Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Flights Of The Mouse, Revisited

Last Tuesday Mary and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Sandra for dinner, here in Wilmington. Sandra is Bo's Bride, Flights of the Mouse.  Dinner at Culinaira was excellent and Sandra's two friends were very sweet, we felt like we knew them for years. 

Time flew by and our group ended up just about closing the place as we sat well through the dinner time slots carrying on with conversation and laughs. It's funny how there never seems to be a lapse in time when we catch up with friends, we just pick right up and move forward.  We each raised a glass to wish Bo a Happy Birthday and the night really helped me heal. Sandra and I talked about missing the last few BAC Fest events, for me it would never be the same. After shedding some tears we agreed that maybe next years BAC fest is something we could all attend, that's a year away.

The Flights Of The Mouse blog went off line shortly after Bo's passing and I kept the link on my blog that directed you to the Aviation Mentor Gone West post. Special thanks for the effort of Spike Cutler and Jesse Angell (Angell Aviation) who was kind enough to host the web page for the Flights Of The Mouse blog.  This past week I sat and read through every single page of the journal, miscellaneous topics, what it's all about and the hundreds of pictures posted.

I guess you could say I'm re-energized. I'm ready to start back flying those three and four day get-aways and making a serious effort to be more active on my flight journal.

Thank you Sandra for making the stop here in Wilmington.  Mary and I are looking forward to the next time we can catch up for dinner.

Bo, your Redhead is one special lady, always a class act, Mary and I treasure her friendship.  Blue Skies my friend.

Monday, September 15, 2014

November Get-Away


Mary and I are planning a November get-away, in 08Romeo.  It's a multiple stop combo get-away of sorts.  A few days planned for Charleston, SC and some time planned to visit my brother and his Bride in Jupiter, FL.
I think I remember how to fly outside the state lines of Delaware and Maryland, I just hope 08Romeo does.  It should be a fun flight and a chance to relax with my Bride and family.

As of this posting we are still working on the sale of our home with a good number of 'lookers' but no offers yet.  The market has approximately 30 homes for sale in our price range and zip code, this could take awhile. We figure we both needed a break.
We previously planned for Charleston and Florida a number of times (Florida Planning 2011, Trip Planning, 2013 and Singer Island, 2014) .  This time, keeping our fingers crossed, we hope it all works out.  Now to get 08Romeo through annual.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Dodging The Cell

08Romeo's new digs!
It was time to head home and I wanted to make sure I didn't have to deal with the potential thunder storms and rain in the forecast for late this afternoon.  Once the wx cleared at KILG, it was sitting overcast under 700 until 1451Z. I bid farewell to my lovely Bride and her friend Jo Anne and I headed to the airport.

METAR KILG 011451Z 22006KT 10SM BKN011 OVC075 26/23 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP169 T02610233 55000=
METAR KILG 011351Z 23004KT 10SM OVC007 25/23 A3003 RMK AO2 CIG 005V010 SLP169 T02500233=
SPECI KILG 011335Z 00000KT 10SM OVC006 24/23 A3003 RMK AO2 CIG 003V009 T02440233=
METAR KILG 011251Z 22004KT 7SM OVC002 24/23 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP169 T02390233

I had filed for the ride but after giving the sky the visual I did not want to climb through the growing clouds to the north west. I went about my business getting 08Romeo loaded and the airport buggy parked in the hangar for next weeks return trip. I scanned the sky once again and confirmed what I saw with XM wx on my 496.
I called clear prop and taxied for runway two zero.  Winds were picking up as a cell was moving through the area west to east.  My plan, since I didn't pick up my clearance was to climb to 2.5, head west and end around what was left of the cell and then pick up my IFR clearance with Dover.
terrible picture once in the air,  it was bumpy

I launched and immediately saw the rain producing cell passing west to east just north of the RT90 bridge. I continued pointing west north west and gave it plenty of space.  Jo said she saw lightning out over the shore line, I immediately changed to a due west heading to add miles of separation.
As you can see by the photo, under or through that cell was not the place for any aircraft to be. The rest of the ride was fine, a few bumps along the way as I worked my way north between 2.5 and 3,000.
Traffic was heavy along SR1 at the RT113 interchange and we were both happy to be riding above all that mess. Jo snapped off a shot just north of RT 113. I made a nice landing back at New Garden, it was good to be on the ground.

As I taxied in there was two people, taking pictures,  with their backs to me. I gave 08Romeo a push on the throttle and they both turned around, I motioned to move aside to clear the taxiway and proceeded past them. What is wrong with people? Does the potential for slice and dice not make them want to stand clear of operations...sigh. I guess there is no fixing stupid.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meet up at Kay's

Jeff Frey (Jeff's Flying)sent out an email during the week looking for takers on a breakfast run to Cambridge, KCGE. I was already planning to be at the beach so it was a short hop to meet up.
Front view
I filed, since the enroute wx was calling for broken ceilings around 3,500.  It was VFR at both airports but the hope was that I could log some IMC along the way.  Pax clearance delivery gave me the following; Cleared to CGE, on departure fly heading 270*, as filed, 3000, 127.95 pax approach, squawk 5330.
right side view
I completed my run up and launched for Cambridge. I should have stayed with my original altitude plan of 4,000. I changed my mind to ride along under the layer and now 3,000 has me riding along with IMC just teasing me above.  Sometimes the stars do align and approach puts you in it.  I was given 4,000 and climbed into the clag with  a big smirk. Frank had canceled already and Jeff was still inbound.  Another aircraft was inbound and approach told him to expect a hold for twenty minutes over the field.  Once I was lowered to 3000 I reported the field in sight and that I had the wx.  I canceled early and entered the pattern, finishing up with  my typical flat landing.

Frank and Bev were already on the ramp as I came in for my landing. Jeff was right on my heels as I cleared the runway and watched him on short final from the parallel taxi way. The ramp was getting busy but we all found a spot to park.
                                       LF Frank, LR Bev, RR Yours truly, RF Jeff

We got a table in pretty short order and our waitress took our order for drinks. Kevin was nice enough to take the group photo, he said nobody would know who he was anyway. He cracked me up! What a nice guy, has airline experience and now flies out of FCI with a club where Jeff is located. Hope we can catch up on one of his trips to Wilmington.
Frank and Jeff in 111RW
With full tummy's we all headed out to the ramp. I took on 12 gallons to bring me to 40 for the short hop back to OXB. I didn't bother to file going back, instead, I stayed below the R-4006 Restricted area at 3,000 and enjoyed the ride listening to music.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Date Night, GA Style

Tuesday 8/26/14

It was one of those days at work today and I wasn't looking forward to going home to an empty house.  I did make my scheduled appointment for my haircut after closing up my office and bugging out.  I headed home thinking I would surprise my Bride, who is living in our beach house, with a dinner date night.  I made sure the Wilmington house was squared away in case there was a call for a showing then I checked wx for my flight south and return flight in the morning.
08Romeo needed fuel so I taxied to the pumps and took on 26 gallons that brought me to 50 total. I called Philly Clearance Delivery on my phone that is connected via Bluetooth to my Zulu headset and picked up my clearance. I was cleared to OXB via MXE V29 SBY Direct, 3000 expect 6000 and was given the appropriate approach and squawk code. I made my last call on CTAF noting my exit of the area towards the Modena VOR and switched to Philly approach.  Philly turned me direct ENO (on V29) and followed with a climb to 6000.
C&D Canal looking towards the Chesapeake Bay
It was a smooth flight despite some haze and I closed this leg out  with nice landing at OXB.  I have yet to take pictures of the new hangar, maybe this weekend. I drove our airport car out of hibernation and on to the ramp then pushed 08Romeo in for the night. It was gorgeous in OCMD, so I had to put the top down on the Cabrio.  With the music turned up I made my way to the house.  Mary was on her way back from a Boscov's trip with our friend Pam so I had some time to take Ziva out and get some ice tea.

We headed out to Whiskers Bar and Grille for dinner and enjoyed a nice night out, together! We headed home before ten and called it a night. I checked wx for my flight in the morning and filed just in case the morning mist/fog shows itself.

Wednesday 8/27/14

I was up at 4:30 for another wx check and then got ready for work. It pays to keep a work polo shirt handy for just this type of situation.
The roads are empty which made for a very quick trip to the airport. I did my preflight in the hangar then tugged 08Romeo out on the ramp. I tucked the airport car in the hangar and with the push of a button closed the hangar door. It was still dark, sunrise was noted in Foreflight as 6:25. I plugged my flight plan in and got 08Romeo started so her oil could warm up. With winds calm I debated if I should depart runway 2/20(3200ft) new bright lights or 14/32(4072ft)older fair lights. Distance always wins out and unless I can get through to Washington Clearance Delivery I'll have to wait out the ground fog anyway.
Multiple radio calls to C&D went unanswered so I dialed up the national C&D number.  After announcing Maryland I was connected to a real person. The nice man gave me the tower number at Patuxent, which I called.  The guy in the tower said to contact C&D on 121.75, I did multiple times, no answer, he said try again. No problem, I made multiple calls and somebody finally answered just to let me know they were not open yet.

East view on departure, RT 90 bridge

west view on departure
Hmmm...Ok back to the national C&D number. I got the same guy again and he made some calls, I was standing buy.  All the while 08Romeo is purring along itching to get in the air. The sky was starting to show signs of the eminent sunrise and the mist/ground fog was now clearing enough to depart 32. I could see both towers silhouette against the sky that are listed on the GPS 14 plate, visibility was fine for a VFR departure.

While all this is going on in my head C&D comes back online and says I have your clearance advise ready to copy, there will be at least a twenty minute hold for release.  Yikes...I told him I appreciated all his effort but I will pick up my clearance in the air now that the ground fog has pushed inland and my departure is clear. He said Salisbury has traffic so they are holding you, no problem I responded, have a good day.
South of ATR and Cape Henlopen off my wing tip
08Romeo launched into the sky and with a turn out to stay clear of the ground fog west I climbed north east over the Bay. I was at 3000 headed to the ENO VOR. I contacted Dover Approach to open my flight plan and was directed to climb and maintain 5000, direct DQO. I like it! The ride was smooth and I was watching for the sun to finally show, it did not disappoint.
Dover AFB
As I made my way north I once again experienced the wx phenomenon of the cloud layer ending at Dover. This has happened multiple times and I wish I had an answer.  Any of you weather geeks reading this please chime in, inquiring minds want to know.

The Dover magic wx line

Dover handed me off to Philly and I cruised along with multiple sectors until reporting the field in sight. I canceled IFR early and switched to CTAF making my inbound calls for traffic and setting 08Romeo down with some stall horn. I cleaned up the plane and tucked her in for my Thursday night flight back to the beach.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Flight Review

Flight Review August 18, 2014
Conditions: Civil Daylight VFR

It's that time again...

My flight review is due by the end of the month so I scheduled with my CFII, Mike. It's been hectic with all the house showings up north and all the kitchen remodel at the beach.  I honestly sometimes can't remember what food is in what cabinets/fridge at what location, it's frustrating . My flying has borne the same frustration, feeling like a commuter flight with all the back and forth trips and no real get-aways that Mary and I both really miss.

On to the Flight Review...

Mike sent me three ASI based tests to take, which I successfully completed. Yes, I passed all three but had a question or two wrong that we discussed as part of the ground review. The ground portion also consisted of a review of piloting skill topics, including airspace, collision avoidance, spin awareness, wake turbulence procedures, low level wind shear, ATC light signals, runway markings, wx and flight planning along with applicable 61/91 FAR  that were noted in a review document put out by ASI.

My logbook review noted regular cross country flying to various airports largely conducted on VFR day conditions with minimum IFR flights. We conducted all flight maneuvers listed below and Mike noted they were all satisfactorily completed to private PTS standards or better.

During the 1.6 hour flight portion we spent in-depth time on emergency procedures,five maneuvers in all, originating from various simulated reasons. Scenarios included fire, engine roughness as a result of carb ice to complete loss of engine power. For complete power loss Mike encouraged me to run a smoother flow of systems for troubleshooting and diagnosing. We practiced an emergency descent along the way and a power off 180* into ILG. I really do need to practice emergency procedures more often. Steep turns, slow flight, power on and off stalls were all included. We spent time on landings; soft and short. Mike continually prodded me for better center line. All of my landings were stabilized and well within PTS private standards. I'm used to landing left of center line at New Garden to avoid all the bumps...Mike didn't buy it either. Although after our final landing he did understand why I land left of center at New garden (N57).

Mike's coaching points include tracking center line more precisely, being more precise on final airspeed closer to book target IAS. More concentration on holding the airplane off in a nose up attitude in the flare to be closer to/at the actual stall speed (wanting to hear that stall horn) when allowing the airplane to settle on the runway. I really do tend to roll it on and, on occasion, flat one in now and then. Mike did reassure me that at no time did he observe any landing to be in doubt.

Final encouragement centered on more regular  dual practice with a CFI.  Mike suggested every 6 months or so, I couldn't agree me. 

The write up I posted here was taken from Mike's final review notes and flight check list mixed in with some narration by yours truly.  As always it was a very good learning experience. I was drenched when we taxied off the runway back at New Garden. I will say the work out provided me with the best nights sleep in weeks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

OCMD Photo Shoot

Mary had asked Laurie (Focus-Photography by Laurie DuPuis, LLC ) if she could do a photo shoot while in Ocean City Maryland this past weekend.  The ladies worked out the plan and I must say it was fun and the preliminary pictures look great.
Mary and I haven't had pictures taken since we married, almost eleven years ago.  We had fun on the dock at the Yacht club, even more fun towing the plane out for pictures with a gorgeous sunset as the backdrop with us holding hands and stealing a smooch when I could. Laurie even took a few shots of Ziva at our new home on Sunday morning before we all headed to the airport for their departure home.
Ted and Laurie have a beautiful son, Robert. He is quite the charmer with that smile and such good manners. We enjoyed our short time together over dinner and the photo shoot and hope we can get together again very soon.
Thanks Laurie!