N99 - KWBW - 40N - N99
Blue skies and a very good wx brief stirred the soul today as Mary and I headed to the airport. Winds were 260 at 8G14 for departure and 270 10G20 at WBW. A last minute call to the wx brief by one of the CFI's at the school and I read the information supplied. By the time we were scheduled for our return the winds would be 260 12G24. With the strong gusting winds I sat and thought about changing my mind to go but the back up call and winds favoring my runway for landings at each location weighed in on the go side, and so we did. I also thought about all that crosswind training, which left me feeling in tune with the crosswind Gods.
Brandywine was busy today with the Rotorfest; helicopters, fixed wing and people everywhere. Mary loaded up the aircraft while I did my preflight. The only catch to getting out would be if we got fuel in time. The TFR took effect at 12:00 local or 1600 Z. The fuel truck finished and I completed my checklists, pacing myself with the thought if we miss the window who cares we can go another day. The time is 1550Z when I call clear prop and fire up 46C. I taxi out behind my instructor and await my turn for a run up. I had a 152 that taxied behind me so I could not run up where we sat, besides I am not changing the routine just to get out playing beat the clock.
Number three for run up I taxi into the box and run through the checks. All is good to go as the Ground Boss calls 3 minutes until N99 is closed. I am now number two at the hold short getting ready to taxi for departure. The 152 in front of me did his run up on the taxi way and he moved up in line. My Instructor departs in Tango Bravo a 172, followed by the 152. I roll into position and call my departing 27. What a picture, the 172 well away on the upwind, the 152 with good spacing and I'm just wheels up.
Eyes all around with the helicopter traffic and the U.S. Army Black Daggers parachute team in the air. I make my call...2746C departing the area to the north and exit out on a 45* away from the normal crosswind pattern. I get a return call and someone says thanks for the turn out 46C...followed by a call to the helicopter with the jumpers that the zone is now hot. I didn't get a chance to see the jumpers, I was to busy reining 46C in and dealing with the turbulence. My call to PHL Approach was delayed (VFR traffic calling standby) with all the traffic on the air but finally was contacted followed with my acknowledgement of the squawk code. The flight plan was on the mark today despite the rough ride. We crossed the East Texas VOR on time and we were still riding along with PHL App. We should have been handed off to Allentown Approach. I made the mistake of saying out loud that it was odd that PHL is holding on to us this long, we should have been passed to Allentown Approach. Mary got that look on her face. I had tuned in Allentown App. and was listening for traffic just in case. I finally decide to call PHL as I am getting ready to cross Blue mountain and over fly the valley where Arner Memorial Airport (22N) is located.
Ok, how do I phrase this to PHL App. without sounding like a smart A$$ ? Here is what I did;
ME Phl App 2746C request
PHL 46C, PHL App
ME PHL App, 46C still with you 5500, would like to contact Wilkes-Barre Approach.
PHL ah...46C Freq. change approved, have a good day.
ME Freq change approved, thanks for your help today 46C
I got a good laugh.....I already had Wilkes-Barre dialed in so I made the call and was given a new squawk, which I thought was strange but understand now since it was not a "handoff". I confirmed squawk and verified that I would report the airfield in sight.
The foliage colors were really pretty on this trip although not as outstanding as I thought they would be, more of a blanket of color. I did however like the cloud shadows on the surface.
New territory for us today, as I stretched the wings beyond the known. With the Susquehanna river in sight and that distinctive bend, I knew I was west/south west about 8 miles. I report to WB App field in sight and they cut me loose. I had WBW dialed in and made the flip. I advised WBW traffic I was 5 miles 45* from south west for full stop r/w 25 WBW. Not a peep on the radio. I called out downwind, base and final with no other noise. I tried unicom again after calling clear 25 as I taxied in but not a word. (<- downwind 25 )
Mary and I decide to shut down right in front of the building, if someone is home they will know we are here! After locking up 46C we headed in to find everyone having lunch. A very friendly bunch at Valley Aviation, dropping what they were doing and getting us a taxi (Enterprise closed at noon). The man at the counter hangs up the phone and says 15 - 20 minutes. We thank him and make ourselves at home. (<- Final 25)
The man then says, where are you headed and how long will you be? We were going to drive a few miles to the cemetery across the highway where my folks are buried and then up to a town called Forty Fort (a few miles from the airport) to visit an Aunt and Uncle. The guy said take my truck, I'm stuck here until' 5:30. I say Oh, a courtesy vehicle that's really very nice. He states no, it's my truck. I ask, are you sure, and that he didn't have to do that. He said heck, I got your plane. Mary and I were off, and as we walked over to his new Dodge Ram 4wd p/u she said laughing, it's not our plane! We got a good laugh.
Mary and I placed flowers (mums) on my parents grave and added a small pumpkin and Indian corn for the Halloween/Thanksgiving holidays. My Bride, she thinks of everything. Off to visit the family but they were off on some train excursion that is a local thing....guess you have to live there to understand it. We left word with my cousin that we flew in and to let his folks know we we there.
We headed back to the airport after topping off the tank in the truck, it's the least we could do. We decided to grab a bite to eat across the street from the airport but the wx looked like it had other ideas. I asked if they had computer access so I could check the wx and I was taken to an office in the back. Hmmmm, odd I can't log into DUATS, so I tried the AOPA weather pages. I was concerned about the winds and if the rain would pass, we could see it moving our way.
I confirmed what we saw outside. I played it through a few times to follow the track and it was headed towards WBW/AVP. Mary and I decided it was time to scoot.
METAR KAVP 141754Z 23013G24KT 10SM SCT080 11/M06 A2976 RMK AO2 PK WND 25029/1722 SLP077 T01061056 10122 20022 56008
Mary pulled the chocks and returned them to hanging on the fence while I preflighted the aircraft. The wind was really starting to pick up as we both climbed in. I finished the preflight and called clear prop as 46C was ready to head home too. Calling out a back taxi on 25 for departure we made wat for the run up at the approach end of 25. Everything good to go and we were rolling to the hold short. WBW traffic, Cessna 2746C departing 25 WBW....and we were off. Cloud level looked like was maybe 5500 and I planned for 4500 for the leg home. A final call to WBW traffic as I announce our departure on 25 crosswind to the south adding a thanks again for all the help.
Time to climb over the mountain, focusing on a path between towers right and left. gentle "s" turns to see over the nose and position looks great. Finally the radio comes to life as we reach 3000' . A call to WB App and a new squawk code has us heading home with some added protection. Mary is closing her eyes to deal with the turbulence and I think even catches a few winks along the way. WB App called out traffic and I confirmed contact as we neared the hand off to Allentown. Allentown asked for our final destination when we checked in and called out traffic a few times. We had a Gulfstream at our 1:00 at 4600 with no contact at first but then a clear view passing through our 12:00 well ahead of us and headed into KABE.
Checking the time I knew were not going to be able to land at N99 until the TFR was lifted at 4pm, it was 3:10 or so as we passed Pottstown cooling towers. I canceled flight following as I crossed Rt. 30 decending to 3000' and decided to make our way towards 40N Chester County. I gave Mary the nickle tour of the area and doubled back on the south side of 40N to enter the 45* for r/w 29 at Chester County. The downwind to base was, exciting to say the least, with the winds kicking. Keeping speed up and only adding the second notch of flaps we are on very short final when the gusting winds feel like they stop. I added a touch of throttle and worked that to get us in.
We parked at the Jet Direct Aviation and decided to have an early dinner. Jet Direct treated us the single engine piston just like the big boys, great service! Our first time eating at The Flying Machine Cafe' and it was really good. The onion soup is a must have!! Service was fast and friendly, worth a return trip. It was nice to watch a few Gulfstreams land and taxi in as we enjoyed the time relaxing and talking about the flight. The service was really good and friendly.
Mary again pulled the chocks and returned them as I preflighted. It seems we have this system down pretty good. All is good and we fire up 46C for the short hop home to N99. A smooth take off and turn out for noise abatement followed by a call to announce departure on the 29 downwind to the east. Ahhh, with my water towers in sight I postion and announce a 10 mile 45* from the SW for left downwind 27 Brandywine. Helicopter traffic is still buzzing around so Mary is my second set of eyes. I call out 4 mile 45* for left downwind 27 from the SW just to let the place know where I am located. Landing checks complete I announce downwind 27 and give another look at all the goings on at the helicopter museum. Announcing base and final I am a bit high as I line up. pulling out the throttle and splitting the PAPI lights I'm on glide looking good. Wow! wind gusts and some crosswind we start rockin' and rollin' I'm thinking great....this will be fun. This is why I am so glad I trainned here at the 50' wide 3400' runway., Adding power to prevent the "thud" we float then sink, rudder throttle hold it off sink and we're in. I'm sure it didn't look pretty at all, but it was gentle and only a short taxi to clear. 46C is home and secured as Mary grabbed the flight bag and headed to the ML while I paid the bill. My lovely Bride pulled the truck around to the flight school front door as I sat and chatted inside. Finally, we are headed home and I can't wait to pour a big glass of ice tea and kick back.
METAR KILG 141951Z 25013G20KT 10SM CLR 15/M04 A2984 RMK AO2 SLP105 T01501044
Location : Brandywine Airport, West Chester, Pennsylvania near MODENA VORTAC (MXE)
Beginning Date and Time : October 14, 2006 at 16:00 UTC
Ending Date and Time : October 15, 2006 at 19:45 UTC
Reason for NOTAM : Parachute jumps by the U.S. Army Black Daggers Team
Type : Airshow
Pilots May Contact : Philadelphia (PHL) Air Traffic Control Tower, 215-492-4123
TFR Center: 6 nautical miles from MODENA VORTAC(MXE) on the 053 radial (Latitude: 39º59'24"N, Longitude: 75º34'55"W)
Radius: 3 nautical miles
Altitude: From the surface up to and including 10500 feet MSL