Friday, May 04, 2007

KWBW...Into The Valley

A beautiful sunny day can only mean one thing, yes that's correct, a personal day off and some left seat time!

Mary and I decided to head north and take care of my parents cemetery plot in preparation for the Memorial Holiday. I grew up with the tradition of the Memorial day trek to pay respects to family members passed and fallen service men and women who provided the very freedoms we enjoy every day. I can remember as a youngster standing quietly as each service person who had passed had their name read aloud followed by the placing of a wreath at each towns wall of remembrance. At the end of each ceremony the honor guard would perform a 21 gun salute and all of us kids would scramble for the brass casings as if it made us part of the remembrance in some sort of way.

On to the flight...

We tried a new restaurant this morning that is on the way to the airport. The place was clean, the service and food very good. Hat's off to the Ranch House for making a comeback!

METAR KILG 041351Z 05012KT 10SM CLR 17/M02 A3028

Pre-flight completed we contacted Wilmington ground and received our taxi instructions. Holding short of runway 9 at 'K'ilo 5 I complete my run up. All is good to go! The tower responds to my call and clears us for take off noting traffic at our two o' clock. It was a bumpy ride to Wilkes-Barre this morning but great service from Philly Approach, Allentown Approach and Wilkes-Barre Approach made for a fun run. Mary and I watched for traffic as the congo lined formed to get into Philadelphia. One after another Philly Approach handed each aircraft over to the next for sequencing for landings. The great views today provided a long distance sighting of the cooling towers in Berwyck, PA from the Lehigh Valley, the wind turbines north west of Hazelton, PA and after crossing Blue Mountain the towers and wind turbines on the ridge line just south of Wilkes-Barre, Wyoming Valley. Winds favored runway 25 at WBW so on a short 45* for downwind we again announced our position. Down wind to base was smooth as we passed over Monoconick Island then turning final at the 8th Street steel bridge over the Susquehanna River. I was slow and in control as we crossed the fence and passed over some walkers with their dogs on this sunny day. I shed some airspeed now down to 60kts, stall horn moaning and very slight chirps. A very nice landing and roll out. One of the Valley Aviation folks showed us the way to our tie down and provided chocks.

METAR KAVP 041454Z 00000KT 10SM CLR 14/M04 A3028

Enterprise provided transportation today as we loaded up our gardening tools and made way for the flower/plant shops. All the goodies in hand we planted pink geraniums (My Mom's favorite color) and mulched. As we finished up two planes were doing pattern work and the left downwind for runway 7 flys directly overhead. I could only wish my Pop was still here to take a ride with me only to land in the valley he grew up in.

We made a quick stop at Angelo's pizza just down the road from WBW at the Midway mall. Pizza and calzone were good and the tea refreshing for under 20 bucks. We left the rental car at the flight line and the keys at the FBO. Enterprise said they would p/u before 5pm.

We said our goodbyes and thanked the folks at Valley Aviation for their service. Runway 7 was our ticket out so we pre-flighted, climbed in, fired up and taxied out. I turned slightly to 75*-80* in order to follow the river for noise abatement. Left cross wind and downwind has me just about overflying the cemetery. I rocked the wings for my Pop and exited the area on the left base turn out. We fought a bumpy ride home the entire flight but I really felt good about maintaining course and altitude.

METAR KAVP 041754Z 36012G20KT 10SM CLR 18/M05 A3022

Philly Approach was busy so at 20 miles north of Wilmington I canceled and descended to 3000'. I was to report a 4 mile final as instructed and scrubbed off the last bit of altitude to be at 1080 for the call. I was cleared to land on one nine with a jet following me in no. 2 and a Cessna no. 3. I saw one aircraft holding short as we came over the numbers and greased the landing. I maintained power while raising the flaps and turned off the first taxiway, 'Kilo' to clear for the jet inbound. The tower made a very fast call to me "679er ground point seven" I acknowledged and once across the hold short made the call. "Archer 679er for Red Eagle", the response "679er Red Eagle, Thanks" Mary said that Citation was hot on our six and as I rolled from the hold short he was landing on a short final.

METAR KILG 041851Z 15007KT 10SM CLR 19/M02 A3020

Another fun day flying! Now it's home to relax, drink some ice tea and recharge the battery, my battery that is. Next up the WINGS FLY-B-Q at KLOM.

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