Saturday, May 07, 2011

Anual Trip North

Mary and I decided we would head north today to take care of my parents grave.  This is an annual trip to ready the cemetery site for memorial day.  I grew up spending each memorial day holiday in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania making the rounds, paying respects to each family member that had passed.  The men folk would load up all the flowers in the pick-up trucks and head out to make the delivery/set up at each cemetery. Next, it was home to get cleaned up and head back out with the rest of the family to make the rounds, sort of a social event, well, at least it seemed that way as a kid. Every year the Italian ladies would say oh Clara...that's your baby?  Oh, look how much he's grown, such a nice boy (with the pinch of the cheeks). Mind you this routine went on well into my late teens.

We arrived at the airport early,somewhere around 8:15AM.  It's been a while since Mary and I went through the pre-flight together but things flowed very quickly. I had filed my IFR flight plan yesterday; DQO V29 LVZ. Mary parked the SUV out in the lot while I chugged and plugged the flight plan. Once my Bride climbed aboard we got 08Romeo started.  I contacted ground and was ready to copy my clearance.
Approaching Allentown
Through the clouds
Last one, just missing it
Philly was busy today but kept things moving at a good pace. We were held at 4000 then cleared to six once clear of their flight path. We were handed off to multiple sectors at philly then off to Allentown for the ride up to the Wilkes-Barre Terminal Radar Service Area (TRSA).  Wilkes approach is always great to deal with and they cleared me to land once I reported the field in sight.  Heck, I don't think I was clear the mountain and into the valley yet. Base to final and my speeds were looking good for the landing. I remembered the air drops out of your sails as you cross the big drop just before the runway, and it did. Power power....ok sink arrested, ease it out, nice smooth flare with a slight thud to the numbers.  Not my best but we are in and 08Romeo will indeed fly again.
Wind Turbines, last ridge before AVP
I took on maybe 8-10 gallons and secured the courtesy van for the ride across the valley.  It was 27 miles door to door round trip, yes I wrote it down.  We stopped for flowers at the flower warehouse then headed to the Italian cemetery.  The ground was soft and damp, easy work to plant a monster geranium and two dusty millers. I made a few rounds saying a prayer at my Aunts and Uncles. You know, all of them used to crack jokes about once they were all there they would have a party since the family is so close together, heck, my Grandparents are just across the drive from the rest of the gang.
Heading south to Wilkes-Barre LVZ VOR
Vector for avoiding large storm cell and heavy rain

Not much better off the right wing
We decided to head back to the airport and get on our way.  The clouds were rolling in and a few were big dark ugly monsters, not something I wanted to tangle with. I filed from the plane with my iPad and made the call to pick up my clearance.  Ground threw me curve and added the Scranton Four departure to the typical runway heading, radar vectors blah blah blah. I was directed to taxi to runway 4 for departure, contact the tower when ready for release.  I did exactly that and was soon climbing out for 5000.
A few shots approaching the Lehigh Tunnel from the north
It was a bumpy ride at 6000 but better then most altitudes since everyone was looking for six.  I retraced the approach frequencies for the trip home; allentown, multiple philly hand-offs and finally over to the Wimington Tower. Wilmington Sundowner 6708romeo visual for two seven. I was cleared to land and worked to shed altitude making my way to the runway. An ok landing at home with a short taxi to my tie down. Aircraft secured, covered and just needing a few gulps of fuel to bring it back to 20 a side.  My Bride slept both ways today, falling asleep before we even took off from Wilmington and the same for leaving Wilkes-Barre.  It felt good getting back in the air....looking forward to our next adventure.


Steve said...

Great photos, another perfect flight for you guys thanks to the IR.

I always enjoy this post every year - it's a nice tradition and I'm glad to see you're able to carry it on.

Harrison said...

Great photos. Sounds like a fun and safe flight. Thanks for sharing.

melvinc said...

Nice pictures friend. Thanks for posting this. i have enjoyed your blog . I want to invited you to see my technical blog on Aviation @

D.B. said...

Glad to see that 08R is getting her wings damp.......

Joyce said...

Looks like a good, but challenging flight. Amazing that your co-pilot simply sleeps through the turbulence. Enjoy seeing what your part of the country looks like. The tunnel, for example.