Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lewes, DE via OCMD

Stole this from yesterdays photos
Mary and I had plans for a hop to Ocean City Maryland this morning, depending on how she felt.  I was up early getting a final check on wx when I heard the shower running upstairs, I'm thinking the flight is a go.  I finish up my routine and decide not to file today, instead I'm going to listen to some music and monitor Philly, Dover and Patuxent Approach.

Mary is feeling somewhat better, slight headache but more sinus than anything else seems to be slowing her down. 08Romeo is already fueled from yesterdays flight so it's a uncover, pre-flight, tug out, park the SUV in the hangar, get Mary out of the SUV and on board the plane then fire up 08Romeo.
Looking down the Delaware Rive to the Bay (Salem Nuke plant in the picture)
I just love the Reiff pre-heats, oil temps just below the green and 08Romeo turns over like she's been running all day. Since New Garden is bumpy I utilize the short field technique each departure. A notch of flaps, stand on the brakes until RPM's come up then release. Holding yoke pressure back I'm quickly into ground effect and building speed. I give 08Romeo her head and climb out, once positive climb I retract the flaps and off we go.

It's a smooth flight at 3.5 listening to holiday music on XM and enjoying the view. Dover didn't seem to busy but I did monitor as we made our way south. Eventually I switched to OC's CTAF and made my position and intentions calls to advise local traffic. Winds favored runway 2 so I was set for a nice transition to enter the left down wind and made a smooth landing.

I secured the plane and Mary went in the terminal, she didn't need to be in any cold or wind. I walked through the terminal and out to the airport car, our VW Cabrio.  Easy peasy, uncovered and started no problem then I drove to the terminal to pick up my Bride. We decided on driving up the coastal highway to Lewes, DE., almost an hour one way. It's still cheaper than renting a car at Georgetown (GED) or only have a couple of hours in the courtesy car.
We made a stop at Lloyds market for Milton sausage, it's her Aunt and Uncles favorite so we always try to pick some up, I know I've mentioned the name in prior posts. After Lloyds we drove down 2nd street looking for parking but had no luck. 
I ended up parking in a bank parking lot that was closed today and it had an alley we found that went to 2nd street. Mary had called in our order to the Bake Shoppe this morning so we strolled in, the glass case was almost empty, but we knew we were getting the goods. The Lewes Bake Shoppe Ooey Gooey Sticks are tops! We also picked up some flaky pumpkin spice sticks (pictured left side of the box).

We still hadn't eaten or had anything to drink this morning and with all the sticky buns, ooey gooey sticks and what not it was decided to find real eats. I turned and headed into town, crossing the draw bridge, looking to have lunch along the canal at the Irish Eyes Pub.
Mary had cream of crab soup and crab bruschetta. Tomato bruschetta topped with crab meat, shaved parmesan and topped with balsamic drizzle. I had the Bangers and Mash, two sausages (Irish Bangers), mashed potatoes, cabbage and peas.

We were stuffed! We loaded up our goods and decided to call it a day. I came north from OCMD along the coastal highway, I decided to go back to the airport by crossing SR1 and following RT9, passing by Georgetown Airport (KGED) clear across to RT113. I turned south and clipped along at a very brisk pace, but to no avail, it still took us an hour.

The fuel truck was having PTO problems so I needed to self fuel before heading home. I taxied 08Romeo to the pumps and took on 20 gallons to bring me just a touch over the 20 a side to the slots mark, I called it 40 total on the Garmin 530.

I taxied out to runway 2 and after completing a run up launched for home.  The wx had changed a bit and the clear sky was everywhere around home but here at the beach it started to develop quite the layer. It looked to be around thirty five hundred or there abouts so off we went.

I climbed to 2,800 and slowly watched the layer coming down, I stayed ahead of it down to 2,500 as I approached the Waterloo (ATR) VOR.  I had already called for flight following as soon as I climbed out of OCMD, I knew I was going to need a pop up to get home or at least half way there, to the Dover area. The XM wx was showing clear north of Dover, it's been very accurate for me on previous missions.
I contacted Dover with a request for a pop up to get into N57 and the controller once again asked me my type aircraft. Bravo Echo two three, /G, 4 hours fuel, 2 souls on board, level 2.5. Dover directed me to climb to 5,000 direct ENO (Smyrna), I acknowledged. I was just turning to avoid the layer closing in as he gave me the clearance. After looking at Marys face and the eye roll from the two souls comment to approach, I flowed into a new heading and was making my way towards ENO. I had to get my head in the game and chug and plug a plan into the 530.

First step was to keep flying the plane and I plugged in direct ENO, this cross fed to my 496. I switched the 496 toggle switch(zaon/garmin) to disable the cross feed and also tuned the ENO VOR on the Collins NAV 2. I was tracking legal with Nav 2 and smart with additional situational awareness on the 496.  With that set I plugged in the amended routing Dover was reading back to clear me to N57 instead of just ENO then flipped the toggle to cross feed the 530 back to the 496. Somewhere in there I gave Dover a report on temps, bottom of the layer and ride. Once on top I provided another report of temps, top of layer and the smooth ride.
Looking across the Delaware Bay, under there somewhere.
I was handed off to Philly and road along for only a short time. I elected to cancel since I was now breaking out into clear sky just as the XM on the 496 was showing me. I spotted N57 for a second straight day and made my calls for position. A smooth landing with a slight cross wind, two in a row getting home, and our beach adventure is complete. I would love to type more but there is a hot English breakfast tea and half an ooey gooey calling my name!

Friday, November 29, 2013

More Heat, Test Flight

I had been following a post on the BAC forum concerning heat in the cabin.  08Romeo makes good heat for the front but the two air outlets located near the feet of back seat occupants doesn't get real hot. Dave G had mentioned his approach to limiting the fresh air mix with the hot air.

"I thought I'd close off this thread. Taping off the mixer valve fresh air intake duct (at the cowl side) has made a huge impact. It was unseasonably cold this morning (12F on the surface at takeoff) when my wife and I flew to Chicago. It was about 15F outside most of the flight. Once we got up to altitude (5500) and leaned for maximum EGT, WOW did we get heat. With the cabin heat full on, I was getting so much heat that the instrument panel was getting hot. It was actually uncomfortable to leave your feet forward on the rudders.
Unfortunately, the heat doesn't get to the back of the plane very well. I had to leave the heat full on to make it tolerable for the rear seat passengers. I may have to fly in shorts in the winter.

On the return trip (at night), the temps were about the same. It took a little longer due to headwinds, and we eventually got the plane warmed up enough that we were all comfy (OK I was dying of heat). I actually had to reduce the heat control and the OAT was about 14.

I did try adding in the defroster. It moves a lot of very hot air, and is very loud. It definitely adds a lot of heat to the cabin, but I don't like to leave it on full since it heats up that windshield pretty good.

Anyway, If anyone wants more heat in an old Musketeer, taping off that duct seems to do it."

I taped off my fresh air vent on the lower cowl and it produced more heat and put an end to the cold air flow to the rear floor vents. My concern was being able to maintain enough fresh air if needed. I opened the vents on each side of the cabin and it blew ice cold.  I should mention that the air at 3,000 yesterday was 22*F. The overhead vents still crank out fresh air since they are fed from a separate air intake.
I95 & SR1 new connection left and KILG top right
Vince and I did a test flight to Cape May for lunch and the cabin seemed much warmer overall. I think it's a combination of the restricted fresh air flow and the new cabin door seals replaced at annual. We still had plenty of fresh air when needed, which I turned on Vince while he was flying...hehe. He confirmed, it was COLD air.

The real test will be tomorrow when Mary and I head to Ocean City for a day of cruising around in the beach buggy. We'll hit some shops at the outlets, the bakery in Lewes and enjoy the day together. We shall see how warm the plane review is.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is truly a day to give thanks, spending time with family and friends, enjoying the traditional turkey with all the fixins. We will be spending the day with my Brother Joe and his wife Janice in their new home.
A special thanks to all who serve in our military and provide us the very freedoms we at home enjoy. May you be safe and come home soon.
Since we are discussing Turkey Day and the fixins, I thought it would be a good time to mention the current hot topic in aviation, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
I guess this means no seconds and hold off on the dessert. :(
From the EAA Web page...

November 21, 2013 - Acting swiftly on the heels of major opposition to a recently announced FAA aeromedical policy on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a bipartisan bill was introduced today in the House of Representatives that would require the measure to undergo a formal rulemaking process with an opportunity for public comment before being implemented.

The bill is sponsored by Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Aviation, along with Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Sam Graves (R-MO).

The proposed sleep apnea policy, announced by Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Fred Tilton, would initially require all pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater and a neck size of 17 inches or greater to undergo screening for sleep apnea prior to certification. Dr. Tilton also indicated a plan to expand the program until "we have identified and assured treatment for every airman with OSA."
EAA strongly supports the bill and urges its quick passage. A measure subjecting a similar rule in the commercial trucking industry to rulemaking passed both chambers unanimously and was signed into law last month.

"Any policy this sweeping and potentially costly to our community must require input from all stakeholders before it is enacted," said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. "We have consulted with highly knowledgeable and respected doctors on our Aeromedical Advisory Council and the message is clear: This is bad policy. We will continue to fight it on all fronts."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cabrio Service Flight

Mary and I decided to leave our airport car in Ocean City MD at KOXB.  So, this week we planned on a flight to the beach in order to top off the fuel, give the car a good run then cover and add a solar charger.
Early to bed on Friday for an early morning flight today.  One problem, Mary is so tired from the IV Migraine cocktail  three days this week that she asked me to look for someone else to go. I sent a text to Mike but no response, I followed up with a text to Vince and he was ready to go.

I picked Vince up and we headed to New Garden, I'm still getting used to this commute. The wind was blowing and the temps this morning were hovering around 40*. Vince blurted it out first, "how nice not having to roll up 300' of extension cord and preflight indoors". I couldn't agree more!
Delaware River at the top of the Delaware Bay
08Romeo was ready to fly, however, we first taxied to the fuel pump and added 22 gallons which brought us right around 46 for our total. With the sump completed we fire up and headed out to runway 24.  I added a notch of flaps due to the bumpy runway and trying to get in the air ASAP. AT 1000' I turned on course and handed over the flying to Vince.
Delaware Bay
It was a smooth flight at 4,500 cruising along at a ground speed of 145+, yes 145+ for the Sundowner. Indicated was sitting on 100 knots, love a tail wind. We monitored Dover for traffic and enjoyed the view riding south. Vince positioned us for a left down wind for runway 32 since winds were 340 at 11 gusting high teens to twenty knots.

I took over on down wind abeam the numbers and squeaked in a nice landing making the first turn off. Hmmm, maybe New Gardens narrow short runway is honing the skills. We quickly secured the aircraft and headed into the terminal.

Lonely mouse on the ramp
I paid for the car parking until April 2014, $125 out the window in a blink. We uncovered the Cabrio and took her for a spin wanting to get the temps up to normal operating numbers. I also wanted to top off the tank with high test and add gas dry, which I forgot. With a short run completed and tank filled we secured the Cabrio along with adding a solar charger.
We headed back out to 08Romeo and pointed her towards Cambridge, KCGE. All this work required a breakfast run! The winds were now off the nose and although it was still fairly smooth it was much slower. I did pick up flight following with Patuxent Approach since we were passing below Restricted area R-4006. I crossed midfield to enter the left down wind for runway 34 and followed with another greaser. There was room on the ramp today so I tucked 08Romeo on the back line so we could grab some eats.
This goes with the 530 picture above, serious head winds
We timed it perfect and were quickly seated with a nice view of the ramp. Breakfast was perfect, I couldn't finish the cheese omelette or the home fries, to much food. We waddled back to the plane and headed for home. Headwinds were brutal coming north as you can see by the indicated speed of 120 and the ground speed of 105.

There was a pretty stiff crosswind upon our return to New Garden. I entered the left down wind and extended a bit to make sure I was set for base to final turn. Normally I will not use the third notch of flaps in stiff winds but for some reason I did this time. I needed power to cross the valley and greased another landing for the day.  Vince said it's been my best since coming to N57. :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Wager With The Wind

Publisher Comments:

Don Sheldon has been called 'Alaska's bush pilot among bush pilots', but he was also just one man in a fragile airplane who, in the end, was solely responsible for each mission he flew, be it a high-risk landing to the rescue of others from certain death in the mountains of Alaska or the routine delivery of supplies to a lonely homesteader. Read James Greiner's Wager with the Wind to learn how a hero was born, and also how he made his courageous journey to the unknown skies of dealing with cancer.

About the Author

James Greiner is an author of children's books. Published credits of James Greiner include Rebelde Con Causa/Taking Charge and Wager with the Wind: The Don Sheldon Story.
Wager with the Wind reminded me of the book Artic Bush Pilot. I found myself hangar flying, sitting by that fire in a cabin with Greiner as he retold the amazing stories of Don Sheldon's flights, missions of compassion and daring rescue. I could easily picture myself wide eyed and soaking in each event as he would provide every twist. Sheldon was a master of his craft, not just the aircraft, but the art of bush flying and dealing with weather and terrain.

I started this book about a month ago then got sidetracked with work and Mary's health. Every night I would pick it up and set it down wanting to just sleep. This morning I picked up the book and took it to the hospital with me. I had plenty of time to read while Mary went through her infusion treatment for her migraines.

I backtracked and started from page one. I knocked out 256 pages and wanted more. A very good read, easy to follow even though one event rolls into another and each flight leaves you wanting more.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Annual 2013

Annual Day 1

My annual started out like a typical work day, up and out with the dog then shower and go. I needed to get some fuel in my ML320 or I would be eventually coasting down I-95.  I had agreed to pick up Vince at 7:15 and I pulled in front of his house at 7:14, it's a good day.  We made a stop at Dunkin for my daily medium black tea, hot with sugar and a dozen donuts for the guys at the shop.

When we arrived 08Romeo was already inside the shop.  I uncovered and stored the pitot cover and cowl plugs along with the tail cone and airplane covers.  I got the upper and lower cowl removed and then I assisted Keith as we started on the engine inspections and oil change. Vince helped Stan get 08Romeo off the ground and then went straight to work assisting with the wheel removal, inspections and bearing repack. Jeremy climbed inside and started removing the interior for inspection. 08Romeo had hands all over her, she was getting the full shop treatment, all hands on deck.
Vince -main gear bearing repack
Compressions on the cold soaked engine were 73/78/74/78. I removed the remaining plugs, cleaned them in the blaster then regapped, added anti-seize and new copper washers. All the plug wire connections get cleaned with MEK and that gets checked off the list. Once the wires were done I did the reinstall and torqued each plug to 35psi.  Keith found a tiny crack in a exhaust bracket and completed the R&R on that. I checked every nut and bolt on exhaust, intake and oil return lines. The no-heat issue is resolved. I'm embarrassed to say when I removed the top cowl at the hangar to give everything a once over I did not see the hose disconnected from the muffler shroud, it was still hanging in the proper position.  I guess I should have removed the bottom cowl to get a better look. Where is that smiley face hitting itself over the head with a hammer?
Cracked exhaust clamp
Vince removed all the under-wing inspection panels and both of the wing tips. I had removed the tail cone this morning after the cowl was done. Upon inspection the brakes still looked brand new, replaced last year. The left side brake caliper was leaking and needed a new O ring seal. When taken apart there were some very light scratches in the caliper piston well that needed to be honed prior to repair. Bearing grease still looked fresh and plentiful but everything was cleaned degreased and repacked.
Pilot side coming out
copilot side removal
Keith pulled the reset switch for the ELT and reconnected the blue wire to the switch. I can now reset from the outside using the little trap door about the size of a fifty cent piece if needed. Upon reinstall he left a DNA sample, it almost matched 08Romeo's red accent colors.  It was a tight fit reaching in to get the switch in and out but as always Keith gets it done.
servicing the Gascolator
All the lube points were addressed, control surfaces checked for operation and excessive play. Vince took care of the nose wheel removal, bearing repack and reinstall under shop supervision, he does nice work. After letting the filter drain most of the day it was cut open for inspection, it looked clean, no carbon or metal. That about did us in for day one, more scheduled for tomorrow.

Annual Day 2

Day two is under way as we roll into the shop just after 8am. The temps have really taken a dip today and the winds are blowing.  I'm so thankful to be in a heated hangar getting this work done. We picked up with final inspections and sign offs. Inspection plates were reinstalled, interior returned to its correct locations and batteries serviced. It was time to bleed the brakes and check for a leak in a line located near the wing spar that runs out to the right main. The fittings were checked and tightened since there was some gummy fluid remains on the wing spar inspection panel. I hadn't lost any brake fluid so the leak wasn't out of control but it did need more investigation. The system to bleed the brakes dialed up almost 200psi and the shop went over every inch of line and fittings before they passed inspection. I was relieved to hear the request for the spar cover.
Getting the wax on
08Romeo was cleared to be lowered to the floor. As the jack stands were removed and the final skirting around the mains buttoned up she was once again looking like a plane ready to fly. We opened the shop door and rolled her out for a run up and leak test. I jumped inside, it was nice to be out of the wind and cold. With several shots of prime 08Romeo came to life, it felt good to hear her running, purring along, ready to go home. After a good warm up I did a run up, gauges in the green, everything looked normal and sounded good. With the test complete we rolled her back in the shop and broke for lunch.
Vince lining up a castle nut for the cotter pin install
I packed a lunch today so I ate my left over hoagie from yesterday while I ran to an auto parts store for wax. I purchased a bag of microfiber rags, Meguiar's/SwirlX swirl remover polish, Meguiar's/Cleaner liquid wax and a 6-Inch Orbital Buffer.  I have a heavy duty buffer but I wouldn't want to use it and burn the paint. Instead the 6" will make applying the cleaner/wax easy and save my arms and shoulders.  The key here is the SwirlX swirl remover polish, an awesome product! It's 4:30, Vince and I are heading home. No ELT battery or air filter yet today so it looks like we'll finish up tomorrow.

I did get a text from Mary that my cabin door seals are in.  Yay!  I'll get those installed tomorrow, with pictures and then write the check so I can fly 08Romeo home.

Annual Day 3

My body is sore from the waxing even though I think Vince did more of the hard work. It's 6:21 and I'm getting my day started with another hot shower since last nights shower didn't wash away the sore joints. My lunch is packed, the new door seals are ready to go and I managed to sneak some home made apple crisp Mary made for dessert last night, good stuff. Besides, the snack helps me take two Advil that should help the sore joints and torn tendon in the left foot.
pilot side old door seal
copilot side old door seal removal
The shop is active as I pull up to park. I get started right away on my cabin door seals. I did check on the air filter and ELT, not on the UPS truck yesterday so I'm keeping my fingers crossed the parts get here today. I removed the door keepers so my cabin door could swing all the way open and lay against the cowling. It was labor intensive, first removing the old seal with all the scraping then wire wheel, carefully, then cleaning with MEK. Of course I forgot the after pictures.....must have been all the MEK fumes.
cleaned with MEK, awaiting adhesive
UPS showed up with the filter and ELT battery, I'm in business. Keith did the ELT install and I knocked out the Brackett air filter. With everything completed the final invoice was tallied.
  • Annual 4 place aircraft $755
  • Owner assist -$100
  • Additional Labor 2.7 hours  $183.60
  • Parts  $296.52
    • Oil/Filter
    • Plug Gaskets
    • Oil Analysis kit,(forgot one of my ten)
    • Pneumatic filter and Regulator filter
    • Weather strip seal - to secure glareshield and eliminate rattle
    • Exhaust clamp
    • ELT Battery
    • Brackett Air Filter
    • Brake cylinder seal
    • Structural screws
  • Consumables-shop supplies $45
TOTAL $1,180.12

Pre-flight and run up went fine. I launched for New Garden and road out the bumps in the windy conditions. I actually made my best landing to date getting home. The winds were crazy coming over the valley at the runway two-four approach but I was ready and went with the flow. I tucked 08Romeo away, heater plugged in, plane all clean and shiny just waiting for our next adventure.

Jean, thanks so much for the ride back to 58M-Elkton, you saved my bacon today!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Breaking The Chain

While surfing through the Pilots of America forum I stumbled on a great post.  Ted D got this one started following a post about a PA32 crash near IRK.

The discussion came up that, as pilots, we should talk more about experiences when we broke the accident chain. I thought it would be best in the "Lessons Learned" section since some people might be more comfortable posting anonymously.

Too often, we read about NTSB reports and talk about what we would have done differently. However, that's looking at a situation where the worst has happened. The reality is, that could happen to any of us. While there are varying causes, I suspect that part of it is a typical unwillingness by pilots to deviate from a plan because we tend to want to stick to our plan. After all, the chances are that it will be fine. This part is true. But we also know that very few people in NTSB reports got into a plane with the intent of crashing, which means they were in the same shoes we are. I think if we talk more openly about how we have broken the accident chain, maybe that will keep it more in everyone's minds. So I'll start with a couple of experiences, interestingly on the same trip.

I added my "Break the Chain" experience to the forum post. 

My flight was a quick turn and burn, Wilmington (KILG) to first flight (KFFA), just under 500 miles round trip. I wanted some flight time and my friend who will fly my plane on occasion wanted to meet up with family on vacation. The plan was to fly down with him and then fly my plane home since he was driving back with them. The flight down was uneventful. We did the intros then I saddled up for home.

This was back in August 2011, when there were TFR's for the fires south of Virginia Beach and north of Elizabeth City, NC. I had enough fuel on board for the round trip and after picking up my clearance I was heading north. This was one of those trips, riding along fat dumb and happy listening to some tunes while working with approach. I even managed a PIREP for Center when they asked about the smoke.

I was checking my times as I headed north dealing with headwinds. I actually used my AP (wing leveler) and ran through my calcs once again. I figured on 10-12 gallons on board when landing at ILG. I would be landing just after sunset and if there were problems I wanted more of a safety factor in the tanks. I used the 496 to look up Georgetown's (KGED) hours and they would be closed for fuel so I advised approach I would be diverting to Salisbury (KSBY)for fuel. Approach asked if it was a fuel emergency or minimum fuel, I responded neither, just being safe. I landed, took on enough to bring me to tabs each tank (30 gallons) and launched for home. I enjoyed a great sunset and a nice landing at ILG.

The potential accident chain:

1) Getting into to my magic hour of fuel.
2) Headwinds greater than planned.
3) My go-to fuel stop was closed.
4) Deciding to roll the dice and just get home (get-there-it is).
5) Potential for fuel exhaustion and turning 08R into a glider at night.

I made the decision with 40 minutes left to get home to break the chain at 4 and divert for fuel. Tempting maybe for some to continue since the preferred fuel stop was closed but that little voice in my head didn't want to be a statistic. (First Flight and Home)

What's your break the chain experience??

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Ready For Annual

Mike and Vince headed up to New Garden this morning so they could fly 08Romeo to annual.  I had scheduled my oil change for the ML320 at 8:30 and I didn't want to wait another week since I was just over my mileage between changes.
We swapped a few text messages and 08Romeo was in the air as I was leaving the shop.  Traffic was moving pretty good and I was "keeping with the flow", I'll leave it at that. Vince sent me a text that they were on the ground and I was just getting on RT 40, still twenty minutes out.
I arrived at the shop in time to help push back and secure 08Romeo.  With the reposition completed we piled in my SUV and headed to Wilmington. Mike was going to fly the Cirrus today and invited Vince and I to tag along.
Mike completed the pre-flight and we were ready to go.
The plan was to head south west to Cambridge, KCGE.  Lunch at Kays! It was a quick flight, the SR22 really gets after it. I did get some stick time but I still feel distracted by the glass. Mike reminded me eyes out. He was right, I was fixating on the panel.  With that I picked a spot way out over the nose and pointed the Cirrus at it.

Mike took control as we approached, making the decision to abandon the attempt at logging an approach in order to flow with traffic. It was very busy today at Cambridge. Mike was a bit high and fast but dialed it in and made a sweet landing.
We enjoyed lunch, watching aircraft come and go along with good food and company,what a combination. With full tummy's we decided to head for home. It was a quick trip north zipping along at 160 knots. Mike made another nice landing into ILG.
I dropped Vince off at home then Mike and I drove up to New Garden so he could pick up his car. When we got there we saw an ultra-light parked in the field just north of my hangar. We sat while it warmed up then we watched the guy fly one round in the pattern. He had to be freezing his buns off!! I did get to meet up with Charlie. We met at Cecil Aero after he had been reading my blog. It's always nice to meet readers! Great to catch up this afternoon Charlie!

A FUN day flying and I can't thank Mike enough for flying 08Romeo for me. Vince got some stick time in my Sundowner which is always a good thing for him. Thanks Vince for helping Mike get the plane out and ready to fly!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Photo Shoot

Today was our scheduled trip to Boston but since Mary is still not feeling good, fighting a two week series of migraines, we decided to scrub.

With a day to play in the clear blue sky and perfect temps I decided to flight test my 'attempted' heater repair then do a photo shoot on my project in Cape May NJ and Lewes DE. Vince was planing to meet me at the airport so I headed to New Garden on my own.

I securely mounted my new Switchbox and gave it a go.  It took a few seconds from the time I sent the text with the free iPhone controller app to the power switching on, very cool!  No more extra round trip drives to the airport to plug in and since I'm in the hangar no more 300' of extension cords, life is good.

With the preheat issue resolved I moved on to a quick clean up.  It's so nice to use a California duster then tug 08Romeo out to the taxi-lane for start up. I pulled my SUV in the hangar and closed up the doors, I was ready to fly. Vince arrived and he looked over the like new Garmin 530 with its squeaky clean screen and WAAS start up info screens.

I taxied out to runway two four, completed my run up and announced my intentions. New Garden was busy this morning, glider activity in full swing, a Cessna 170 convention filling up the ramp and a few war birds parked on the main ramp too. Absent any radio calls and a visual confirmation that the pattern and approach are clear I roll out for departure. I really need to maintain a short field attitude and use a notch of flaps to get me in the air and off the bumpy runway quicker.
08Romeo climbs out to one thousand feet before turning south in order to maintain noise abatement procedures.  The sky is clear and visibility is amazing! It's a quick trip to Cape May with tail winds pushing us along in the 120 plus range. Vince spotted a blimp on the Jersey coast line as it started across the Delaware Bay and snapped off some pics. I zeroed in on the Ferry Terminal and announced circling on station at the terminal at two thousand, west of the airport on WWD's CTAF.
We circled for three rounds then climbed back to six thousand five hundred before crossing the bay. Passing below on the surface there was a ferry heading to Lewes and one coming from Lewes to Cape May. As we approached Lewes I descended to two point two and made three rounds to get the pictures I wanted. Vince did a great job!
It was time for lunch, so we pointed 08Romeo towards Georgetown and made the short hop. Vince commented that my landing was one of the best he ever felt and maybe that short narrow field at N57 was a good thing. I told him don't get all happy, the next landing will remind him how much I miss the wide open runways when we get back home.

We each enjoyed a soup and sandwich as we looked through the shots he took over both terminals. A few planes came in and a few left, it seemed slow here today. I took on 19 gallons at $5.45, ten cents off when you eat at the restaurant and don't forget the Delaware motor fuel tax refund of twenty-three cents a gallon.

With my fuel bill squared away we saddled up for home. Once in the air I transferred control to Vince so he could get some stick time. Somehow it always works out that his leg is bumpy and with headwinds...good planning on my part I guess or just dumb luck. Vince did a great job as usual and I took over around Wilmington as we looked for New Garden. Vince spotted the tower/silo off the approach of two-four and I set up for about a three mile forty-five entry for the left down wind. I made an ok landing with a long roll out to end the day.

Next weekend I move 08Romeo to 58M for annual. My squawk list is short, three items. Heater still not working, ELT reset switch needs to be rewired and I'm just a few hours away from my oil change time. I'm looking forward to some plane time despite the sore body that comes with it from crawling around on the concrete floor.

Hopefully Vince will provide some pictures from today's shoot and I'll get them posted.