Sunday, April 29, 2007

St. Michaels Day Trip

Mary and I decided to take advantage of the weather and spend the afternoon shopping in St. Michael's. The plan for departure was 8:15ish with maybe a stop for breakfast then a short hop to KESN, Easton, MD. My brother and his wife were on the pax list but I guess after looking at the low clouds they decided not to fly.

METAR KILG 291151Z 25004KT 10SM OVC045 12/08 A2986

No problem, Mary and I made a stop on the way to the airport for breakfast and triggered the gate to the ramp by 9:30. We had decided to let some of the cloud cover clear.

METAR KILG 291351Z 31009KT 10SM FEW033 16/08 A2987

After pre-flight we saddled up a taxied to runway 27. We had to hold for a Mig 21 that was doing T&G's and now decided on a full stop. The ride was bumpy today, not the rocking and rolling type but up down plus or minus a couple of hundred feet type. Easton was busy this morning as we called in 15 to the north for a full stop on runway 33. I positioned myself for a four mile 45* for the right downwind for 33 and made my calls. I was number two behind something, can't remember, and added my flaps and held a nice center line. Not a bad landing this morning with another aircraft announcing base to final as I cleaned up and made my way for the taxi way. Landing on 33 is a bit of a taxi to the terminal but we enjoyed the stroll. We quickly found a tie down as I turned through an open tie down spot and came around to my left and shut down there. Mary gave me an atta boy as we only needed to push back straight for a few feet.

We called to get a price for a cab and the wait was 45 minutes and $24 each way! We decided to rent a car instead for $49 and get under way right then and there. The young lady working the counter was excellent. She hooked us up with a nice car made all the calls for us and had a good sense of humor. We were off in our rented Dodge Stratus taking in the sights and making mental notes of where the heck we were going.

St. Michael's was busy but not over crowded at all. We made our way through the shops one by one. There was a food and wine festival going on but we took a pass and decided to search out winery's on another trip. Mary picked up a few things here and there along the way. The stores were very warm so on occasion I did the abbreviated tour then sat out front on one of the many benches to take advantage of the breeze and get some sun on my ghostly white sticks. Mary came out and sat with me and of course got a good chuckle out of my transparent white legs, so much so that a passing shopper that heard me also cracked up. Greaaaaat, everyone's laughing at my white legs, no respect ;)

After making the rounds we headed to the Chesapeake Cove for lunch. Thank God the oyster shucking guy wasn't around, I'm not sure I could have handled that nasty slurping again. Mary and I each had the shrimp salad, I ordered potato salad and Mary the cole slaw, we shared for the taste test. The ice tea was cold and I was mighty thirsty, Mary had a glass of white wine. The Shrimp salad was pretty good but the cole slaw and potato salad did not make the grade.

We decided to take advantage of the rental car and be bop around town taking in the sights and scouting new places to visit on our next trip. We found a restaurant just past St. Michael's, it's called the Chesapeake Landing. The place looked crowded so I'll take that as a good sign. On the way back through town we decided to try and find the local winery. The St. Michael's winery is on south Talbut street, 600 block, but it's only a tasting location and a place to purchase. The vineyard is located on Maryland's eastern shore.

With the winery shop sort of located we decided to call it a day and head back to the airport. We followed the main road out of town, traveling along Rt. 33 and I only missed one turn going back. We ended up in down town Easton. I doubled back to Rt 322, banged a right and followed that to Rt.50 from there a left and short haul to the airport. We can see 679er from the main road.

The airport was crowded with aircraft from teams that had flown in for a fishing tournament. We tied down on the front row along the terminal. Pre-flight completed we taxied out to runway 33 for departure. As we were completing our run up the airport announced they were closing runway 15-33 for special op's. Yikes! I was number two behind a husky and he asked to get out prior to the close. I also called to request departure since I was waiting to launch number two. I got the go-ahead to get on out so we did. I announced airborne and thanked op's for letting me out on runway 33. I got the ole' double mic click as acknowledgement from op's as they sat at the approach of 15 and I rocked the wings as i passed over then continued my climb out.

The ride home was bumpy too, trying to maintain 3000' and our heading was fun. I didn't want to climb over the top of the clouds and then ride through it, the bumps, for my decent into Wilmington. I monitored Dover approach on the way home flipping over to the Wilmington tower after noting the current ATIS. "Wilmington tower, Archer 28679er 15 south, inbound for full stop, with X-ray." The tower acknowledged and requested I report left base for runway 32. At five miles, before I even got to report I was was cleared to land. I acknowledged, "cleared to land 32 for 679er." What is the magical distance from the airport to call out your base entry? I had decided on a three mile call but as I stated got the clear to land ahead of time.

I hoped for some crosswind practice since I turned down the option for runway 27. Just at pattern altitude (1080') as I make the 3 mile mark I throttle back and settle in adding a second notch of flaps as I turn final.

METAR KILG 292051Z 28016G22KT 10SM CLR 23/04 A2982

With the wind update, now 28016G20 I need to keep my speed up to 70kts and make for the center line. I cross the fence and add the last notch of flaps holding it off, getting that sight picture, 65kts, 60kts, mains down no chirps to speak of followed by the nose wheel. Ahhh...bout time I hit one at home! The moment of pleasure is short lived as the tower tells me to taxi at best speed then turn right on 27 followed by left turn at K5. I reply with "expedite taxi turn right 27 left Kilo 5 for 679er" Flaps retracted, slight back on the yoke we hurry along. Mary calls out clear right as we approach the intersection of 32 at 9-27, I call clear left and I follow the tower's directions.

With 679er secure we order fuel and complete the lock up procedures. We have it down to about 15 minutes from shut down to truck. Today we got a bit sidelined when we met one of our ramp neighbors. A really nice couple late 60's early 70's with a beautiful Cherokee 140. They took a ride to the airport but decided it was to windy for their liking. We paired off, the men talking flying of course and the ladies going full speed about who knows what. Really nice folks and we were very glad to meet them.

Mary needed something to drink and I did too. Mary handled the driving duties on the way to wawa and to the house. Home sweet home, the animals are happy to see us. Maggie acts like we have been away for weeks and the cats...well their cats, you know.

Next up is the Wings Fly-B-Q at KLOM unless we get a real nice day between now and then. We might slip out on a weekday to complete another of our day trip locations to Luray Caverns in Virginia.

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