Lets get a couple of things out of the way. The title is a reference to me as the Mysorean. Mahattan is not a reference to the one in New York. This is about me (read States Bound) staying at a boutique hotel in Manhattan Beach. It is a small city, south of Los Angeles on the picturesque US 1 highway. The first day there, straight out of the flight from Singapore, my colleague and I checked into this hotel called the "Bellamar" and went driving around Manhattan Beach in a rented car. The place was nice, the weather wasn't. Manhattan Beach has a pier (most coastal towns in the US has a pier), a nice beach with some frigid Pacific water (frigid for a Mysorean at least!) and loads of good restaurants. I'll bet there's an Indian restaurant around(they are everywhere in the World these days) but yours truly was seduced by a seaside seafood bistro. Food was great, the beer better!
Next day we drove to Camarillo Airport near Oxnard, near Santa Barbara. I was on the job inspecting the airplanes that I was supposed to. A word about the company that represented the airplanes. They are called C&J T-28 Aircraft sales, Inc. Long name and funny too, with numbers and all. Here's the scoop on why they have numbers in their company name. They are the largest restorers and maintenance providers of T-28 single engine piston vintage Warbird Aircraft! They had a line of those vintage airplanes, all in flying condition. That was a treat, for any pilot, to see old war birds carefully restored and flying. T-28's have huge nine cylinder radial piston engines driving huge propellers. The pilot and navigator sit one behind the other, this is called as tandem seats. One climbs into the cockpit by stepping on the flaps on the wings (don't try this on other planes!), a small step and then into the cockpit. The airplane sits really tall and when I say one has to climb to get into the cockpit, I really mean it. The guy who owns the place is called Chuck Smith, an old warbird restorer and pilot himself. He's quite a character and has many stories to tell (most aviators love to talk and exchange stories, it is just in their blood).
My job, unfortunately, was not to test fly one of these birds. I had to take two Beechcraft King Air C90B six seat executive pressurized turboprops on test flights. They were nice airplanes and we chose to buy them, on behalf of my client, of course. The third day, work complete, Airplanes finalized and other engagements cancelled, yours truly decided to skip town and get back to Singapore. Tulsa did not happen this time around (see States Bound) and I did not meet Kevin. There are ferry flights down the line and I'll get to fly with Kevin again.
I'm back in Singapore after a 17 hour direct LAX to SIN flight on Singapore Airlines, chatting with the cabin crew, watching movies and yes, drinking Singapore Sling! (read my earlier blog about the sling). Raffles Class (Business Class of Singapore Airlines) is great! Arrived at five in the morning a day later, refreshed and straight to Hawker Pacific Hangar till evening, working and blogging alternately. This Mysorean is back, from Manhattan Beach.