Ahhhhh...I went up for a second day in a row, this time flying 08Romeo. I've come to the conclusion that us pilot folk are a strange bunch when it comes to our airplanes. 08Romeo and I are finally getting to know each other. I know sounds crazy, but I walked out to the ramp today and felt this tug, I really had to fly and Juliet was the partner. My lovely Bride for the first time, out loud anyway, a week or so ago actually said she thinks I love the "other woman" more, at times. No, nothing will take Mary's place but Juliet is there for the both of us to explore and travel to new places and enjoy our time together, just the three...er..um the two of us. ;)
OK, enough crazy talk, time for the flight. I finally got the POH back in the plane, heck it's been since December 27th since we flew the girl. It felt good climbing in and getting buckled up. I went through a lengthy pre-flight, sumped the fuel and even gave Juliet a second walk around just admiring how well she really looks. Mary and I did very well and the buyers remorse, well that finally has subsided. Once my in cockpit checks were completed I gave six shots of primer for my start. Hmmmm...she cranked away turning maybe ten blades or so, not the typical start. I usually give eight or nine shots so I gave three extra for nine total and turned the key. She came to life begrudgingly or so it seemed but idled smooth as could be at 900 RPM. Oil pressure looked great but oil temps were very low. I sat at idle for a bit and as I saw some temp movement I raised the rpms to 1000 and held there. I set up my avionics, copied my ATIS and gave everything on the checklist a once over.
Wilmington Ground cleared me to taxi to runway niner via Kilo and Kilo5, hold short. I acknowledged and off I went. I completed my run up and called the tower, they directed me to make a 180 back taxi on Kilo to taxiway Mike and hold short, the winds have changed. Holy smoke, whats a few knots tailwind on a 7000 foot runway, I get turned around and make my way to Mike. Ok, Tower 08Romeo is ready to go, runway two seven at Mike. I'm cleared for take off and a right turn on course approved, we're rolling. I tracked the Modena VOR then broke off early to pass between the water towers that sets up for a perfect 45* entry to runway two seven at Brandywine, KOQN. I picked up the wx, listened for traffic and made my position/intentions call. Two Cessna's in the pattern, a Grumman ten to the north to cross midfield and enter down wind and one other plane farther out, got em' all sorted out and looking for traffic. I am about to enter the left down wind and the one Cessna advises they will extend the upwind and follow me number two, I pass along a thanks banking away from each other as I enter the down wind.
Turning base I add the second notch of flaps wait for my speed to settle in at 80 knots and look to turn final. I make my calls, turn left to final and with the runway made add the last notch of flaps. No touch on the trim as 08Romeo settles at 70 knots. I cross the fence cut the power and hear the stall horn moan, another greaser. I clear the runway and the Cessna lands, everyone played nice. I taxi back for a short hop to Chester County KMQS. The Grumman lands and clears so I announce and depart. I really have a handle on the climb out, holding steady at 500 ft a minute keeps my CHT's well under 400 degrees.
The sun glare is pretty bad and there seems to be a slight mist/haze close to the ground. I am cruising along at 2,500 listening to 122.7 unicom for Chester County as I reposition for a left base entry to runway two niner. As I call turning final a Cessna announces entering on the cross wind, I glance up and spot him through the glare. Another smooth round of flaps and airspeed's as I hear the stall horn followed by the wheels rolling, not even a chirp. I taxi back for another launch, this time for home. I pull off in the run up area and set up to track the DQO VOR back home, I also chug & plug KILG into the Garmin 530. I had to hold short for an aircraft landing then announced and launched. On the upwind the helicopter place just off my left side past the end of the runway has three birds rotors turning and one announcing he is taking off. Whoa there fling winger, I want to be out of the way. The noise abatement calls for the turn to cross wind past the water tower so I was crossing over the helipad and still climbing. I broke it off and headed more to the south, I just wanted top be safe. I also made another call with my position on upwind and intentions. My last landing was another smoothie, I'm liking this plane! 1.3 in the book and some fun flying while trying to keep sharp on a shorter narrow runway compared to ILG's 7000x150 monsters.