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WOW - Women of West Valley

WOW – Women of West Valley Flying Club

Willows for Lunch

At some point in your flight training comes the big day when it really is cleared for take-off, but in this case I'm not referring to that special solo moment or passing a phase check. I readily admit to being a tad daunted at the prospect of undertaking the whole cross-country cocktail of navigation, pilotage and comms coupled with the added bonus of pleasing a (charming!) backseat audience. 

Undeniably, this month's Women of West Valley (WOW) Fly-Out to Willows Glen (KWLW) on Saturday 16th March was a defining flight for me. The low-lying clouds persisted as we all - Patti, Jennifer, Sue and myself - went over the planned route and waxed lyrical about the power of Foreflight. The flight to KWLW would be approximately 150 miles, and, with an allocated W&B fuel allowance of 35 gallons for the C172SP 972TA, we had to ensure we had just the right amount of fuel for the trip.

Once the clouds had dissipated and a backlog of planes had taken off from runway 31 at KPAO, we too were on our way North passed Concord as I checked off my nav log points along the way. Land managers around Willows Glen had chosen this day to burn their pasture for improved productivity but which made navigation and visibility interesting, to say the least.

We were met at KWLW by two of Sue’s students and relatively new pilots John and Bogdan in 669TW. We all eagerly headed to Nancy’s, the very popular airport restaurant that is famous for its pies and where many members of the Ninety-Nines and the Santa Clara Airman’s Assoc. were already tucking into some really tasty looking food. Needless to say, we also fully indulged ourselves and chatted with Patti's very delightful 91 year old mother-in-law Phyllis who had joined us for lunch.

After a brief photo shoot we rolled back into 972TA for a very pleasant journey back to KPAO with Patti at the wheel and a very memorable view of Mt Diablo to the East and the Golden Gate Bridge to the West. Gorgeous!  

Jayne Pearce