Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flying O-Rides at Encampment

by 2Lt Eric Choate

Recently Remodeled Accommodations at Camp San Luis Obispo
Capt. Joshua Edwards and I flew down to San Luis Obispo on Saturday afternoon, July 5th.   The flight was uneventful and we arrived at about 6pm.  Before landing I contacted the base on CC1 to let them know we were about to arrive.  They said they would send someone to pick us up.   We buttoned up our aircraft and proceeded into the Jet Center where we ordered fuel and met our driver.  After a 10 minute drive north we arrived at Camp San Luis Obispo, former home of the California National Guard.

Retried F4 at Camp San Luis Obispo

First stop was registration, then the mess hall where we filled our empty stomachs.   After that, logistics to pick up bedding for Capt. Edwards who had a reserved a spot in an open bay.   Next we visited the billeting office, which was closed, but had left my key in the lock box for pickup.  I had reserved a room for $49, but was surprised to find that not only did I have a room, but an entire private cabin complete with a fridge, microwave and satellite TV.

Cadets Marching
The next morning, I awoke to my alarm at 0530 hours to ensure I had enough time to eat and get to the airport by 0730 for the pilot briefing.   I peeked out of my window expecting to see nothing but was amazed to see several Cadets jogging around the base.  After breakfast the pilots piled into vehicles and were taken to the Airport.   There we were given the plan for the day.  Half of us were to fly north to Paso Robles, the other half south to Santa Maria.   After the briefing we were given time to pre-flight our aircraft before Cadets began arriving at the Airport.  After arriving the Cadets lined up to receive their Pilot assignments.      Each plane had come with two pilots, so one pilot could be flying while the other prepped for the next flight.

Capt Edwards Briefs his Cadets
Capt. Edwards took the first set.  Meanwhile, I took my Cadets aside to discuss safety, weight and balance and review the chart and plan for the flight.
CAP Fleet Waiting for Fog to Clear

Cadets Garza, Lentz and Anguico Rehydrating

Next we obtained our flight release.   We loaded up and headed out, first towards Morro Bay for a peek at Morro Rock, then east over Camp San Luis Obispo, and finally to Paso Robles.  A brief stop at Paso Robles to trade seats and then back to San Luis Obispo.  Rinse and repeat for the rest of the day.

Cadets Webb and Shin with 2Lt Choate

There were 17 planes and 34 pilots  and 202 Cadets so 3/4 of the O-Rides were completed on the first day.  As such, the next day was a short one and by noon we were heading home.

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