Friday, August 31, 2012

Wet Weekend

Our planned departure out of KILG is for 3:15 today or 1915 Zulu time. It looks like the forecast is only getting better!
The pilot and copilot
Looking across the Delaware Bay
The RV Park
Our flight was pretty straight forward.  As soon as we got handed off to Philly they gave me climb to 4000.  Philly passed us off to Dover and they quickly gave me direct Ocean City then handed us off to Patuxent. Pax descended me back down to 3000 and we road along for a short time.  Once I reported the field in site I canceled and switched to CTAF to monitor local traffic.  I was number two to land runway three two and completed the flight with a nice landing. We placed a call to Lombardi's for pizza and made the pick up enroute to the motor home.
Mary went in to get the pizza
pizza secure, next stop 64th street market for beer and supplies
I'm on patrol here.....when is Mom coming out of the market?
Saturday 9/1

Saturday was a lazy day.  I took a look at what I needed to do to replace the jack leveling spring on the motor home.  I was worried how hard it would be to lift the jack in question without a spring, turns out it went pretty smooth.  I got it started with a pry bar (long 1/2" extension) then slid the scissor jack from the VW Cabrio under the landing pad and cranked away.  I got the jack to retract all the way and once the hydraulic system was shut down I couldn't pull it back by hand.
The ground was still pretty wet so I decided I would repeat the process when we decide to pull out of the RV park. I'll add a safety tie wire to make sure it doesn't drop on the ride north. After the rig is home I'll get it taken care of at the local shop.

Mary headed to the pool and once cleaned up I joined her.  We enjoyed a refreshing dip and catching some rays.  I left once the kids that invaded started the high pitched screams and squeals, to much for me to handle. Once we got settled in I cooked dinner  for us both. I made chicken over grits with shredded cheddar cheese mixed in and some mixed veggies, it was pretty good.

Sunday 9/2

Today had a crappy start after listening to the rain pound on the coach during the early morning hours mixed in with some thunder and lightening. It gets worse, I cleaned up the car Saturday at the local car wash and spent some time with the vac cleaning out Maggie hair. We decided to change the "sling" she broke/rides in and instead opted for a nice beach towel covering the back leather seats. Ahh...the car was once again clean and the seats protected. I took Maggie out this morning and noticed I had left the windows open all the opening sentence of this paragraph. 

I headed over to ACE hardware and picked up a small wet dry vac and cleaned the car, again! Water was dripping off the floor mats when I removed them and it took three beach towels to get everything dry, damp. I did pick up a container of DryRid to help remove the remaining dampness and prevent mold or mildew.  Once I was finished I checked out the wx and wasn't to happy.  There was some sun peaking out but what was moving east was going to rain on our remaining holiday weekend. We made the decision to bug out and head home.

I picked up my clearance with Washington C/D and launched for home.  We had a simple change and that was to head west to SBY. Once patuxent got an ident on us they quickly turned me to the ATR VOR over Lewes Delaware. The ride north got worse and as you can see we were in for a ride when we get to Wilmington. I had planned for KMQS -Chester County to be my alternate just in case.  By the looks of the wx and our timing KMQS was looking better if I couldn't make it into Wilmington.  I made the decision to make one try then go missed and head to MQS.

Philly gave me the GPS RWY 9 approach as expected and sent me on my way but keeping me high. It was very windy with +/- 20 degree swings, heavy rain with 500+/- lifts and drops at its worst. I crossed DREFF at 3000, as directed, then started my descent according to the plate. I must say I shot my toughest approach to date. Trying to hold 3000 with lifts pushing me to 3400 then back to 2800 and holding three. up and down, Mary called it the roller coaster. I wish I had a chance to take a picture of the yellow and orange we flew through as I turned in from AWINN.
My Bride road out the approach like a real trooper. Maggie on the other hand kept licking Mary’s hand, I’m sure if she could talk she would be asking why we can’t see out the windows and what the heck are we doing here! Maggie’s look was reinforced when Philly asked how the ride was and to expect heavy rain. I just told them we were good, in the rain now, I wanted to tell them I'm kind of busy here. I broke out at 700’, minimum descent altitude was 520’. I drove along between 600' and 520’ and finally had the runway in view, dang, it looked beautiful! GWe got drenched securing the plane but we had a good laugh looking at each other dripping wet.
Driving forward at 520'
Mary got all the approach pictures once we broke out....good job!!
Burger and beer for my Bride and a double captain and coke for me to wash down my burger. 1.5 for the ride home, .4 IMC and one approach added to the log, with a few memories.


Diggerdavid said...

Wow! So what are your minimums again? Good job!

Rob Schaffer said...

Wow Gary, great job! Exciting to read your story, and concerning seeing that yellow on the 496. Glad you, Mary, and Maggie made it down the chute safely. Sounds like you are planning to pull out the camper soon?

Gary said...

pretty much minimums on the approach plate. I don't launch into anything less that allows me to get back in with some safety margin.

Yep mid October is what we're shooting for. Hope you guys are still camping then, maybe we can all meet up before we winterize.

Chris said...

Nicely done, Gary. Kudos to Mary for taking pictures, my wife would have been clutching the bottom of her seat (that shot over the numbers is particularly nice!).

Gary said...

Mary is getting really good in actual. I ask her to look for ground contact in front of the wing or when getting to the FAF look over the nose for the runway.

Now if we could get the dog to chill out when in the clag, she gets real licky and sometimes puts her head up on my right shoulder, sort of like balancing a bowling ball.

Steve said...

Phew, what a workout. Probably not the kind of thing you were looking forward to when you started working on your IR. On the other hand, no way you'd have been able to complete the trip VFR-only either!

Anonymous said...

Late comment! Watched you on Flightaware, and listened into Live ATC coming into Wilmington, way cool (as my daughter would say). Your inspiring me to get my instrument rating! Watching you heading south today (9-26), can’t wait to read about it. Charlie (N57)