“The Friendliest Little Airport in America”

That’s Corona Municipal Airport, an hour outside Los Angeles, where we’re starting from. Yesterday I had my first flight in One Bravo Juliet, with Eric Cordova as my instructor  – joining the circuit and landing at Riverside, then Chino, and finally back to Corona. It was incredibly good practice for me to get familiar with various American flying conventions – the 45-degree downwind join (sorry, technical details 😛 , it happens), the fast and complex radio calls, the very cool flight app that everyone uses (which is only available on Apple products and forced Tim to suck it up and buy an iPad). Everyone I met at Corona was AGOG at the UK’s practice of making you do all your student navigation exercises using dead reckoning and a mechanical flight computer. “Oh yes, I saw one of those once,” was the general reaction. “You have to use that on your FLIGHT TEST???”

Despite Tim having flown this plane to Big Bear yesterday, it was ME who spotted, on the initial start-up checks, that the electric fuel pump didn’t work. This postponed my own flight for an hour while Eric drove around the corner to the most amazing aviation supply shop I have ever seen, Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, to buy a new fuel pump, and the mechanics installed it.


Corona Municipal Airport may have been around for as long as a hundred years – it was a training center for the Army Air Corps during World War II, though it’s now completely civilian. They ran flight tests for the Mustang here! It still shows the bones of its wartime buildings, but it’s a vibrant recreational airfield now, with training and private pilots sharing the sky. The Corona Airport Café gives out toy airplanes to small people ordering from the kids’ menu.

Currently we are waiting for the mist to burn off so we can head to Phoenix.