Jeff and Lori from 33N, Delaware Airpark called and said they were going for dinner at either KGED, Georgetown or somewhere local. I suggested Kays. After a quick wx and TFR review Mary and I made the quick trip to KCGE, Cambridge-Dorchester Airport located in Cambridge, Maryland. This is an airport restaurant that is always busy with locals which should give you a hint on the service and food.
What a gorgeous night to fly, cool breeze and clear sky. It's been some time but once we arrived at Wilmington we flowed through the pre-flight. Mary and I really have it down to a well rehearsed routine. Fuel check had 679er maybe an inch below tabs on each tank which would leave us plenty of fuel for the short hop and the sump was free of any dirt or water. KCGE is thirty five minutes each way, adding fifteen minutes ground time on each end for taxi and run up makes for one point five. I flight plan for ten gallons an hour even though 679er averages out to seven or eight actual fuel burn. I had to back taxi on runway one prior to departure then turning into the wind I cut 679er loose. I am really working on the cruise climb and tonight, once wheels up, set 679er on ninety knots and away we went.
We could see a good way down the Delaware Bay despite the north east haze. Dover acknowledged our call for flight following as we crossed the C&D canal passing over KEVY, Summit Airport. As we made our way south we heard a call advising "jumpers away" over Ridgley, yep, meat missiles taking advantage of a beautiful cool evening to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I listened to the pilot report jumpers away at nine thousand five hundred as we reported eleven miles north of their position. The jump pilot was really good reporting the jumper altitudes and his position. I changed my course which was going to pass directly over the field they were landing at to just a bit further west, closer to Easton Maryland's class Delta at KESN.
Dover had me squawk VFR and cut me loose. I switched to the Cambridge frequency and reported position as I set up to enter the pattern. There is taxiway construction ongoing so be prepared if your heading into CGE. We had a very good dinner although we kind of rushed through. Mary had the Oyster Sandwich, I had the crab melt, Lori had the crab melt and no clue what Jeff had at the other end of the table. Hannah and Bryan had chicken fingers and fries.
I am not night current so I wanted to keep legal with currency requirements, thus dinner was a bit accelerated. Of course as we all got up to pay everyone else did too. The line was immediately four deep. The men went out to preflight and the ladies waited in line.....Thanks Girls!! My preflight was short and sweet since I had full view of the plane the entire time. I didn't take on any fuel so I only needed to double check each tanks fuel quantity, no sump this time.
A 90-day period applies to taking passengers up at night (which is defined as an hour after sunset to an hour before sunrise). In order to take passengers up during those hours, you must have made three takeoffs and landings to a full stop during those hours in the preceding 90 days [61.57 (b) (1)]. That’s both takeoffs and landings, so if you’ve made a flight that took off during daylight hours and landed after dark, that only counts as a landing. You could balance it with a takeoff before dawn, but it’s probably more likely you’ll end up making four landings and three takeoffs to satisfy the 90-day night currency rule.
We launched from runway one six and turned left on course pointing 679er north east. Jeff took off behind us and followed north for a bit then headed a bit farther east to land at 33N. Mary had the mark I eyeballs geared up tonight and actually spotted Delaware airparks beacon and runway lights. She even pointed out an aircraft about our altitude but closer to Dover, I think it was Jeff. I heard Jeff cancel flight following with Dover as he made his way home. As we approached the canal Dover cancelled our following and we bid them a good night. I had a good view of Summit (KEVY) out my window so I made my final tank switch as we prepared to land at Wilmington now only fifteen miles out. I was cleared to land straight in runway one, report two mile final. Wilmington lights looked very pretty this evening as did Dover's when we passed. I could see runway one clear as could be with the rabbit guiding me home. I was maybe five miles out when Mary called out traffic to our four or five o'clock position. No sooner she called them out Wilmington's tower advised the same, she's really good at spotting traffic.
Two and a half miles out and I'm adding the first notch of flaps, we slow down and descend smoothly. The air is still cool and smooth as we make our way in. Second notch of flaps now short final and lined up nice. We both forgot the camera so no video this evening despite a great opportunity. Last notch of flaps as I pull out the remaining power, crossing the numbers at sixty knots and bleeding off speed. No stall horn but clearly a nice landing as the mains touch and I hold off the nose briefly then set it down. Flaps up, pump off and acknowledge parking instructions. I turn off at taxiway Kilo, we're home. As we clear the runway I shut off the strobes, we open the door and window to take advantage of the cool air.