Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
This past May, the FAA Office of Runway Safety implemented a Summer Initiative targeted at stemming what has become a seasonal pattern of increasing runway incursions during the warm weather months. Compared to the rest of the year, runway incursions average about 30 percent higher per month between May and August.
Two-thirds of all runway incursions are the result of pilot deviations – and three-fourths of those pilot deviations involve a general aviation aircraft. Part of the problem stems from pilots who, after a period of little or no flying, may be a little rusty on airport procedures. That rust, however, can have tragic consequences in the area of an active runway. In fact, the single most deadly aviation accident in history resulted from a runway incursion. Don’t become a statistic!
Look Before taxiing:
Finally, talk to your fellow pilots. Help us raise runway safety awareness. If we, working as a team, can prevent even one runway incursion, this campaign will be a success.
There is a nice reminder card available for you to download, RUNWAY INCURSIONS. For more information contact Gregory Y. Won, Air Traffic Safety Organization, Runway Safety Office, Risk Reduction Information Group, 202-385-4792
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The North East Flyers, the few not attending OSH (Airventure09), descended upon Cape May , NJ for brunch and a chance to play at the shore. Yes, Delaware has the beach and New Jersey has the shore, we must not confuse the two. The wx at Wilmington was looking pretty good with the typical hot wx haze and for lack of a better term gunky blah type overcast looking stuff, ok that was term(s). How hot and muggy was it? Check out Marys hair as it turned into Shirley Temple curls.
Mary and I really needed a day away all to ourselves with no medical stuff, no pets, no things to do around the house. We decided to get up early hit Angel's for a light breakfast and get motoring to the plane. This was our first flight together since sometime in March, it's been that long ago. Somethings you do become routine and it was good to see we really still clicked on getting the plane ready to fly. Great teamwork had me finishing up the preflight with a fuel sample/sump. I decided that since my left tank was at the tab and my right about half way up the tab we would burn off fuel on the right side and have good balance and plenty of fuel when we land at Cape May. This eventually worked out just fine since we took on 15 gallons at Big Sky Aviation later in the day.
We climbed aboard and got the big fan turning to cool things off, it was going to be a scorcher. I was cleared to taxi to one nine as usual and hold short. I completed my run up, closed the door and window scoop and received clearance to take off with a left turn on course approved. You can tell the FAA is moving a lot of trainees through Wilmington when the controller asked if my direction of flight is north east. No, not going to "The Cape" I thought to myself and politely responded no sir, that would be south east, whiskey whiskey delta, he confirmed. I make it a practice on initial call up to ground to always state VFR, direction of flight, and destination followed by the verbal/phonetic alphabet.
It was a nice cruise climb out of Wilmington, turn left or south east into the muck. I was looking back north towards the Twin spans crossing the Delaware river so my visibility was 5-7 miles and a glance to the south looking at the Salem nuke cooling tower would confirm about the same distance maybe stretching to 8 miles or 9 if I was feeling generous. I leveled off at 2,500 to take a good look south east and the trip seemed doable, so I continued on climbing to 2,800 or there abouts maintaining a comfort level with my visibility. I had the shore of NJ along the Delaware Bay to follow just off to my right but at times had a hard time establishing contact with the Delaware shore line across the bay. Millvile was reporting IFR conditions as we continued south with a very low layer over the airport, we could see this as we went by noting the ground mist/ foggy patches along the Maurice River. As we passed between Millvile (MIV) and Dover Delaware (across the bay) I could see the Bay followed by the land mass that sticks out where Cape May was located. The wx was spot on with Atlantic City and Cape May calling out VFR conditions. Granted, there was still plenty of hot humid air hanging around, it didn't just change to clear and sunny, see forever. Millville eventually cleared around 11AM.
I would have loved to have a video heading into WWD but my lovely co-pilot was sound asleep for this trip. We were up early and the dogs kept waking us last night so I flipped the radios to isolate so she could have some quiet sleepy time, it worked. I once again announced my position updating to five miles north inbound full stop one nine. An aircrfat announced he was going to back taxi (NOTAM read taxiway Bravo is under construction) on one nine and I replied I had him in sight. He taxied clearly alongside the center line which made it easy to pick him out. I started doing S turns and slowed 679er down to give him plenty of room. I was maybe down to a mile or so when he called wheels up and he thanked me. I said no problem, efficient use of the runway, have a great flight.
We taxied into Big Sky and our rental car was waiting. The lineman tied our aircraft down and gave us a lift to the office on a golf cart, he also helped us with our cooler (for the crabs later on). The car was ready and waiting, cold air blowing and feeling good! Mary and I were off to Cape May! First stop was the shops at Washington Street Mall and get my bearing on the restaurant we wanted to stop at later this evening. We strolled around the shops for a bit and I found a seat in the shade on a nice bench with the sun creeping towards me. It was just enough to light up my white legs and work on getting some tan or any color for that matter.
The clock was working its way towards 11AM and we needed to head back to the airport to meet the rest of the folks flying in. In order to get back on the main drag you have to circle around a bit then pick up the road out of town. I remember my way around pretty good and get the turns right 'this time' and before you know it we are going over the bridge out of cape may. A few left turns later and we are on Sandman Blvd and just a few minutes out of WWD. As we pulled in Dave (M35 on the AOPA Forum) was parking his bike so we walked in the terminal together. Inside we meet up with Jeff and Jeanette, chatted for a few then walked in to secure a table. Don and Rosemary soon joined us to make seven. The place was packed for lunch, it was good to see the Flight Deck doing so well. We decided to order and hope Dave and his family would make it in. When we left the house there was no change on the forums. Sadly we did not take any pictures of the group gathered around the table, we were just to darn busy gabbing. The ladies seemed to enjoy the company and the men talked flying. Dave had me almost in tears telling me about he and Adam Z's flight in his Bonanza when the right seat PTT switch was not hooked up and Adam continued to try and announce position going into Wings field.
It was soon time for us to get rolling. Mary and I had to catch the Cape May - Lewes Ferry over to Lewes Delaware so we could pick up a few dozen crabs at our favorite place, lazy Susan's. Dave pedaled back to his boat (at least five miles more like eight I think), Don & Rosemary, Jeff and Jeanette were headed to the Wildwood NAS Museum on field. As we were getting up from the table Dave walked in. I felt bad we didn't get to catch up but he was going to take his family into Wildwood for the day, the kids would have fun.
The boat ride to Lewes was great, cool breeze blowing through the car deck and Mary and I passed out in the car taking advantage of the windows open and shade of the boats upper decks. Mary did snap a picture or two of Cape May fading away and one of yours truly catching some Z's. You know what they say about paybacks.....I'll get a few shots of her sleeping in flight. When I finally woke up I called and ordered 2 dozen crabs for a 3pm pick up. I thought we were covered. As soon as we got off the boat we headed to the restaurant to pick up our order, they didn't even start to cook it until we physically walked in to pick it up. They wait until you show up. Great, so much for having time to visit the "On the Rocks Grill" that I just completely revamped on one of my projects. It took 25 minutes to steam those jumbo crabs and it cut our time to almost a half hour until departure back to cape may. We pulled through the ticket booth in time and soon boarded.
Once again we were in a great spot tucked away in the shade of the boats upper decks. This trip however had no sea breeze, none! It was hotter then hell and the car was filled with the smell of freshly steamed crabs. Yeah, great for us but it also sent a SOS to all flys in and around the Delaware bay to try and help themselves to our crabs. It was an interesting ride back to say the least. Thankfully our cooler was locked down tighter than dicks hat band and our crabs were safe. We were glad to get off the boat and head out to the fresh air. As we drove off the Ferry, Mary snapped a shot of a good size group of Bikers heading aboard for the next crossing, there were some really nice bikes in that group. I had made a call for wx and the possibility of thunderstorms was growing. We left late on our return trip to cape May so we decided to pass on the Oyster Bay restaurant for dinner and instead head home. We did call Mary's folks to let them know not to eat dinner, we were bringing home fresh crabs, they sounded excited.
We wheeled into WWD and returned the rental car, yes, we left the windows open to sufficiently "air out" the steamed crab smell. I settled up my fuel bill, we took advantage of the lil pilots and co-pilots room then saddled up for home. For the pilots reading this, of course I did my preflight and sumpped the fuel since we topped off...wanting to get home and even being a bit hot and tired does not relieve me of my duty. With that said, it was Darn spiffy to get that fan turning!! I did my run up near the operations building adjacent to the terminal and a Cessna followed suit to my left. With the taxiways under construction and the direction of the wind we were all going to have to back taxi on one nine. I had noted one aircraft inbound and asked for his position update. I was good to go for a back taxi and so I rolled out on the runway. I hate to back taxi at an uncontrolled field, heck any field for that matter. I hustled 679er down the runway and got us turned into the gusty wind. Density altitude was 1,700 so I added one notch of flaps since I was full fuel and wanted the extra safety margin. 679er jumped off the runway in a short distance, we were going home. I called out my crosswind and downwind departure and we pointed 679er to track the DuPont VOR radial set on 330*. It was really yucky out there on the ride home, I know such a technical term, but thats the best description that fits. The radio was quiet, not many folks flying in this stuff today and we will be glad when were back on the ground at ILG. I called the tower about 20 out to let them know my position to the south east and that I had the current ATIS with the intentions of a full stop and going to red eagle. I was directed to advise left downwind one nine. I did manage to snap a shot looking west with the Salem towers in the background of the beginning of today's sunset. We were almost home. I had a good look at the ILG tower and pointed just left of it as I set up for my downwind entry. I turned to downwind as the DME clicked under two miles and announced position as advised. I got the cleared to land runway one nine with a wind report. Left base and a smooth turn to final adding the last notch had me touch down on the numbers and riding a wheelie for a bit then lowering the nose, a nice smooth landing. I retracted the flaps and let 679er roll towards taxiway Kilo needing just a touch of throttle to make the first turn off.
Mary and I were both tired and needing a cold drink of water, we were both wanting to get on the road. Mary drove us to her Mom and Dads where we got busy on the crabs. I sucked down two glasses of ice tea as did my Bride. I had four of the jumbo monsters, Mary had four and Mom ate three, dad passed, he doesn't care to pick crabs at all. We called it a night and cleaned up the kitchen then loaded up the remaining crabbies for Sunday. When we walked in the door the pups were happy to see us. The furry kids had a ton of energy to burn off as we got them taken care of and decided to head up to bed. It was a fun day and always a great to meet up with fellow pilots and their spouses. Mary and I needed this one, now we're both getting anxious for our trip to Maine.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The FAA Requires Use Of Supplemental Oxygen - When flying above 12,500 ft. for more than 30 minutes, or flying above 14,000 ft., pilots and crewmembers are required to use oxygen. Above 15,000 ft., all occupants, including passengers, must be provided with supplemental oxygen.
Dangers of Hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) - The chances of HYPOXIA increase with altitude. Decreased night vision beginning as low as 5,000 ft. above sea level. At 10,000 ft. forced concentration, fatigue, headache. At 12,000 ft. & above, deterioration of alertness and mental efficiency.
At 14,000 ft., forgetfulness, incompetence, indifference, distinct impairment of mathematical and reasoning capabilities make flying hazardous. At 17,000 ft., serious handicap and collapse may occur. Smokers will experience these syptoms 3,000 - 4,000 ft. lower. Pilots impaired by hypoxia are usually unable to judge level of impairment, similar to the effects of alcohol.
And now the facts on my new system...
This Forty Cubic Foot complete system is a self contained unit with no installation required. It’s easy to use and has no FAA weight and balance change necessary. The oxygen system includes a pressurized cylinder with oxymizer cannulas, lines, a flow indicator, quick disconnects, and a spare mask. The SK 11-40 complete oxygen system is easy to refill with aviation-grade breathing oxygen (MIL-027210, Type1) It's lightweight cylinder, about 30 lbs, is easy to fasten to the back of a cockpit seat or in our case sitting between the two back seats makes it truly portable. The adjustable flow regulator allows you to set by altitude or special flow. As you change altitude, adjust the flow control valve for more or less oxygen (the upper gauge shows altitude and flow setting, the lower gauge shows remaining cylinder pressure).
The SK 11-40 oxygen system’s flow does not have to be adjusted if using more than one outlet. You can easily check the charts provided with cannulas for proper flow setting. This oxygen system’s oxymizer cannula reduces oxygen usage over 50%, when compared to others on the market. It can be used up to 18,000 ft, and stores oxygen in a pendant reservoir. The pendant rests on your chest, not your lip. You’re free to drink a beverage & talk in total comfort.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The plan was to meet at (KILG) Red Eagle at 8:45 and take the Archer to Lancaster. Why drive when you can go by air. I had my pre-flight finished by the time Mike rolled in, I was there early and had the chance to chat with a few of my ramp neighbors. I ordered fuel to top the tanks and just needed to sump before climbing in. I'm still using my new step stool that Mary purchased and it's working out great. With the sump on each tank completed I climbed up on the wing, hooked the step stool with my cane and then stowed the stool in the baggage compartment. It was a bit harder to lock the baggage door from up on the wing but I maintained the 'don't break 90*' rule for my hip restrictions.
Once Mike was aboard I went through my checklists and we got the fan started, the cool air felt great! I contacted Wilmington ground and asked for taxi clearance for our VFR departure to Lancaster, Lima November Sierra and stated that I had the current ATIS info. I was cleared to taxi to runway 1 via Kilo hold short, contact the tower. No problem since I needed to do my run up at taxiways Kilo and Mike. I was cleared for take off and back taxi for as much runway as I wanted on runway one. I rolled to the three thousand foot marker so when I turned into the wind I had four thousand feet in front of me. 679er was in the air and I was off on my Cirrus adventure. I picked up flight following with Philly, eventually being handed of to Harrisburg. When I called field in sight I was switched over to the Lancaster tower. Actually Mike had the field in sight I was still looking, I eventually found it. I was a bit high on final, ok much higher then normal but slowed the Archer down and made a pretty good landing on runway three one. Mike gave me directions so we could park close to the Cirrus. We unloaded our flight bags, my Garmin/Zaon electronics and secured 679er for her day on the ramp.
I felt bad leaving her there while I went off to play with another plane, I know, call me crazy. We opened the T-hangar and there she sat; sleek, shiny, smooth lines, it was like looking at my first corvette many years ago. It too was white but had a red interior the SR20 was a neutral or tan color. Mike opened up both doors to get some air flowing and just watching them open I could almost hear that plane say, in a sexy female voice of course, yeah, you want it, climb on in for a spin. I had to shake my head and clear my ears, I know I was hearing voices. Mike went through a very detailed pre-flight outside and in, I watched and tried not to get in the way to much. Gear stowed and pre-flight complete Mike hooked up the hand held tug and pulled the SR20 out of the hangar.
The fuel truck came,topped us off and Mike completed the fuel sump. I climbed in as did Mike and he was going through the prestart checks and explaining along the way. The glass cockpit is almost intimidating when your looking it over for the very first time. I payed for a downloaded and did some glass cockpit work online so I wasn't totally lost. Don't misunderstand me, I wasn't even in the ballpark with the operation but had a very rough idea of what a few buttons did. It was time to get the fan spinning and she roared to life, a very nice throaty sounding aircraft. We taxied out and completed the run up prior to our taxi on Alpha. We were number two behind a Cessna and we both waited for an aircraft on short final. Lancaster is a busy place, plenty of traffic and Cape Air was running flights too.
Finally our turn to take off. After acknowledging clearance and rolling into position it was full throttle and we were on the go. This baby was screaming and it sure scoots along faster then the Archer. The Cirrus also uses a lot more runway then the Archer but we were soon in the air and climbing out. The plan was Direct to KMGJ, Orange County, NY. Allentown's airspace topped at 4,400 we would be well clear but picked up flight following anyway. Initially we were looking for 7,500 but the cloud tops were getting close and we climbed for 9,500. Once past Allentown's airspace we were handed of to NY Approach then Center. I wanted to compare the Zaon to the Garmin 430's traffic and I must say it was spot on. I actually had a few more on screen traffic calls then the 430, I was shocked but relieved to know the Zaon works very well. I also had my Garmin 496 plugged in so I could compare wx observations and that too seemed on par with the Avidyne systems.
We finally get on the ground and taxi in to park across from Ricks Runway Cafe'. The food was good at least my burger was and the ice tea hit the spot. A few folks wandered over to take a peek at our ride. The Cirrus did seem to draw some attention, deservedly so, it's a gorgeous plane. We finished up and Mike called for a wx update, he also filed in case we needed to pick up while in flight. Once back in the plane Mike went over the numbers for the shorter runway (two six) departure. While it was doable we had just witnessed a Piper Six loaded with five adults lumber down the runway and fly in ground effect for a good long distance then blast off to clear the surrounding terrain. I thought to myself those folks sure must have puckered, glad I wasn't on board.
We decided on runway two one, plenty of distance and safety factor. We fired up and taxied out for our VFR departure back to Lancaster. We decided to just enjoy the flight and monitor approach, no flight following until we got closer to Allentown. Mike gave me the controls and I settled in trying to get the feel for the SR20. The controls were much tighter then I would have expected. The aircraft was quick to respond, reminding of the corvette days when driving. Smooth flight despite heading home under the cloud layer. I guess we were maybe 15-18 miles out when Mike called Allentown approach for flight following and requested a GPS approach into Lancaster. The IAF would be AYOSA and Mike plugged all the info in. It was very cool to see the aircraft tracking on the approach plate. Remember, I'm used to flying GPS approaches on the Garmin 300XL, big difference!
We pre-flighted 679er and headed out to runway three one for our VFR departure back to Wilmington. It was nice to be back in the left seat and flying home in my gal 679er. Obviously planes are like good dogs, they still love you no matter who your with or who you went flying in. We chugged on home, no flight following, opting to contact Wilmington tower at 15 out. Mike mentioned that 679er seems running rough, I listened and thought she sounded fine but things did seem louder then usual. Maybe it was the droaning in my ears I'm not sure then I thought maybe my batteries quit in the Zulu. Nope they were working, I forgot to turn them on! Ahhhh...instant quiet, Mike laughed until he checked his headset, his Bose were not on either. We cracked up, you could tell it was along day.
Wilmington tower advised enter a down wind for runway one. I acknowledged, then asked left or right down wind? There was a short pause then he asked your coming from the north west? Affirmative 679er, I answered and he confirmed left down wind. I know better then to assume since I have been given either down wind in the past. We chugged along and I announced midfield left downwind, 679er and the tower followed with cleared to land long runway one. I acknowledged and we were in the home stretch. The long landing was given to save me taxi time to taxiway Kilo and on to red Eagle, it helps when the tower folks know you. Again I was high on base to final and pulled the power for a good landing. I actually had the cross wind covered and landed left main then right main, heck even I get lucky now and then. I had 1.6 flying the Archer and I think we ended up 2.9 or so in the Cirrus....what a great day flying!!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I received an email from MikeB asking if I wanted to fly safety pilot for him so he could shoot some approaches this evening, I accepted of course. I decided since he asked if flying at night was past my bedtime I should make an effort to take what I referred to in my younger single days as a power nap. So off to bed I went, early in the afternoon. Maggie followed along, confused , but figured any time to head upstairs is a good thing. Rudder was also in tow and gladly was up on the bed curled up by one of Marys fancy poofy pillow additions. I pulled the shades and turned on the tv looking for anything that might catch my interest. I found a movie that I always get a laugh out of, 'The secret to my success' with Michael J Fox. I didn't see much of it as I soon passed out. Mary said she came home around 3:30 and when I didn't answer her she looked upstairs and I was down for the count. Hey, it was a power nap and it was working.
Finally up and about I gathered up my equipment for flight. I figured I would try out Mary's new headset, the David Clark X-11. I also made sure my Garmin 496 was full charge and ready to go. Mike and I swapped emails and phone calls as we agreed to meet at the FBO around 7:00. 3525U was out on the ramp just as clean and shiny as ever, what a sweet aircraft. I managed this evening with no cane, opting to push my limit a little more each day and try to get back to normal, whatever normal is for me. I'm not even going there.
I read through our checklist as Mike was doing his thing responding with a check or set as required. I worked the radios tonight and made the calls to Wilmington ground and tower. I don't think I used my 679er call one time tonight, that was a plus, seeing I had the right tail number and type of aircraft figured out. We climbed out of Wilmington on runway one four with a left turn on course back over the field approved. We were on our way to Lancaster (KLNS) to shoot an approach or two. This is the point where i noticed I forgot my camera, the sky was a dark orange color mixed with some north east haze which 'would have made' for a gorgeous photo op, oh well at least we both got to see it.
I picked up flight advisories with Philly Approach and they in turn handed us off to Harrisburg. Contrary to the approach plate, Harrisburg was going to keep us until the hand off to the Lancaster tower. Mike had briefed the plate for the KLNS ILS Runway 8 approach, he was ready. I was safety pilot since he had the foggles on and I have to admit as much as I am looking for traffic it was hard not to stare off and enjoy the pretty lights against the night sky. Harrisburg brought us across the mighty Susquehanna River just far enough to cross west bank then gave us one of our last two vectors (heading changes) for the ILS. The last turn towards the ILS always gets a mouthful from approach and I have to constantly remind my self just repeat the numbers, keep it simple stupid. Right turn xxx, 2,500 until established, ILS 8. Once turned loose to the tower Mike prompted me....tower 25U with you ILS 8 and so I called. We were to report a three mile final for runway 8, I acknowledged. I was so intent on watching the needles and for spotting traffic I missed my call to the tower. I know this because the tower broke the sterile cockpit with 25U cleared to land runway 8, I again acknowledged feeling like a slacker that I missed my call. The tower said not a word.
We decided to pass on dinner and get right back in the air. We were now going to head back to Wilmington and shoot a few approaches there. We were cleared to take off on runway three one and directed to turn on course. I was trying to pick out airport beacons on the way home in the hope of honing some night vision skills, I did so so. No flight following on the way back, instead some good conversation and enjoying the cool air and night flight.
Mike made a call to Philly approach on 119.75 requesting the ILS OR LOC RWY 01 into Wilmington then following with the GPS 19 approach. Philly started to vector us towards the Final Approach Fix, HADIN just 5.5 miles south of the airport. Mike briefed the plate and double checked all the nav/coms, we were ready to make the run. No procedure turn required with approach vectoring us in, this is always a good thing. Once established Philly turned us loose to contact Wilmington and they requested us to report HADIN inbound, we acknowledged. Mike went missed and climbed out to the WILEA intersection and did a teardrop entry for the procedure turn for the GPS RWY 19 approach. Having been handed off to Philly they requested we report WILEA inbound and we did. Philly once again handed us back off to Wilmington tower and Mike made the call, 3525uniform with you GPS one niner approach, inbound WILEA. Wilmington cleared us to land, this one was a full stop. Mike greased another one! 25uniform was home, Mike added some throttle to taxi us into the Atlantic FBO.
A fun flight, gorgeous night and I got to watch the needles for the glide slope and localizer which really helps with the mental picture when under the hood or in actual instrument conditions. I also got to work on my radio skills and my night vision. Thanks Mike!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Tonight I scheduled flight time with fellow club member CFI Dan. Dan agreed to ride along in order for me to knock out at least three landings and to once again be current. Basically as stated in Sec. 61.57 Recent flight experience (and I'm only quoting a portion of the section here)
Pilot in command.
(a) General experience.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crew member unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days........
I pre-flighted 679er taking my time to get back in touch with my normal routine. I guess it's like riding a bike, you don't really forget although the consequences of missing a problem on the ground can potentially cost you more then a banged up knee and some Bactine spray. When Dan arrived he performed his own pre-flight which I thought was a pretty good idea, he doesn't know me from the man on the moon, why would he trust me. I did tell him he was the last to fly the plane and the fuel sumps I performed were clean and water free. Once Dan climbed in we chatted a bit about 679er and then I started my remaining pre-flight/start up procedures. It all came back as I went through my checklists item by item.
BEFORE STARTING ENGINE
Exterior Preflight -- COMPLETE.
Tach/Hobbs Meter – RECORD.
Seats, Belts -- ADJUST & LOCKED.
Radios & Electrical Equipment -- OFF.
Parking Brake -- SET.
Carburetor Heat -- OFF
Fuel Selector –- SET TO DESIRED TANK.
Prime - COMPLETE
CALL CLEAR PROP
Throttle –- OPEN ¼ INCH.
Master Switch –- ON
Electric Fuel Pump –- ON.
Mixture –- RICH.
Throttle –- ADVANCE WHEN ENGINE FIRES.
679er springs to life and seems ready to go. All gauges in the green, waiting for oil temps and I make my call to Wilmington Ground requesting taxi clearance for pattern work providing current information Yankee. Winds were jumping around and I ended up taking runway one niner with a slight tailwind. I readjusted my mental note and launch marker so I had room to abort if needed. I completed the run up and off we went for some scrape off the rust time. I climbed out and was directed by the tower to enter a left downwind for three two , Hmmmm that's a quick change but ok, I acknowledged. I was crossing the numbers pretty much as I launched off of one nine but ok left turn to downwind and time to set up for landing. I was high turning base and high on final when the tower asked me to turn out for inbound jet traffic landing on runway one. An immediate right turn out 360* back to final.
Ok, I don't mind getting back on the horse but gezzz not something that bucks right out of the chute. I am once again high on short final and need to lose some altitude. I slowly pull the power add in a last notch of flaps for landing and Dan asks do I want to go around, I said no I can work with this and will go around if I don't like what I see as we work our way down. He asked for 60 knots so we could brick on in, I don't like holding the nose high blocking my full runway view. I did What I would normally do and slipped in. 679er came in like a rock and I just passed the numbers as I landed but had some speed so I slowed down and taxied off for another go.
Yikes, round one was exciting, let's see if we can make this as uneventful as we can. Rounds two and three were more "normal" although I seemed to be way to fast on the downwind. Dan mentioned the 90-80-70 rule for pattern work in the Archer. Round four I was pretty much on the money. I had to pace myself with opposite traffic turning on a right base making me number two for landing. I was trimmed for 90, added approach flaps and settled right in at 80 knots, turned base adding a second notch of flaps and kept the nose lowered and sat the airspeed on 70 knots. Nice, short final I added the last notch of flaps sat the airspeed on 65 and greased one. All of my landings were really nice and on center, I just needed to get my pattern speed under control.
I logged .9 and made four landings, Dan went around a few times for .4 and I think maybe two or three landings. He really keeps a nice tight pattern, and is very smooth. I was happy with my last trip around the patch but I could use a bit more practice. It sure felt great flying 679er once again, I think we'll spend some additional quality time together Wednesday.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
We cruised on along and eventually Philly kicked us to the curb and we were on our own. I flew for a bit testing the right leg for rudder pressure, it felt great, and making sure I could shake off the rust. I felt on top of the world, almost as good as when the doctor told me I could go full weight bearing. As we neared Williamsport Mike put in a call to NY Center as noted on the approach plate and we were vectored for the ILS 27. Mike put the foggles on and off we went. I worked the radio acknowledging each turn as directed and searched for any traffic. As safety pilot I am the eyes outside while the pilot is wearing the view limiting device. Mike took us down the glide slope and into IPT with a nice landing, fun stuff. I heard Ted make a call while we were inbound and I was hoping we could indeed catch up for lunch. When we taxied to the terminal Ted was up the far end of the airport but I did see him climbing around his Aztec. I didn't have his cell but I knew AdamB in New Hampshire did so, I called him. He mentioned that Ted did just get in, he tracked him on flight aware coming home from Virginia. Wow, what timing. I called the number he gave me and Ted had just left the airport, he turned the big Ford Excursion around and joined us for lunch.