Arriving in a new part of the world means a lot of new aeronautical experiences are waiting to be had. Those who have lived here a while know where the good things are to be seen but I don’t. Therefore, it is best to take advantage of the knowledge that is already there. Fortunately, I already know a few people out this way but also, courtesy of friends back in the Midwest, I have been introduced to some new people who are very familiar with the local aviation scene.
My friend Paul was in the area for work and we wanted to take a trip out. I dropped a line to Roger, one person that I had been put in contact with, to see what he could suggest. He said Sonoma would be the place to go. There are two airfields very close to each other and we shall hear more of one of them another day. On this day, we spent our time at Sonoma Valley or, as it seems to be more familiarly known, Schellville. They hold an open day once a month and this was one of those days.
We arrived and things looked pretty quiet but it was early in the day. We weren’t sure whether we had come to the right spot at first so made a quick recce down the street. Finding nothing (at least nothing that made us feel like we were in the right place!), we came back to where we had started and there on the ramp where, only a few minutes previously, nothing had been now sat a P-40 Tomahawk. This came as quite a surprise.
As we were looking over the fence at it, out comes a P-51 Mustang and parks next to it. Towing them around was a guy called Chris who willingly told us about the day, what he was planning to fly and a good spot for us to go and put our stuff which would provide a good view of proceedings and some shade and seating! Result. We had a wander around before getting ourselves in position for the planned flight of the P-40.
A guy from Silicon Valley was having the flight as a birthday treat. We watched them taxi out and depart before running in across the field. Then they headed off to fly around the local area. Not a bad start to the day!