An early start today as I prepared for my initial flight in 28679. I arrived at the airport by 6:30 and completed my pre flight with the exception of sumping the fuel. I ordered fuel and always sump afterwards. Six seven niner took 25 gallons and upon my test found no water.
Clear prop! was the call and 679 comes to life. I tuned in KESN on the Garmin 300 and gezzz do I need to read that book again. I pass on playing with the radio portion and opt for com 2. Atis dialed in and information Bravo noted, we are ready for our taxi out. Our taxi instructions take me to r/w 27 via t/w "k" with a departure from intersection at t/w "m". I bee bop on by a gulfstream (Campbell Soups aircraft) and turn on to kilo. I proceed with my run up and when complete confirm runway 27 intersection at "m" departure with ground, ground confirm's. Ok flip to the tower and I am cleared for takeoff to remain in pattern for T&G's right traffic 27. Four rounds on 27 and then I am directed to enter left downwind for r/w 32, I confirm and turn out to the left and position as required. This tower stuff is a blast, I love the whole radio thing. One round on 32 then directed to enter right downwind for 27 again. I confirm and on departure turn right to enter the right downwind for 27. I needed to make adjustments for the winds today blowing in on 27, but it was good practice for locating ground reference points. Ok final T&G complete my CFI announces our departure to the SW to Easton, MD. Time to get familiar with the GPS and autopilot.
679 was rock solid and very stable, she trimmed out very nice and held heading and altitude with little or no extra work. The auto pilot was cool, always love new toys but I must admit I rather hand fly anyday, it just felt strange. Switching over to ESN traffic I announce my position and intentions. Traffic seemed light and I could have opted for the straight in but I instead positioned for a right base entry to runway 22. That age old discussion how to enter.....Straight in provided the best view of the pattern but I opted to have that extra look see and enter right base. A tad high but with a slight slip I am in holding off the nose much better this time around. Bill, my CFI always reminds me not to flare as high and hold it off as I sink. The Archer tends to feel nose heavy landing and he recommended once in flare add in trim to ease holding it off.
A quick stretch of the legs and a bottle of water has us saddled back up and heading to Wilmington. I call Wilmington tower about 15 out to the southwest and I am told to report 2 mile left base 32. As I get a bit closer the tower asked where I was going (red eagle) and offered runway 9. I stayed with 32 and eventually reported left base. cleared to land and adding a second notch of flaps I turn final. Bill reminded me almost every landing to get on center, I wanted to make the last one a good one. Pretty much on center but rolling out to my left and make correction and as instructed turn right on runway 9 followed by a left on taxiway K5.
With 28679 back home and secured Bill and I talk about the aircraft, flying and my future instrument rating. Some of the things I need to do is order a checklist in the flip format. While the one in the aircraft works, it's way to busy for me. Bill shared some really good tips today and I'll add them to my list of knowledge for those occasions I may need that little bit extra. He also reminded me to stop in and see him at Brandywine, which I will do to take advantage of that 50' wide runway to help keep me "centered".
A nice day to fly, and always great time flying with Bill my CFI. I reminded him that we need to get together for a night out to dinner with the ladies and he agreed. If there is one thing that I have treasured since learning to fly it's the friendships I have made. The Delaware flying Club just opened the door to more adventures and friendships for both Mary and I.