This past week I took an 8 day trip to California to see some friends and supporters. I was in the Los Angeles basin for 5 days and spend the rest of my time in San Diego.
Two of my friends are fellow pilots and I was able to visit both of them and see that type of flying that they do day to day. One friend works as a pilot and mechanic for a company that sprays for fruit flies. Since fruit flies can damage crops, my friends job is to fly over the LA basin "spraying" sterile fruit flies that have been exposed to radiation. When the sterile flies mate with the normal flies, the result is no offspring and a decreased fruit fly population. I thought it was a pretty neat to see how aviation was used to do a needed task.
My other friend is a flight instructor and flies everything from small single engine airplanes, up to helicopters! I had the opportunity to fly with him in a helicopter and he even let me try my hand at flying! Although some things are similar to airplanes, it was still very challenging although I was able to manage a drunken looking ten foot hover all by myself. A third friend, living is San Diego, has know me since first grade! Needless to say, there was plenty of reminiscing. I also showed everyone pictures of video of my work in Peru with SAM AIR.
Other highlights included flying to Catalina Island for lunch, going to an Air Force Museum, watching the Red Bull Air Races, and of course spending lots of time getting caught up on over two years worth of experiences. Overall, I enjoyed my time very much and better understand why so many people live in Southern California. There certainly is much to do an see.