One trip, however, almost ended in disaster. On a return flight, I saw a large jet depart Edwards Air Force Base about 30 miles ahead and to our right. We were at 4,500 feet — the cardinal cruise altitude for VFR flight with a westerly heading — and I assumed the jet would soon be above us and on its way. But about 40 miles from the Tehachapi range of the Sierras, I spotted the jet, an Air Force cargo plane, down near the desert floor, making a sweeping left-hand one-eighty and climbing. I estimated it must have been doing close to 260 knots as it rolled out of the turn and headed straight for us.