Monday, January 09, 2017

Post Foot Surgery

Day one at home following Surgery...

I'm trying to eat and gain some strength.

Mary drove me home Sunday afternoon, a great job in such crappy weather. My Bride really pulled it all together, making a call to the company that does the plowing, she explained her mission.  The owner agreed to have our driveway cleared and ready for our return.

We made it home and I used a walker to get myself across the garage floor, one with wheels would have saved some work and much needed strength. I managed the first two steps with the walker and ran out of gas. I was beat, hard to believe foot surgery would wipe me out like this. I needed to get up the last step into the wash room and awaiting wheel chair that would take me to our bedroom.  I tried crutches and the walker a few times, I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and gasping for air. I sat myself down and dragged myself in the doorway but that was it. Thanks to my neighbor Barry, along with the men and women of the Ocean Pines Fire Dept., they got me in the chair and into bed. Yes my Bride is right...I am a hard head.
The pain meds are keeping me ahead of the curve but my appetite is not really there yet. The scooter seems to be the transportation of choice, the walker is hard work and the crutches I thought I would be dancing around on, PFfftt.....I'm not as young as the last time I danced with those sticks.

More reports to follow...I wish it was flights instead.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

First Flight 2017

My package came in the mail yesterday, a new 64GB SanDisk ultra for the Garmin VIRB to replace the 16GB. The recording time has increased from 1 hour and 53 minutes to 5 hours and 21 minutes with the picture capability now increased from 3000 something to 9999. That will work just fine for what I need. Now if I could get the battery to last more than an hour. Ordering two spares tonight.
The weather is looking good for a new year first flight this morning. I've traded some text messages with Charlie at N57 New Garden and he was thinking about a flight too.
No problems on the way to the airport today, Ranger work truck does a fine job.  I preflight and sump since I took on fuel when I got in yesterday following my camera test flight. Everything checked out and the fuel looked perfect, I was ready to tug 08Romeo out into the sunshine. One last check on FaceBook for any messages to see if anyone is flying today and then it's start up time.
I picked up the wx and noted winds favored runway three-two.  A few planes had taken off as I was getting started but as I sat at the hold short all was quiet. I launched for Delaware Coastal, KGED, took a few pictures and chatted it up with the sound hopefully working on the VIRB. The ride was bumpy today with just a slight headwind.
I entered the pattern for runway two-two and made a nice landing. The ramp was full! I made enough calls this morning trying to find an airport restaurant that would be open. Millville, Cape May and Cambridge were all closed, Delaware Coastal was the only game in town.
I enjoyed the brunch buffet solo, catching up on my people watching. Obviously they were trying to turn over the tables so I finished up, paid my check and bugged out. The sun really felt good today as I slowly strolled out to 08Romeo. The winds had changed and pilots were now crossing the main runway and heading out to runway two-eight. I followed in the conga line, number three for departure. As I waited at the hold short a Mooney announced he was going to back taxi on two-eight, we swapped calls and I departed first. As I climbed out I thanked him.
It was another bumpy ride home but still fun to be flying. I picked up the weather at Ocean City and decided on a straight in for runway one-four, if traffic allowed. I was on short final when a Cessna asked my location, they confirmed visual and I floated on past for a long landing.
Only an hour of flying today but it was good to get up in the air. I'll try again this week to get the audio squared away. I missed a setting on the camera unit, internal vs external audio supply, duh. I also think this somehow will interface with the flightstream 210.  More testing will be in order before putting 08Romeo to bed for three months.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last Flight 2016

I wanted to get in the air today and try out the new camera that I got for Christmas. The plan was to fly early, beat the noon winds moving in and then get home.  I wish it was that easy.

I left the house in the ML320, my 'truck', and headed to the airport.  I heard a noise up front like something hit the inside of the hood, I thought serpentine belt.  My battery light came on and my power steering was now more like driving an old split stick Mack truck. As I rounded the turn on to RT 50 I cranked the wheel with all I had to stay in lane and on the road.  Slower speed made it harder to turn. I quickly turned off the road to the shopping center and banged a u turn to get back on RT 50 west. Our local shop, Racetrack Auto, was just a short drive. I made it without any further problems and shut down in front of the body shop.
Upon a quick inspection I found the serpentine belt just hanging there and the tensioner pulley looking out of wack. Sure enough the pulley was shot. Racetrack is closed today so I left the key via the drop box and will wait to hear the damages on Monday.

Mary picked me up in Ranger, my work truck, and ferried me home. I traded places with her and once again headed to the airport. This time I arrived with no issues.
08Romeo was warm and toasty ready to work today, even if it was going to be a short flight. I did my preflight and tugged her out into the chilly air, I just needed to hook up the camera. Once I hooked up the camera I immediately realized I had screwed up, I needed the extension arm in order for the cable connection to clear the overhead speaker housing trim, I'll work this out later.
I taxied out and launched for a quick trip up the coast and then turned around for home when faced with head on traffic opposite direction. The camera angle looks pretty good but I may tweak the angle to show more of the throttle quadrant and controls.
Once back at the hangar I tried out the extension for the bracket and hooked up the sound cable, everything worked fine. I make my first flight of the new year tomorrow and hope to have more video to share with sound!

Before I left I had one task that I wanted to complete. Since I had Ranger with me I grabbed a can of roadway paint, orange, to finally provide warning about the step into the hangar. 
Much better! I'm not sure who stumbles over this more, me or Ziva. At least now I'll see it and hopefully avoid it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

VIRB Set Up, 08Romeo

Just a quick post to note the VIRB set up in 08Romeo. I think this spot will be perfect. Its small enough to be mounted overhead and in line with the headrests.  This gives plenty of room for two people to move around and keep clear of the camera.
I may also set up a mount on the dash or utilize my ram mounts and attach to the windscreen itself.
For now this seems to be the best for the out of sight out of mind.  It will be easy to turn on and off, as if reaching for the older Piper trim handle, overhead.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Meet Up With Bob B, Skybobb

I finally had the opportunity to meet one of the Pilots of America members that I have followed for a few years.  Bob is from Vale, Oregon and does some of the best mountain flying and getting into and out of some mighty tight airstrips....ok gravel roads, some just a dirt path. Check out his You Tube page at Skybobb.

Bob was visiting the Eastern Shore to watch his grandsons play basketball and I caught the post on FaceBook. I was off work early so we traded text messages and I drove over to Salisbury to pick him up.  We decided on Kay's at the Cambridge Airport (KCGE) for lunch, and off we went. We figured we would tie flying in somehow.

If you can access the Purple Board For Pilots you will find a great post about Bob's Ramblings, it's an excellent read.

So nice to finally sit down and chat with this man, in person, great flying stories about back country flying and life in general. Thanks Bob, you made my day!

Garmin VIRB XE Test

I figured since I was heading into work I may as well test out the new Garmin VIRB.  Once on the job I set it up and drove around the site, everything seemed to work fine. No contractors showed up other than the prime's superintendent. We chatted for a bit then each decided to head our respective homes.

I set up the VIRB hanging from the windshield, the connection was secure. I downloaded the VIRB app form my iPhone and pushed some buttons until I got the to sync. A quick test run in the parking lot and I decided I knew enough to be dangerous.

Everything worked as advertised and the upload to you tube didn't take to long. I did get a notice that my video was muted due to music playing on my truck radio. I never gave it a thought...I'll know for the next time.
Your video has been muted.    
Copyrighted content was found in your video.
Your video is still playable on YouTube. However, because of the claimant's policy, your video has been muted.

content claimant policy
  • Tequila Sunrise - Eagles
  • Sound recording
  • 0:37 - 1:58             
  • WMG
  • On behalf of: Rhino Elektra
  • Muted in all countries
    Your video will play without sound.

Monday, December 26, 2016


My lovely Bride, with the help of Santa, provided a lovely wrapped gift under the Christmas tree. After inspecting Mary's wrap job, perfect of course, I tore it to shreds. Much to my surprise I found a Garmin VIRB XE HD camera. I have been wanting to capture my flights, especially IFR flights for some time and now I'll have the ability in HD, very cool.

Hi-res Features

The VIRB XE records high-contrast, undistorted high-definition video at up to 1440p30 resolution, and it allows you to easily adjust resolution and frame rate right from the viewfinder. It even captures crisp, dramatic slow-motion video, while offering a variety of professional-level image-quality controls and VIRB XE is a high-powered digital photo camera, too; shoot 12 megapixel images at speeds up to 30 frames per second – and capture photos even while recording video. VIRB XE can also be set to automatically capture photos over long periods of time at intervals of up to 120 seconds apart.
with prop filter

G-whiz Sensors

Capture more than just video of the moment with Garmin G-Metrix™. VIRB XE contains built-in Garmin GPS, G-force, orientation sensors and the ability to wirelessly connect to external sensors and Garmin devices to capture even more performance data. Since it’s Connext™ capable, it can receive superior aviation-specific data from yourG3X Touch flight display and Flight Stream 110/210. A lithium-ion battery provides up to 2 hours of recording at 1080p, and with multiple charging options (sold separately) you’ll have plenty of juice. Extend your filming time by carrying an extra battery (sold separately) in your flight bag.

  • VIRB XE action camera
  • Rechargeable battery pack
  • Charging/data cable
  • Rugged charging/power cable
  • Standard and vertical mount adapters
  • Flat and curved adhesive mounts
  • Short and long extension arms
  • Short and long screws
  • Wrench
  • 16 GB microSD™ card
  • Dash suction mount
  • Prop filter
  • Headset audio cable kit
  • Garmin Pilot™ (free trial)

I hope to give the camera a trial run this week or next. I'll have to dig out my Ram mount to see if that will work to provide a better angle or mount for capturing flight video. Stay tuned....

Christmas; Visiting Family

The weather was looking great here at the beach despite pilot reports from our neighboring Salisbury pilots and their terminal area forecast. Pireps from the Dash 8 drivers had reported ground fog with vertical visibility at seventy-five feet.  It looks good here at the house but we shall see what Ocean City airport looks like.

METAR KSBY 250854Z AUTO 00000KT 1/4SM FG VV001 01/01 A3037
                           RMK AO2 SLP287 T00110011 51015 TSNO

We arrived to a sunny sky and no ground fog to speak of, we were a go. I had topped off the fuel during the week so I needed to sump and complete my preflight. Everything looked in order with 08Romeo and with that step complete I tugged her out into the sun.
Mary loaded up the dessert we were bringing to her brothers, and I locked up the baggage door before climbing aboard. The overnight preheats had oil temps just at the top of the yellow on the gauge and with a few blades 08Romeo was running at idle, ready to go. I had filed for the flight north just in case there was that morning fog or a low layer hanging out over the airport but we were good to go.
I launched from runway three-two with a good climb to three thousand feet for our cruise north. I picked up flight following with Dover approach and road along with them until about fifteen miles south of Wilmington. I thanked ATC for their service and wished them a Merry Christmas. When I crossed the C&D canal I made my call, ten south with information Zulu, level at three thousand, for a full stop going to FlyAdvanced. The tower cleared me for a straight in runway one and added a wind check.
I made a very nice landing and immediately turned off on taxiway Delta. I didn't hear a word from the tower so I motored right along to taxiway Bravo and Alpha then the ramp at FlyAdvanced. Tyler was working today and marshaled us in to our parking spot. Another lineman brought out our car rental to the plane and had the heat on, a very nice touch. Mary and I made the quick transfer after securing the plane and thanked the men with a Christmas gift for their services.

Our first stop was at my sisters house, my brother-in-law was on a Christmas ride with the local Harley Owner Group.  We enjoyed home made cookies and hot tea, catching up is always fun. We decided we best get over to Mary's family as my niece Katie and her boyfriend Mike walked in. Always good to see them both, especially on the holidays. We made our way to the rental and as we were getting ready to climb in we heard Dave on his motorcycle. We chatted for a bit but then had to get going, we didn't want to walk in at dinner time.

It's just a short ride to Mark and Lynn's and we walked in ahead of the 1pm dinner time. It was great to visit with Mark, Lynn and one of their daughters, Laura. Mark is dealing with a hip replacement that doesn't want to stay in place so he wasn't feeling great, a gracious host none the less. Lynn prepared prime rib, with all the fixings and sides that one could possibly eat.

The only downside to living at the beach is not being located close to family but catching up is like we last saw them just a few days ago. Mark and Lynn shared the news that they were going to be grandparents! Their oldest Daughter Amy was due in late June, Great Aunt Mary was in tears. Amy and Hannah were in Texas visiting family but we look forward to congratulating them when they return.
I'm still not night current so I unfortunately had to remind my Bride that we needed to get in the air by 4pm. We ended up getting to the airport a little after four and by the time I returned the rental and walked out to the plane I would be landing twenty minutes after sunset.

Night: "The time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac, converted to local time." That's the FAA's definition in FAR 1.1.

If you need to get night current to carry passengers, follow the definition of night as described in FAR 61.57(b), which is the "period beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunrise."

I know I have the one hour after sunset to be legal landing with a passenger but I wanted to make sure the beach didn't get that layer rolling in and block my return. I was a bit nervous as we said our goodbyes to Lynn and Laura who followed us to the airport to watch us take off.
We were soon in the air racing south and watching the sun slowly fall from the sky. Sunset today was 4:44 my arrival at Ocean City would be after 5:00.  I normally run 08Romeo at 65% power, 2500 rpm, I don't like to run her hard. This evening it would be a different story, I ran no less than 2600 and locked in just below the red line at 2700. I watched the airspeed climb and we topped out at 122 with not much help from tail winds. Indicated hovered around 110-120 and ground speed pretty much the same, where were my tail winds?
Somewhere between Dover and Georgetown the sun had set. I continued on and after a weather check decided on runway one-four for my landing. I turned about a two mile final and got a look at the runway lights for the first time in a very long time.

My speeds were steady, adding the last notch of flaps at five hundred feet and rolling 08Romeo on the runway, it was smooth and quiet. Of course I broke the silence with a holy crap, I land better than during the day. Mary finally took a breath and even laughed a bit, I think me being nervous made her nervous.  There was plenty of light, no cloud layer to deal with and it was pretty much a non-event.  We were home and I was happy to get in well before turning into a pumpkin one hour after sunset.
Food for thought...

In order not to feel rushed when visiting family and friends in Wilmington we will need to board the dog. It's just not fair to Ziva making her 'hold it' for so many hours and us rushing to get home.

I really need to get and keep night current. I know I say it all the time, but, in order to fly this time of year it's a must.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our readers a very Merry Christmas!

Mary and I will be traveling north, by air, to Wilmington to spend the day with family. Mary's Brother Mark and his wife Lynn invited us for dinner, it will be a fun time catching up.
I made arrangements with Enterprise to have a car dropped off so we can get around. When we're done we can drop the keys at the FBO. FlyAdvanced will be open and they always provide excellent service. We'll head home in the afternoon so we don't have to board our Ziva. It will be nice to be home with our zoo for the holidays. Safe travels to all!