Sunday, March 30, 2008

IR Lesson No. 4 ILS Approach

Another early start to a beautiful day. It is sunshine blue sky today and the air is crisp with a clean fresh smell. Other then not having 679er available it would have been a GREAT day to fly. 679er is headed home from the shop with a fresh oil change and one new mag rotor that had to be replaced. I'll try to get some left seat time prior to our departure for vacation on Monday.

I made a quick stop for cash today at the local Wawa, no additional fee when you use their ATM. I met a nice lady, who I held the door for, that asked if I was from Wisconsin. I was wearing my Packers fleece pull over today with a pair of shorts. I politely said no but informed her that I was a Packer backer since I was wee high (hand motion to a toddler's height). She then asked if I had been to the stadium. I happily said yes, that I have been on the tour, shopped the pro shop and was in the audience for a Mike Holmgrem (ex-coach) TV show. I also let her know I have a friend in Appleton that took me to see all the local attractions, heck I even had a Brat(rhymes with lot). I jumped in the SUV and headed to the school, it had to be a good lesson day, the karma was feeling great!

Brian arrived just after I parked out front. We immediately got to the business at hand with a preview of today's lesson. Today we were going to start adding to the list of things to do. I was given instruction for a departure runway two seven and turn north to 360* maintaining 2500'. I quickly noticed Brian shorted my fuel load after I had completed my pre-taxi and run up checks. On climb out he said this bird really wants to climb today and I said it should on half the fuel load. He gave a muffled laugh and said very good.

As Bo Boggs often says (Flights of the Mouse), "she was climbing like a homesick Angel." I climbed out to 2500 and once passing through 500 I turned north to the 360* heading. Brian kept things pretty simple with no added workload of the radio. The ILS RWY 29 Approach plate notes RADAR REQUIRED, this means you will be receiving vectors to final in order to intercept the ILS. We had reviewed the plate prior to takeoff discussing important facts for the lesson. This however was not a "briefing" of the plate since we will get into that as the lessons progress. I did note the important facts, the frequency is 108.5, the missed approach (MAP) is 910'/ 3/4, and going missed calls for a climbing left turn to 2400 direct to the modena (MXE) vor. I also noted the final approach fix (FAF) to MAP at 90 knots is timed at 3:20.

I intercept the ILS and announce localizer is alive and with gentle corrections track towards the Moses Outter Marker (OM). I verbally call left or right of course and announce glide slope is alive when I get some movement. The Outter Marker beacon sounds and I set my timer to zero and hit it again to start my clock. On course, below glide slope to intercept, speed 90, now adding first notch of flaps. Stable, 90 knots, 500 feet per minute descent, on course, on glide slope, things are looking good. Altitude is now falling through 1100' as I call out looking for 910', on course on glide, speed 90, 500 fpm descent. At just above 950 I break out and locate the runway, right of center. I add the second notch of flaps and make an ok landing a tad fast.

Brian resets and I do two more approaches with the last getting screwed up. I was lined up looking good as my altitude came through 1950 I brain farted and thought it was 950 and announced going missed. No sooner I added power I caught my mistake and continued on with the published missed.

Brian paused the sim so we could discuss options. Ok, you are going missed, which you can at any time if the need is there but now when and where do you start the climbing left turn and why? My eyes must have been rolling around in my head like a cheap amusement park prize for knocking over the milk bottles. Ok, focus and answer the questions step by step. I am located between the OM and the MAP at 1950' full power and climbing out. I can NOT turn left until the MAP which I will determine when I hit 3:20 on my timer (Thank God I started my timer) at that point I will turn left to approximately 110* direct to MXE vor that I set up prior to my approach in nav 2 standby. Ok, time in, get back in there and fly the missed. I am tracking 110* TO the vor and will fly the published hold. A quick look at the plate reveals a teardrop entry on my current heading. The outbound radial is 149* so I contiune to track 110*. As I cross the station I hit my timer to fly outbound for 1 minute. At one minute I make a standard rate right turn to intercept the 329* radial. The session ends.

We sit and talk about the lesson, the need to time the ILS and how to use my equipment as a way to double check. Brian suggested setting up nav 2 so that I would have localizer if nav 1 failed plus it provides a back up. I was correct in having nav 2 dialed in for my missed which made the work load a bit easier by just needing me to hit the flip button to start tracking. Next lesson we will work on procedures on a more in depth level, talking about when to brief and how to make use of your time flying single pilot IFR.

Next up Tuesday morning 7am!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sun-n-Fun Flight Plan Leg 1

I previously ordered sectionals for Washington, Charlotte, Jacksonville and Miami along with an Airport Facility Directory (AFD) for the South East. I inked in my flight path on all the sectionals, printed out updated airport knee board sheets for the planned stops and alternates along the way for fuel, eats and possible overnight accommodations. I also updated my Flight Guide publication.

Leg 1 of the plan will depart from Wilmington and head south west towards Easton, MD (KESN) at a planned altitude of 6,500'. This may change depending on the winds aloft but I had to start somewhere. 6,500 takes me over the Restricted area at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Class Delta. From this point I will turn to a more southern route to intercept the Colin intersection then on to the Hopewell (HPW) VOR just south east of Richmond Virginia. From the Richmond area I will keep it pointed to the south, crossing into North Carolina and tracking to the Kinston (ISO) VOR.

The Kinston VOR is located east of the Seymour Johnson AFB. If I am crossing my checkpoints as planned we should be 2.5 hours into leg 1 with just an hour left until arriving at KCRE, Grand Strand in North Myrtle Beach. A slight jog towards the south west and 110 miles to go for the first stop. I'm sure Mary and I will be looking forward to a good lunch stop and nature call not to mention the need to top off the tanks in 679er.

The Leg 1 plan by the numbers - 388 miles, 3 hours 26 minutes flight time, 34 gallons of fuel. (I flight plan for 10 gallons an hour even though 679er burns 6-7 gph). 679er will be home tomorrow with a fresh oil change, plug check and the landing light and nav light fixed.
Sun-n-Fun Flight Plan Leg 2

Upon reaching our fill of food, fuel and wx updates we will saddle up and get leg 2 of our trek to sun-n-fun underway. One of the nice things about Grand Strand is that you can pick up a squawk code for flight following prior to take off. I will also open our flight plan plan prior to launch. Our plan of attack will have us departing KCRE on a course south west at 240* passing directly over KMYR, Myrtle Beach Class C above 4000' and climbing to 8500'. Our course will keep us clear of the Gamecock B Military Operations Area (MOA)and keep us pointed towards KCHS, Charleston AFB/International Airport. Once southwest of Charleston we will pass above the 7000' ceiling of the Beaufort Two MOA and set our sights on the Savannah VOR. We will be passing west of the city so I'll have the better view but will try to get some pictures. After crossing the SAV VOR we will turn southward to 197* and travel along the Georgia coast passing below the 11000' floor of the Quick Thrust M MOA. The Brunswick VOR (SSI) is our next check point which is just southwest of 09J, Jekyll Island. Mary and I may make a stop at Jekyll Island for lunch on our return trip home.

From the Brunswick, GA - SSI VOR we will continue south to our next checkpoint the Craig (CRG) VOR in Jacksonville, FL. We will be passing just east of the Jacksonville Class C airspace as we continue south to the Orlando (ORL) VOR and hopefully cleared through the Bravo airspace to KISM, Kissimmee Airport. I have been told we will get routed over Disney so I am looking forward to some great pictures.

The leg 2 plan by the numbers - 394 miles, 3 hours and 30 minutes flight time and a fuel burn of 35 gallons. Again I flight plan for 10 gph but 679er burns 6-7 gph. In total we will have about a 7 hour trip not counting our time on the ground in Myrtle Beach and around 780 miles. It should be fun, if mother nature cooperates.

I have 4 Instrument lessons in the next week prior to us leaving so that should sharpen the skills. When we return I am going to knock out the remaining sim time and roll right into the flight portion of the rating. I hope to have my rating by the end of summer.

I am looking forward to meeting some folks at S-N-F!! Are there any readers attending???

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter!

I hope all our readers enjoyed a beautiful Easter Sunday. Mary and I worked our tails off and had the house looking great. The menu was planned with the family all bringing a dish to add to the holiday celebration. Mary started early, the smell of Ham cooking drifted through out the house, and it was fantastic. I had ordered the floral centerpiece for the table during the week as a surprise for Mary. My Bride loves a nicely set table and always does a fine job.

We were twelve in all as we were seated for dinner. Mary's Mom and Dad, her brother and his wife and two daughters, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife. We had Ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, scalloped pineapple (made with bread topping), cheesecake, cream-puffs and I'm sure I missed a few others.

In keeping with my aviation blog I will add that Sunday was a gorgeous day to be flying. Every time I looked outside or let Maggie out back to run I had wished that I had some time to get in the air. As much as I wanted to fly today the time spent with family is so much more rewarding.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

IR Lesson No. 3 Holds

It was an early start this morning, taking care of the Maggie girl (our Italian Mastif)and heading to the flight school for my lesson. I wanted to practice last night but instead spent quality time with family. Mary and I met up with my brother and his wife to have dinner at a local restaurant, "Lotsa Pasta". The eats were good, service fast and the company was entertaining as always. Needless to say my best laid plans for some hold practice time on the home flight sim went out the window, oh well.

Brian opened up shop promptly at 7am and I followed in like a lost puppy looking for breakfast.....um no that would be knowledge. The Elite RC-01 sim came online as we went over today's lesson. This morning was my introduction to holds. I have went through the King DVD's, read multiple pages on the internet and followed many threads on the forum. I at least felt that I was informed.

The approach plate for today was the VOR-A at KOQN, Brandywine. Prior to start up my instructions were to climb and maintain 2000, on a heading of 000* until directed to proceed direct to the Modena VOR and hold. With my start and run up checks completed I was climbing out to 1200' in IMC then turning on course as directed. The sim is set to be very very, did I say VERY sensitive.
As Brian stated, "if I can fly the sim to Practical Test Standards (PTS) I will be fine in the aircraft." I am instructed to proceed direct to the Modena MXE VOR and hold. I dial up the MXE VOR on the Garmin 530 and off I go. I'm about 13.5 miles north and dialed in to course 190* direct to. I review the approach plate and note it's a standard right turn hold, at this point my CFI freezes the sim and we review my entry. I begin to explain my thought process and he listens. My method would be add 70* to my heading denoting the line which provides my boundry for direct entry area, pictured above left as area 'D'. 'P' is for the parallel and 'T' is for teardrop entry areas. As you can see the outbound radial is 234* represented by the red line and it falls in the 'T' area. No brainer it's a teardrop entry. Right?
Brian nods then asks, "why would I want to work so hard? You have the plate in your hands. All the plates are configured north up so use your thumb to simulate the direction you are approaching from." Ok, I am on a south heading so I am approaching from the north and will cross the VOR with the best entry being a teardrop. I note my direction of travel/entry by the red line on the approach plate on the right.
The teardrop entry seems pretty easy with the outbound radial of 234* I enter at 204 say 200*. I start the timer as I pass the VOR holding 200* and at one minute I start a standard rate turn to the right to the inbound course of 54 say 55*. I clear and reset the timer and I am inbound for 1 minute which almost falls dead on as I right turn back out on the 234* radial. Holding airspeed at 90 kts and altitude along with heading and timing was a bit busy at first but after once or twice around the hold I settled in.

The one hour lesson was over in no time. When I turned around to look at my holding pattern the turns looked great but the pattern grew as my speed increased for a few of the laps. You could very easily see where my airspeed was right on as the size of the hold was very good and on track. Overall a good lesson and again we talked about small and gentle corrections. Brian said I was really starting to get smooth on the last few laps as my altitude finally settled in and I held my airspeed solid.

I'm scheduled the next two Sunday's and maybe two mornings a week if my work schedule permits. I'm off to breakfast with my Bride, then baseball practice at 1:30. Happy Easter!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

IR Lesson No. 2 Partial,Times,Turns

After my first lesson I decided to devote some flight sim time here at home to my recent lessons. Of course I worked on BAI, slow flight, stalls and spin recovery. The extra sim time helped, I felt I had it under control.
Lesson two I decided to use my checklists and knee board to feel more at home. The Elite RC-1 sim was working to full potential today since the 55" flat screen was now showing me sitting on runway two seven almost ready to go. I did my pre-flight start checks and then a run up before departing the sim world at KOQN. Brian had the wx dialed in and it was looking ugly. I think we entered into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) at 600 - 800'. I was given a heading to the north then directed to proceed direct to the Pottstown (PTW) VOR. Brian walked me through the Garmin 530 and I dialed in PTW on the CDI.

After crossing PTW I was given a series of turns left and right as we reviewed about scan and workload. I was holding good altitude and heading at this point. I had left my fuel pump on so I made that correction and it was acknowledged. I was cruising along at 2,500 when we started work on steep bank turns. I initially held to about a thirty degree bank and Brian asked if I intended on giving him a steep bank turn. Ok, banking right 45* altitude holding nice, looking good and rolling out on the initial heading. We flip back and forth left and right with an additional 360* turn or two thrown in. I didn't do to bad rolling out on heading and holding altitude.

Next we worked on timed turns, and I was asked what a standard rate turn was and why it is marked two minutes. A standard rate turn for (light) airplanes is defined as a 3° per second turn, which completes a 360* turn in 2 minutes or 180* in 1 minute. I did a boat load of timed turns until I had no idea where I was. I checked out the DME and noted how far I was from PTW so I was trying to paint a picture drawing a mental circle. While keeping my scan going the airspeed fell to zero but all other instruments checked out. I immediately turned on the Pitot heat and the airspeed came alive. I got a good catch, so how are we looking. I called out on heading, level and looking good....er...um....oil temp not looking so good but oil pressure good. Ok now what, said Mr CFI at the control panel behind me. I could lower the nose to help cool, Brian chimed in or run rich to cool yes? I am at full rich for the maneuvers, so I double check and I was not full rich. Ok, increase to full rich, oil temp starts to fall. Keeping my scan going or at least trying to I notice that I have a vacuum problem and the Attitude Indicator (AI) has failed. It's partial panel time.

With the failures presented, I start to re-focus on turn indicator for level flight backing it up with my Altimeter. I keep the aircraft in control straight and level on course and.....whoa! the directional gyro is spinning like an amusement ride gone wild. Again scanning/checking wings level, altitude good to go, now using my compass as my bank indicator I try and get my act together. Scan shows my altitude is starting to drop and my airspeed is increasing, I need to focus and level out to under control. Brian overloaded my VFR thinking brain. I could not believe how hard it was to NOT look at the failed instruments or even glance and still want to process their information. I notice a nervous twitch as my left leg starts to flex almost as if tapping my foot on the ground, I can't control it. Great, I keep thinking some circuits are not connecting......as I regain control of the thought process and keep my scan along with interpretation going. With the partial panel I make various heading changes, timing each turn and rolling out on the new headings. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this!

Thankfully, there was no radio work this lesson, it freed up a few extra brain cells that I needed for aircraft control. Ok, the priority is to get on the ground with my partial panel issue. I now increase the scan time for the Garmin 530. My nearest airport is KOQN, Brandywine. I set up for a stabilized descent at 500 fpm to pattern altitude. Nice and smooth with a controlled descent at 500 fpm has me breaking out at 2100' and finally seeing mother earth again. I turn across midfield and enter the upwind for two seven without timing my turn, Brian takes note. Ok, turn to crosswind will be left 90* or 30 seconds, click to start timer and follow up on heading 180*, again a 90* turn left to 090* and 30 seconds has me on down wind. Slowing to add flaps and keep my descent smooth, I make a trim adjustment. A left turn to base and I can see the runway. Second notch of flaps, power adjustment and looking good. I have the runway made so I add the last notch of flaps and set my sim flying machine down, home safely.

1.8 hours in the log with a quick review has Brian stressing the importance of keeping the scan, small gentle adjustments and working the plan, staying ahead of the aircraft. Tomorrow will be more of the same with the addition of holds. Off to study and practice!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

IR Lesson No. 1 BAI

Lesson one consisted of Basic Attitude Instrument Flying (BAI) , instrument scan and interpretation and of course aircraft control. The Elite RC-1 sim must play the role of many aircraft so it was a bit different then the Piper Archer II that I fly. I will say this, it sure was easy to climb in and out of!

Attitude instrument flying consisted of learning the aircraft performance with power, pitch and bank attitude. The sim does not provide you with the opportunity for your body to react to "feeling" or "sensation", this will come when we actually fly. An instrument pilot must learn to control the aircraft with the basic attitude flying skills.

We started out with the view screen shut off flying along somewhere in sim land between KOQN Brandywine Airport and KMQS Chester County Airport. I was level at 3000' on a heading of 270* as Brian (Flight Instructor) gave me various headings to turn to. At first I made my turns and changed course without following what I would do in the "real world" flying 679er. So, before Brian had the chance to grill me I started to treat this as the real deal, as if in 679er. My radio skills kicked in and I twisted the heading bug for every new course change, all the while keeping the scan going.

We moved on to slow flight and I went through the process to configure the aircraft. I again went through turns to the left and right setting the heading bug and confirming each course change while working on my scan. We then established that the stall for the sim was around 60 to 63 kts and that once the stall horn provided warning you were nosing over instantly. I thought it wouldn't break as much if flying coordinated (ball centered) but the sim was gone in an instant. Let's just say that I am happy I was in the sim and not flying in the soup. The Private pilot lessons kick in with the immediate stall then spin recovery sequence....reduce throttle, center ailerons, apply full rudder opposite direction of spin, yoke forward and as the rotation stops neutralize rudder and recover from dive. Just that easy...yeah right. I followed the sequence as it was ingrained in my head and it came as easy as taking a breath, the only problem is that I had no reference to the world around me. Only instruments and it wasn't pretty. I left a smoking hole somewhere in sim land near Marsh Creek state park. Not a good feeling.

Brian said relax it's something different and you will grasp it. Ok, fire me back up and let's give it another go. Round two was a lot like the first go and I left another divot in sim world. We did review what my steps were and where I lost control and what I needed to do to fix it. I was "over controling" is what it boiled down to. Round three I finally left the Attitude Indicator/Artificial Horzon AI out of my scan once it tumbled and worked with the turn coordinator airspeed and altimeter. I did better this time and only ended up flying along upside down, but straight and level. I quickly fixed that problem with an aileron roll and continued, this did not make my CFI laugh. Round four I finally got a handle on which way was up and gave up on the fixation with the turn coordinator, this was a good recovery and no passengers would have lost their lunch. Thank God! I will be practicing with the sim at home and I will start looking for some spin training.

Last on the list was adding some VOR tracking into my scan. Brian asked for me to take us home as he brought the Garmin 530 online. I dialed in the Modena VOR (MXE), gave a twist on the Directional Gyro (DG) heading bug and the Course Deviation Indicator (CDI) and away I went. We worked on some climbs along the way and terminated the session once crossing the MXE VOR.

1.2 hours in the book! Lesson one review drives home the fact that proper scan is vital to the instrument pilot and interpretation even more so. I added 1.2 hours in the log book and had a bunch of fun. I can tell, this will be a lot of work but the rewards will be justified. I'm on the schedule for Friday and Saturday.
 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good News, Bad News & The IR

Today brings good news and bad news. The good news is really a double dose, I sold my 81 Corvette and I'll now start my Instrument Rating (IR). The bad news is I really hate to part with the car even though I must honestly say I don't drive it enough. Over the last two years I only brought it out of the garage a handful of times. The car deserves more attention and exercise. With our weekends now occupied with flying I just haven't had the urge to drive the Vette.

I was once told by a corvette collector that we as "owners" are really no more then care-takers. I invested money to have work done in order to maintain my Vette and now I will hand it off to another care-taker to do the same thing. The man I sold my 81 to is a collector, not just of cars but motorcycles. Frank pays attention to the details and will give my gal a good home. Heck she's going to a heated garage it has to be good! I knocked a good bit off my asking price because of where the car was going and how Frank would take care of it. I know, it's only a car but if you know someone who really enjoys cars they will tell you the same thing, it matters.

I will be going to visit the folks at TAS, Inc at KOQN, Brandywine Airport to check out the new hi-tech Elite RC-1 sim they are setting up. I will sign up for lessons Saturday and start posting my daily/weekly progress. Cloud busters here I come!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Secure All Hatches!

ID: KILG Wilmington Airp, DE AMENDMENT
REPORT TIME: 8 22:14



VALID TIME: 8 MAR AT 22Z TO 18Z NEXT DAY
INITIAL WX


WINDS: 220 AT 14 GUST 24
VISIBILITY: >6.0 MILES
CLOUDS: 10 FEW CLOUDS: 20 SCT CLOUDS: 50 OVC
TEMPORARY WX FROM 22Z TO 24Z
WINDS: 270 AT 25 GUST 50
VISIBILITY: 2.0 MILES
WEATHER: SHRA_BR
CLOUDS: 10 BKN
CLOUDS: 25 OVC WITH CB

NEW WX STARTING: 00:00Z
WINDS: 250 AT 25 GUST 50
VISIBILITY: >6.0 MILES
CLOUDS: 15 SCT
CLOUDS: 35 BKN

NEW WX STARTING: 03:00Z
WINDS: 260 AT 20 GUST 35
VISIBILITY: >6.0 MILES
CLOUDS: 50 SCT

NEW WX STARTING: 12:00Z
WINDS: 280 AT 18 GUST 28
VISIBILITY: >6.0 MILES
CLOUDS: CLEAR

KILG 082228Z 082218 22018G40KT P6SM FEW010 SCT020 OVC050
TEMPO 2224 27025G50KT 2SM +TSRAGR BR BKN010 OVC025CB
FM0000 25025G45KT P6SM SCT015 BKN035
FM0300 26020G35KT P6SM SCT050
FM1200 28018G28KT P6SM SKC=


The wind and rain seemed to pass so I went outside to clean up some of the tree branches. I washed off the sidewalk since our mulch poured over the flower beds. The sky turned dark again so I finished up and came inside, figured I was done for the day. I was right, Mary said the wind had picked up and it started to hail. Pea sized hail bombarded the area and I have a picture that I will upload. The hot tub cover was thinking about leaving town but I went out and clipped the four corners in order to secure the top. I can't remember the last time I had to fasten the cover down.

I hope 679er is safe at the airport. I'll venture out early in the morning to check.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

KILG - Skybus Takes Off!

Wilmington's Airport (KILG) will once again host commercial air service. Skybus based in Ohio will attempt to make a go of scheduled service from Wilmington to KGSO -Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, NC and KCMH - Columbus Regional in Columbus, OH.

USA Today - Business Traveler by: David Grossman

...Skybus sets sail from Columbus, Ohio, ushering in a new breed of discount airlines. With a minimum of 10 seats on each flight selling for $10, Columbus will be permanently on sale. Skybus combines some familiar features from Southwest and Ryanair, with some unique twists of its own. The carrier will offer simple pricing with one-way fares based on the actual number of seats sold and anticipated demand. "Our fares are completely inventory managed," says CEO Bill Diffenderffer. There are no advance-purchase, round-trip, or overnight stay requirements. However, there is a catch: A policy Diffenderffer refers to as "cafeteria" pricing. Skybus charges $5 for each checked piece of luggage.

Like Southwest, flights are open seating, but you can pay $10 for the privilege of boarding the plane first. Food and beverages may be purchased on board, including soda and snacks. Outside food is forbidden – seriously! And nothing is free: You can purchase a blanket and pillow (and carry them home after the flight if you so desire). The airline also offers flight status messages via email, cellphone, or pager for an additional charge. By the time you add taxes and all those extras, your $10 ticket might cost $80, but Diffenderffer boasts that price is still less than another airline's $180 fare.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Legend Retires

I know this is not aviation related but now and then I stray from the world of flight to post on other passions that I have. I have been a Green Bay Packer fan longer then a fan of airplanes. I grew up in the days of Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor Ray Nitschke and Jerry Kramer. When kids play football at an early age I was always Starr tossing the key pass, ok at least in my own mind. At an early age one Christmas I opened up a box that held a football helmet, pads and a uniform. I immediately set out to paint it in Green Bay Packer colors. My folks were not happy but they lived with it.

Two of my most cherished autographs are a Superbowl 1 commemorative football signed by Len Dawson and Bart Starr and an autographed picture of Bart in action personalized for me. As much as I have been a Packer fan I have been a Vince Lombardi fan. I sure would have enjoyed seeing Favre play under Lombardi.
I wish the Packers could have taken the top prize this season, a Superbowl victory, but it was not to be. Brett Favre walks away from the game as one of the greatest QB's of all time. I will miss his passion for the game, his boyish approach and his toughness. Thanks Brett for 17 seasons of Packer football!

A quote from Vine Lombardi that fits Brett Favre's style of play and his heart. "Every time a football player goes to play his trade he's got to play from the ground up - from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second." (Vince Lombardi)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

W29 - Bay Bridge

It was a beautiful day to fly and Mary was off for the weekend. Yes, she is finally back to normal hours of 9-5, M-F. We both wanted to try some place new but stay within an hour flight distance. Since it was sunny and clear we decided on W29, Bay Bridge. We both thought it would be nice to check out the water front, the Bay Bridge and all the big $ yachts. Most of the boats were still sealed up in shrink wrap waiting on official spring wx.
I checked out Google earth since this was our first trip into Bay Bridge. If flying east to west the airport is on the south or left side of the highway (Rt. 50/301) and on the eastern shore. We slept in a little later then usual for our typical flying day. I guess we rolled out of the house around 9am and went directly to the airport. No stop for water today or snacks since it was such a short trip, approximately 30 minutes.
There was actually signs of life at ILG this morning as the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) flight was just warming up and our ramp neighbor behind us was taking the Cessna out for a stretch. We uncovered 679er, stowed our flight gear and climbed aboard. It was a bit nip this morning but not to bad, I had on jeans and sweatshirt along with my baseball batting gloves for my pre-flight and I was good to go. Mary parked the SUV outside the gate and we were set to start up.
I flowed through the checklist and called clear prop as 679er came to life. I gave the oil time to warm and completed my pre-taxi checks. As usual I was cleared to taxi to runway two seven at taxiway mike. I set the brake and followed my run up checks. I made a final check of my instruments; altimeter set 30.33, heading bug set to runway heading 270*, radio set to flip to the tower and Comm 1 set for the AWOS and CTAF at W29. As soon as I flip to the tower I dial in Dover Approach on Comm two so it's ready while I climb out. "Wilmington Tower, Archer 28679er ready to go, two seven at mike" Wilmington responds, "Archer 679er cleared for take off runway two seven on course turn approved." I make a final check; flaps, trim, mixture, lights, fuel pump turn to align for take off (DG at 270*) and full throttle. Gauges look good; fuel pressure in the green, oil pressure and temp in the green were rolling. We rotate around 70kts and climb out to pattern altitude. As I climb through pattern altitude I turn on course for Bay Bridge at a heading of 230*.
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I contacted Dover Approach as we crossed KEVY - Summit Airfield and was given 0321 as our squawk code. Again the visibility was really good today and we could see clear to the Bay Bridge land mass sticking out into the Chesapeake Bay, we could not ID the bridge from this distance. Mary was jammin' with her new iPod and I was doing that pilot stuff. Along the way I heard Dover give out our squawk code to another VFR aircraft. As they completed the calls I chimed in and let Dover know that Archer 28679er was already squawking 0321. Dover acknowledged and assigned 0322 to the other aircraft. I guess we were about 15 out when Dover terminated our Flight Following but did pass on a frequency for Potomac. I elected to tune in Bay Bridge AWOS and CTAF to get a handle on traffic.

The only traffic at Bay Bridge was a Cessna in the pattern and departing on the left downwind for runway two nine. I thought this was pretty cool, not much traffic, according to radio calls but always a must to keep one's head on a swivel for unexpected traffic. Mary and I always go on full alert near the airports and our scan showed the area clear. I had reported position at 15, 10 and now 5 miles with my intentions for a full stop runway two nine. Pattern clear I took the straight in announcing 2 mile final and adding the last notch of flaps as I cleared the last farm and trees obstacle. Not to bad of a landing as I roll out and taxi to a tie down in front of the terminal/office.
I asked to have 679er topped off and signed us in as visitors in the daily log. Ed working the counter was a really nice guy, great sense of humor and had things running smooth. He called us a cab as Mary and I awaited Jeff and Melvin coming in from 33N, Delaware Airpark. The cab took 45 minutes which worked out ok since Jeff had landed and just walked in the office. I should have called in about 15 minutes out like I was instructed to do by the person at the desk yesterday but I forgot. No harm no foul the group is ready to go.

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The cab ride was $5 a head from Bay Bridge to Kentmoor. I think that's a bit steep for a 6 mile drive but it's the only game in town. Pretty much climb aboard or have a nice walk. Our foursome was the first patrons of the day or at least so it seemed. We got a great seat overlooking the Bay and right next to the fireplace. Everyone ordered the cream of crab soup, man that was some good stuff. I'm not to sure it was $6.95 a cup good but it was darn good, I would order it again. Mary had fried Oysters ( five on the dish) and we split an order of sweet potato fries. I had a cheese burger as did Jeff and Melvin had the BBQ cheese burger. We divided up the bill and settled up then made a call for the cab. Jeff reminded me to get picture for the blog but Mary's camera was at a dead battery level. Jeff snapped off a few and emailed them to us. Thanks Jeff!!

Jeff was getting some IR time today and Melvin said he did a good job although to critical of his own landings. Ahhhh, I understand that, I'm my own worst critic. I had settled up my fuel bill prior to lunch so I was good to go. Jeff was finishing up as Mary and I headed out to unlock 679er. I sumped the fuel since I took on 16 gallons and completed my walk around. We said our goodbyes and climbed in while Jeff and Melvin did an abbreviated pre-flight having not taken on any fuel. I putzed around getting the video camera set up while they taxied by. Bay Bridge was now starting to pick up as planes were coming and going at a good pace. Finally ready I call clear prop and get ready to taxi out with the crowd. We had a Light Sport next to us that had pushed back but wasn't ready to go. I gave 679er some throttle and we moved out and turned left clear of their wingtip followed by another left turn to taxi to runway one one. I was number three in line behind a Mooney and a Cardinal. The Cardinal and I both announced crossing runway one one as we taxied for the run up area and held short for departure.

I completed my run up as the Cardinal was departing. I made my call for departure noting one aircraft in the pattern on a left downwind for one one. As I turned on the runway he called base and I was going full throttle on the roll. We climbed out and turned towards the north east, headed direct for ILG. About 5-7 miles out I contacted Dover approach and confirmed the squawk code. Dover then turned me over to Potomac but Potomac said that I wasn't handed off. I advised I was squawking xxxx and did not hear Dover terminate advisories. Potomac plugged us in and offered us advisories for our ride north east back home. Visibility was really good today as I spotted the cooling towers at Salem, NJ nuke plant about 55 miles out. Our trek home was pretty much the norm except for one aircraft less then a thousand feet away that came by us from our 7 to 11:00 descending through our altitude (3500') and leaving us in the dust, or is that contrails.

I contacted Wilmington Tower and stated my intentions. "Wilmington Tower, Archer 28679er, 15 south west, inbound for full stop, 3500 level with Echo" He asked " where will you be parking" I acknowledged Red Eagle. From this point it gets crazy, the tower advises we have traffic in our area and are we a flight of two? Holy crap! the traffic must be closing and he called it out as a Cessna. Great I'm on top in a low wing and he/she is below in a high wing, this has problem written all over it. I now start to bank right then left looking for the aircraft, holding my altitude rock solid. No time to screw up and change altitude with traffic so close. The tower gives me the option for runway 27 or 32. I'm looking for traffic and whatever is best for him works for me, I'm a bit busy here. Still no traffic, He then calls out the Cessna at our 12:00 one thousand something, still no traffic in sight. I finally see two aircraft, one landing 32 and one turning final for 32 as I enter a wide downwind for 27. I'm cleared to land as I enter a left down wind for two seven and positioning for my base and final turn. With the recent midair accidents in California, dealing with traffic in and around the pattern elevated my normal see and avoid scans. Short final, it's time to land, lets nail this and complete a great day. Winds 290* at 8 as I cross the fence, left rudder in a bit more starting to flare a bit to high, add throttle to arrest the sink, ride it, ride it and then chirps wheels down,we're in.

Home sweet home as we taxi in to our tie down. It was great day flying with a new airport to add, lunch with good friends and left seat time with my favorite co-pilot sitting next to me.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

FAR Part 107 Section 205 - SIDA

SIDA - Security Identification Display Area

I am involved with construction projects on our various airports. This past week I had to get processed and signed up for SIDA training. Since we now have a carrier operating at our airport the rules have been changed, basically security access upgraded. Here is a glimpse of what it's all about.

(a) Each airport operator required to have a security program under §107.103(a) shall establish at least one SIDA. Each secured area must be a SIDA. Other areas of the airport may be SIDA's.

(b) Each airport operator required to establish a SIDA shall establish and carry out measures to prevent the unauthorized presence and movement of individuals in the SIDA and shall do the following:

(1) Establish and carry out a personnel identification system described under §107.211.
(2) Subject each individual to employment history verification as described in §107.209 before authorizing unescorted access to a SIDA.
(3) Train each individual before granting unescorted access to the SIDA, as required in §107.213.

Needless to say there were plenty of forms to fill out, 4 rounds of fingerprints to be taken and security background checks to follow. I am going to be scheduled for training next week and then I should be good to go.

At least the finger print ink cleaned up pretty easy!