Saturday, April 21, 2007

KOXB..."Under the Boardwalk"

While most pilots were out enjoying this day flying, the aviation community was saddened by the loss LCDR Kevin "KojacK" Davis of the Blue Angels who lost his life performing during an air show. We should all take a moment to remeber him in our prayers and thank all our men and women in service around the world who provide the freedoms we enjoy everyday.

It was an early start with 8:30 batting practice followed by our 9:30 game that Mascelli Financial did win, in the ugliest of ways. Defense was like the first time playing together and base running was....well lets skip the rest of the story and get to the flying portion of this day.

Mary and I asked John and Kim if they wanted to join us in Ocean City, Md. Remember, Kim only has one flight under her belt and it was a 20 minute hop each way. Today I flight planned for KILG to KOXB, forty five minutes ETE heading to the boardwalk and a return of fifty minutes or so. Both flights ended up about fifty minutes takeoff to landing.

We were uncovered, pre-flighted and ready to go by 1pm. A quick good afternoon to Wilmington ground with current information had us on our way to runway 27 at intersection 'M'ike. Run up complete we are cleared to go 27 with the tower calling out a banner tow aircraft at our 2 o' clock. I acknowledge cleared for take off and the traffic. Climb out was bumpy as I reported our turn on course with the tower quickly acknowledging. Clear of the class 'D'elta I tuned to Dover approach 132.42 and advised of our position and intentions. We got our squawk code, dialed it in and were on our way with some extra eyes. The ride was much smoother as we now cruised along at 5,500 feet.

Our flight plan was to head to the ATR VOR (Lewes,DE)then due south to KOXB. It was a nice view along the Delaware Bay. Easily viewed to our 9 o' clock across the Bay was KMIV and KWWD and at our 3 o' clock Georgetown, KGED (pictured left). About fifteen miles north of Ocean City I canceled flight following and tuned the AWOS and CTAF frequency to advise Ocean City traffic that we were ten north inbound for full stop. The ladies were yucking it up while checking out all the homes as I made my way to position and enter left base for runway 14. John and I spotted the Cessna Cardinal turning base and final and I decided to follow him on in to runway 14. Each of us calling our position, I add the last notch of flaps early as I turn final and slow enough to let the cardinal clear the runway. Short final now just over 60 kts and on center I set 679er down soft and smooth.....it felt great after my last landing back home at KILG.

Fuel ordered, (fill to tabs) we jump in the Ace Taxi van and head for the beach. Twelve dollars later we are walking the boards! Kim noted Fischer Popcorn (white cheddar) that had to go home with us, and it eventually did. We headed south walking the boards looking at the rides, shops and for a place to have lunch. We decided on Frog's. A small place over looking the channel at the very end of Ocean City. Mary had a burger, onion rings and a few brews. I had a Froggy salad that had chicken fingers and honey mustard dressing with an Ice tea. Kim had the same salad with ranch and a cold one or two and John had chilli with onions and cheese. The food was good as well as the service. The place is really really small, so if lack of space wigs you out, you might think twice.

Once our tummy's were full we strolled back north up the boardwalk and purchased tickets for a round trip on the tram car. Tickets were three bucks each person each way. The Tram car moved at it's own pace. The old timers running the show were not in any hurry but were very friendly. After making the complete loop on the boardwalk we were finally heading back (to stop at Fischers) and with a simple raising of your hand signaled for the tram to stop. Popcorn accounted for, we called Ace Taxi and met at Tony's pizza. Ten minutes later I was pre-flighting for the ride home.

Potty breaks complete the ladies climbed in. The FBO closed at 5 but I had paid for fuel in advance so my receipt was tucked under the nose wheel chock. The girls ended up having to use the facilities at the jump school. AWOS noted we taxied out to runway 20 and launched for home. Cross wind and down wind provided some great photo op's. Up the Delaware coast we steer a course for the Salem cooling tower now visible at about 45-50 miles. The haze was a bit thicker and the sun glare a bit stronger. Dover approach was really good today as we headed home. No calls for traffic for us but a few others were advised to be on the look out. About 20 miles out I canceled flight following with Dover and tuned the ATIS for Wilmington. Information 'J'uliet in hand I call in and advise of my position with landing intentions and after a quick re-key advise with info 'J'uliet. I was asked what direction I was coming from and advised from the south once again, which would require a left base for 32. I was given a right base entry for 32 instead. Strange, and as the PIC have every right to question that last directive. Once the radio was quiet I asked to confirm my 3 mile right base for 679er. With out missing a beat I was instructed to enter 3 mile left base. Ahhhh...now that's more like it. I called my 3 mile left base and was cleared to land 32. My landing was dead on the glide slope with the PAPI's red over white. Slowing down on center I touch with minimum stall horn, somewhat flat again followed by a short skip with nose wheel soon to follow and to make it worse with a bit to much back pressure that had me wheelie and then touch the nose down again. Both landings at home the last two flights were not my best but I will get some seat time and hear that stall horn wail!

We all pitched in and secured 679er and slowly dragged our butts to the vehicles. I wasn't really tired but the sun beating in the whole way home made the eyes and face feel like they were cooking. Mary drove us home and suggested a quick pit stop. I was happy to make that stop at the Charcoal Pit for a Pineapple Sunday and for her a root beer float. A quick write up, although long winded as usual, has me ready to call it a night. Obviously George had a long day too, he decided to camp out at Maggies dish until someone, anyone gave him some fresh water, what a hard life.

Thanks John and Kim for a fun afternoon sharing our trip to Ocean City and walking the boards!

1 comment:

Jason said...

Great post, sounds like we ALL had a good flying day and came close to crossing paths! :)