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.