hour ahead of us, and we talked to him as we overflew Rancho Murrieta, and he showed up about 30 minutes after us. We registered ($5/day/person) then checked in with Van's Aircraft folks to say hi to Ken Krueger, Miles and Ben who had the RV-8A and RV-7 on display. Victoria/Birdstrike/I have been helping out at the booth for the last 3 shows and offered this help out again. I always enjoy sharing the RV with the public :-) After a brief walk-around the show, we headed back to Van's where we spent most of the day Saturday. Lucky/Joker 'punched-out' just in time before the field closed for the noon airshow leaving 3 SoCALers SoCALers: Forgot about Dan Hall in the RV-1!. Parking was in a big field that was covered with straw so planes taxiing around made quite a mess stiring up stuff... The field looked pretty full with a big assortment of homebuilts...a good turnout. We had a chance to visit with Clear Air (air tools) Fred Kunkel as well as Werner Berry and Ken Whitaker of Superior Panel Technology. I have their Fiberlite Instrument lighting system installed and will be adding the Glow Strip Glare shield strip lighting for comparison. Birdstrike and I departed (formation) around 1745, and I led us to Rancho Murrieta (with flight following) where we did a low approach then returned for the overhead. It's been 2 years or so when I was last there at Rancho, and I couldn't believe all the houses that have gone up near the airport. I sure hope they don't lose this one to housing encroachment... Birdstrike landed but we continued to Alta Sierra, a private skypark near Nevada County where we landed (courtesy of an RV-6 acquaintance) on this tree-lined runway. My water-skiing buddies, who live 5 minutes away, picked us up, and we had a great pizza dinner with the family. Watched "Lord of the Rings?" on DVD, cool movie, hadn't seen it! Sunday after breakfast (0900), it was just Victoria/I to Golden West, and it was looking pretty empty as we crossed overhead at 4500' feet to enter on the (NOTAM) west side. A P-51 had been doing some high speed passes and was on approach to land when I thought I'd ask the tower if I could do the problem! We completed a 180kt pass at 500' agl then returned to land. That was fun :-) The open field was 'barren' of planes, what a change from Saturday. We've seen that this is usually the case for the last day of any show, but we were glad to be there as I REALLY want to see this show succeed! We spent the day with Van's again answering questions with is not a problem for anyone who is building or has built an RV. Two tail kits were sold to some excited future builders! The Van's folks started packing up around 1430, and with the airshow over, we departed for home around 1530. We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes to get off the ground. After departure, a quick call to Sierra (formerly Sacramento) Approach got us flight following with them, Oakland Center, Fresno, Bakersfield and Joshua Approach. Flight time home was just short of 2 hours from Yuba County Airport. We had dinner at the Golden Cantina on field, put the plane away, drove home and cut the grass by street light (as usual). The word is that Golden West is moving it's date to Mid-late June next year so that the planes will have greener fields to park on as well as not have folks 'airshowed' out by having it late in the year... Keep poundin' them rivets: It's all worth it! Paul & Victoria

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