Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Getting My Currency On

This morning Charles and I swapped text messages, agreeing to meet at a mid-point airport. We selected Ridgely (KRJD). Ridgely recently changed ownership and has a freshly paved 3200' runway. I was interested in possibly moving 08Romeo there while the T-hangar taxiway work was ongoing here at OXB, but, the drive is an hour and a half and that would make for a long day.

After running errands with my Bride I scooted out to the airport. I met the fuel truck, having 08Romeo topped off to 54 gallons for todays work out. I used the new tug to pull the plane out and it worked well, however,it will take some getting used to.  08Romeo soon came to life and I sent a text to update Charles, I was on the go. Charles confirmed he was rolling too.
I motored along at 2,000', below the scattered clouds getting my butt kicked. It was really bumpy and I needed the work out. I made position calls at ten and five miles out from Ridgely. Runway of choice for today is three-zero, I entered on a left base. Saving brakes I rolled out full length on the new pavement, it was smooth and the markings were jumping out at me.
This is where the happy ended. I followed the signs for the ramp despite it looking like a well worn tractor path. Trust me, I'm being nice, what asphalt remained was filled with potholes and bits of hot mix waiting to ding my prop. I pointed the nose into the grass enough to avoid the some of the holes and as I rounded the bend, around the tractor, I swear, there were cones blocking the path. Crap!

I made a u-turn and headed 08Romeo back to the main parallel taxiway. There was another route to the ramp and it was in better shape. As I turned off Charles was landing, good timing. I shut down in front of the fuel island and Charles shut down in the grass just off to the side of the fuel ramp.
Once Charles climbed aboard we did a quick brief on control exchange and got the fan turning. I climbed out and we swapped control so I could put those God forsaken foggles on. First up was the RNAV GPS 12 approach.
I reminded Charles that I was very rusty and at anytime he thought there was an issue just call 'my plane' and I would be hands off. I had 08Romeo pointed at the initial fix ANAYA at 2000' holding altitude and course. The weather check was confirmed through Easton and the GUMPS check completed. A Malibu checked in shooting the opposite GPS 30 approach, and with a little coordination we each broke off to our right keeping plenty of space between us. Next up I was going to shoot the practice GPS 30 approach and I set us up for the initial fix, ORLOE. The decision height was for the LNAV was 660', I made a low approach only, going missed and climbing out to DAKEY for a loop in the hold. I was once again instrument current, at least until the end of June.

I added some video I shot of us flying back to RJD so Charles could pick up his plane.
Charles and I each departed Ridgely Airpark. I watched his Piper climb away from the runway as I exited the area on the down wind for three-zero. I thanked Charles for his help, bid him a safe flight then switched over to Dover approach. Once passing Delaware Coastal (KGED) I switched to Potomac approach then a final flip to Ocean City to monitor traffic.
I announced my position for Ocean City at ten and five miles. I was number two for the field following a Cessna. Winds were 200 at 7 knots and the Cessna was landing on two-zero. I was headed that same route but once he cleared I decide on a straight in for one-four. I need some cross wind practice so why not have at it. I crossed the numbers and with a slight wing waggle softly set that right main followed almost immediately by the left, a very nice landing. I actually felt I could still do this pilot stuff. 
I gave 08Romeo a good cleaning since she was covered in sacrificial bugs. Once clean I hooked up the battery minder, squared away the cabin and closed up the hangar, I was tired and headed home.
I have a total of 4.4 hours for the year, seriously depressing, but, there are some flights planned and I could always use some basic air work. I have plenty of time to fly and for now I'm enjoying the fact that I can finally just climb aboard and get in the air.


Jim and Sandie said...

Some parallels between RVing and flying - cones blocking your way and trying to figure out how to get out of the spot you're in. Sounds to me like you are really getting the rust cleaned up fast. Nice to see you back in the air again.

Gary said...

Sandie, Thanks! Feeling more at home every flight.