METAR KILG 151400Z 31017G24KT 10SM CLR 21/08 A3013
I got on the computer to check for TFR's and wx updates. The winds were picking up and there was no relief insight until well into the evening. The winds would be right down the runway at Wilmington, a stiff crosswind at Wings field. I made the go decision and proceeded accordingly. I showered and double checked my flight bag, loaded up the chairs and brought additional cover in case it got chilly. Mary was up and ready to go with a few last items to add. The house was secured and the SUV fueled and ready to go, we were on our way.
Once at the airport we moved quickly to load the baggage, transfer excess weight to the SUV and complete my pre-flight checks. I had taken on fuel the day before so I needed to sump, everything was pretty blue, no dirt no water. I climbed aboard and once my checks were completed I got the fan turning. I dialed in the ATIS and made my call to ground for taxi instructions. Runway two seven at intersection Mike, call when run up complete. I acknowledged and started to roll, I was getting excited.
Cleared runway two seven right turn on course approved. I acknowledged with a flip of the fuel boost pump on and cabin blower off I was rolling for departure. I held a good bit of aileron into the crosswind and as soon as we were wheels up 08Romeo weathervaned to about 45 degrees to a 310 heading on the nose climbing on the 270 runway heading, what a sight. Needless to say the right turn on course was pretty easy and I was pointed towards Wings. No flight following today, I just wanted to listen to music, talk with Mary and enjoy the view, it's only twenty minutes to Wings.
METAR KLOM 151420Z AUTO 31009G15KT 290V350 10SM CLR 19/07 A3010
I made my calls from the quarry calling out a 3 mile 45 for left down wind two four, I was alone in the pattern. Base to final with only one notch of flaps and alert to keeping my speed up with the wind gusts. It was bumpy and slightly roller coasterish as I ducked below the tress. I thought I was home free then caught a gust that provided lift and stall horn now six to eight feet off the deck. Throttle to arrest the sink hold it off, ride it out and a half hearted kerplunk with a skip before planted on the runway. I held center line and let 08Romeo roll all the way out since I hate to use brakes.
The party had already started. I thought the plan was to arrive around ten and help set up. Gary Shelby and crew obviously kicked butt and as Adam Zucker stated "Shelby is the FlyBQ version of the Seabees. This guy gets it built, set up and ready for business." He wasn't kidding. Mary and I carried our chairs in and picked a spot to enjoy the days activities. Yes, it was windy but the sun was out and there was so many people to catch up with. I believe the final numbers were somewhere around 30 aircraft and a total of 85 people. The FBO at Wings played a big part moving picnic tables and equipment along with donating prizes and offering a fuel discount.
Prizes included the furthest flown from the North - Jim Minetti, West - Kent and Pete and South - Kelvin. A plaque was also presented for the furthest international flight to Ted for his flight from Chibougamau, Quebec, Canada or as Adam Z called it "Flamaqantanda" Canada. There was a special presentation to Ed Fred and Kelvin for their selfless donation of time and fuel in flying a woman with terminal cancer from South Carolina to spend her final days with Family in Michigan along with a presenatation to Ted for his continued efforts to use GA to help save dogs. In addition to the prize donation Tom Doughtery the owner of Montgomery County Aviation personally donated $500 toward the charitable causes supported by the FlyBQ; $250 to Angel Flight East and $250 to the Thomas Jefferson University Pancreatic Cancer Research Program. Jamie Pujol of Texas Engraving donated all of the plaques.
Andrew Porky Stanley aka "Porculus" did an outstanding job with the pulled pork, he is the grill master. Smithfield once again donated all the meats. The menu consisted of pulled pork, hot dogs, hamburgers, poatato salad, chips, cookies of all sorts and plenty of soda and water for everyone. It was a fun afternoon sitting around talking with friends, enjoying a great meal and soaking up the sun. The ladies were planning future trips and comparing notes while the pilots talked airplanes and spent time hangar flying.
Mary and I packed up sometime after 3:30 and said our goodbyes. The plan was to fly home, shower, change and either fly or drive back for dinner. By the time we were wheels up it was closing on 4pm. I followed Ted and Susan out in their Senaca II and Ryan and Katy followed in their Bellanca Super Viking. Yes, I was sandwiched in between the speedsters! I made a call for flight following and was immediately handed of to another Philly approach sector. I heard Ryan call and pick up routing then decided to just stay under the class bravo and fight the bumps. It was really kicking on the way home and I was thankful for the multiple runways at Wilmington. I entered a right down wind for runway three two and greased a super smooth landing.
We quickly secured the plane and once again I forgot to pull the Garmin data card for an update. We drove home, showerd, changed and coordinated with Rob amnd Becky for dinner out at the Aviation Country Club. We were back on the road heading north. Traffic was light and we made the trip in 40 minutes pulling into park just as Rob pulled in, great timing. We had reservations and were seated quickly. Dinner was very good and the service perfect as always. It was so nice to catch up with Rob and Becky, we really enjoy their company. The ladies are planning a cookout while Rob and I reschedule our Ohio trip.
I guess we finally headed home after ten and enjoyed the drive home on the empty blue route (I-476). Mary and I chatted and went over the days events filling each other in on the folks we sat and talked with. I know I am repeating myself but we had a great day and evening! Flying has provided us so many exciting adventures and new friendships. People talk about the cost to learn to fly along with rentals or aircraft purchases.....I would do it all over without hesitation, the adventures and friendships are priceless!
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