I got a call from Jeff Frey (33N) asking if I wanted to safety pilot for him this evening. I have not been in the air for three weeks, oh hell yeah I want to go! I had a few things to finish up around the house having just got in from work. Mary was still at the hospital with her Mom so I took care of the zoo, finished folding clothes and getting the basket upstairs and picking up a few things around the house.
The plan was to meet up at KILG - Red Eagle around 5-5:15ish. I headed out a bit early so I could put my tie down straps at our new ramp location. I finished digging out around the tie downs so I could set the hooks and then parked the SUV out in the lot. I walked back through the gate and stood around watching jets take off and climb out of sight along with a few Cessna's doing pattern work. The sunset was gorgeous, now if I only had my beach chair and a cool drink I would be a happy camper.
I watched an aircraft heading towards the airport from the south, it had to be Jeff. Sure enough he entered the pattern and worked in between the departures and pattern aircraft. I walked over to the taxiway that turns off Kilo into Red Eagle so I could climb in. Jeff pulled the throttle back and opened the door for me. I had asked him not to bother shutting down as I would approach from the rear of the plane and climb in. We made a quick turn and Jeff called ground to let them know we were ready to taxi out. There was a straight tail Cessna that came in on the red eagle ramp so Jeff repositioned towards the Boeing ramp side. The Cessna driver made no call on ground and taxied towards us and sat there. Heeellllllloooooo.......say something dip stick. He didn't so Jeff hit the push to talk and advised ground that we were um "maneuvering" for another aircraft.
It was a a cool night as we rolled down the just reopened runway two seven. 93Zulu climbed out enjoying the night air. We were cleared on course to MQS and off we went, enjoying all the lights. Jeff's two children (Hannah and Bryan)were on board and they serenaded us with a modified rendition of twinkle twinkle little star, just too cute. Traffic was minimal this evening and it seemed we would have Chester County all to ourselves. Jeff shot the GPS 29 approach and made a very nice landing rolling out long and having to taxi back, I guess I should have told him where the terminal was located, it was his first time at this airport. We had the ramp all to our self. I climbed out and gave us a push back just to get aligned.
The Flying Machine Cafe' was open for business and actually seemed to be very busy. We were seated at a table overlooking the ramp which is always nice. The kids had mac and cheese, I had ravioli with Italian sweet sausage and Jeff had a either a crab cake sandwich or some fish sandwich. The food was very good but it took awhile for it to make the table, maybe because they were busy. Hannah and I played numerous games of tic tac toe and she really enjoyed blocking my every move, she caught on pretty quick. It was time to saddle up and head back to ILG. Jeff loaded up the children and I gave Mary a call to give her a heads up. After his walk around and fuel check he and I climbed aboard. A Cessna 172 taxied in as we were leaving and that was it for ramp traffic. We headed out to runway two niner and launched into the night sky. It was a short hop back home and the tail winds provided 140 knot ground speeds, fun stuff.
It was good to be back in the air! Thanks for the invite Jeff and for dinner. One of these days if and when I get my plane back I'll take you flying.