Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kinley Transport

Can anyone help?

Transport occurs Saturday, October 15, 2016.
As soon as all legs are filled, I will send out a final run sheet to all of the drivers with meeting spots and times. Kinley needs a ride to her foster home. Kinley is coming to MAESSR because she has been aggressive toward the other dog at home and growls at children.

I did my normal weather checks and thought there was a good chance I could make this transport for MAESSR and Kinley. Mary has been down with a migraine since Sunday so despite wanting to go on the flight she gave up her seat.

I had posted on Facebook trying to recruit Bob C, another MAESSR pilot but he had already made plans. My next door neighbor from childhood and long time friend said she was willing to go but she's not a pilot...She still makes me laugh. I penciled Susan in but really wanted another pilot. As I went over 08Romeo Friday night I was contacted by Charlie from New Garden Airport (N57) and he said he was available to fly but needed to be back for a 5pm prior engagement. No problem, it's an early flight leaving Wilmington then a quick fuel and return from Louisa, VA (KLKU).
It was a beautiful Saturday morning and a good day to go flying.  As I pulled into the airport I passed an opening in the trees that I always check out for the sunrise, today did not disappoint. I actually stopped, backed up, and then took this pic.  Now if I could pick up the pace I may get a nice shot in the air.
With heaters turned on for the first time and tanks fueled last night, 08Romeo was ready to go. I quickly got the fan turning and taxied out for departure. Potomac was up bright and early to provide my IFR clearance. Not sure what's been going on over there but as of late I have been getting "as filed" often. The typical has been, upon entering controlled space fly heading 270*. I also noticed the control frequency has changed.
I am soon rolling on to runway three-two and am wheels up before the half way point. 08Romeo likes the chill in the air while I reach for the heater control. Patuxent hands me off to Dover and I check in for the ride along. The ride is as smooth as sitting on the living room couch, just beautiful at five thousand. Dover calls me and gives me direct Wilmington, it saves a minute or two. It got kind of quiet once passing over the airbase and I almost believed they forgot about me. Dover broke the squelch and handed me off to Philly. 
I checked in with Philly noting I had the weather and was advised to expect the visual runway one, I acknowledged. I canceled IFR once I had the field then switched to the tower at ILG. Make straight in for runway one, report three miles, directed the tower. Once again I acknowledged and made a nice landing.

As I shut down I saw Charlie just getting out of his car, great timing. I asked the line guys for five gallons a side to bring me back to fifty, they are always great to chat with.  You know you've been going there a while when they know you by name and always shake your hand.
Charlie and I had a chance to catch up since we were waiting on Kinley to arrive. I did give him a heads up that this flight is a surrender and not really a rescue flight. Mary and I have done a few of these and they can be gut wrenching.

I can't say enough for this young couple. Both were service personnel and it seemed recently relocated from being stationed in Alaska. Kinley had been aggressive toward their other small dog and growled at a visiting friends children. With a child of their own on the way, they surrendered Kinley to MAESSR. They did the right thing and I assured them that Debbie will find a great home that meets all her needs. Many hugs were exchanged and I have to tell you I was in tears as I watched them deal with this decision and help us load the kennel in the plane. Honestly, I'm in tears typing this.
Once Kinley was on board I settled my fuel bill and got back to the business at hand, flying. Charles and I taxied out, contacting Wilmington ground for my clearance to Louisa (KLKU). We were cleared via radar vectors to join V29 then as Filed. Today had to be perfect, I wanted Kinley to have a great flight and wanted to make sure she was happy and not stressed, as I promised her owners.
Charlie was eyes out watching for traffic as we chatted about ADS-B and many other aviation topics. I offered controls but it was so smooth that I was pretty much hands off for most of the flight. Today ADS-B would really prove its worth. We had multiple occasions of aircraft passing directly overhead opposite direction or crossing our path with one thousand feet or less of separation. Guess what, with the bright sun today you can't find the target until its to late.
As we made our way south over Patuxent the traffic picked up. It was getting busy and the VFR weather at our destination was now reporting overcast at three thousand. I just might get to shoot an approach today! After turning west at TAPPA the sky still looked great but off in the distance we could see the line of clouds.
We transferred controls so Charlie could fly while I briefed the approach plate. I had preloaded all the plates for our destination last night and looked over each RNAV GPS approach, nine and two-seven. Winds favored runway two-seven so once I had the weather I advised Approach and requested the RNAV GPS RWY 27.
Charlie has been thinking about his instrument rating so as I briefed we went over what I was looking for. I'm not sure I was real clear but generally covered the process and flow of the chart. I like to note the text of the missed and should have pointed out the visual breakout at the bottom that gives you the steps of the process. I was directed by approach to proceed direct JODKA maintain at or above three thousand, I acknowledged. Charlie had seen the Flightstream 210 transfer my flight plan from the iPad to the Garmin 530W and asked if I would load the approach the same way, great question. I load all approaches from the Garmin 530W and then on my iPad select import flight plan. The approach plate on the geo-referenced iPad now comes alive with the active track I'll fly.
Final KLKU
The plan was for a direct entry, turn outbound to a 092* heading for four miles then turn inbound on a 272* heading. We had two step downs and a decision height of 743'. We should break out well before the final approach fix.  As I focused on the procedure turn and pointed 08Romeo inbound, Charlie called the airport in sight. Sure enough the layer had moved south and the destination was clear, even better. I cancelled with approach and we made our way into Lousia. The runway was in great shape, 4300 x 100 feet and the place was quiet. I made a nice landing and we taxied clear.
I contacted Debbie and she let me know her friend April was picking up for her. As she let me know on the Phone Charlie met April on the ramp, it's all about the timing. We worked on getting Kinley out (the crate was a tight fit) and off to a potty break. Her little stub tail was just a wiggling...she listened very well and was ready to play. I took Kinley in the office to inquire about fuel and she was very well behaved. We walked back over to the plane so I could hand off to April while Charlie and I took the crate apart and removed it from the plane. We took a few pictures and said our goodbyes as April loaded up. Kinley showed no signs of stress as she took in all the new faces and surroundings, she seemed willing to please. I quietly wished her well on this new adventure...she is a lucky dog to have a second chance.
PXT over the nose

I started 08Romeo and taxied around the building to the self serve fuel and took on twenty gallons for our ride home. I went back and forth about sending her owners a text, putting myself in their shoes I would want to know that she arrived ok. I left a message on their phone letting Jake and Kandice know she had arrived safe, tail was wagging and doing well. I once again tried to assure them that Debbie will take great care of her and find her that forever home, I wished them well.

Charlie and I decided on a lunch stop at Cambridge airport. We didn't file for this leg, instead, we went VFR with flight following. Once I was in the air we transferred controls and Charlie took over.  It was a welcome break knowing I had to still fly home from Wilmington. Potomac approach had me standby for a short time but eventually gave us a squawk code for flight following. Charlie flew 08Romeo like he's been doing it for years. I'm sure it was different for the trim since his plane has the overhead control and I have the wheel between the seats. I enjoyed the view, took some pictures and worked the radio. Once I cancelled flight following we transferred controls so I could land. I should have let Charlie land since I planted it on the runway and bounced, having to go around for another try. Embarrassing to say the least but on down wind I did confirm there were no parts left on the runway. Second try was much better as I greased one on.
The new ramp at Cambridge looked great! the contractor on my project in Lewes was the same one who did the ramp here at CGE. With 08Romeo secure we walked in for lunch. I wanted breakfast but that ended at noon so it was the lunch menu. Charlie had a crab cake sandwich and I had a reuben. Thanks Charlie for picking up the lunch tab, that was very much appreciated.

We soon were saddled up and ready to head north. Next stop Wilmington. We bounced along at three thousand five hundred, gone was the smooth ride we had enjoyed all day. No flight following but we did monitor Dover as we chatted on the way north. Charlie really seemed to like the Sundowner and his compliments were appreciated. I try and keep my plane up to date and in good order. It always makes my day when another pilot notices.
The winds have changed since this mornings landing at ILG, the runway in use is now one-nine. I made a right down wind and ended with another nice landing. We taxied off for Flyadvanced and shut down in the same parking spot as this morning, right at the gate. Once again great service as I brought the fuel up to forty total for my flight home. Thanks again Charlie for your ride along and taking a leg to give me a break. I look forward to flying with you again, with or without a dog mission.
I was right back in the left seat as I started up 08Romeo. I received my taxi instructions and was soon on the roll runway one-nine climbing out for home. Another bumpy ride at three thousand so I climbed to five thousand five hundred. I did pick up flight following with Dover since I had traffic on ADS-B. I had one plane that was shadowing me to my right and was headed in the same direction. After listening to calls I gathered it was a cardinal heading to my home field. BY the time we both cancelled he had passed me and opened up almost five miles. I closed the gap when I descended from my cruise. I advised the cardinal I would follow him, number two for the field.
The cardinal pilot reported crosswind for one four, which confused me since he was ahead of me and just needed to enter on the left base. I advised I would be entering a left base for one four and immediately inquired of the cardinals position since I didn't hear him call final and didn't see him. Actually ADS-B was showing a target on the cross wind. The cardinal advised on the left down wind, he had crossed the runway and had to reposition. I followed suit with a turning cross wind for one four and immediately said left base...duh. The other pilot laughed and said don't feel bad...we both laughed. The cardinal was off my left wing as I called short final and he turned in behind me. I taxied clear and was headed for  my hangar while I watched a super smooth landing by the cardinal driver, a good end to the mix up.

As a follow up...I received a text message from Jake and Kandice.

Mr. Gary, I just got your voicemail. Thank you so much for the comforting message, it made both of us VERY happy to hear that her tail is still wagging. Your kindness this morning meant the world to us.  THANK YOU!!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Maintenance Plans

fresh air duct system
I have been thinking about some added maintenance for this years annual inspection.  Every year I try to do something to update 08Romeo and this year I am going to replace all the black duct with new duct from Custom Ducts.
Black Duct
Corrosion caused by the black duct
I have read many accounts of torn up hands and plenty of Band-Aids required so I approach this with a bit of caution. I have also read excellent reviews of the Custom Duct product. Each unit pre-cut to length and the attach points doubled for a secure fit.
fresh air vents
Since 08Romeo is going to be open for annual the interior will be stripped for control cable inspections and a general clean up. This duct project will require all interior panels to be removed including the recent headliner update. I'll post plenty of pictures through out the process.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

N/A Triple Arthrodesis

Information provided by Foot Care MD

What is triple arthrodesis?

Triple arthodesis is used to address many types of foot deformity and pain. This procedure fuses three joints in the back of the foot. These joints are the talonavicular (blue arrow), subtalar (red arrow) and calcaneocuboid (green arrow). Surgeons try to avoid fusions, but sometimes pain and deformity are so severe that this procedure offers the best chance of producing a less painful foot with better alignment. Fusions often improve stability and allow for easier standing and walking. The triple arthrodesis is a time-tested, durable procedure. Triple arthrodesis is indicated for severe arthritis, instability or deformity that cannot be controlled with nonsurgical approaches. Other conditions, such as severe flatfoot, abnormal connections between bones, excessively high arches and joint instability due to neuromuscular disease, can also warrant treatment with fusion.

General Details of Procedure

Two incisions are generally required for this procedure. The traditional method involves one incision on each side of the foot. Within each joint cartilage is removed, bony surfaces roughened, and defects filled. Once all three joints have been prepared, they are put into place and hardware is placed to stabilize the reconstruction and promote healthy fusion.

The surgeon confirms proper position of the bones with an X-ray while in the operating room. Then all incisions are closed and covered with bulky dry sterile dressings. To lessen post-operative pain, the nerves around the knee or ankle may be numbed with medication.

The rate of healing is variable and is influenced by many factors. In general, the foot is kept elevated with no weight on it for the first two weeks to minimize swelling and allow healing of the skin. Stitches may be removed two to three weeks after surgery.

Different weight bearing protocols may be used. After signs of healing are noted, progressive weight bearing is allowed until full weight bearing is reached. This typically takes three months. A removable boot may be used rather than a cast.

My Thoughts

I guess walking around on a torn tendon for three plus years wasn't such a good idea after all. The left ankle has started to rotate inwards putting stress on the arch and the outside of my foot. I wear a brace when I plan on a lot of walking, and that helps. The greatest concern is if the tendon lets go or rolls totally down towards the arch.  The damage will not be able to be corrected unless I get a total ankle fusion, I'm not ready for that. So, I'm biting the bullet and having this surgery done to get me back up to speed and correct the alignment. I'll still have up down movement just very limited to no side movement.

I plan to finish my current consulting gig in late November so surgery will be my early December birthday present, yippie. If I heal quickly and can get back to weight bearing the client wants me back for the building construction phase in March. I'm flattered that they will even consider providing a field person to ease the stress on the leg and let me manage the project only. My goal is to once again do both, field inspection and project manage. Let's not forget how hard headed I am.

Of course this leaves me grounded for a few months which opens a whole different can of worms. I'm concerned about letting 08Romeo sit, so, I'm trying to find someone to fly her once every two weeks. An alternate plan is to add in some cam guard and fly it like I stole it before surgery then plug in the battery maintainer and wait. Many topics for discussion at annual this year, which is just around the corner. More info to follow after annual.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Oil Change & Service

Since work is shut down for the week, I made an appointment Friday to have the oil changed on 08Romeo this morning.
I had filed a flight plan just in case there was a mist laying low over the field at home and at Claremont, BTDT. Everything looked clear as I entered the airport but I couldn't enter the gate, I forgot my access card.  I drove my work truck instead of taking my SUV out of the garage and the access card was in the SUV.  I made a quick loop to see if the terminal was open, ah, not at 6:45am.  OK, I'm heading home, at least to the tenants driveway where I piggybacked through the gate, following a garbage truck. Sometimes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut.
The flight was pretty straight forward and I picked up flight following for some company. Mary gave me hell since I took a video while I was flying and posted it to facebook. I explained to my Bride that I was flying along with my hands in my lap...I just wanted to share the view. I made a nice landing and taxied to the hangar. 
Temps at 4,500
The recent rescue flight and this mornings hop to Claremont (58M) had 08Romeo at the hangar door with the tach reading 50.2 hours. Noting my current tach time I climbed out, grabbed a screw driver and started removing the top cowl.
Stan started draining the oil and I pretty much got in the way. Once the oil was drained and the filter changed I started running my seven quarts in. Stan did a very detailed inspection picking up a broken ground on the right mag and I found a gromet that was torn and pulling through the firewall. Both items were fixed and after a run up to check for leaks was completed we replaced the cowl.
Stan cut the filter open and it looked good. I did notice a very tiny spec of silver in a few spots, like a grain of salt, The shop says nothing to worry about.
33N Runway construction
Once the paperwork was complete and the bill paid I saddled up for home.  Once again a smooth flight, at least until south of Georgetown. The airspace was unusually busy today, everyone flying before the week of forecasted rain. I descend for Ocean City and bumped along until entering the pattern.
Another nice landing on runway one-four and taxi to the hangar. With 08Romeo tucked in I headed to the house. Mary and I got to run some errands and headed to the outlets for some shopping in Rehoboth. The weather is looking pretty bad for the rest of my week off so I'll be relaxing at home.

I have a few to do items for the plane; order new cabin hoses to replace the black duct which will be installed at annual, remove arm rests to be recovered in leather to eliminate the discoloration from age and last, have some touch up paint made for the airplane and interior trim.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Misha's Transport

The call went out

We have another transport this weekend and need drivers...

Transport Occurs: Saturday, September 24th, 2016
Transport Points: Goochland, VA (23063) to Dover, PA (17315)

Misha is a 2 y.o. B&W female who needs to get to her new home. She gets along with adults & is learning to ride in a car. If you can help, please return the indicated information.

The Back Story

Misha and her traveling pal Carson were found as strays in North Carolina. Shelter staff quickly contacted MAESSR to get the pair into rescue and to free up needed kennel space.  Now they are on their way to finding new forever homes through MAESSR.
Misha is a tiny field Springer that loves to run and chase when outdoors. She is learning the ropes of inside living and definitely loves attention. It was very obvious when her foster mom first met Misha that this fieldie had not been exposed to anything, had no training, but had an extremely good temperament.

This little gal’s biggest issue at the moment is learning to take treats "EASY."  Other new things are filling her days as well.  She is learning to walk on a leash, to ride in the car -- basically how to do everything that a good girl needs to do.

The Plan

First leg, get up and out the door early for our departure from Ocean City. Mary and I will meet with Debbie at the Hanover airport (KOFP)and get to know our fur baby for her ride north.
Second leg, Once Misha is secure we would depart for York, PA., KTHV. I would head toward Patuxent then follow a T route to York.
RTB, Mary and I would scoot straight home. Well, pretty much straight by way of Wilmington then turn south for the beach.

We attended to the plane Friday night so 08Romeo is waiting with a full belly of fuel and her pre-flight complete. I'll do a quick walk around in the morning and get in the air by 7am.

The Transport

My plan was to be in the air and see the sunrise. By the time we made two laps at the drive through and ended up having to go inside to order at the counter, the sun was blasting over the beach in full glory.  I managed to snap a shot when I was setting up to do my run up at runway three-two.
I picked up my clearance with patuxent and launched for Hanover,VA. The ride was smooth and to top it off, once identified, my route was amended to direct Hanover,KOFP.  WOW! This would be a first flying through restricted space that is usually off limits on a Saturday.  C&D did screw up my clearance and had me expecting eleven thousand, but that was changed.  Was I now heading into space that I shouldn't be in? I had to ask, so within ten miles of the restricted boundary I wanted it on tape that the multiple restricted areas were cold, approach confirmed.
The flight went great and the twenty minute late start due to McD's was pretty much a push with the direct route. I cancelled with approach once I had the field in sight and the current weather. Crossing midfield to enter the left down wind,I made a smooth landing.
I took on some fuel for the ride north, ten gallons to bring me back to fifty. We spent some time chatting with Debbie and getting to know our new passenger. Misha is a petite little girl and very loving. Mary was holding her while kneeling next to her as a Beech King Air got the fans turning. Our poor little passenger started to shake. Once the King Air taxied out Mishas tail once again started to wag.
I had filed for this leg taking me towards the east side of DC. I would make a run for Patuxent then follow a T route towards York, the weather was closing in at our destination. Once again my route was amended. I was now direct PXT, no real savings there, then directed to bypass my destination for Harrisburgs VOR then return direct York. I would work on this as I got closer to our drop off point.
This flight was just as smooth as our first leg. I was watching the layer beneath us close in as it went from scattered to solid overcast seemingly trying to reach us at seven thousand. I updated the destination weather every fifteen minutes and the ceilings were gradually getting lower. The desired approach would be the GPS 35 that would get me down to 1020 feet.
On with the last controller, I was given direct XOPPA for my approach. Time to get through the layer, once around the procedure turn and inbound. Surprisingly not much rust. I dropped out of the clouds around 1250 feet, added flaps and made a nice stable descent into York.
Misha decided to use my right arm as a head rest so I had to be smooth. We taxied in and Mishas new owner was waiting for us just outside the terminal. Gary was a nice man and this was not his first rescue. He seemed excited and Misha seemed to take to him quickly. I love happy endings.
I took on fuel for the ride home then filed. The beach was also getting socked in. I picked up my clearance on the ground with Harrisburg then rolled on to the runway for departure. Once in the air Harrisburg amended my route with a small change with Wilmington still my point at which I would turn south. Once handed off to Dover the route changed once again adding Salisbury then direct Ocean City.

I advised Patuxent I had the weather at OC and requested the GPS 32 approach. Winds were 11 gusting 21 from a 030 heading. Looking back I should have requested the GPS 02 approach but I wanted more runway and a lower decision height. I guess I'm still spooked from the previous multiple approaches and conditions worse than noted on the AWOS.
Approach provided vectors to final...ok all you pilots reading this just said don't do it, load the full approach. Does Gary ever, he does not. I plug in the VTF approach and ride along, thinking this will save some time and keep me closer to shore...I'm selling myself on my selection.  As I pass the field waiting for the left turn to intercept the bubble bursts. 08Romeo proceed direct GOBYO, cleared for the GPS 32 approach...cancel with..blah blah blah. He now sounded like Charlie Browns mother. Dang! I let myself get sucked in. I'm now descending through the clag, its getting bumpy and I need to reload the approach. Not a big deal but I knew better. For the non-pilots, its always best to be on instruments rather than fiddling with knobs on the GPS or radio, especially with no auto pilot.

A quick chug and plug and I'm on the approach tracking perfectly. Lesson learned from my last low approach to runway three-two, slow your speed down. Once inbound on final I slow my speed to 90 knots and add a notch of flaps. I don't normally add flaps until I have the runway in sight. Now passing the final approach fix I add in the second notch of flaps, again not my normal approach setting. I get my speed down to 80 knots and break out at 850 feet. It's all in slow motion as I cruise over the beach and bay adding the last notch of flaps at 500 feet. Looking back I wouldn't add full flaps in such cross winds but I did and got rocked as I landed. It was flat, hard and it felt like I was lifted and riding on the nose gear. I lifted off and was surely going to plant one when I added some power settled down and put 08Romeo on the ground in typical fashion. Not sure if I should count two or three landings.

Mary and I were both tired and glad to be home. My Bride helped push 08Romeo into the hangar then we bugged out for the house. We had dinner reservations with my brother and his wife at Lazy Susans...crabs and clams for dinner!