Sunday, August 30, 2015

Breakfast via Ground

The Woodbine bunch got the typical Sunday morning group texts started at 8:30 this morning.  I grumbled my way around the house knowing I would be ground pounding it 35 minutes north to Georgetown, KGED.

Why Grounded?

I self grounded by letting my medical expire the end of July.  My last flight taking my friend Rob and his Daughter on a coastal sight seeing tour. Not wanting to panic anyone, my health is just fine. My BP is great and all my blood work came back excellent, I'm the healthiest fat guy around.

All kidding aside..

With the strict Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) screening at flight physical time I thought it best to do my own preemptive strike. Since my BMI will flag a test, I scheduled an overnight study with the sleep doctor at the local hospital.

I spent three months in a hospital after my truck accident in 1985 and I have to tell you I HATE hospitals.
It's a wild urge to flee rather than fight, it's the best way to explain it. After my hip revision in 2009 I attempted to walk, ok wheel myself, out of the Wilmington Medical center. See Sprung From The Hospital. I have my test scheduled and my flight physical too.  The plan is to still make BAC Fest in October and Mt. Rushmore.

Time to eat

As I pulled in the parking lot I had a clear view to the north east and got to see Jeff on final in his Mooney.  Harv was in tow very short final as Jeff cleared the runway. The usual gang was there and we enjoyed the group of eight sharing conversation and good food.
The 'pilots' squared away their fuel bills and I just stood there. I did tag along out to the planes to at least get my ramp fix. The guys all saddled up and taxied out in line to runway two-two for departure. All the planes looked and sounded great...I really miss flying.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Friends Fly-In Visit

Mary and I were very excited to have our friends visit us here at the beach.  Adam Z and his Bride Tam were going to fly down Saturday but the wx for beach time was not looking good.  Instead, they arrived at KOXB early this morning and we picked them up for a fun day.

We spent some beach time cooking in the sun despite not being allowed in the water.  First time I have ever heard the life guards keeping everyone out. In their defense I will say the waves and undertow were the worst I have seen.  I watched boats come out of the channel and turn north disappearing with the rise and fall of the waves only to turn around and immediately head back in.
We eventually packed up and made our way back to the SUV to stow the chairs and beach bags, then headed back up on the boardwalk for a late lunch at the Frog Bar.
The Frog Bar and Grill overlooks Assateague Island and the Ocean City Inlet. The view is fantastic and really lives up to its local nickname "Brew with a View".   The men had fish tacos and the ladies had cheeseburgers.  Good food, good laughs and great friends!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Touring NASA Wallops Flight Facility

Ocean Pines put together a bus trip and tour to NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility, I immediately signed us up. I made a call to Vince just to make sure he wanted to go and he agreed. Instead of typing a bunch I'll post the pics that I have, thanks to Vince for his most excellent camera work.  If the picture is meh...  I took it with my phone.

From Pilot and wire reports:

The Navy plans to hold landing practice at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore this summer.
E-2 Hawkeye
The Navy said that Norfolk-based E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound aircraft will run up to 20,000 passes annually at the site, which was selected over the Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport.
C-2 Greyhound
Diverting the twin-engine, turboprop aircraft to Wallops will take pressure off of Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake. The Hawkeyes and Greyhounds have practiced at Fentress, which is primarily used by squadrons of F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets from Oceana Naval Air Station.

A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight.
heat treatment for nose cone. Material resembles bed liner spray.
The NASA Balloon Program provides low-cost, quick response, near space access to NASA's science community for conducting cutting edge science investigations. This includes observatory-class payloads with advanced technologies and large aperture/mass. The program also serves as a technology development platform for future space missions Instrument & Subsystem development for NASA Flight Projects and it provides hands-on training of Students and Young Scientists.
scale model balloon
Wallops Island launch area and Naval training was the last stop on the tour.  This was strictly on the bus but the Wallops guide along with fellow Pilot Steve H did a fabulous job providing details and behind the scenes info on the facility.
Pad 0B
Launch pad 0B with Minotaur V rocket in September 2013.
Launch pad 0A with Antares rocket, April 2013
Surface Combat Systems Center Wallops Island

Three main facilities make up SCSC Wallops. The AEGIS Engineering and Training Complex houses destroyer/cruiser AEGIS and ballistic missile defense (BMD) baseline testing. The Ships Self Defense Facility houses live and simulated operations for ships self-defense systems as well as large-platform (aircraft carriers and amphibious ships) baseline testing. The Wallops Island Engineering Test Center houses the CVN 78 and DDG 1000 radar development and testing.

When ships in the fleet are getting outfitted with the latest technology, SCSC Wallops is the place they can rely upon to put their hands on the exact equipment they'll be operating on the ship. The bonus is that they can throw everything they have at the system, break it, and have the support they need to get the system back online and do it all again in a controlled environment. This helps build the confidence and muscle memory the crew will need when operating these systems in a real-world scenario.
Aegis Combat System training
US Navy Ford Class Carrier Training
I am looking forward to my next visit to the facility. I hope they will have the hangar open once the aircraft services are completed. I would also like a tour of the horizontal integration facility (HIF) that houses the Antares rockets being readied for launch.

It was an awesome tour and we had a blast!!