Saturday, March 31, 2007

Kim's First Flight

Today was a great day, it fulfilled again one of the reasons I learned to fly and that is to share my passion for flight with others. Mary and I had a great day flying this past Thursday, burning enough fuel to be ready for today's flight. We spent 2.5 hours hobbs time and that works out to about 17 gallons used. With my weight and balance checked for our flight of four for Millville, NJ we had 31 usable in the tanks. Plenty of go juice for this short hop.

Now about Kim, and her husband John. John and I pretty much grew up together since grade school (5th grade), best of friends through thick and thin, he'd lie and I would swear to it and vice versa. My Mom liked John so much she would ask me why I couldn't be more like him.....and my dad, well he always thought of him as the third son. Kim married John or was that John married Kim....well you get the picture. Anywho.....a great couple that compliments each other well. I know she loves my best friend and him her, or so that saying goes.

After Gary and I had been dating a while it was very important that I meet John and Kim. I was a little nervous knowing the history between the two men, and what didn’t help Gary had been telling people for years he would NEVER marry again, and we were talking about marriage. Kim and John made me feel so comfortable like I was already family and I have never forgotten that wonderful feeling. So it was very exciting to share this day with them.

Today Kim decided to take the plunge and fly for the very FIRST time. That's right not even one commercial flight prior. That's hard to imagine in this day and age but at 29 and holding she decided to give it a try. I called yesterday before retiring for the night and she said she was nervous but was ready to have it, I tried to reassure her that it will be fine and John did too.

Mary and I arrive at Wilmington to uncover and pre-flight. I find all is in order and lock 679er up and move the truck to the parking lot and wait for our passengers arrival. John called and said they were running a few minutes late because Kim hit a yard sale....I make a mental note of this shopping addiction and vow not to let her and Mary talk about ANY shopping. We all head in the gate together and Kim is first to climb in. Walking up to the plane I see the anxiety in Kim’s eyes, I gave her a bear hug and said just have some fun. I said to Kim this is such a great adventure you are about to have today. When she smiled I thought her face was saying she really wasn't that sure. Mary explained the seat belts, headsets and hook up in order to communicate with the rest of us. John was number two to board and he got situated and plugged in no time. John has flown with me one time prior. I performed the Piper roll and got belted in the left seat as Mary closed the door and buckled in also.

I took my time to explain what I would be doing with the run up, talking to the tower, my hand signal for quiet if needed and the need for each passenger to call out traffic if they saw it. I think if you give folks something to do they think a lot less and extra eyes searching for traffic is always a good thing. The winds at Wilmington today were 090 at 9 kts which made for a very smooth roll out and take off. Kim missed the takeoff because she had her eyes closed and I think was digging holes through John's coat with her nails. Today's winds aloft were (for the first time for me) light and variable as reported from Atlantic City for 3000'. Millville KMIV is just under 20 minutes from KILG so low and slow fit the ticket very nicely.

Ten minutes southeast of Wilmington and you could see the opening of the Delaware Bay, both land masses, Cape May, NJ and Cape Henlopen, DE. You could see Kim starting to relax, now that she opened her eyes. We started talking about the local sights and how different things look for from this "looking down" view. I announced at 15 miles out for a full stop runway 10 Millville and was advised of a mooney inbound, which I heard but did not see. Once closer in I changed my plan from a 45* entry for downwind 10 to a left base. The Mooney announced clear of the active and he was all that was in the pattern. I slowed down and lost the remaining altitude along with adding flaps. Calling out each leg I turn a short final and add the last notch of flaps with a wind check reporting 080 at 11 kts. Nice smooth landing and taxi clear to parking at Antino's.

Breakfast as always was fantastic. I had the Antino's breakfast quesadilla as did Mary. Kim had waffles w/ blueberries and John had a monster omelet (6 eggs) . That's right they use six eggs!! Kim had John call her friend who she had on standby just in case she didn't want to get back in the plane for the ride home. Gary and I are still laughing about Kim’s back up plan for getting home!!!! Actually it was a good idea, I would not have thought about that. Needless to say she was excited about the ride home. Thanks again John and Kim for treating Mary and I to breakfast. We took a few pictures by the plane and saddled up for home. John took video for most of the trip and I'm excited to hear my radio calls and see how it looks from the back seat.

We fire up 679er and start to taxi out when I hear a jet announce his taxi to runway 10 also. I look to my 3 o' clock and sure enough from Millville jet he starts to roll out. I had started my taxi from the last parking spot right off taxiway Charlie (at Antino's)and the Challenger Jet was rolling from Millville Jet Center. I never made a stop, I continued my taxi with the plan of departing from runway 10 at the intersection of "C"harlie . That plan changed when another aircraft taxied on to "C"harlie from r/w 10 forcing me to right turn and head to the approach end. Kim looked back and saw this monster Challenger jet closing on us and I explained that I rolled out first because he was most likely going to be waiting for his clearance. The World Wide jet xxx was immediately cleared so he could have been off in no time flat. Oh well, we position for run up and then announce departing runway 10 VFR to the north on the downwind leg. I make a nice smooth takeoff and I quickly climb to pattern altitude turning crosswind a bit early and announcing with the added "We'll get out of the way for the World Wide Jet." WW Jet announces his departure and that he had the Archer in sight.

The haze had cleared a bit more for the hop home and Kim seemed to be enjoying the ride. John has some great video I'm sure and I hope to get it posted soon. Looking off to our 9 o' clock you can see St. Georges bridge and the fairly new SR 1 bridge over the C&D canal. Kim takes a look at Fort Delaware and at historic New castle as they pass beneath us. Off in the distance we can see the cooling towers near Pottstown, PA, just ahead north of the airport the Rollins building in north Wilmington and the memorial tower at the DuPont children's hospital.

Having previously noted the information on the ATIS, I had called Wilmington tower about 15 out to the south east and announced a full stop with information "D"elta. I am offered right base for runway 9 with winds 060 at 11 kts or straight in for 32. I took the 32 option and decided to work on my crosswind landing. I reported mid river for 32 as directed and was cleared to land. As we crossed Rt. 13 I slipped into the numbers holding the right wing down enough to get a good right side main touchdown with the stall horn singing followed by the left main then nose wheel a few seconds later......way to cool!

We taxied to our tie down and secured 679er. We said our goodbyes to Kim and John since it was a bit nip and I had to wait for fuel. Kim gave me a hug and said she had a great time and from what Mary said it sounds like she is wanting to get back up with some beach trip time. Mary walked out with our passengers and brought our truck in so we could wait for fuel and keep warm. 679er took on 25 gallons for her 3.6 hours work in two days. Not to bad with a gal/hour burn of 6.94.

We had a great day and all look forward to getting out again soon. Maybe John and I will kick the girls out at the beach and get some flying time in. They can kick us to the beach, (outlets)it matters not. We had a blast and I can’t wait to do it again.

Hi Gary & Mary.

I just read your blog and thought that was a great account of the day. I feel so foolish for being so afraid all these years (29 sounds good). I might have lied just a little when I said I was nervous, that was a gross understatement. I was TERRIFIED. Its a good thing there was no door on my side! Mary had it right when she said I was still trying to convince myself to do this. Everyone told me how awful the take off and landings were and I was anticipating the worst. I took the advise of a childhood friend who said "close your eyes and pretend its stadium jump. A really long, really high jump". Like you and John we've been through it all together over the years (again 29 sounds good). I trust John completely and he would have trusted you with his life long before you thought about flying. I knew deep down our bestest friends wouldn't steer me wrong.

What a rush! When I opened my eyes and we were up and level I started breathing again and thought how wrong all those people said about the take off. My face was kind of still buried in Johns shoulder a little and I missed old New Castle! Then I sucked it up, sat up and it was great! but it was almost time too land. Closed my eye again and didn't even know we were on the ground. One little bump and time for breakfast. I was a little in shock, I think. Those other people were wrong about the landing too! I figure It must be the pilot.

Breakfast was great. I watched the take off and the landing coming home and was sorry I missed It the first time. I even picked out old New Castle without any help. I am so proud of myself ! All afternoon I was thinking how much I felt like Sally Fields in Smokey and the Bandit. After he jumped the bridge and she was jumping all over the car screaming "I wanna jump something else!!!" (Never mind Burt's reply). I only have one request for next time, lets let the big guys go first. Mary and I will find some way to entertain you guys while we wait. Didn't like him on your six!

So Guys, Anytime you have a spare seat, I'm in.

Thank you both, I'll never forget it!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

OC MD and Back

A fantastic day to fly! Oh my gosh it was one of the best days we have had to fly in a while. The Lord really out did himself on this absolute magnificent day. We headed out to the airport with a Wawa stop for refreshments, it seems to be our standard operating procedure any more. My pre-flight complete we await Dassault Falcon Jets fuel truck. A top off of the tanks and a fuel sample taken we are now ready to head out. With ATIS noted and a call to the tower I request r/w 32.

METAR KILG 291351Z 34013G19KT 10SM CLR 08/M13 A3050

We are cleared to taxi to r/w 9 and hold, then cleared on to 9 , left turn Fox and taxi to Fox2 at r/w 32. A long taxi to the other side of the field but why fight the crosswinds. Cleared to go on 32 we are rolling out and wheels up to the start of some fun flying. Departing on the down wind and crossing the Delaware river you can see the reflections off the casino's in Atlantic City, yes it was that clear. Minimum traffic today until announcing 15 miles out for Millville. A few folks in the pattern and one or two leaving the area. I call out a 3 mile 45* for 32 looking for traffic turning base. About midfield I see the Cessna rolling out on his touch and go. I call base and final and crab on in to the numbers.

METAR KMIV 291454Z AUTO 02014G17KT 10SM CLR 10/M14 A3045

Mary and I decided to make a quick run to Millville, NJ for breakfast at Antino's but they were not open as of 10:30.
Ok,I was slightly upset about no Antino's. Upon closer examination of the hours of operation we would have to wait until 11am. We decide on the Flight Line. Mary had a cheese omelette with spinach and grits, I had a three egg cheese omelette with scrapple and grits. Breakfast was good,a little slow on the service but it was Verna's birthday, complete with a cake! Breakfast was very good, service indeed was a little slow, but we found out they were celebrating a birthday that morning, so all is forgiven.

We saddle up and head to Cape May. Number three for departure as we watch a jet rumble off of 32 and climb away followed by a Cessna. Last checks before roll out, mixture rich, fuel pump on gauges in the green flaps up and here we go. A smooth roll out and we accelerate followed by wheels up, we are off for Cape May. We announce our downwind departure from the area and enjoy the view. It was so nice Mary decided on no pictures, she wanted to kick back and take it all in. Yes, I decided be a tourist today, and take my pleasure in talking with Gary about the sights we were seeing instead of being the photographer. We can easily see Atlantic City, Cape May's boardwalk, Cape Henlopen and Ocean City Maryland's skyline very clear.

We pass on the T&G's at Cape May and instead dial in Waterloo (ATR VOR) on 112.6 and head direct to crossing the Bay at 4500'. Tankers everywhere, the Ferry crossing below us and way off in the distance to the north, Salem nuke plant cooling towers at 60+ miles.

With Lewes and Rehobeth behind us we check out Indian River Inlet off our 9 o' clock and all the empty boat slips. This will change soon as that time of year approaches. I tune in the KOXB Ocean City Maryland airport ASOS and noted the winds and direction. I asked Mary if she still wanted to stop and she declined with the winds and lower temps it would not be fun walking the boardwalk. Passing on the boardwalk is not like me at all, but we’ll wait till the weather gets warmer. We passed over the airport at 3500' turning north and climbing to 4500' now heading back to (KILG) Wilmington. I tuned DuPont DQO VOR at 114.0 and ID'ed. Tracking a solid signal I called Patuxent Approach for flight following.

679er: Patauxent app, Archer 28679er over Ocean City MD, 3 point 5 climbing to 4 point 5, VFR to Wilmington
App: Archer 28679er squawk xxxx, say destination
679er: Squawking xxxx, India Lima Golf, Wilmington, for 679er
They (Patuxent app) eventually kicked us loose to squawk VFR (1200) and gave us the Dover info. "Freq. change approved, three two point four two five for 679er, thanks for your help today." I dialed in Dover approach and made the call. "Dover Approach Archer 28679er...Archer 28679er over Georgetown,level four point five, vfr to Wilmington...I reply, squawking xxxx 679er." Good controller at Dover today, got the tail number right as was easy to understand. Great flight right over the Dover Air Force base. Mary was watching a massive C-5 turning out of the Delaware Bay and setting up for a landing on r/w 1 at KDOV. Dang low wing...she lost sight as he was turning final. Home stretch, passing just south of the cooling towers..bumpity..bump..with the thermals and advised by Wilmington tower to call 3 mile final for r/w 1.

Traffic landing just ahead, we are no. 2 cleared to land. Winds were 350 17 G 22 or so and a final wind check was 360* 15 G 20 or so. A little wiggle waggle but nice and slow adding the last notch of flaps as I cross the fence making it in pretty smooth with slight moans of the stall horn. It was not an ordinary flying day, not sure I can really explain it. The weather made it like a roller coaster ride every once in a while, but that made it fun. Gary was having "way to much fun" flying. He did a excellent job handling the plane. The difference was with in us, we were relaxed and quiet, but in our silence this afternoon we were both very grateful for the opportunity to fly and the difference it has made in our lives together.

Aircraft secure we head on out with 2.5 in the book, two landings and some fun navigation work tracking various VOR's. We are heading out again on Saturday with an introductory flight for my friends John's wife Kim. This will be her VERY FIRST flight in any aircraft......a bit of pressure to make sure she has fun...but I'll get it done. We are going to do a breakfast run to Millville, nice short flight and a lot of neat things to see.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Windy in OCMD

Today looked great but we decided that with the windy conditions it was not worth getting bumped around for a stroll along the beach. If we were heading out on vacation I would tolerate a bit more, but for a fun day it's a "no-go"

Mary knows how much I hate not getting in the air and she read the disappointment on my face. She really scares me sometimes with how much she has really learned about flying. Mary said, "what's that saying? better to be on the ground wishing we were flying then to be getting bumped around wishing we stayed home".......OK, so she made it work and she understands the decision making process. It still stinks that I'm here typing rather then flying!

METAR KOXB 251253Z AUTO 01018G23KT 10SM CLR 12/04 A3036
METAR KOXB 251353Z AUTO 03016G22KT 10SM CLR 12/04 A3039 RMK AO2 PK WND 02027/1328 SLP291 T012200
METAR KOXB 251453Z AUTO 03017G22KT 10SM BKN027 12/04 A3043

FSS passed along two PIREPS at 1500' and 1900' light to moderate chop in a Cessna 172 and BE35 (Bonanza).

Mary decided to work around the front yard and I worked on getting the remaining slide shows finished up from all previous trips, so that's a plus. I also headed to the airport to give six seven niner a once over to clean inside and cleaned all the leading edges. I also climbed in and worked on my learning curve time with programing routes in the Garmin 300XL....that's why I bought the quick reference guide!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Flight Plans...

Sunday's Trip - I have been watching weather off and on all day checking the outlook for Sunday. It looks to be clearing in time for a trip to KOXB, Ocean City, MD.

Mary and I have planned out some day trips to various locations and Ocean City is on the top of that list. It's a short taxi ride to the boardwalk so once the aircraft is secure we will hoof it on the boards and investigate all the shops and places to eat. I have made the trip to OCMD many times with the Liberty Region Corvette Club and always had a great time. I drove my 90 and 81 vette on the boardwalk in parades and have set out in the sun with the car show crowd, best of both worlds. Liberty did a fine job with yearly poker runs, special parties for members and traveling together as a club to each event. I'll miss the 81 when she's finally gone, but spring time means "for sale' and a nest egg for my first plane.

Short list of trips:

We are planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA in April, Knoebels Park in Pennsylvania, Tangier Island and Gettysburg, PA. A few 3 day weekend trips we have lined up are Louisburg, NC to visit family, Myrtle Beach/Ocean Isle beach to vacation and look for property, Block Island and Martha's Vineyard.

The Big Trip plan for 2007 is for a stop at Williamsburg to visit our friend Susan followed by a stop at Ocracoke for an early morning arrival with a second day of r&r departing late afternoon or early the next morning for Myrtle Beach. At Myrtle we will spend at least two nights departing early afternoon for Bristol, TN and spending a night then heading to KCKB Clarksburg, WVA for a quick stop and go. We will end up in Washington, PA (just south of Pittsburgh) sometime late afternoon to spend a night and visit with friends.

At our PA stop we will make a short road trip to visit a Rotti (Max) thatI was lucky enough to find a great home for with a retired K-9 officer. From our PA stop (KAFJ) we will finally saddle up and head back home to Delaware having added the state of Tennessee, West Virginia and if not already added to the "visited" list North and South Carolina. Total miles for the trip is 1225 and approximately 12 hours of flying.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Beach Patrol...

Ah, what a beautiful day today! Hey, it's a great day just not going to work! Mary and I decided that we would work on our beach patrol day trip. The weather was looking great, maybe a tad nippy, but over all blue sky and hardly a breeze.

We rolled out of bed and took care of the zoo, who I might add was very happy to see us sleeping in and was willing to go along with the early weekend slumber time. We recently adopted a grey seven month old kitty, Harry is there with one of our other three boys Jake. As the zoo finished eating we were ready to get moving. Maggie had other ideas and tried to sleep while still offering the I'm on patrol pose, nice try slacker! Our showers complete, flight bags packed,flight plan checked, Flight Service called and weather outlook noted, we are ready to roll.

We made a stop at wawa for coffee and juice so that we had something to drink along the way. As we entered the gate and looked at 679er we could see Ice on the leading edge of the wings. Hmmm..this is not good and this stuff is thick. We both know the effects of ice and learned how fast the de-icer's work, it would not take long for us to get rolling. I was pretty excited about flying today; traveling, eating and shopping, but mostly spending time with Gary. I made a call to Dassault Falcon Jet, the same folks who provide our fuel to see if they could de-ice our baby. Not a problem as they rolled up in the fuel truck and got out with a hand spay unit. This was my first experience with this stinks and does not clean up well. After a second application and with a gentle rub with a spill towel the ice finally came off. What really sucked was completing the pre-flight and getting under the wing while having to cover my head with a towel so that crap didn't get all over me. Lesson learned complete the pre-flight first!

We planned to be off by 10am and it now was 10:15, good thing we got to the airport a half hour earlier then planned. Seven shots of primer and 679er roared to life. Setting idle at 900-1000 rpm let her warm up the oil very nicely. I toyed with the GPS trying to teach myself route planning but forgot the 100 plus page manual. I am familiar with the area and only use it (GPS)as a backup and distance tool. We are cleared for takeoff on runaway 14 today and 679er jumps off the ground, seeming to be as eager as I am to log some flight time.

We pick up Dover approach (he gets my tail number wrong twice)and then he kicks us loose, telling me I am not in his airspace. Well, Ok, fine I squawk 1200 and keep motoring south. In less then two minutes he contacts me (getting my tail number wrong again) and gives me the same code, go figure. We eventually spot KGED and I announce 10 miles out for full stop r/w 4. As we closed the gap I heard a call from a skyhawk turning left base r/w 4. I announced my 4 mile 45* for left downwind 4. I announce dowind, base and final feeling rusty as I come in a bit fast and flat. Not the best landing but not my worst.
I thought it was a good landing, no bouncing around and I like that. We taxi in, secure 679er and head in to grab a table near the window (file photo). The place is empty but it's not quite 11:30, we beat the lunch rush. I had a BLT and Mary had cream of crab soup and a grilled cheese. Excellent crab soup, highly recommended! As we got ready to leave a few pilots and some locals started to trickle in. I chatted with a man that came in to eat that had just taxied in with a LanceAir, this baby was hot! What a nice aircraft. I made a stop in the pilot lounge to check weather then headed out to the plane.

A quick check of the fuel and a walk around to make sure all is in order and we fire up and head out. Number three for departure we make our way to runway 4 and jump back into the sky. Did I mention how absolutely gorgeous it was? Wonderful job on the take off and Gary thought he was rusty. We decided to roam around Lewes and take some shots as I gained some altitude for my Bay crossing. We lumbered north of Rehobeth and back towards lewes then made way across the Bay. Mary pointed out the DRBA ferry's crossing in each direction, very nice! We spotted the cape may light house but we don't have enough zoom on the digital camera, this to will change soon. I report 10 miles out for full stop runway 10 cape may and continue on, all the while working my way from 5500 to 823' pattern altitude.

I know I have to fly over the airport and turn back in to enter on a 45* for runway 10 but somewhere between checking out the sights and looking for traffic I enter on a 45* for 28. Now this wouldn't be terrible but I had already announced a full stop for r/w 10 and had just announced my 3 mile 45* for 10 along with aproaching TPA. Grrrrrr catching myself,I immediately correct my position an announce a north east right turn out towards Atlantic City to circle back and over fly the airport. What a dip stick......felt like a dummy even though I had the place to myself. Actually I hardly noticed because as usual I was busy sight seeing and looking for other planes. Ok, finaly on a 3 mile 45* for runway 10, followed by a smooth downwind and base transition. Thinking slow down and make sure I hear that stall horn moan before touching down this time. I turn final on target great speed and add in the last notch of flaps. Oh yeah, very pretty, 65 kts nose high bleeding speed and horn was talking to me, no chirps, very smooth on the mains followed by nose wheel down in what seemed like 10 seconds after the fact. Ahhh...I feel better. Someone comes on the radio and says best landing I've seen all day....yeah that made me feel good.

The young man working at Big Sky was out to meet us and place chocks when we shut down, Thanks Sean! My co-worker Tom, Operations Manager at Cape May was also there to welcome us in. Tom was also the voice on the radio about my landing, but I'll take the kudo's. It was wonderful to finally meet Tom, I have heard Gary speak of him often. The man from Ace Sharper car rentals walked out to the flight line where I was running my mouth talking to a man getting ready to leave in his 1959 Cessna 182, was this baby a sweet heart. He shared the story of how he came across this clean aircraft and let us have a look inside. The inside was just as clean. He keeps his aircraft close to home, he lives at a fly-in community near the Pax river in MD. We both dream about retiring in a community just like the gentlemen we spoke with had described, you can always dream! We said our goodbyes then Mary and I jumped in our ford standard size rental transportation and headed for the beach.

Our directions were perfect that Big Sky had provided and in no time we were snapping pictures of the Cape May light house. Of course we checked out all the homes and available property in and around the area. From the light house we wandered our way towards the boardwalk. We checked out the Victorian homes, found the bed and breakfast we had stayed at and took a few more pic's. We checked out the boardwalk and in the picture at the far end you will see a red marker bouy. Mary met a gentleman while taking this picture. He told her about the southern most point in New jersey, it's at the end of the Cape May boardwalk. Sure enough we got out and checked it over, reading the sign and getting our picture taken. Mr. Weaver spent some time sharing stories about his past, his love of aviation, some interesting past flights and whatever else our conversations covered. The plus to being able to fly is the people we meet and the experiences they share with us. Mr. Weaver, thanks for taking some time to share your life stories with us. I firmly believe that sometimes we get lucky and end up in the right place at the right time. Today Mary and I were lucky enough to spend some time with Walt and we were treated to some interesting facts and his good natured ribbing.

Mary and I hit the local shops, taking advantage of no crowds. We strolled along hand in hand enjoying our day trip and quiet time together. I especially loved this part of the day, no one was around except for a few locals. Gary and I talked about our trip to Lewes/Cape May with my Mom last summer, great memories new and old. We managed to find a cape may light house collectible, the flat wooden hand painted recreation of the structure that we now added to our collection. We also found a jewelry store and Mary got an early St. Patty's day gift (for the Irish half in her) of a pendant and earring set with the gemstone Peridot. Find a jewelry store??? Are you kidding ? I navigate towards them like Gary does to a plane. Thank you sweetheart for the lovely earring and necklace set, you know that I’ll enjoy wearing them.

The day flew by, no pun intended. We saddled up and made our way back to the airport with a quick stop for water and raspberry tea at the golden arches. We turned in the rental at the FBO and proceeded to get 679er ready to go. I completed my pre-flight, added oil and posed for a few photo's. We fired up and taxied out to runway 19 for a run up and departure. Run up complete, we rolled out on to r/w 19 and pushed for full throttle as 679er really came to life. If 679er was feeling half as good as me for finally getting back in the air, I can honestly say I understood that power. I made a quick call to thank Op's just after wheels up then climbed to TPA before turning crosswind then downwind for departure to the North.

ATIS tuned and noted for KILG, we flipped over to the tower frequency. I heard one aircraft crossing the ILG airspace headed for KMIV, Millville, NJ. I advise Mary to help look for the traffic since we will be going head to head shortly. The Skyhawk was at 2500' and we were at 3000'. Mary called out traffic low and to our one o' clock maybe he was 1500'. I quick flipped back to 123.0 and sure enough that was him announcing his intentions for KMIV. Back to 126.0 to call up Wilmington, "Archer 28679er 15 from the south east 3000' level with "H"otel inbound for full stop". I was directed to call out my left downwind for 19, I acknowledged. Over the Delaware river and joining the left downwind I notify the tower. I was cleared to land 19, I repeated and continued on. I wanted to make the first turn off to taxiway "K"ilo so this would be good short field practice.

Base to final adding the last notch of flaps when I had the field made I was splitting the PAPI's on the mark. Over the numbers 65kts and falling, sinking, back on the yoke, sinking, a bit more back pressure with some nose up trim. Stall horn moaning, no chirps just wheels down and rolling followed eventually by the nose touching down. Retract flaps, only light braking since I needed some energy to make the first taxiway. I was really liking that landing, on center and very short, it felt great. We taxied in and buttoned up 679er with 2.3 hours in the book today. We are scheduled for Orange County, NY on the 17th!

I had to add this picture of Mary's potential rescue kitty found roaming the sand dunes. No, it did not come home with us and for all those concerned my Bride said it looked to be in great shape....(most likely working on it's free lunch, I thought). What a find for me, the kitty looked to be in very good health, nice shiny eyes and well fed. Cat’s, like diamonds, each one is different and holds memories. I hope kitty stays well taken care of as well as the other strays that live along the boardwalk.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Day Trippin'.....

Today's flight to Gettysburg was "blown away" Yes, winds up to 47 mph during the day makes for an ugly ride and one I do not want to even think about in a cross wind situation, or any situation for that matter. Here is the METAR for a planned 10am departure.

METAR KILG 061451Z 33024G33KT 10SM CLR M06/M24 A3041

Local wx is calling for snow on Wednesday (1"-3") so a flight to Gettysburg is put on hold. Susquehanna Regional Airport Authority maintains Cap City (KCXY) first then N68 Chambersburg then W05 Gettysburg. I don't think Gettysburg will be clean by Friday morning.

Mary and I decided to bag friday instead and try to tackle our "beach patrol" day trip. We will start out at Wilmington Airport operations so Mary can get her Airport ID taken care of then head over to 679er. We plan on leaving around 10am for a short flight to KGED (Georgetown) for lunch. Depending on the weather we may drop down to KOXB Ocean City, MD for a fly by then head up the coast and over to KWWD Cape May Airport. We will park at Big Sky Aviation and arrange for a car. We hope to hit the small boardwalk, tour some shops maybe walk the beach and tour some of the victorian homes and bed and breakfast locations.

We'll saddle back up and head to KMIV Millville for a round of stop and go's just to say hello to a few of our friends. From Millville it will be a short hop home to KILG to put 679er to bed. Should be a fun day if the weather holds up. I'm sure we will have some pictures to post.