Sunday, August 25, 2013

Long Weekend

FRIDAY 8/23/13

I remember the days of working when I was sick and building up all those sick days, like a badge of honor.  What a dip stick, when I left DOT, I also left over 100 days sitting on the books, lost.   I wasn't feeling good Thursday at work so I packed it up and drove home.  I had previously put in for a vacation day for Friday hoping to take advantage of the great forecast.

Friday morning, I'm up early and I'm feeling better, not one hundred percent, but feeling better. I need to get some breakfast in me! Mary and I did a few things around the house then decided to head for the beach. I had ordered fuel the night before so 08Romeo was good to go. I reviewed the aviation IMSAFE checklist before we headed to the airport and felt I was fit to fly.

I had filed for this mornings flight so I picked up my clearance with Wilmington Ground. Today I tried the KILG ENO ATR KOXB route that I usually fly that takes us along the Delaware coastline with a south turn to Ocean City, MD.  I do have both routes in my Garmin 530 just in case and this morning I got the inland route.  There is no significant flight time change but the view along the coast line is always better.

A- 2/4
F- 119.75
T- 3352
We were off of Wilmington and quickly handed over to Philly. With radar ident observed we were directed to climb to our planned altitude of four thousand, direct Smyrna (ENO). As soon as I topped out at four, Philly handed us off to Dover.  "Dover approach, Sundowner 6708R 4,000 level". Dover gave me the altimeter and radar contact. It was smooth flight with good tailwinds pushing us toward our destination.
Dover handed me off to Patuxent and I again checked in with 4,000 level, have wx at Ocean City. Pax turned me direct OXB and it saved some time. I guess the inland route isn't too bad as long as they turn me early towards our final destination.  I canceled in the air and entered the left down wind for runway three two and made a nice landing. We taxied to our normal tie down location, gezzz that's sounds crazy, but it's the slot behind the jump planes tie down, yeah, the meat missile hauler.


Today was beach day! We were up and out of the motor home early. We took Ziva for a walk around the RV park, two laps, then loaded up the chairs, umbrella and munchies before scooting off in the beach buggy. The beach was empty, ok it was 8:30 and I think we woke up the seagulls. The water was cold, at least I thought it was. My Bride went in for a dip, that's right I'm a way I'm going in that cold water.  I'll get my water time in Key West.
Ziva was beat after swimming
We headed back around lunch time and picked up Ziva girl so we could take her swimming.  Of course we didn't take any pictures, what great parents huh? Ziva had a blast running in and out of the water, swimming laps around Mary and sniffing out anything that moved. Poor girl got so tired of swimming she started to bunny hop in then out then plopped down on the beach. We decided it was time to head back and take showers so we would be ready for dinner. After taking naps and watching some TV Mary traded a few text messages with Pam. The dinner location was picked, Lobster Shanty in Fenwick Island.
We each ordered the Lobster Cakes for dinner and We split the appetizer Chunky Lobster Guacamole. Add in a few drinks each and we were stuffed!  I would go back for the Lobster cakes in a heart beat, they will be  something we will add to our freezer list for those nights cooking steaks on the grill.


Another early start to our weekend with a walk around the park with Ziva.  Good exercise makes for a good appetite, what's for breakfast?  We loaded up the clubs and headed to Assateague Greens Golf Center with a stop for eats at DeNovos Trattoria. Breakfast was perfect, not to much but just enough to still be able to walk the nine hole course.

We headed out to the first Tee and started our quick round. Mary and I had a blast and although my putting sucked the Irons were showing improvement. Mary and I usually play best ball but I have to say she was really striking the ball today. She blast two shots just to the left of the green twice and we played her shot. I ended up in the only stinking sand trap on one hole and the other about thirty yards short of her tee shot.

We were still feeling pretty good after our round so we went to Taylor's for a lite lunch. I had a salad with shrimp and Mary had the salad wedge, both very good.  I was flying so no alcohol but the ice tea/lemonade combo was a perfect mix. About that feeling good, when I got up after lunch I was really stiff and hurting.  I had to walk it off in order to fold myself up to get back in the little Cabrio. 

We headed back to the motor home to drop off our clubs, shower and relax. When I got my second wind and the Advil kicked in I went through my close up checklist.  Window awnings up, tanks drained, water turned off, windows secured and water heater off. We were ready to roll, Ziva jumped in the car and I loaded up two bags.

I did my preflight and sumped fuel. 08Romeo was ready to play and we were ready to climb to cool temps. I didn't file for the ride home, instead, we wanted to shadow the coast then turn north either up the Delaware Bay or somewhere over Rehoboth Delaware.
The Air was smooth above three thousand so we leveled off at 4,500 once we turned north.  It was one of those rides, as Bo Boggs would say,  with your hands in your lap enjoying the view. We could clearly see Cape May and Cape Henlopen and we even spotted the Salem nuclear plant from the Waterloo VOR (ATR), a good 50 miles!
Indian River Inlet Bridge

We had a tail wind going home maybe five knots but that sure beats a head wind. I contacted Wilmington about ten south for landing instructions and acknowledged entering a left down wind for one niner. As I approached my left downwind position the tower asked if I could change to a right down wind for niner, not a problem. There was a Falcon jet doing approaches and they wanted to move me away from runway one.  Hello, I was now going to cross the approach of one.  A non-event with the Falcon just reporting the final approach fix and they had me in sight. I made a nice landing, acknowledging the hold short from the tower. Again, no problem, I landed on the numbers and taxied off for my tie down well short of the halfway mark and runway one. A fun weekend and fun flying, I'm almost to 800 hours!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Foreflight's Latest and Greatest

I have been using Foreflight in the cockpit instead of paper from the day I saw what the product provided and as fast as I could get out and purchase an iPad. I have Foreflight on my iPhone and iPad and do all my flight planning with the product.

I am careful to keep my iPad out of the sun while en route. I am fortunate that I can sit my unit behind the passenger seat in front of a vent that is in the wing spar raised section and within easy reach at any time.

I have made many cross country VFR and IFR trips with Foreflight and would not trade it for anything else out there. Yes, I guess I drank the Kool-Aid.

I wanted to share the latest update, 5.3 with fellow aviators.

New Plates on Maps How-To

Posted on by Foreflight.

The Plates on Maps feature is now available in ForeFlight Mobile 5.3 and is a significant enhancement to situational awareness and productivity. This feature gives you the ability overlay approach plates and taxi diagrams on the map. Watch our new how-to video to see it in action.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Class B Airspace Change at KPHL

Effective July 25, 2013 the Class B Airspace surrounding KPHL will be changing. This very important program will provide information on the changes to the airspace and answers as to how these changes could impact certain flight operations. Our special guest, a PHL Tower Quality Control Specialist will be conducting this presentation. This seminar is a must for local area pilots, for your safety and to prevent an inadvertent airspace deviation which could result in a violation.

Vince and I sat in on the seminar this evening. The seminar reviewed part 91 operations in Class Bravo airspace, old news but a review none the less.

Some of the key points:

The operator must receive an ATC clearance from the ATC facility having jurisdiction for that area before operating an aircraft in that area.

Any person conducting pilot training operations at an airport within a Class B airspace area must comply with any procedures established by ATC for such operations in that area.

No person may operate an aircraft in a Class B airspace area unless the aircraft is equipped with the applicable operating transponder and automatic altitude reporting equipment specified in § 91.215 (a), except as provided in § 91.215 (e).

Next up was a representative from the Philadelphia Tower. I found this portion a bit more interesting, however, this was a review of communications for VFR and IFR operations. If you paid attention to your PPL instructor you should already know this stuff.

One tip that was provided for VFR traffic since the question was asked about a VFR corridor. A simple look at the sectional will clearly show that there is NO VFR corridor in the Philly Bravo space. The tower rep did recommend asking for a 4,500 transition VFR since that would put you between the regionals below and the larger jets over top. Hmmm, I'll just file IFR, thanks.

BLMike from AOPA forums reminded me of the squawk code info Philly provided. "The PHL controller there said that Philly does not expect you to read back the squawk code they give you. They'll tell you if you entered it wrong in your transponder. This is important because one of the big problems Philly has is space on the radio frequency because of the amount of traffic trying to get a word in edgewise."

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Beech Meet Up

While Mary and Jo headed to the BEACH, I saddled up and made the 14 minute hop to the BEECH fly in at Georgetown, KGED.

The XM weather was painting green all over with some yellow areas mixed in. The good thing about those yellow areas was the wide soft pattern, no steep steps in the shades and no red cells. Also of note, with all the green coverage there were no showers, nothing reaching the ground.

Lunch was very good and as always a fun time was had meeting fellow Beech Aero Club members. Eric and his family fly out of Lancaster, KLNS so future dinner fly ins are already in the works for both family's.
Once I returned to Ocean City I secured 08Romeo and headed for the motor home. It started to rain as I drove west along RT 50, good timing.  It was only a brief shower, enough to cool things off but not dampen our fun at the beach.