|Eclipse-chasing crew ...|
|A carbon-based autopilot (Gadberry model) comes in handy when taking photos|
Handed off to Oakland Center, 40 miles south of Redding, it was clear others had the same idea. Numerous requests for VFR flight following to Redding were rebuffed by the controller due to workload. Nearing the airport to enter right downwind, we could see the transient parking was packed.
After landing, we found an empty space near some other twins but soon learned that space was reserved. The kind folks at Air Shasta allowed us to park on the ramp in front of their hangars for the hour or so we planned to be there. Nice, friendly folk, great facilities, pretty good fuel prices, too. If you find yourself in Redding, stop by.
We set up camp in the grass, under a nice shade tree which helped dull the 33 degree C heat. Soon we were joined by another group who had flown in.
|Todd, setting up his eclipse viewing apparatus just outside Air Shasta|
|And there were other interested parties, too.|
|Start of the eclipse.|
|The viewing equipment had to be adjusted every few minutes to track the sun.|
|Our neighbors had a pretty good setup, too.|
|Soon we noticed that even the sunlight through the trees showed the eclipse.|
|Almost annular with the ASOS reporting a 1 degree C drop in temperature.|
|Amazing, annular shadows through the tree leaves.|
Thanks to Todd and Emma for joining us, bringing the viewing equipment, and supplying some tasty snacks. Given that I fly for a living, I'd forgotten how much fun it can be to fly somewhere. There's a lesson in there for all pilots: Don't forget how to go flying, just for the fun of it.