Have you ever just had one of those mornings that you will always remember as special? Our passenger Mike and I had just left in the biplane and went out for a Beach and Bay tour. The day was just that normal San Diego day, clear skies, smooth air and beautiful colors. We took off from Montgomery Field, which is only about 5-7 minutes from Downtown San Diego by uber, and enjoyed the sky and the views.
Today was my passengers first time in an airplane, so he was very excited about the entire experience. We took a little extra time talking about the biplane and the basic safety procedures. Safety is #1 for us, most of our tour pilots are ex-military or airline pilots with high levels of professionalism. After helping him climb in, get strapped in and showed him some cockpit instruments, we started the engines and taxied towards the runway for takeoff. The biplane has a new engine, uses modern materials and maintenance practices, but otherwise "Marilyn" is a vintage aircraft. They are a little more difficult to taxi than newer aircraft, so Mike asks me about the 'S' turns I am doing along the taxiway to the runway. These turns allow the pilot in the back seat to see in front of the aircraft for safe taxi.
After our takeoff, we headed directly to San Diego's mission bay for the beginning of our biplane tour. The view is gorgeous and the air is silky smooth. Our conversations in the biplane are about some little known facts of mission bay, like that it used to be a swamp prior to WWII. We can talk clearly back and forth throughout the flight, while hearing Air Traffic Control in the background.
The pictures are pretty spectacular but the view out of the open cockpit window is magical. Below are some pictures of the rest of the flight. We pretty much go everywhere! No traffic, unrestricted view, and beautiful weather. Overall the flight last 45 min. Mike spent two hours with us, but that included an extra 30 minutes hanging out in our pilot bar and lounge having a morning coffee and talking airplanes.