Sunday, October 27, 2013

Breakfast, KGED

I plugged in 08Romeos Reiff preheat oil sump and cylinder head heaters yesterday for our breakfast flight this morning.  Mary was not feeling very well when we got up so I decided to make the run solo. Mike was busy and Vince lost power so his phone wasn't charged. Vince did text as I was starting up to taxi out.
glider base to final
08Romeo was quickly off and pointed south. There was glider activity at new garden this morning so it was extra eyes out until clear of the airport. The ride south was smooth at three thousand as I listened to some oldies and the occasional interruption by Dover approach.
glider on final
Winds were 310* at seven gusting seventeen so my plan was to use runway two-eight.  I entered the pattern on the crosswind  and with a Mooney in tow landed long to help clear the runway a bit quicker.
It's always a fun time catching up with the woodbine bunch, a good group of pilots that keep the breakfast run tradition alive.  We sat and chatted for a bit then headed out to the ramp.  I had to sump since I took on twenty-three gallons at $5.22 with a motor fuel tax refund of .23 a gallon.
I launched from two-eight and made the bumpy flight home in a quiet cockpit.  There was only a flew blips on my PCAS and a call or two on the shared CTAF (123.050) of New Garden and Ocean City MD. I made a call ten south for my position report and full stop intentions.  I heard two planes in the pattern and one glider that I would have to contend with as I entered the downwind for runway two four. Pretty stiff crosswinds on final along with me floating it down the runway, I somehow managed to get 08R home and still remain airworthy.
I definitely noticed that I had no heat today. This will not work on our trip to Boston so another trip to the hangar this week to remove the cowl and investigate is in order.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cirrus Shuttle Flight

The Flight:

Mike and the SR22
Today was our official end to summer. Yes, we are sad, it is time to bring our motor-home north for the season ending cleaning and storage for the winter months.

Mike and I scheduled the hop on our last 08Romeo flight and mother nature decided to cooperate. Mary and I headed out for breakfast around 7:45ish thinking we would not have to stop for eats while driving the beast home. We finished up and then hit the bank in the box for some traveling cash before heading to Wilmington.
Mike rolled in right behind us and the three of us walked across the ramp to the plane. This was Mary's first close up look at a Cirrus SR22. Mary has flown in a Diamond Star DA40 and really enjoyed it. Mike had shuttled us to OCMD last year so we could bring the beach car home, Mary noticed the speed then.

I think my Bride really fell in love with the Cirrus.  She carefully did a walk around and asked about the chute after reading the decal. Once she climbed in the positive comments about comfort and leg room were flowing, I knew I was in trouble.
Mike completed his pre-flight outside and now was working through the inside list. Mary and I buckled in and Mike soon followed with an engine start. It is quieter inside the Cirrus despite all that up front power.  Our headsets were at our plane but thankfully there were two extra Bose X headsets available for us to use.

Wilmington finally cleared us to take off runway nine and we quickly accelerated, a noticeable power difference from 08R. We turned out to the right (east)as directed and remained east of the runway one center line as the tower requested. We cruised along smoothly between 158 and 170+ enjoying the view. I got some stick time and a lesson on the glass panel.  There sure is a bunch to digest but it's all good.

Mike decided on the LOC RWY 14 approach into Ocean City. Mike set up to intercept the 187* radial from the Waterloo VOR(ATR) taking us direct to LANDY (IAF). I got some autopilot education on the S-Tec 55 and its use in holds. Mike made a smooth landing into OXB and taxied off to park near the T-Hangars.

We called for a cab so we didn't have to drive our car back to the airport, instead, we could scoot out the back roads towards RT113 and home. Mike walked in the terminal with us then after we were good to go for transportation headed back out for the flight home.

Thankfully the cab was running a bit late so I got to see Mike take off just as a light rain started to fall. Mary and I walked out front of the terminal to wait for the cab and we could hear Mike climbing out and heading away in the Cirrus. While he would have a fun flight home I was thinking about my three hour drive home in the beast.

The Drive:

Our cab finally arrived to pick us up and $30 later plus tip we were standing in front of the motor home. It was odd, but we flowed through the close up just like our pre-flight ritual when Mary and I would uncover and get 08Romeo ready. I think we were ready to head home within twenty minutes. Mary raided the fridge for refreshments and the snack drawer too as I found a bottle of orange Gatorade and a pack of peanut butter crackers at my station. I had to add some drive home shots. The panel, not as interesting as the Cirrus glass, the traffic out our 'wind screen' and finally some airport reference. I know, it's just not the same.
With the automatic leveling jacks retracted and lights on my panel confirming all clear I was now ready for my last visual walk around the rig before rolling out. Everything looked great, there would be no Robin Williams "RV" surprises.
Sadly we exited the Bali Hi gates for the last time this year. We really enjoy our beach time and hopefully next year we will be selling the motor home and moving into our beach home. Mary and I have decided to retire to the Ocean City area and the first step is buying a home. Yes, it's very close to the airport so 08Romeo will have a safe new home when we eventually make the move.

Airplane status for the retirement years? Mary loves the speed and comfort of the Cirrus, who am I to argue. I'm thinking an SR20 will find a home with us in Ocean City....anyone looking for a real nice Sundowner?

Monday, October 14, 2013

WAAS Training and Approaches

Red Eagle called today and 08Romeo is back together and ready to fly!

I guess it's all about timing as Mike B and I swapped text messages just prior to Red Eagle's call.  Mike had asked if I heard anything and after a few back and forth texts I was advising the plane is ready.  Mike wanted to fly as bad as I did so we planned for the reposition flight from ILG to N57. I texted Mike as I was ready to start 08Romeo. My pre-flight was complete and I had ordered fuel from Atlantic as soon as red eagle had called.

The 530 looked brand new! The unit discrepancy list when sent was for a WAAS upgrade and the screen replacement. The Garmin repair summary is as follows:
  • Upgraded unit to WAAS
  • Replaced Lens
  • Repaired Com board to correct issues found during testing (the radio never had a problem) 
  • Confirmed all hardware mods
  • Upgraded software
  • Aligned unit for optimum performance
  • SB 1317 Complied
I have a 90 day warranty so that's a plus.

08Romeo was back online and it felt great to hear her running, I almost didn't want to switch my Lightspeed Zulu's on. I taxied out to runway nine and departed on a left turn out to the north west and New Garden.  A short flight but I took some extra time to try and imprint some of the local surroundings so I can find this airport.

I crossed over midfield and entered a left down wind for runway six. Winds were 110 maybe 6 knots and I made a smooth landing.  I taxied all the way out because the last turn off is close to my hangar. I made a U-turn and shut down waiting on Mikes arrival.  I no sooner walked in the hangar and I heard a car pull up, Mike was here, very good timing.

Mike and I briefed the approach plans and the differences with WAAS.  I ran the simulator from Garmin and read through the manuals online so I had an idea of what I would see.

First up was Summit, KEVY and the GPS 17 approach. Since I didn't take pictures on this first flight I'll post some screen shots from the simulator.

When within 45° of the final approach course and the FAF is the TO waypoint, the 500W-series unit switches from terminal mode to approach mode. CDI scaling is tightened from 1.0 NM full scale deflection to either 0.3 NM or 2° full scale deflection whichever is less at the FAF. The change occurs over 2 NM and is completed by the FAF.

The typical LNAV approach now has vertical guidance. I will say the 'box' is very tight as you get close to the runway, much like the typical ILS,  but with WAAS and vertical guidance it really keeps you on a tighter target on the GPS approaches. Notice a few things, the new approach noted as LNAV+V and the Next DTK with heading and timing.  I went missed here and climbed out for a hold at WENDS and the GPS 35 approach.

As I approached WENDS the WAAS 530 plotted my entry and displayed it with a dashed line along with the new DTK heading and timing.

It was pretty cool to shoot the GPS 35 approach into EVY down to the LPV numbers at 320' vs the normal LNAV at 480'. For the locals who have shot that approach you know about the silo on final.  I had to ask Mike if we were clear the Silo now that we were closer...he laughed and confirmed.
Next up I wanted to shoot the ILS 1 into KILG. Mike called up Philly approach and we made our way to the runway via the initial fix, BLARE.  All in all a good night flying and some time with Mike learning the 530W.
This weekend will require a short hop to the beach to bring the motor home north. In a few weeks we will head to Boston to visit family.  After that it's an oil change and annual.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Book Review: A Higher Call

An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II.

A Higher Call was an excellent read. Even though it's not all about the flying you still can't put this one down. A Higher Call tells the story of two men, Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown, each on a separate path in life until their paths crossed due to World War II.

Charlie Brown was a young pilot of a B17 that was damaged and now a 'straggler' fighting its way back to England. This first mission crew was gravely injured, one member dead and its plane trying to maintain altitude and airspeed. 
The German Ace, Franz Stigler had landed, refueled, and loaded ammo wanting to get back in the air to knock out as many 'four motors' (B17's) as possible. Franz has the crippled B17 in his sights when he looks through the damaged aircraft and into the eyes of the terrified and injured crew. Instead of finishing them off he choose to escort them out of German territory and pointed toward safety. Stigler made the decision risking a sentence of treason and the firing squad if he were caught. 
A Higher Call is the true story of a chance encounter between enemies. It's a glimpse into the experiences and camaraderie of German pilots during the war, showing them not just as Nazis, and some of them were not, but men who wanted to fly and defend their homeland.

Thanks to Frank (N631S Blog) for the heads up on this great read!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

BAC Fly-In at Millville NJ

I checked the Beech Aero Club calendar for any event this weekend for possible flight time. Mary is back in bed with another migraine so no flying for her, instead a dark, cool, quiet room. The North-East sector listed Millville, NJ (KMIV) as their choice for a breakfast and museum tour. This works for me so I put in a call to Vince to see if he was available.
Garmin 530 in the avionics shop for WAAS upgrade
Vince asked what time and that he would meet me at the plane. I had to remind him 08Romeo is back at ILG for a few days waiting on the 530 WAAS update. I ordered fuel as I rolled into Red Eagle and completed my pre-flight when Vince walked across the ramp. area, maybe?

We saddled up and got ready for the flight. I had no Garmin 530 so Communications would be on the Collins along with navigation. Yes, I have the 496 in the panel but this flight would be fun and a good training session tracking VOR radials. Millville is on the DuPont 143 Radial so I dialed that in and taxied out. I did keep the 496 on the six pack page so I could at least advise the correct distance out from our destination and I had the iPad with Foreflight. I know, I could have used another VOR to plot my location by a cross reference but I didn't want to get all that primitive.
Vince and I were first to arrive on the ramp.  I had some time to catch up with coworker Tim, airport Op's and say hello to the folks from Big Sky FBO.  It seems non of the north-east sector was going to show. The mid-Atlantic director, John P did show but he ran late having to come from Leesburg. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with the DC flight restrictions. It was good to catch up and of course, talk planes. John flys a 77 Sundowner that looks sharp and is done in the University of Delaware fighting Blue Hen colors, just a coincidence.  John's color scheme instantly reminded me of Bo's plane and that brought back some good memories too.
Vince and I were ready to head back to Wilmington. It was different today navigating with the single VOR and having to flip flop frequencies on the Collins. Good practice out of my normal comfort zone and had some turbulence to contend with too.

Friday, October 04, 2013

FS: Garmin 430/530 Nav Data Cards

FOR SALE SOLD- NavData Card for Garmin 430/53o non-WAAS GPS.

UPDATE: I do have access to another 'non-WAAS' card if anyone is interested. Email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

IFR Cert and WAAS Upgrade.

08Romeo is back at Wilmington's Red Eagle for her 24 month IFR Certification. Of course my landing was so smooth I not only didn't feel it, but I didn't even hear a chirp. I do miss that smooooth long runway. Here is what's on tap for 08Romeo's upgrade.


Annual – Every aircraft operated under part 91 regulations is required to undergo an “annual” inspection in accordance with FAR part 43 every 12 calendar months.  This regulation applies to VFR and IFR flying and is not dependent on how the aircraft is used (i.e. for hire).   The applicable regulation is actually FAR 91.409(a).

VOR – In order to use VOR navigation in IFR flying, the accuracy of the device must be checked every 30 days.  There is a list of the types of inspections that can be performed to check its accuracy (all covered in the regulation below), but the key element of this accuracy check is that it only applies to IFR flying.  The complete regulation and required inspection types can be found in FAR 91.171.

100 Hour – In certain operations when an aircraft is being used “for hire” and specifically, for an aircraft used in flight instruction for hire, the aircraft is required to undergo a “100 hour” inspection every 100 hrs of engine operation (normally a tachometer time reading).  This would apply to either a VFR or IFR flight, but is specific for flights being operated for hire.  FAR 91.409(b).

Altimeter/Pitot-Static System Check – Each altimeter and static pressure system must undergo an inspection to ensure accuracy and compliance with standards every 24 calendar months if the aircraft is to be used for IFR flight.  There are no circumstances where this inspection is required for a VFR flight.  Additional information can be found in FAR 91.411.

Transponder – Transponders are required to be inspected for accuracy and standards every 24 calendar months, if required.   FAR 91.413 specifies the inspection interval of 24 calendar months.

ELT– Every aircraft (with some limited exceptions) is required to have an  Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), and that unit must be inspected every 12 calendar months as found in FAR 91.207(d).  This regulation applies to both VFR and IFR flying.  In addition to the required 12 calendar month inspection, you should also be familiar with FAR 91.207(c) which states requirements for battery replacement and recharging under specific conditions (1 hour of cumulative use or half of the battery useful life) and is just as important as the 12 calendar month inspection.

WAAS Upgrade

From the Garmin home page - Garmin WAAS Upgrades

By adding WAAS capability to your Garmin GNS 400/500 series unit, your world becomes a much easier place to navigate. The FAA’s WAAS is designed to provide the additional accuracy, availability and integrity to enable users to rely on GPS for virtually all phases of flight anywhere within the WAAS coverage area.

Now, with WAAS, thousands of previously access-limited general aviation airports can offer full LPV “glidepath” vertical approaches similar to a Category 1 ILS (where suitable airport conditions exist) without adding the costly on-site infrastructure required to install a ground-based precision approach system.

Already outnumbering ILS approaches in the U.S. — with more than 1,500 published LPVs now in service — these affordable WAAS approaches are rapidly changing the landscape of IFR navigation.

WAAS Benefits:
  • improved overall efficiency of aviation operations
  • increased runway capability
  • increased position accuracy
  • new precision approach services
  • reduced and simplified equipment requirements for aircraft
  • significant government cost savings due to the reduction of maintenance-intensive, ground-based infrastructure

From IFR Refresher magazine:

If an approach is a standard GPS approach with no vertical guidance then "LNAV" will be displayed. If a GPS approach with LNAV-only minimums has a vertical profile coded into the database - referred to as advisory vertical guidance (Jeppesen chart users will see this as a dashed line on the vertical profile) - then "LNAV+V" will be annunciated, meaning that an electronic glidepath is provided via the glidescope pointer, allowing for a stabilized descent to the LNAV MDA.

This vertical guidance is advisory and therefore may be ignored, which is good news for pilots who prefer the "chop and drop" method of flying a non-precision approach. If the GPS approach has LNAV/VNAV minima, "L/VNAV" will be annunciated and the approach is flown just like an ILS, using the vertical deviation information displayed via the glideslope pointer.

If the GPS approach has LPV minima, then the unit has a bit more work to do. About one minute prior to reaching the FAF, the unit will check the required Horizontal Alarm Limit (HAL) and Vertical Alarm Limit (VAL) to ensure the GPS position integrity is within the limits to complete the LPV approach. If the HAL or VAL limits are exceeded, the approach will be downgraded to a non-precision approach indicated by "LNAV" on the moving map, a message will display indicating that the approach is downgraded ("Approach downgraded - Use LNAV minima"), and the glideslope pointer will be flagged. In this case, you may continue the approach using the published LNAV non-precision minimums.

When flying the vertically guided approaches (LPV, LNAV/VNAV, and LNAV with advisory vertical guidance), the glideslope pointer will come into view prior to the final approach fix and you intercept it and fly it down to the DA or MDA, just as you would an ILS.