Friday, November 16, 2007

"Annual" Hop

What a gorgeous day! I was up early to check the weather and to get ready to head to the airport. Temps today started to dip and as I walked out the door I could feel the crispness in the air, it felt good. Today's forecast called for partly sunny and blustery. Highs in the upper 40s. West winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. METAR KILG 161251Z 29016G22KT 10SM CLR A2978

The plan was for a very short hop to get 679er to Elkton, MD (58M). Total travel time in the air about 10 minutes. It takes longer to warm 679er up and taxi out then to make the flight. I didn't mind either way, it was left seat time and that's always a good thing.

I was given the cleared for takeoff runway two seven at Wilmington and acknowledged. Winds were 290* at 15 gusting 22. I was in the air quickly and dealing with the gusting winds. I only climbed out 1800 feet figuring on descending to 1500 to overfly 58M and take a look at the windsock. 58M was hard to spot nestled in all the colorful trees (old file photo posted)but the advanced look on Google provided a heads up to its position relative to the water.

I repositioned for the 45* for left downwind runway three one and wrestled with the gusting winds. I entered downwind about midfield and set up for a first time landing at Elkton. I got some steep bank practice in as I adjusted for the wind and made my way to base and final. The trees at the end of 31 are tall (needing a obstruction removal contract) so I came in a bit high, settled in below the tree line and the air felt smooth. A few adjustments to throttle and I set the mains down square followed by the nose wheel, all the while listening to the stall horn moan.

The runway looked freshly paved and the pavement markings were in excellent condition. I taxied in and met Gary (679er owner) who marshaled me into a tie down at the correct hangar. It really felt good to get in the air early in the morning! Gary gave me a ride back to Wilmington airport and we chatted about flying, lessons and airplanes. I may bag a few days work next week and learn about annual inspections and try to help out with the wax for 679er.


Anonymous said...

Nice photo of my home airport. Keep the stories coming. Charlie

Neil said...

Hey Gary,

Any fly outs or ins over the Turkey day weekend? I'll be in town, and putting some hours in the log book is a priority...