San Francisco By Air. By Owen Zupp.

Owen Zupp - Thursday, February 22, 2018

 

 

 

What’s one to do, having flown across the Pacific to San Francisco? Well, I guess going flying sounds good. However, to see the city on the bay in all its majesty, I chose to take a scenic flight in a helicopter, although I did manage to organise the best seat in the house - up front and alongside the pilot.

On this occasion, the pilot was the Chief Pilot at San Francisco Helicopters, Ron Carter. With more than 13,000 hours, Ron is a seasoned aviator and having gained the ‘thumbs up’ from his passengers, eased the Bell 407 into the air from the company’s Suasalito helipad.

One thing that I’ve always enjoyed about helicopters is the immediacy of flying. There is no taxing to the holding point, well along the ground anyway. Once you decide to move in a helicopter, you are flying.

Through the clear nose-section beneath my feet, I saw the helipad fall away before we departed to the west and over the hills towards the Pacific Ocean, levelling out at 2,000 feet. Ron pointed out all manner of features ranging from old fortifications to the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Crossing the water we descended as we approached the southern shore, before turning back towards the bridge.

The winds of the previous day had abated, but their aftermath was a calm sky of unlimited visibility as the massive orange span of the Golden Gate passed beneath us. Ron then informed us that given the wonderful conditions, we were in for a treat.

He lowered the nose of the Bell and descended in a smooth arc before sweeping beneath the historic bridge, the water rushing beneath the skids. Then, with minimal effort, the helicopter pitched up into a climbing left turn and back over the Golden Gate. Wow!

 

 


From there we tracked back towards the city, noting historic landmarks, the stadium that the San Francisco Giants baseball team call home and the world-renowned Fisherman’s Wharf. At every turn, there was something to see, with Ron’s narration in perfect synchronisation. With the city’s towers to our left, we made our way to the Bay Bridge that spans across to Oakland, before turning back to the city and then onto the infamous Alcatraz.
Sitting in the bay, this island prison was once home to the likes of Al’ Capone with its frigid waters providing a major deterrent to escape, despite the proximity of the city just across the way. Juxtaposed to this scene of human confinement, sail boats and tourist vessels clipped across the water with absolute freedom.

From Alcatraz, there was one more pass of the Golden Gate Bridge. Sitting alongside, Ron brought the Bell 407 into the hover before smoothly rotating the helicopter through 360 degrees to offer the ultimate panorama of this beautiful city.

 

 


Thirty minutes had passed all too soon and we returned to the Sausalito helipad with a descending turn and a gentle touchdown. Disembarking, I made my way clear of the spinning rotor before turning and grabbing one last photo of the gleaming red helicopter, then the ground staff ushered me into position for a ‘selfie’ with my phone.

With a camera full of photos and a mind full of memories, the shuttle returned me to the hotel. What a tremendous day and what a magnificent way to see the beautiful city of San Francisco. I highly recommend the experience.


 

 



  
 
Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment




Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://www.owenzupp.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=5920&PostID=723957&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Books

Purchase Owen's Books

Recent Posts

Tags

aviaton author Down to Earth September 11th safer flying Hurricane buying an airplane Sully The Practical Pilot Ansett podcast popular aviation blog author WW2 careers in aviation Korean War Pearl Harbor aircraft accident most popular aviation blog Without Precedent cost of flying 77 Squadron owen zupp airlines 50 More Tales of Flight Dunkirk aviation book www.owenzupp.com airliner airbus A350 XWB Solo Flight Australia. Amazon Kindle Daily Deal RAAF aviation speaker best aviation blog airbus Malaysia Airlines pilot careers pilot jobs 787 MH370 Queenstown 737 Jabiru Aircraft choosing a flying school RAAF PC-21 solo flight airline UAV Boeing The Pilots Blog aerospace how to become an author flight school australian aviation flying school terrorism aviation story learn to fly pilot suicide P2902 flying blog P-51 Mustang airliner missing Phillip Zupp writer aviation careers 9/11 turning forty aircraft airplane 50 tales of flight learning to fly September 11 landing an airplane solo flight. australia comfort zone airshow speaking Around Australia flight RAF Battle of Britain aeroplane blog aviator ANZAC aviation jobs flying aviation author flying instructor Bush Pilot Airbus A320 planes aviation QANTAS QANTAS A380 QANTAS Airbus A380 writer's block student pilot WW1 speaker R-DX how to land an airplane aviation blog Pilatus PC-21 jabiru aviation journalist Australian Army Sully the Movie owen zupp author Air France 447 buying an aeroplane aeroplane Australian Aviation magazine aviation writer anzac day how to land an aeroplane Airbus A380 warbird pilot training pilot pilot blog flight training flying training aviation best seller solo flight australia flight Kim Jong-un the pilot's blog plane crash Vietnam War

Archive

© Owen Zupp. All rights Reserved.                                             Admin . Privacy . Disclaimer                                            Website by Shot to Pieces . Powered by Blackroom