Sunday, September 03, 2006

Finally....Back In The Saddle

It has been three weeks since I was flying. Last time in the Cessna 172 was our trip to Harrisburg (8/13) and last seat time in the Piper was the day before Harrisburg (8/12).

Mary and I headed out to breakfast at our favorite local shop. We met a gentleman that is based at New Garden and really had a nice chat as we waited for our food. Mary and I agreed to hop over to New Garden and check the place out.

With the morning eats taken care of it was time to call and schedule the C-172R for a few rounds of landings and some fun flying. Mary decided to pass on the landings so I invited my long time friend John who is really more like a second brother to me, our friendship goes back to 5th grade, whew.....That's a long time ago. Counting the years that would be about 37 or 38 ...Dang I am getting old!

John and I headed out to the airport and completed the preflight around 11:40 or so and decided to scrub T&G's at KILG and instead fly over his sisters house south of 40N Chester county. It was a good fit, first time in a small plane in 30 plus years for John so staying local worked fine. Run up completed and taxi out to the hold short for a brief hold for helicopter traffic. Time to go as I announce departure followed by a last check for base, final and our taxi on to runway 27. Nice headwind today of only 4-8 knots maybe changing back and forth from 260* to 290*. John and I rotate at 55-60 and follow the noise abatement that is listed. I point out the mansion on the left and the houses on the right along with our track to be good neighbors. John noticed the same thing Mary did her first time up, "wow, there are a lot of pools down there"....I got a good laugh. John also commented how everything looked "like a model" sort of like an HO scale train set up with all the perfect buildings and roads.

Announcing crosswind and departure to the southwest we scan for traffic and look to eventually make our way to follow Route 30 west bound. John and I each pointed out landmarks and it helped him with our position. We switched over to 122.7 CTAF at 40N and proceeded west about 6 miles north of the field. With 29 the runway of choice today at Chester County I wanted to stay well clear of the pattern. Once well clear of 40N we made a great big 180* turn to head back east and followed that with a 90* turn south to over fly Chester County at midfield. As soon as I announced over flying midfield at 2500 north to south, another aircraft called with the same info. The other aircraft did not gives miles out from midfield. John and I scanned with some gentle S turns as I immediately announced my position, track and not having the traffic. I also announced descending to 2200 knowing the TPA is 1660 and I would still remain clear of left downwind traffic for 29. Always have a plan, and I did. We cleared the field and the pattern as another aircraft entering the downwind for 29 called. I announced my position with altitude now climbing back to 2500 as I spotted the aircraft just entering from a 45* to turn downwind for 29. I acknowledged his position having visual contact as they passed under us at our 4 o' clock.

Clear of 40N we looked for John's sisters house and sure enough he got a good laugh as I asked if they added a shed or garage in the SE corner of the property. He nodded and confirmed it was indeed the correct house.
It was nice to locate her house and I'll have it for future reference when we can take a few more shots with a better camera and not the camera phone. I dialed in MXE and headed for home since I wanted to put a few landings in the book. My first landing was a tad flat, I needed to do better. Landings two and three were much better, stall horn moaning, nice flair and settled right down to greasers. felt good to be back in the air!

I should have a few pic's added and maybe a landing video (my first). Tomorrow I am scheduled for 8LA the Piper. I need 2 more hours with a CFI so I can rent that on my own. If and when I hit 10 hours we can fly the club plane. The first dues check will go out for October 1st.

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