Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fun Flight and a First

I decided that I would finish up the ice removal from the hangar doors in hopes of not having to deal with this again for the remainder of the season.  Yeah, right, forecast is calling for snow on Wednesday.

Since it was so nice out I asked Vince if he wanted to finally get some flight time, last week we couldn't get the doors open. Vince agreed and I picked him up on the way to New Garden.  A lot of the ice had melted but there were a few patches that stood fast. Vince cleared those out while I got 08Romeo ready for flight. I had 30 gallons on board, my minimum for local flights. Pre-flight completed, we started up and taxied out to runway two-four.
looking south you can see the top of the Chesapeake Bay
The plan was to fly for lunch at York, PA. The restaurant, Orville's, was pretty good the last time I flew in there. Besides,it would be a nice change of scenery from our typical south Jersey flights for eats. It was a nice flight despite a quartering headwind. Visibility was very good as you could see the Chesapeake Bay from our flight path. We crossed the Susquehanna River that had a good bit of ice north of the power plant.
York was clear and had some traffic as we made our way to enter the downwind for three five. We crossed midfield and made a nice left turn for down wind taking note of the hills that guard beyond the pattern. Adding approach flaps and then a second notch on base I settled in for what I thought would be a smooth landing. We heard Unicom state that the restaurant was closed, had been since December so this plan was shot. I ended up landing flat and started to porpoise. One hop back in the air and I was full power and climbing out. I haven't done that number in a long time. Ok, on to plan B.
What was plan B? There was none. We cleared the pattern and gave some thought to our options. Vince asked about Lancaster and I agreed, we're headed back across the river. Vince contacted Harrisburg approach and picked up flight following for the quick hop. Once handed over to the Lancaster tower I was cleared to land following a Mooney Ovation, he was hauling pretty quick. I redeemed myself with a smooth landing and some stall horn.
Now for the first.  As we headed to the terminal for lunch I grabbed my back pocket and there was no wallet. Ok, sometimes I put it in my flight bag just to make my ride more comfortable. I walked back and checked the bag...Hmmmm...no wallet.  I called the house to see if my wallet is where I normally keep it when at the house and sure enough there it was. Mary asked if I needed the credit card numbers for fuel, I said I would call back.
When I left the house I went to grab my wallet but left it sit since I decided to check the flying account balance in case I needed fuel. After I shut the computer off I walked out of the house passing my wallet since I had keys (keys stay with my wallet)and flight bag in hand. Where's that smiley face hitting itself with a hammer?

I let Vince know there would be no eats since I didn't tap the bank in the box on the way to the airport. Vince had cash, he put ten gallons of fuel in the plane even though we had 18 gallons remaining on board, adding to the warm and fuzzy. Vince also bought lunch. He enjoyed saving my bacon today.
Embarrassed, you bet. We saddled up for home which was a three gallon fuel burn and road along with the bumps. The wind had picked up a bit but at least it was a tail wind as we enjoyed 135 knot ground speeds. I made a real greaser at New Garden and taxied for the hangar. We secured the plane and headed to my house for my wallet. I hit the bank in the box and paid Vince back including lunch. We both had a good laugh even though it got me thinking about stashing cash in the plane for those emergency moments. Maybe I just need to add a checklist for leaving home.

Vince reminded me of the things I taught him. The things you do every flight, the simple things. No local flights without a minimum fuel load of tabs or thirty gallons before launch. It paid today with plenty of fuel to return home even though HE added to the tank.

He's at least listening and today he saved the day. Thanks Vince.

6 comments:

Chris said...

I hear you about the ice removal in front of the hangar door. My hangar faces north and, not only is there quite a sheet of ice outside the door, there was a small frozen pool inside! Thank goodness for YakTrax.

Glad that Vince was there to bail you out. I've had exactly the opposite problem. Coming back from the Outer Banks last year, I left my wallet in my flight blag so that I did not fly all the way home while sitting on it. When I drove to the local Chinese place for take out, I had no wallet and no Vince to back me up. In my case, the owner looked at me and said, "oh, you're in here all the time, just pay us next time!" Methinks I ate there too often last year. :-)

Gary said...

I have that pool of ice just along the inside of my door too. Not because of poor drainage but due to all snow piled up against the door. I never heard of those YakTrax, pretty cool product.

It's a strange feeling reaching for the wallet and there is nothing there. AT least you knew the guy or he knew you.

Shawn Holstein said...

Your escapades makes me want to have my own plane! Sadly I don’t know how to fly… yet. The pictures are breathtaking, and you actually eat lunch miles away from home? So much potential for food adventures! That part about the wallet was funny, and it’s a good thing you have a friend to help you out of the pinch. Good luck on your next adventure!

Shawn @ HolsteinAviation.com

Gary said...

Shawn, Thanks for checking in and reading along. Some of the things I do crack me up. :)

Steve said...

Good thing you always carry your driver's license in your front pocket, right? ;-)

Lots of curveballs but you obviously handled them well. And yeah, this winter's probably not going to be over until next winter at the rate we're going.

Gary said...

Yes, along with my medical and pilot plastic. ;)