March 10, 2007
Number One With A Bullet
Anyway, as I discovered, there is no Mather Jet Center or at least not as far as I could see. Which wasn't far I was too easily distracted by the Army Medevac Blackhawks next to the taxiway and the various larger freight planes in various stages of loading or unloading all around. But hey, it's quite an airport two long wide runways, lots of apron space, a nice (working) tower staffed by laid-back sounding controllers, and a bunch of interesting planes hanging around on the apron. It's a shame about the state of 22L a little up the runway from the threshhold bumpy as hell, rutted, greasy and slippery from all the heavies hitting the surface at high speed but otherwise, not a bad little big airport.
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Earlier, while strolling over to Hayward's "green ramp" to pre-flight the Cirrus, I notice a bunch of people already hanging around the aircraft students, being instructed on how to preflight it and a bunch of other club planes. The instructor beckons me over to the port wing and shows me a small but marked dent under the wing near the leading edge, ringed with a black circle and some sort of marker pen annotation. He says it's the result of a bullet, made sometime in the last week or two. I say it's just a rock, isn't it? Nah, he says, it's a bullet, and it's been reported. Probably so, I think, especially around here, but it still looks like a rock ding to me, but what would I know? There used to be a rifle range under 27L's left base at Oakland we used to joke about, and Hayward's not exactly the safest of cities, and there used to be all those stories about planes being shot at by the pot farmers in rural Humboldt and Mendocino counties . I don't know. In any case he just cautions me to look at it after landing again to make sure nothing's got worse. I will, I will (and I do, of course nothing to report ).