November 16, 2009

Dang It Jim...

Just another night VFR flight through gorgeously-clear and eerily-still night skies to Livermore (KLVK) and back, with a bunch of stop-and-goes for landing practice at Livermore (one of my all-time fave landing practice airports) and a wide excursion up to San Pablo Bay for … well, for fun, I guess. Unusually, I'm on my own — I haven't been able to blackmail anyone into accompanying me this time — and it definitely feels a little odd with no one in the right seat, whether co-pilot, safety pilot, passenger, or sightseeing relative.

Just as I'm calling NorCal Approach for the return home to Oakland (KOAK), I hear on frequency:
"Uh, Norcal, Southwest xyz, can I have that frequency for Oakland again please?"
"Dang it, Jim!"
(Short delay)
"Southwest xyz, that was 128.7..."
And just another late evening on the ramp back at Oakland, the fields of steady red, blue, green, and white lights, the flashing lights and movement, the Coast Guard flight practicing approaches, the noise of the Pilatus PC12 that followed me in on the visual going into beta on 27R, a brightly-lit Gulfstream being readied for departure near Kaiser, the Amflight Navajo weedwhacker taxiing along taxiway Charlie … and my old nemesis again (again! The damn thing's always there…), the unmarked white Justice Department MD-80 on the Kaiser ramp preparing for departure, ringed by ostentatiously-armed men in dark uniforms watching me taxi past. I can almost imagine the pilots waving cheerily at me as I taxi by ("Oh him again! Didn't we run into him off 27R a couple of years ago?!" :-)).

I should do more of this sort of thing, but I never seem to find the time.