We’re Awake, Might As Well Go Fly

Wide awake, there was no point trying to go back to sleep, so we decided to head to the airport for the short hop over to Cable (KCCB) and breakfast at Maniac Mikes….
Written by
Richard Brown
Published on
26 Aug 2023

August 19, 2023

After 39.7 hours flow in July, the majority of which were on the Oshkosh trip, August has been a bit slower. Flying at least once a week is the sweet spot for my proficiency, and I continue to try and maintain that, even if it is a short flight for some air or pattern work.

Saturday the 19th I didn’t have any destinations, so I went up for some air work. I couldn’t remember the last time I did steep turns and slow flight so asked tower for a northeast departure and headed to the La Habra practice area, about 14 miles from the airport. After clearing the area, I rolled into a right bank. It wasn’t pretty, but I rolled out on heading and then rolled back into another right turn. Rolling out of that turn I took a moment to level off before rolling into a left bank.

I followed the left with a right, and then another left and another right steep turn. As I continued, they slowly became cleaner and smoother. They were all within PPL standards, and although I still felt like I was chasing the plane to keep the bank angle right and the altitude steady, each one improved on the one before.

Next, I pulled the power back to get down to gear extension speed, dropped the gear, slowed to 100 mph, put the flaps in, and then continued slowing. Once I was below 65 mph, I started fine tuning the throttle until I was plodding along at 60-61mph, just above the stall speed of 57 mph. As expected, the controls were mushy and it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere, (I really wasn’t), but it is good to do slow flight from time to time as it helps with landings. After about five minutes, which felt like 20, I cleaned it up, added power, pulled up the gear passing 80 mph, and then the flaps as I approached 100 mph. Once again, feeling like I was going somewhere, I turned towards the airport.

Over the water treatment plant, I called up tower and was given the typical, “Make straight in runway two-four” instructions. Twenty-six minutes after taking off the wheels were back on the runway, and I was taxiing to my hangar. Even when there’s nowhere to go, it is always fun to be up in the air.

August 26, 2023

When we went to bed Friday night I told my wife, “I’m not setting an alarm for tomorrow, I’m sleeping in.” Of course, that means I would still probably wake up by 6:30am, but compared to my regular 4:45am weekly alarm it counts as sleeping in. We planned to go to fly to a late breakfast or early lunch on Saturday.

The windows were open letting the cool southern California air breeze through the house. At 5:15am I woke up to flashing red lights coming through the windows and bouncing off the walls and ceiling. “That can’t be good I thought,” figuring it was from an ambulance going to someone’s house on the cul-de-sac. I got up and went to the window only to find it was the fifth fire engine on the street and they were working on a house fire at the end of the cul-de-sac.

By the time it was done there was a total of six fire companies working the fire and an Anaheim Police Officer walking around with the little French bulldog that they rescued from the home. When the fire began, the homeowners were away. A jogger saw it a little after 4am and called it in to 911. Thankfully he had been out running or it might have gotten large enough to spread to the neighboring houses before someone noticed.

Wide awake, there was no point trying to go back to sleep, so we decided to head to the airport for the short hop over to Cable (KCCB) and breakfast at Maniac Mikes. With plenty of fuel for the twelve-minute flight, I opted to just top off with the less expensive fuel there.

Unlike the last time we went, it wasn’t aircraft display day, which meant no extra fuel discount, but it also wasn’t very busy in the pattern. We put in 26.87 Gallons and then taxied over to park and get some breakfast.

We have been looking for someplace where we could dispose of old American Flags. A few years back there was a drop box in Yorba Linda that was maintained by the VFW where you could place old flags for disposal but somewhere along the way it disappeared. The last time we were at Cable my wife noticed a drop box in front of the restaurant, so this time we brought with us a bag with all our old flags. Before sitting down in the restaurant, I went out front and placed them inside the box.

It is a beautiful box painted by Cub Scout Pack #601 and Boy Scout Troop #601, sponsored by Uptown Auto Craft. The Upland VFW Post 10489 services the box. I am grateful to them for providing a way to properly dispose of used flags.

Maniac Mikes is a great little restaurant that gets a lot of local traffic. You can sit on the patio facing the runway and watch the planes taking off and landing just 300 feet away. It’s a busy little airport and watching the kids (young and old alike) fascination, it is easy to understand the draw of the little restaurant. As if the planes weren’t enough to bring people in, the food and service is excellent too.

I had a Denver Omelette with breakfast potatoes and my wife had eggs over-easy with breakfast potatoes and a fruit plate. When you get fruit, it is often a bunch of cantaloupe and honeydew melon with a few grapes and maybe a little watermelon thrown in for variety. Surprisingly, there were apples, pear, and strawberries in addition to the traditional grapes and melon, it was delicious.

The fuel at cable was $1.16/gallon less than Fullerton, which was a savings of just over $31 in fuel and almost covered breakfast including the tip. It was close enough we’ll call it a wash. A short 14-minute flight later and we were back at Fullerton pushing the plane in the hangar. Breakfast, flying, and properly disposing of seven flags makes for a great Saturday morning.

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