Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sadie's FURever Home

I had followed a few posts criss-crosing the Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue (MAESSR) email system this past week.  I thought maybe if the wx was looking good and Mary and I could get back home by 3pm we could fill this mission request.  Friday wx checks looked like there was a very good chance we could get this done, now to fit us in the schedule.  I connected with Adam and Renee and they coordinated to have Sadie at Dinwiddie Airport in Petersburg VA between 9 and 9:30am.  The last piece of the puzzle was to have Maggie, Sadie's new Mom, meet us around 10:30 at KESN, Easton MD.  The plan is hatched!

Mary and I got up early and headed to the airport after taking care of Maggie, our Italian Mastiff.  We agreed on a Dunkin Donut stop for water and  flat bread breakfast sandwiches. We arrived at the plane and went through our well rehearsed routine. By the time Mary was headed out the gate I was mid pre-flight.  We also had to pull the two backseats and get the moving blanket in place for our passenger.
I got 08Romeo started so we could get some air moving and turned on the high power blower to help circulate air in the cabin. I had filed a flight plan last night for 7am and called ground to pick up my clearance. Using the CRAFT mnemonic I jotted down what was read to me.  Cleared PTB, Runway heading, Radar Vectors to intercept V29, Smyrna (ENO), V16, Patuxent (PXT), As Filed. Great! I had already chugged and plugged that route in the Garmin 530, we were ready to roll. I was cleared to taxi with my take off clearance given as soon as I finished my run up.
Patuxent NAS
Richmond VA
The air was smooth as we made our way south despite fighting a fifteen knot headwind punctuated by a thirteen degree crab for the entire leg one. Philly cleared us to six thousand and eventually handed us off to Potomac, Patuxent then Potomac two more times. Potomac cleared me for the GPS 23 approach and I made the changes to the 530 and made my way in. There was one plane in the pattern at the time so we followed number two to land. I didn't know it at the time but it was David in Cessna 18November Sierra.
KPTB - Final 23


I made an ok landing and let 08Romeo roll out, I always try to save brakes. We taxied to the ramp and there was our passenger waiting. Carl, what a gem, made the trip from Henderson NC to have Sadie at the airport ready for us to pick up. Thanks Carl! Your extra effort was appreciated and it will help us make our commitment at home this afternoon. 

Me with Dave, Carl & Sadie 
Dave getting a close up.  Carl and Sadie
Getting ready to board
I needed to top off on fuel and the price was cheaper here than at ESN so I went to the slots plus five on each side.  That combination gives me 50 gallons and will leave almost thirty in the tanks when this mission is completed. David B was on the ramp and it was nice to finally put a face to a forum member and facebook friend.
Dave's Cessna
With the fuel bill squared away it was time to saddle up and get this cute little girl to her new home. Mary and I said our goodbyes and climbed aboard. Again, special thanks to Carl for his trip north to have Sadie there and thanks to David for taking time out of his day to meet up.
Passenger getting comfy
I got 08Romeo started and attempted to make contact with Potomac on the Ground communication outlet (GCO) but had no luck. Thanks to the zulu headset I used the blue tooth and called Potomac to pick up my clearance north. This one was easy, cleared to ESN, As Filed.  Life is good! Maybe it was the comments "Dog rescue flight".
We were off and heading north for Easton, MD.  Our first ATC asked if I had canceled when we had landed....UGgghhhh....I had not, and confessed. ATC was very nice and just said it's a reminder, no harm, there was no inbound IFR traffic. So noted and I won't let that happen again. Potomac cleared us to five thousand direct TAPPA and that saved some flight time. At least we were enjoying a nice tailwind cruising along now in the 125 knot range.
PAX NAS
PAX NAS Close up
Sadie settled in and eventually fell asleep, Mary even took another nap. We skimmed along the cloud tops and were in and out for a few minutes until we got close to the Chesapeake Bay. From the Bay to Easton was smooth sailing with a few clouds placed here and there. I was handed off to Patuxent and cleared for the visual approach runway three three.  As we got closer we had a traffic call out in front of us that we could not see. Eventually that traffic also headed into Easton, we were number two.  The spacing got close and I tried some 'S' turns but that didn't cut it.  I requested a right 360 and that was granted which worked out fine for spacing.
Mary handing off Sadie to Maggie
Sadie checking out Jeff. Hey, any treats?
Heading to the Terminal
We taxied in and saw Maggie, Sadie's new Mom waiting on the ramp. Jeff D our friend from Woodbine flew to ESN for lunch so we could also meet up, I didn't know he was going to be there. Jeff made contact with Maggie and together they were waiting on us, thanks Jeff that was very nice to keep Maggie company. Our sleepy little girl had awakened from her slumber and was looking for her exit from the plane.  Such a sweetie, she never forced going by the front seats instead she patiently waited and let me lift her up and help her exit the baggage door. No sooner that little girl was on the ramp her tail was wagging!
Ready for her ride home
Maggie was excited and so was Sadie, lots of positive vibes here. Sadie's tail was going a mile a minute and she was checking out some folks sitting in the terminal as if showing off her new Mom. Mary and walked out to make sure she got in Maggie's car ok then parted after good hugs all around. Both Maggie and Sadie looked happy, we wish them the best!!!
Our mission completed we decided to grab a quick lunch at the Sugar Buns restaurant in the terminal.  We each had and iced tea and lobster roll, it was very good. Jeff sat and chatted with us for a bit then saddled up for home. His Mooney was blinding as it taxied by the restaurant, who cleans that plane so nice?? Mary and I settled up the bill and headed out to take a look at the war birds that were gathering on the ramp, a special treat.
The crew!!
I opted not to file since the VP's TFR didn't start until later this evening and instead decided on a VFR flight, I didn't even pick up flight following.  I did have Dover approach tuned in and listened for traffic but it was nice just to sing along with the country hits and enjoy the view. I made the call to Wilmington as we passed over Summit, KEVY. With the wx info noted, I gave my position, stated intentions and was directed for a left base runway three two.  That didn't last long and I was changed to downwind two seven. uneventful landing and taxi back to Red Eagle. Our day is done, we put the heat shields in the windows and I promised to return tomorrow to give 08Romeo a bath and reinstall the seats.  For now, time to head home, download some pictures and work on this write up.  We have a graduation party starting at 5pm that should make for a nice ending to our day.

THANKS to everyone at MAESSR that made this happen!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paperless Cockpits

I must admit I am guilty of following multiple online flying forums over the last few years.  Each forum provides a different spin on aviation topics but yet each valuable in my opinion. Lately, I have been following the buzz about "paperless cockpits" and I must say it presents a wide range of variables to choose from.
CFI and CFII post about the need for new students to use the paper, make use of all information available to flight plan.  I agree with this method since I myself went through it. However, the endless access to information electronically is so much easier, much lighter to haul around and it beats unfolding and folding while in flight.  Ok, you folks that learned to fly without all the electronic goodies are saying have the charts folded prior to the flight.  Yep, I agree and that's what I was taught to do too.  Trust me on this one, it's much easier scrolling through the pages with a swipe of the finger. 
I watched a few friends use their iPad to view VFR sectionals, IFR Low Enroute charts, the green book (AFD) and Instrument Approach Plates (IAPs).  My last instrument instructor aslo used the iPad and that really sealed the deal. I was hooked, I had to have one for my flying. I'm not into the movies or books but just simple flight tools to make my flying life safer and easier.
I decided to run a few numbers just to compare costs for each method, paper vs paperless. I needed to find a cut off so I picked everything east of the Mississippi. Here is the breakdown:

PAPER = $846.00

3 AFD's @ $5.00 each, every 56 days, say six orders -   $90
12 IAP's @ $6.00 each, every 56 days, say six orders - $432
10 ENR's @ $3.00 each, every 56 days, say six orders - $180
12 VFR @ $6.00 each, semi annual - $144

PAPERLESS = $149.99 w/iPad $800.00

ForeFlight HD (1 Year)

Moving map, weather, plates, charts, AF/D, and filing. $74.99
ForeFlight Pro (1 Year)
Adds geo-referenced instrument procedures and diagrams  $149.99
* Lets figure in the cost of an iPad with Wifi-3G, 32GB   $650 
**The cost of foreflight includes the ability for radar, satellite, IFR enroute (high or low), VFR sectional, fuel prices, flight rules, winds, temperatures, dew point spreads, ceilings, sky coverage, lightning, and more for the entire US.

The initial cost for the electronic "paperless" is still cheaper and the following years you will only have to subscribe to foreflight at $75 basic and $150 geo-referenced a year vs the paper trail expense of $846. 

I have flown with the iPad long enough and decided that I will go paperless. I still have a few of my favorite expired paper charts and may update the local sectional at least once a year just to have it.  I would have added "as a back up" but my iPhone takes care of that since foreflight lets me download the same full copy to it, at no extra cost.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Paper? Paperless? Look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day


"....Remembering them is easy, we do it everyday. There's an ache within our hearts that will never go away."

Gone but never forgotten.......Happy Fathers Day to my Dad and to Pop (Mary's Dad).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nags Head Get-Away

Planning -Wednesday 6/8

After a week of watching weather it's Wednesday evening and I am refining the wx search/reports and cleaning up my final flight plans.  Mary and I decided to cancel our room at Surfside last Friday and wing it when we get there. We have a car set up for the four days and I'm sure the FBO at Dare County Regional Airport can help us find a room or we can explore out and about to find something on our own.

Some of the wx planning I like to look at requires the following online charts on the AOPA wx pages. The Precipitation/Surface Level Precipitation chart forecasts rain accumulation for 24, 48, 60, 72, 96 and 120 hours from the chart generation time. This chart helps me visualize where the wx is moving and the rain intensity.
Another must read is the convective outlook chart that forecasts general thunderstorm activity for the valid period of the chart. This chart describes areas in which there is a risk of severe thunderstorms. General thunderstorm activity is identified on the chart by a solid green line with an arrowhead at one end. The area of general thunderstorm activity is expected to the right of the line from the direction of the arrowhead.
I also check the Prognostic (PROG) Charts, that depict pressure centers and frontal positions along with SIGMET, AIRMET, Ceiling/Visibility and Winds aloft. As of this evening we are still a go for the flight, another round of checks tomorrow afternoon and a final go/no-go decision to be made late Thursday evening.

Friday 6/10-  It's a Go!
We departed runway nine and climbed for two thousand feet heavy with fuel. Outside temps were plenty warm and I knew the climb to eight thousand would be slow but steady. I was handed off to Philly approach and directed to the Smyrna vor (ENO) intercept victor 29 airway. We were off on our vacation! I dialed in the country hits on xm radio and settled in for the two and a half hour flight.
I had dialed in Dover approach but instead due to altitude was handed off off to Washington center. 08romeo did a nice job maintaining six to seven hundred feet a minute in the climb. There was a distinct haze that shielded some of our view of distant ground targets that we use as landmarks on our flights. Our flight plan will have us follow v29, that means we would pass over the Symrna vor, direct to the Salisbury vor then follow v1 airway to the Jamie intersection down along the Delmarva peninsula, close to cherry point. From Jamie a slight left turn to Cape Charles (CCV)vor, then across the Chesapeake bay to Norfolk followed by the last leg, direct, Manteo -KMQI.
Washington handed us off to another Washington sector and they in turn handed us off to Oceania approach. Oceania gave us the direct Manteo just as we approached the Jamie intersection. This was a really nice short cut and would allow some nice shots as we followed the beach to our destination. As if I wasn't happy enough with the beach route change Oceania called out an F18 passing off our nose climbing from right to left through our altitude, a very cool sight. Picture did not capture the jet.
As we worked our way south along the coastline we were handed back to Washington center. I was given a descent and I acknowledged, leaving eight thousand descending four thousand. I maintained a steady five hundred foot a minute which makes for no added ear pressure. From four we were given two and vectored west for traffic in the area of first flight. We were number two of three aircraft heading into Manteo this morning. I was eventually turned south pointed between the destination airport and the TFR noted in my pre-flight.
F18's behind the wing
Washington center was busy and mentioned that the aircraft arriving before us did not cancel their instrument flight plan. This means we were in limbo or destined for a hold until they did cancel so we could get in. Thankfully the visibility was good and I could cancel in the air if I needed to which would allow me arrive as a normal VFR flight. All the possibilities were sorting out in my head as my fuel tank switch notice came up and I was maintaining the vector I was given. Wash center calls out traffic at 1800 feet, yes two hundred below passing down my left side a pair of F18's. Way to cool and a hell of a distraction as I make sure my altitude is rock solid but still try to spot them. I see a reflective shine, something off my ten o clock and advise I have the F18's in sight and at that moment as they pass I could now see the second aircraft tucked in tight to the lead aircraft's right wing. I wanted to key the mic and make the call, we have two bogeys count em' two, I'm in. Good God, how could I concentrate on landing now. Ok there maverick, I thought, get your head back in this cockpit and fly your plane, you goofball!
Virginia Dare memorial Bridge
Manteo
Short final 23
Wash center brings me back to this world and notes the first aircraft still did not cancel after arriving a manteo. I'm thinking ATC wants some help here. I advise I have the field in sight and will cancel in the air with him now. The controller updates on the jumpers over the field and traffic in the area then approves a frequency change, squawk vfr. I acknowledge and thank him for the help today.
Terminal KMQI
I decide on a forty five entry for the left down wind runway two three and make my calls. I am number three for the field following two aircraft as we play follow the leader in the pattern. Good spacing by each plane makes for an easy landing and taxi clear to the ramp. Unicom comes to life and the terminal asks, how can we help you today 08Romeo? Good morning, we will be here until Monday where would you like us to park, I responded. We were given a location, acknowledged and then asked if we have a car reserved. Yep we do, and I gave my name to confirm. Mary headed to the terminal for the rental and the man drove up to her to let her know if she wanted to complete the paperwork he would help me secure the plane.

Vacation Begins...

The rental ford fusion was already cool and the lineman helped me load the remaining bags in the car. My timing was perfect as Mary walked to the ramp from the terminal and climbed in. We both chimed in at once, "we're on vacation" and made our way into downtown Manteo. Honestly, we gave some thought to a plan then tossed it as we approached Darrell's, one of our local favorites for lunch. The place was busy but we were seated in just a few minutes as we made our way to our table. I immediately ordered a sweet tea and my lovely Bride had a corona. I had the flounder with a side of cole slaw and potato salad, Mary ordered the fried oysters with pickled beets.
Mary and I headed into Nags Head and decided to check in at the Surfside before heading out to explore. Surfside was busy and our room was not ready but the man at the desk offered us beach towels and use of the pool while we wait. It sounded like a plan so we dug through our bags, grabbed swimwear and changed in the indoor pool private bathrooms. We were basking in the sun in no time flat! We settled in and enjoyed the pool, waiting for the call about the room. When the call did come I hauled the bags to the room and did some unpacking, hanging up what need to be hung and making sure everything was in order. After getting the room squared away I returned to the pool to soak up more rays.
Mary and I decided it was time to head out and explore, we wanted to find JK's for our Saturday dinner stop and make a stop at dairy queen. We decided to pass on a big dinner and opted for the reverse dinning ice cream instead, it works for me. With mile posts noted for the weekends adventure we pointed the rental to the hotel and called it a day. Mary read for a while and I surfed the flying forums. I did start my journal entry and emailed it home since the iPad does not work in the blog editor. I will need to research this further.

Saturday 6/11


Jennettes Pier
What better way to start the day then breakfast at Grits and Grill. Excellent food and service in a friendly place, it's worth the stop. We spotted a Walgreen's and decided to stop for supplies so we could stock the room fridge. With supplies in hand it was time to head back to the beach and soak up some more sun. The winds are always blowing here and most of the folks we saw heading to the beach this morning were making their way back to the hotel pool, the sandblast effect obviously took a toll.
Mary and I immediately altered our plan and picked a place to park ourselves poolside, just in time as the chairs filled quickly. I thought the strong breeze felt great while broiling in the sun. I needed to really get some color on these legs of mine, they are blinding white. Mary sprayed some tanning stuff to help the process but I'm not sure it can help.
After a relaxing stint at the pool we packed up our stuff and made our way back to the room. I wish Mary had the camera, you should see me walking in these flip flops, what an ugly sight. I haven't worn those crazy things in many years, geezzz I hate those things stuck in my toes.
Duck NC
Waterfront Restaurant, Duck NC
Ok, back to the write up. We took a short nap then showered and dressed for dinner. Tonight we would do a little road trip then enjoy an awesome steak at JK's and waddle back to room. We headed north on the big road following the signs for Duck. We checked out a few hotels and really liked the Colony IV in Kitty Hawk. We enjoyed driving along soaking in the scenery and noting all the shops. Mary snapped a few shots of the horse statues along our route that we seem to collect each time we visit the area. The big road scales down to one lane each direction and traffic follows suit. The 50mph was over and 35 between stop and go's was slow and working traffic was now the norm. I'm not sure how far it was but the drive was fun and the best part was that I shared it with my bride.

Duck was a small town, not very commercialized which is plus. Plenty of mom and pop shops and restaurants. Not really sure of the beach access but we did see some roadways and small paths leading to the dunes. I don't think we would stay here but it may work for some folks who like the the out of the way places. We drove a bit more, north towards Corolla, then turned it around and headed back south for dinner. The traffic flow south was much faster and we soon were turning on to the big road and headed south for Nags Head. Along the way we made a few stops to check out a few shops; The Christmas Mouse and Forbes,the candy store. We agreed it was Time for dinner and backtracked a mile or two north to our place of choice, JK's.
The Coach store
Mary I were quickly seated and we each ordered a drink, apple martini for the bride and a sweet tea for the driver. I knew what I wanted, steak, medium well, with the lobster bisque for a starter. Mary also had the soup and we each enjoyed the hot French bread our waitress brought to the table. Dinner was served, it looked perfect, and tasted even better. I couldn't finish the red mashed and string beans with a mustard bacon type sauce,however, I didn't leave a spec of my NY strip steak. Mary had a petite fillet with the same sides and she cleaned her dish.

The owner, John, stopped by to chat a bit about dinner and to make sure we enjoyed ourselves, we certainly did. It was good to chat and he said he remembered us from our last visit, how kind and what a perfect thing to say to your guests. John is from New Jersey and that lead to a whole different chat, a good time I assure you. We wanted to skip desert but decided to order a creme brûlée and two spoons, it was a perfect ending to a great dinner.

Sunday 6/12
Sunday morning and another gorgeous sunrise, what a way to start the day. Mary and I decided on a quick light breakfast here at the hotel; cereal, fruit, coffee, juice and toast. We walked back to our room and gathered our gear for a day of hitting the shops in Manteo and a few along the main highway. First on the list was the coach store, see the happy lady in the picture above.  Next up was the Cotton Gin, this place carries a little bit of everything and we managed to take a few items home with us. Next we headed across the Bridge into Manteo and made our way to the shops located along the waterfront.
Shopping at the Cortton Gin
Our first stop is Wanchese Pottery, great hand made items along with the candle wics we like. We purchased a beautiful hand made bowl for our den, cobalt blue and dark green. We were saddened to hear that Potts the cat had passed. We looked forward to seeing this friendly guy when we would shop. At least we have some great photos of him over the years we have been going to the shop. The new surprise was hazy daisy, a petite little girl who grew up under the porch of the same local shop. The store owner said Potts didn't allow the little girl in but now she has filled the void and taken up residence, what a lucky girl. By the time we walked the shops and made our way back to the car it was closing in on lunch. We had decided this morning we would go to Sugar Creek on the way back to the hotel.
The parking lot was filling fast but we were soon walking to the door. An SUV from New York pulled into the spot next to us and when they opened the door to get out all kinds of items overflowed. This poor woman was wedged in with bed linens, clothes and baskets of stuff.  It was all we could do to refrain from busting a gut in laughter. Once inside, we were quickly seated overlooking the water at a cozy table for two. We ordered calamari for starters and followed up with seafood for the main course. A great lunch and excellent service made for the perfect choice.
It was time to head back to our hotel and change for the beach. Walking in the door with the bags I dropped one of the three, yep, the one with the pottery.  I was really ticked but Mary said let it go, crap happens. Mary was ready to go and sit by the pool, I decided to take a nap, I promised to catch up in a short time. I cranked up the ac and read for a bit, even worked on this write up. I was soon curled up and passed out on the bed, I was beat. I didn't sleep very well last night but woke up after my nap feeling refreshed and ready to go.

I headed down to pool where I found Mary still broiling in the sun and needing to be turned over. I pulled up a chair and closed my eyes enjoying the warm sun that was working overtime to add some color to these hopeless legs. I guess we stayed out until dinner then made a beer run to the local seven-eleven. Gotta love the south, you can buy wine or beer everywhere. Mary was happy as she emerged with her corona in hand and two limes along with a phone number for a pizza place. We ordered a pizza to be delivered to the hotel and settled in for the night.

Monday 6/13
After multiple wx checks last night while watching storms, on Vans Airforce wx, pass by our home in Delaware, I felt comfortable with the flight plan for home. I am going to file direct ORF then CCV V1 SBY V29 KILG, home.
Mary and I decided on breakfast back at Grits & Grill.  It's a fast turn around since it was early and we beat the regular crowd. We wanted to check out the "new" Jennette's Pier and pick up a few things for Mary's Mom before checking out of our room. We headed south just over a half mile from our hotel and pulled into the freshly paved parking area of the pier.

Rays swimming around the pier
In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel swept the North Carolina coast, knocking down about 540 feet of Jennette’s Pier and practically shutting down an Outer Banks institution. It then became time to rethink the fishing pier concept, with the Aquariums taking the lead to rebuild Jennette’s as an all-concrete, 1,000-foot-long, educational ocean pier.
On May 22, 2009, Governor Beverly Perdue led a gathering of legislators, local officials, and Aquarium leaders for a “sand-breaking” on the site of the new $25 million Jennette’s Pier, seventy years to the day from the first construction. It's an Awesome place to enjoy the beach.

It was time to get back to the hotel and the sky was starting to cloud up as you can see in the south beach views. We returned to the hotel and packed up our room then checked out. We headed north a few blocks to make a stop at Forbes for fudge and peanut brittle for Mom and we still needed to fill up the rental car. I topped the tank in Manteo then made a stop at the waterfront shops so we could replace the hand made bowl we had just purchased yesterday at Wanchese Pottery.

We rolled through the gates and readied 08Romeo for flight. Once ready for start up I ran the car back to the terminal and settled up the bill. It's a short walk to the plane and Mary had the doors open taking in the breeze. I completed my final checks and got the fan turning. I made a call to Flight Service to open my instrument flight plan. There was one change from the filed plan and that was direct ECG then as filed. No biggie, plug and chug we're ready.  I advise I'm number one to go, runway five and acknowledge my void times.
KMQI from the cross wind departure
08Romeo climbs out for five thousand direct Elizabet City (ECG). As I am climbing out Washington center clears me to seven thousand and direct CCV, Cape Charles.  I'm handed off to Oceania and they change my roue to direct ORF, Norfolk then as filed. Ok, doesn't anybody want me in their airspace? I am now in the clouds making the changes as fast as they give them to me and trying to enjoy the actual time. I am tuning VOR's just in case and running what if potential landing situations through my mind as I keep the scan going.
Oceania hands me off to Norfolk and they hand me off to patuxent. I am now in the clear at seven thousand literally hands off flying on course and altitude.  Along the way I run through more IMC and it's smooth and very bright inside the clouds. Patuxent hands me off to Dover and they spoil my party directing me to descend to five thousand. I'm looking at the clouds ahead and know that I will be in the soup at five but comply. Sure enough I'm in it, it's not bright and smooth in here but getting dark and bumpy.  Mary gives me the look and before I could say a word she says I don't like the bumps when I can't see around us. Without hesitation I call Dover with a request; Approach, 08Romeo request-- 08Romeo say request -- 08Romneo would like lower, I'm IMC and it's really bumpy -- 08Romeo descend 3000 -- Leaving 5000 descending 3000, 08Romeo.
Ok, I know I'll be clear but I will also be under the layer and that means bumps too. Mary's ok with that as long as we can see when riding out the rough stuff. Dover hands us off to Philly and they call out some traffic. One is VFR skimming along the bottom of the layer as he passes of our nose a few miles and a few hundred feet higher. After that we are handed off to Wilmington and cleared visual runway one. I contact Wilmington and as directed continue inbound for runway one and report 3 mile.
Just for practice I chug and plug the ILS RWY 1 and activate it. It's good practice and as long as I am eyes outside it works. Less than a mile with two notches of flaps in and just under 500 feet, looking good needles in the bubble as I glance in to confirm. Right at that very moment Mary calls out HAWK!! I am immediatly eyes out front and just see this crazy bird coming head on trying to go vertical giving us a full body view with wings spread tip to tip that I would swear spanned our prop. He looks to be going up and i nose over slightly, the hawk does a left wing over, and dip under us just to our left.  I bank right then left waiting to hear the bang, nothing. He missed, we missed, my seat cushion vanished! The Hawk was between the next two photos to give an idea how close we were on final.
I'm over the numbers and getting stall horn still twenty plus feet high. Power, power, settle, more stall horn, power...it was like the first time my PPL instructor asked me to fly the runway, holding it off a couple of feet, except this was way uglier. I finally set it down about 2500 feet past the numbers. I let the tower know that one was ugly but my hands were still shaking from the near miss bird strike, they responded welcome home. We taxied to our tie down and once shut down I just sat. I was happy to be on the ramp and not in another position, one of many bad ones running through my head.
As I finish up this write up I am sipping the second of my double captain and cokes. For those of you that don't know me, well, that's a rare happening. To those of you that do know me, you know that's a reach for this guy who only enjoys ice tea.  We enjoyed our short get-away vacation and have called it a second honeymoon....We are glad to be home!