Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Long XC In The Books....

What a fantastic day out side!!! Wow, I could not wait to call FSS for the standard briefing. As a follow up to last nights outlook brief, I called to confirm that the big bright yellow thing in the sky was indeed the sun and the dead still calm of no winds was for real. I loaded up the SUV and headed to the airport without even making a stop for water.

My CFI was at the door bright and early to review my flight plan and give me his "blessing". I provided both briefings and we discussed them followed by my thoughts on the flight plan. I gave him the what if I don't get FF from PHL and what I would do (chug along at 2800 until clear of ILG and outter ring of class B from PHL,then climb to 4500). We also discusseed the Nuclear power plant and he asked about restrictions with my response being "who wants to loiter there, I'm headed south". I also described my plan for Dover AFB just heading south and to the west of the city which is outside the DAFB class D. I also mentioned that there is no TFR for the C-5 recovery operation in effect so I'm good to go. In my discussion with pilots around Dover I have learned that 4500 is a good ALT. to avoid C-5's who are working the pattern in the 2000 - 2500 block. Bill said everyhting looks in order, have fun and give me a call when your on the ground back home.

I saddled up for SBY, pre flight complete, run up complete and taking the active runway (27). What a great day to be in the air, why did I ever wait so long to do this????? Well, I'm here now and thats what counts. PHL App is quick on the trigger today and clears me through 4500 to proceed on course. I have ILG in sight along with the twin spans at the Delaware Memorial Bridges. I pass by ILG to the east and just west of the cooling towers from the nuke plant. Clicking off checkpoints I see Dover in the distance at my 11 o'clock and my track, speed and times look great. I get handed off to Dover App and check in, they ask my destination and I provide the VFR en route to Sierra Bravo Yankee, Sailsbury. I am taking in all the sights, 33N one of my work airports to my 3 o' clock off to the 10 o' clock is the C-5 still in its resting place just short of the runway where it went down last week at Dover. The small towns click off along the way and what seems like only minutes when Dover turns me loose to squawk VFR. I figure thats not to bad I'll contact SBY tower in a few minutes to let them know I'm about 15 out to the north for a full stop. After contacting SBY I was told to report 2 mile right base for 23, piece of cake I figure with a shallow bank to my right to align myself and a visual reference point that I would turn base as if in the pattern. Then it hits me.....SBY tower calls, ahhh...46C I do not have a visual on you, my heart skipped, and I think I got a chest pain to go along with my pucker factor....I gave my position as 3.5 miles right base and they confirmed with a cleared to land r/w 23. Whew....I almost thought I was at the wrong place even though I know I knew better. I had an ok landing followed by a taxi back to the active and departure, with VFR advisories to WWD.

My first trip across the bay, I was loving it !! I watched my shadow across the water then thought better of it and got back to flying the airplane. All the ships lined up and just loving the views. Cruising along now at 5500 and land in gliding distance I started my decent for WWD. I could see cape may airport in the distance and tuned in the awos. Ok, runway 19 the active so I positioned myself for a 45* entry to the downwind. I got bumped around a little bit but held ALT and was on track with a slightly wide turn base to final but with room to track back, no steep banks here and no approach stalls, That runs through my mind every turn to final. Nice and easy, I set 46C down with a very nice landing. I met the guys from work, they took a few photos that I'll get posted, it was sure fun to fly into an airport I worked at and check out the lights and signs for myself. Time to go, I did a walk around then saddled up for ILG.

Once in the air I contacted Atlantic city approach and we exchanged info. I passed by port Norris and continued along with a hand off to dover approach. Dover was busy with a C-5 with landing gear problems so they pretty much directed me to squak VFR and gave me PHL's frequency if I cared to contact them. I thanked them for thier help and made my way for ILG. At 15 miles out I rang up ILG to let them know I was inbound for a full stop with the current ATIS. The TWR asked me to repeat type of aircraft and I did, again. I was directed to enter the downwind for runway 19 and advise.I read back and chugged along. As I crossed the river ILG got a call with traffic from the north, they asked me if I could enter a left base for 27 instead, if that would be a problem. I quickly responded enter left base runway 27, no problem, 46C . I then headed towards the Bridge and proceeded to turn left base and final with a real nice landing. As I crossed the numbers the other traffic asked if I was in camo since he could not see me.........don't make me laugh I'm landing here, I thought.

ILG asked where I was parking and I asked for a taxi back and departure VFR to Brandywine with advisories. I was instructed to do a 180 and taxi back to depart on runway 19 from the intersection if that was not a problem. I quickly glanced and noticed the distance markers and that request took 2000 feet off the runway for my take off. I thought not to worry, I got 5000 feet to use up, I'm good. I advised ILG I was good for departure at the intersection, he then cleared me for the take off. I headed to N99 at 2800, and had the airport in sight. Traffic in the pattern alerted me to the active so my call to Brandywine was, Cessna 2746C, 6 miles to the south positioning for a 45* entry for left downwind r/w 27. My instructor was in that plane with a student. He asked how things were going I gave him the ok, so far (thinking about my home field landing yet to come). I watched traffic depart 27 as I was turning down wind we swapped calls out of our locations. I set up for landing and made my call and turned to base followed by my turn to final. Looking good, just passing below 1000......speed good, rate of decent good. Hardly a breeze to speak of as I add the last notch of flaps but don't pull the power ALL the way off fast enough (brain fart). I cross the numbers about 70 kts and ride the low slow flight as the speed bleeds off.....I add a touch of power as I sink and chirps followed by a short skip and then down. I roll past my taxiway and get turned around and advise of back taxi. Finally home and tied down!!!!!!!! what a GREAT day!! 2.8 hours of pure heaven!

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