Flying Chiquita

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A visitor from Ohio gets a taste of Santa Cruz from the air.   That's the pier below us.  We're up so high, you can notice the curvature of the earth.  Not!
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The latest view from Chiquita, courtesy of the factory's new camera boom.  The Pajaro River meets the Pacific Ocean.
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Some of the agricultural fields that surround Santa Cruz county.  Always interesting to bank to the right and look to the left . . .
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A shot of the Elkhorn Slough, which is a natural preserve near Watsonville.  
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With Paul De Zan riding shotgun and handling the camera, Chiquita heads for the barn.  Paul is now building his own Air Cam up at Rio Vista airport.
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On the look out for sea lions, otters, eagles, dolphins, whales and nudists.  Another tough day in Santa Cruz.
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My brother Matt takes his first flight over the Monterey Bay and loves it.  "Don't you think we're flying too low" he asked? 
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Detail on Chiquita's Throttle assembly.  Some people actually think this is serious!
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The FAA required labeling, with an addendum added that expresses my true feelings.
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The view forward on a clear day, cruising at 200' over the Moss Landing beach.  We circled over four dolphins playing in surf below us.  At first I thought they were sharks, about to attack some surfers on the other side of the shore break.
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Here is Chiquita roving the hills of Watsonville.  The required California attire: leather jacket and shorts.  You can't see the Birkenstocks.
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We get lots of local morning fog.  No problem to fly over the tops with the security of two engines.  Hey, if one quits, you're back to a single.
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The Santa Cruz wharf and amusement park.   We're just  floating around in Chiquita at 4,000 r.p.m., which is about 45% on the power setting.
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Gnarley, man.  Almost between sets of waves, my brother and I pick our way down the coast at 100'.  Not a nice place to ditch.  Some of the waves appeared higher than the plan.
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It gets cold even in California.  Wearing a ski suit in the back is just the ticket, says Matt.   I purchased a WearGuard suit over the internet for $140, complete with monogram.
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A tough decision coming up: should we fly between the towers of the bridge, under the bridge, or ???  A great site, even if you've seen it a hundred times.
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We flew eight circuits around the Golden Gate, looking for the right angle.  A rare day of severe clear up in San Francisco.
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About as close as I want to get to Alcatraz.  I remember as a kid the fear that they would shoot our boat's sails if we sailed near.  Taken with a 21mm.   Objects are much closer than they appear.
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Pidgeon Point Lighthouse, between Santa Cruz and San Francisco.  The HMS Pidgeon  sank here and could have used a light house.
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A local grass strip near Hollister.   The author, using the patented Air  Cam  TireSeat™
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Perfect whale watching weather: overcast and smooth waters.  Four were found near Pebble Beach.
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After a recent flight, where the Coast Guard thought that we had ditched because we flew so low.   
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 The view forward, taken with a 19mm wide angle.   If you're taking shots from the wing or rear cockpit, you really need a 19mm or wider lens to capture the plane and scenery.   
See more photos in CACA section!