WOW – Women of West Valley Flying Club
Flyout to Watts-Woodland
On Saturday, December 8, the Women of West Valley (WOW) joined with the Santa Clara 99s and the Santa Clara Airmen's Association for a flyout to Watts-Woodland. Between 11:15 and 11:45, planes started rolling in and pilots, students and companions assembled on the tarmac - there weren't enough tie downs for all the planes!
After shivering in the cool breeze outside while more planes tried to squeeze in and many photos were snapped, the crowd headed inside for a lovely lunch specially set up for the group by the Yolo Flyers Country Club Restaurant. A whopping twenty-nine people sat down to order lunch, as we began a round of introductions. Old friends gathered at tables with new, swapping stories and news, as tasty plates of food arrived and disappeared. Then, hunger sated and group photos posed for, everyone headed back to the planes, ready to get back into the air and pursue the real passion of the day - flying!
PAO Tower Tour
Being a curious student pilot I jumped at the opportunity when asked if I would be interested in joining WOW, the 99s and others for a tour of PAO ATC on Monday 26th November. In exchange for some well deserved goodies, Stewart and his colleagues showed 10 very willing participants around the small-but-perfectly-formed viewing station in the tower.
After an initial security check we were escorted up several steps to the top where we watched the communication process between airplane, transponder, ground and tower. While Stewart explained the workings of the 11 mile radius radar system, one of his colleagues took the 125.00 ground radio by adding all tail numbers to his work station. Meanwhile, another colleague managed the 118.60 tower frequency guiding planes into and out of PAO airspace.
This visit was a wonderful chance for any pilot - be they a student or an experienced pilot - to see for themselves the human side to the ATC voice that greets them over the airwaves. Special thanks go out to PAO Air Traffic Control for taking the time to show us around and explain the process. Thank you!