I woke up today with the nicest email from blog reader and twitter follower Colin Summers. Because of my blog and twitter, he found out that I was in LA for the week on my spring break. He made a dream offer to me, a scenic flight over Southern California to see LA from above. WOW! So cool! Just a few days ago I was thinking about how cool it would be to see the city from the air… just dreaming about how fun that would be! I was thrilled to hear that this flight was a real possibility, such a cool and unique experience.

Colin Summers learned to fly in 2005, has about 1500 hours, and is instrument rated! His plane is a DiamondStar DA40 (N971RD). He had a great website/blog under the title “www.flyingsummers.com” which is now sadly down due to some technical issues. One really interesting thing I found out about Colin was that he took his plane cross county from California to Toronto with his wife and two boys! What an experience that must’ve been! Here is his “about me” page: Colin Summers

I arrived at the Santa Monica Airport observation deck to meet up with Colin. If you’ve never been to Santa Monica airport, it’s well worth a visit! That airport has got to be one of the nicest FBO’s anywhere in the country or world. I loved seeing the private jets of celebrities such as Harrison Ford. The sheer amount of private aircraft at the airport was staggering.

We took off from Santa Monica at about 4:15 today. We flew over Venice Beach, turned in towards the Hollywood Sign, flew a loop back over the airport, and headed back towards the Pacific Ocean. This time we flew over the Malibu coast, checking out the beautiful mountains rolling straight into the water and flew back over the hills in towards the Santa Monica Airport. When we took off, we could see commercial aircraft popping through the fog below us, a few miles away which was a really cool sight to see. Flying over Los Angeles for the first time (in a small plane) was something I’ll never forget. The city just went on and on. At points, I couldn’t even see the end of the developments. It was a great feeling soaring above the 405, which for miles was packed with lanes upon lanes of stopped cars.

Here is a video featuring the whole flight including time-lapse footage (watch in HD):

This was the first time I’d flown in a DiamondStar aircraft. It was one of the smoothest rides I’ve ever felt in a small plane. It’s 41 foot wingspan really gave us the feeling of floating above everything. The glass cockpit was impressive. My favorite was the GPS which showed other air traffic in the area, giving altitude and direction for all.

I was so impressed with Colin’s professionalism, flight skill, and ability to give a really cool tour of Los Angeles. He is so knowledgeable about the area and pointed out some really cool landmarks along the way, never failing to give some back-stories. After an exciting flight, Colin made a perfect landing back into Santa Monica.

I’ll always remember today’s flight which “made” my trip to Los Angeles this year. Thanks so much to Colin Summers for giving me that awesome experience! That was something I’ll never forget! Everyone go over and follow Colin on Twitter: @voltaday

Thanks for reading and watching everyone! Have a great week!
Swayne Martin
Martins Aviation / From Private to Professional Pilot
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

About The Author

If you want to become a pilot, I want to make your journey just a little easier. I'm a First Officer for Envoy Air, one of the largest regional airlines in the world, and have partnered with industry leaders like the U.S. Air Force to teach about various aviation careers. For a full bio, click the "About" tab above. Use the "Contact" tab to shoot me a message.

6 Responses

  1. Karlene Petitt

    Swayne this is awesome. Colin just sent me an email and sent me the link. He said he’s following your blog because of my blog and you went flying. So cool! I love social media. We must write about this on Flight to Success. 🙂

    • Swayne Martin

      Thanks Karlene! I know! The power of the internet is incredible. I was thrilled at the chance to be able to fly over LA, something I’ve always wanted to do.

      Definitely worth writing about; how powerful social media and blogs can be!

      Thanks so much,
      Swayne Martin

  2. Angelo Lundy

    …Colin, Karlene and Swayne, It’s so nice to see people in the world share experiences on the Internet, Great!… to know and enjoyed to find an email from Private to Professional Pilot. Thank you, for the view, super flight.

    Angelo Lundy

  3. capnaux

    That is just the coolest thing ever, Swayne! So glad you hooked up with Colin to go fly! My fav’ part of my blogging so far is getting to meet ppl in diff. parts of the world online–and then visiting them for real. In fact, I’ll be flying my A321 to FLL later today and meeting up with a blog fan!!

    • Swayne Martin

      That is so cool Eric! I hope one day to be on a plane with you, Brad, or Karlene as my pilot!

      Hope you travels are going well,
      Swayne Martin


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