One of the benefits of our local happy hour group is the chance to network. I was having a discussion about my flying issue and surgery with retired Marine and neighbor DT, DT said he had a friend who was also a retired Marine and a pilot. His friend was Rick K, CFII and he lived in Ocean Pines. Sounds great, DT hooked us up via email and we were soon off and running or flying as the case may be.
Rick and I traded phone calls and made plans to catch up after annual. I decided to push annual back one week and Roger at Cecil Aero said it was not a problem. The backstory...my project is running hot mix and it's important I am there since its all about the rideability in the end. I got up this morning and decided to pass on a breakfast run and instead go do some airwork or just enjoy the view. Mary wasn't feeling good, a start of a headache, so I would be solo. I decided to call Rick and invite him along.
Despite the short notice Rick said he would meet me at the airport. I was there ahead of our scheduled meet time so 08Romeo could take on fuel for todays flight. Once again trading phone calls since we were waiting at two different gates and eventually we met up and I gave Rick a ride into the hangar area.
I didn't bother with the new person briefing since Rick had so much experience. Instead we chatted about flying and experiences, while I completed the sump of the tanks. We soon climbed aboard and got the fan turning. I turned on the preheaters early this morning when my bladder timer had me up and out of bed.
The flight today was going to be a simple run up the coast to Cape Henlopen and then turn and burn for home. Two army helicopters were inbound as I taxied east on the parallel taxiway for runway three-two. I was wondering how far they were coming in since I missed the initial call. They sat both birds down on the taxiway coming from runway two approach end towards the terminal, clear of my intended path.
I had 08Romeo climbing out and putting the nose into the wind, 350* at 17 knots. We headed up the shore line after departing the pattern on the left base for three two. It was a nice chance for Rick to get the view of Assateague before turning north. We chatted as we followed up the coast, both of us enjoying the view. As we approached Bethany Beach I asked Rick if he wanted to fly. He absolutely did and asked if he could do a few dutch rolls. I wasn't familiar with them so after he explained, I agreed. The maneuver was not severe or radical in any way, simply put he alternated banking right then left while keeping the nose pointed to a fixed point with rudder. Next we did a few thirty degree banked turns in each direction until I felt we would be out over water and at to low an altitude. I made the call for my plane and Rick complied. He knocked the rust off pretty quick and I'm sure with a few more flights it will once again be as natural as driving.
We made our way back to Ocean city, planning for a midfield crossing to enter the left down wind for three two. It was pretty quiet today and I made my calls turning final, a bit high, finishing the flight with a nice landing with plenty of stall horn.