Saturday, February 08, 2014

Ice, not so nice

Mary and I decided to make a run to Lewes, Delaware.  It's Mary's uncles birthday and he loves baked goodies from the Lewes Bake Shoppe and Milton Sausage from LLoyds.  So, since we wanted to have breakfast out and Georgetown is a short hop we combined the trip to fly our first real mission of the new year.

We pulled up to the hangar and it had that same mound of snow/ice as last weeks post but now it had my hangar doors locked down solid.  I did not want to drive to Lewes if I could help it but I was starting to worry. One of the line guys drove over and let me borrow a metal shovel so I could clear the fresh snow and ice combo. At least most of the snow was cleared, the ice is still there.

C&D Canal looking West
Mary was staying warm in the SUV while I readied 08Romeo. Once the plane was out of the nest Mary parked our SUV in the hangar. I pulled the nose plugs as Mary climbed in and I followed as quick as I could. Brrrr...It was cold! With several shots of primer 08Romeo came to life and purred along. Love that battery minder and Reiff heaters. I taxied to the pumps and took on fifteen gallons to bring me to forty-two for our flight south.
I had filed IFR earlier this morning in case I needed to get into KGED if wx took a turn for the worse. I kept that tool in the box just in case. The flight was smooth as we cruised along at three thousand enjoying the view. It's been awhile since Mary flew with me, November 30th to be exact.
I made my call for GED at ten north and at five north. Thinking back, I brain farted and announced crossing midfield for left down wind runway 4, while in fact I entered the left down wind at midfield for runway 4. Hmmm, the things that pop into my head while I sit here and type. A super smooth landing and turn off for the main ramp, that was empty. We took the front row spot across from the main door to the terminal and I scurried in as fast as I could finish securing our plane.

I took on eight gallons of fuel for 08Romeo then asked to borrow the courtesy van for our drive into town. Always good to spend some money prior to asking for the free use of the car. The roads were empty so it was a quick trip to and from town with our food stash safely tucked away.
We grabbed lunch at Arenas in the terminal, each enjoying a cup of soup and half BLT sandwich. I settled up my fuel bill and did my pre-flight while Mary stayed warm in the terminal.  Once I was ready I waved and she came out to climb aboard. A double check to see the nose plugs and chocks were secured in baggage and we are ready to start. I did file for our return flight home but I decided to have it ready if I needed a pop up to get us in N57 or my alternate Wilmington, KILG. I climbed to three thousand and rode along in fairly smooth air, watching the layer above that was full of ice.
I monitored Dover approach and he was asking everyone to say flight conditions. There were reports of light snow ahead of us but no reports of Ice. The highest aircraft I heard was heading north at five thousand and he was IMC. I was more than happy to ride along with a slight tail wind at three. As we passed north of the Dover Air Force Base we started to see snow showers. Very light, not even sticking to the windscreen.I watched our leading edges and the temp probe and everything looked dry.
I should explain the title, Ice, not so nice. Here is a picture of what was above me for the ride home. I also snapped a few shots to confirm good conditions below that layer that was not so friendly above us.
I made a nice landing at New Garden, turning off at the halfway taxiway. The line guy followed me in his car and helped me push 08Romeo back in the hangar, I think I am going to need a winch.  


D.B. said...

I installed a winch in my hangar at T31, and used it to pull my Bonanza in by the tail tie-down ring - the Bo is almost 1,000lbs heavier than the Sundowner and my hangar has a slight slope - I can't push it in unaided.

BUT - I'm uncomfortable with using it on a regular basis - the airframe simply isn't designed to be pulled by the tail ring. I bought a 2nd hand all-electric tug for $400. It's powered by 2 12v lawn tractor batteries, and has a simple on/off switch and a forwards/backwards switch, and uses the towing pins on the nose gear. I think that's a better answer than a winch (which is now for back up only).

Gary said...

D.B., I'll have to come up with something. I have an incline and depending on the fuel load it can be a bear to push in.

The winter wx makes it a real PITA. I guess I will have to start looking for a powered tug or an old lawn mower and do some welding to set up a hitch.