Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: The Magnolia Story

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0718079183/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=181915252928&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17942624391409328665&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007489&hvtargid=kwd-153497604041&ref=pd_sl_89zbpx2a98_e_p20

Mary and I are faithful watchers of Chip and Joanna Gaines show, Fixer Upper, on HGTV. I read the book cover to cover in one night, I couldn't put it down. The book is all the background info you want to know if you watch the show. Honestly, how many shows do you watch that you wished provided more background on the characters. In this book Joanna and Chip share about their lives growing up, from school through college and the relocations along the way. They both walk us through how they met and how the early years shaped their story. The strong family ties and their faith was evident, it was very refreshing to say the least. It's a great read about hard work paying off and how the tough times drew them closer to each other.  I'm looking forward to their next book, Capital Gaines, due out in the fall.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Breakfast Flight

Mary and I decided we would fly north rather than drive so we could meet up with my brother and sign our documents for the taxman. We planned to head out early in the morning and be in the air by 8am.

Friday

We make good time getting ready and taking care of the zoo. Ziva follows me to the garage door and thinks she is going to the airport with us, not today baby girl.
We roll through the tenant gate and to our hangar where the pre-flight routine kicks in. I open up the hangar door while Mary moves the Ranger pick-up. 08Romeo is tugged out and I complete the pre-flight with a fuel check. Crap! I thought I had more fuel remaining after my last flight so I didn't give a second thought to topping off yesterday. I now required the fuel truck and the airport terminal was just opening. I called for fuel and then watched the Op's folks perform their runway checks before grabbing the truck. I get it, there is an established routine and runway checks are very important.
 
Mary and I climb back in the ML320 and at least we have the air conditioning to keep us cool. I hear the fuel truck so I jump out and get my caps removed. Jonathan is on the truck today and he is always friendly and seemingly in a good mood. I ask for fuel to the slots which will give me twenty gallons a side, plenty for the trip in both directions.
plenty of haze
With the fuel sump completed we board, and I finish my inside checklist. I call clear prop and get the fan turning to taxi out and provide relief from the heat. I watch a Cirrus land after he reported a right down wind for runway three-two. I'm not sure what these pilots read or review but traffic patterns at Ocean City are all left.  More on this later.
With the Cirrus clear I announce and take off for Summit, KEVY. Once clear of the pattern I make a last call noting my departure to the north. The ride today was smooth and pretty much hands free. I decided to pick up flight following once I heard Dover directing "heavies". I figure if there are C-5's in the area I should be talking to approach. I also painted multiple targets so the extra eyes for the ride would be welcome.
C5 setting up for an approach into DAFB
I cancelled with Dover maybe fifteen miles south of Summit. I wanted to switch over to listen for any traffic as we made our way in. I continued in making my typical ten and five mile calls for runway three-five. On final I noticed an aircraft at the hold short so I landed a bit longer than normal and used the mid-field high speed taxi-way. Mary and I secured the plane in front of the terminal and put our sun shields in place to keep things cool.

Joe and Janice were sitting out front as we walked out the door, great timing. It was a short ride to Bob Evans for breakfast. Service was fast and the food good, well, except for Mary's Sausage and biscuits. Mary said she was happy she had ordered an egg on the side.
Photo from our Flight to KGED in 2008
It's always fun catching up with Joe and Janice. We headed back to their home to sign some papers and just hang out and catch up. Always very relaxing and plenty of laughs. We got to check out Joe's new bike and Mary gave it a whirl, she loved it. Our new bikes (from Christmas) have sat idle with my then work schedule and this year my foot. We hope to get some boardwalk riding in this fall.
We had to get back to the airport and head south since we promised we would pick up our friend Pam from the Salisbury airport around 3pm. Joe and Janice ran us back over to the plane and we said our goodbyes. I settled up my fuel bill, having taken on ten gallons, and then headed out to the ramp. I completed a pre-flight and sumped the tanks before climbing aboard. It was good to get the fan turning and move some air, it was getting hot.
The Monster Mile
I took off on runway three-five climbing towards the C&D canal, just over the nose. I made a left turn and departed the area on the left down wind, pointing for home. Another smooth ride, this time just below a few to scattered layer. I once again picked up flight following with Dover approach for our flight south. South of Dover I picked up traffic on ADS-B but never had a visual on them. To our right was the Delaware State Police helicopter N1SP as our shadow. Never had a visual on them until we saw them landing at Delaware Coastal, KGED.
State Police shadow (N1SP)
I cancelled flight following and switched over to Ocean City to get a feel for the traffic. I had a few targets but didn't hear much chatter. After my five mile call I did hear a pilot flying a Piper Cub that he was orbiting over the field at two thousand. As I set up to enter on a left base for runway one-four the cub announced he would enter the right down wind for one-four. Ughhh...I couldn't help myself. I responded the patterns for Ocean City are left traffic, not a problem I thought, I'll adjust and land number two. The Cub pilot instead headed towards Assateague and eventually landed when I was pushing 08Romeo back in the hangar.

 
A fun day flying and catching up with family! We secured 08Romeo and headed for the house to let Ziva out then immediately turned and burned for Salisbury. I think we got to the terminal at 3:10. Pam walked out the door and I loaded her bags in the back of the ML320 and off we went for home.
Mary and I mixed up a pair of Mermaid Lemonades and some guacamole with blue corn tortilla chips with sea salt for dinner. A happy ending to a fun day.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chester County for a Quick Drop

Our dear friends Pam and Ted needed to catch up with each other. The only problem was Pam was stuck in Philly after the many delays flying in from Connecticut and Ted was in Ocean City. Despite her platinum miles, American Airlines couldn't find Pam a car or a hotel and there was no flight to get her home. It gets better. Pam is scheduled to fly out of Philly to her final destination of Poland. Yikes, the thought of making the six hour round trip (to/from OCMD)for either of them is nuts. Ted has done so many favors for Mary and I and I have known Pam since I was a teenager, Ted since my early twenties and their daughter is my Goddaughter.

I needed flight time and the chance to see their son Patricks' son was too good to pass up, I volunteered my right seat. I figured with the weather being so iffy in the morning I would get some much needed IMC time and maybe shoot an approach.

We planned for an early departure from Ocean City followed by an early return from Chester County (KMQS). Mother nature had other ideas and we had to sit and wait for a better window to depart OXB then the 7:30am plan.

SPECI KOXB 151125Z AUTO 28003KT 9SM FEW003 25/24 A2995
METAR KOXB 151353Z AUTO VRB05KT 10SM CLR 29/24 A2994

10am was much better plan and off we went to the airport. I had fueled yesterday afternoon and with a sump of the tanks and a few pre-flight items my checklist was complete. We taxied out for runway three-two departing as the jump plane turned their meat bombs loose at 13,000. It was VFR over Ocean city with a thick haze. As I approached the Waterloo VOR (ATR) I decided to open my instrument flight plan with Dover approach.  Dover cleared me direct DuPont (DQO) and then direct Chester County (MQS). Easy peasy, well, except for all those building clouds.
I stayed pretty much on course with small deviations to end around the big uglies. Everyone on with approach was asking for ten or twenty degrees left or right to avoid the build-ups. Once north of Dover and almost to the C&D canal I was handed off to Philly approach. I confirmed I had the weather at Chester County and was stepped down from five thousand to four and then to three.
Missed the clear shot of the Delaware Memorial Bridges
I was handed off to another Philly sector and then given my approach of choice, the GPS 29 into MQS. Approach cleared me direct GOWZO, maintain at or above three thousand until crossing GOWZO for the RNAV 29 approach.  I got tongue tied and blurted out something stupid then corrected and acknowledged the instructions. Approach must of thought he had a real dip stick flying the BE23.
My altitude and course was right on the money and the remaining communications were normal, Thankfully. Once crossing GOWZO and descending to two thousand four hundred I could clearly see beyond the airport. I canceled in the air and switched over to CTAF 122.7 and advised my position for the approach to the airport. I made a nice landing and rolled out long, exiting past midfield.

Pam was waiting for Ted and I at the Signature FBO. Ted and I waved since Pam had their Grandson Jackson with her, watching airplanes. I think he enjoyed all the planes on the ramp and watching his Grandfather climb out of 08Romeo.
Jackson and Ted
We all enjoyed a quick lunch at the Flying Machine Café. It was the first time I got to meet Jackson, what a good child. After we finished up lunch we took a few photos of Jackson at the controls of 08Romeo. I think he liked it.
Delaware river and fort Delaware island
Ted passed off the contents of the bag, including her passport for her next trip. So, with the mission complete we saddled up for Ocean City and got the fan turning to help with the heat. I did file a flight plan for the ride home but had no luck contacting Philly on the designated clearance delivery frequency. I decided to launch for home and if I needed a pop up clearance I would contact Dover or Patuxent.
The flight home was at three thousand five hundred, smooth, and below any of the scattered clouds remaining. Once south of Dover, ADS-B painted a storm cell but on the wrong side of my flight path. XM weather was right on the money and once put in motion clearly showed the tracking. Everything was heading east and I had to pass through it. It was a solid black layer which required me to descend from thirty-five down to eighteen hundred feet. We flew through light showers and then one band of moderate, not enough to clean the bug kill off the windscreen.
Once clear I gave Dover a second PIREP with bottoms and where we cleared the layer, about five north of Delaware Coastal. The rest of the ride was clear with a scattered layer. I looked north up the beach and could clearly see the magic layer that we are so blessed with here at Ocean City. The layer looked to be from Indian river north.

I entered a left down wind for runway three-two and advised number two behind a Cessna. The Cessna finally made a position call but said right downwind.  Hmmm...I don't think so. I followed along and the young pilot made the left base call but no final call and ended up high, resulting in a go around. That was a good call. I landed and rolled out for the last exit, for the shortest taxi to my hangar. The Cessna made a second attempt and she did a great job getting on the ground.

A fun flight with a little IMC time and an approach that I can't count towards currency. It all felt really good today, natural, ahead of the plane. Hope to be in the air again this week.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wilmington, Visits by Air

Today's visit to Wilmington was more of an impromptu trip north. Responding to a notice from the taxman, Mary and I had some papers we needed to drop off to my brother for his special attention.

Wednesday Evening
Once we had the mission scheduled I began the weather watching and Mary sent text messages to her niece and her brother so we could visit without just dropping in.

Thursday Morning
We were out the door by 6:50 and had 08Romeo ready to go by 7:20ish.  I had filed for todays flight, thanks to Charles for getting me IFR current, even though it was a relatively short hop. I contacted patuxemt approach on the new remote frequency, noted in the NOTAM's, and picked up my IFR clearance.

OXB 04/010 OXB COM REMOTE TRANS/REC 121.750 CHANGED TO 127.250 1704201630-PERM

Cleared- KILG
Route- upon entering controlled space fly 270 degrees, radar vectors ENO Smyrna, direct
Altitude- 2000/ expect 5000
Frequency- 127.95 (patuxent)
Transponder-  5645

All this followed by the usual time now (7:23) 1123, of not off by 1128 contact patuxent by 1158.
Departing Ocean City in the haze
I read back the instructions and advised on the roll for departure, runway two-zero. I made my calls on unicom as I departed followed by switching over to Patuxent approach to check in. Once Pax had radar contact I was turned direct Smyrna (ENO) and cleared for 5000'.
We rode along with Pax for a few more miles then handed off to Dover approach. I checked in and once again settled in for the ride along. Just south of the C&D canal, Dover handed me off to Philly approach. Philly gave me the altimeter setting and the current weather for Wilmington (ILG).  I acknowledged and advised that I had the weather. Philly stepped me down to 4000 and then to 3000, advising me to expect the visual for runway two-seven. Once I had the field in sight I was turned over to the Wilmington tower.
Delaware Memorial twin bridges in the haze
Wilmington cleared me to land well south of the airport, over Delaware City to be exact, it must be a slow morning. As I approached the tower asked where I would be parking and I responded, going to Flyadvanced. I made a nice landing on two-seven and made a U-turn, as directed, on the runway to exit taxiway Bravo. I was marshaled in to a parking spot in front of Flyadvanced and greeted by a NASCAR like pit crew. Our friend Tyler had our rental car on the ramp and had the fuel truck pulled up and ready to give 08Romeo a drink. We always get excellent service from the line crew, I wouldn't go anywhere else at Wilmington.

First stop was to see my brother at his office in north Wilmington. Mascelli Financial Associates handles all my tax prep and it's always nice to sit and chat with my brother about financial planning. I learn something new every time we talk. Mary and I are looking forward to Joe and Janice coming to Ocean City in August for the Beach Boys concert, we always have a fun time together.

Next we headed over to visit with Amy and Hannah and Marys great nephew Brennan. He is such a handsome little man and Mary just loves holding him. While there we got to  meet Hannah's sister and brother, they were visiting from Texas. Really nice family and Mary and I enjoyed our short visit.

Our next stop was to visit Marys brother, Mark and his wife Lynn. Mark is home recovering from another back surgery and it was really nice to catch up. One of the downfalls to retiring in Ocean City is not having quick access to family and friends. We sat and chatted for a good while then decided we should let Mark rest.
We headed out and gave some thought to a quick lunch before heading to our next stop. As we sat at the traffic light across from the Charcoal Pit, one of our favorites since high school, I canceled the turn signal and went straight across the pike into the parking lot. Mary and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch, this place hasn't changed in the 44 years we've been going there. We each had the Pit Special with milkshakes. Mary had chocolate I had had a vanilla malt, yummy.
With full tummies we headed to Christiana Hospital to make a surprise visit to our friend JoAn. Jo had a knee replacement and we thought it would be nice to stop in and see her. I motored south to the hospital which would leave us with just a short hop back to the airport. We decided on valet parking for a quick in and out. Once handing off the car keys we walked in and went to the front desk to look up what room Jo was being held hostage. The ladies were very nice and gave us a slip of paper with the room number clearly penciled in, with the added instruction that she was in Christiana Care, Wilmington Hospital, not the Christiana Hospital. Surprise is on us. Mary and I looked at each other...it was a momentary awkward silence followed by an almost stereo, crap! We thanked the ladies and headed back out front. Just to show how fast this really happened, when we checked the valet, our keys hadn't even made it back to the check in station. That was the quickest $5 I ever spent.
I gave the weather another look and discussed with my Bride. What was moving towards Wilmington was not pretty and the temps were already climbing. We made the decision to head for the airport. Mary left Jo a text message and explained our mix up and that we were headed home.
Salem Nuclear plant
I rolled into the airport FBO and parked the rental right out front. Mary and I grabbed a bottle of water as I squared up my fuel bill and car rental. Tyler already had our plane on the ramp, he had tucked it in a hangar to keep it in the shade. With a very quick walk around complete we loaded up for home. I did file for this leg and picked up my clearance with Wilmington ground.

Cleared  - Ocean City
Route - Radar Vectors to join V29 ENO direct
Altitude - 2000/ expect 4000
Frequency - 119.75 (Philly)
Transponder - 3542

I should note here that the recent expected route emails from ForeFlight provided an 'expected' squawk codes, that's a first for me.

email for flight to Wilmington
I taxied out as instructed for a Bravo intersection departure on runway two-seven.  I had an aircraft behind me, Hoagie 1, I swear, a C441 - Cessna Conquest 2 (HGE1)owned by Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe. The ride home was smooth despite clouds building. Philly handed me off to Dover and we rode along until just north of Delaware Coastal (KGED).


building over the bay, base at 4000

It was strange, Dover gave me a vector, turning me to a 180 degree heading with no reason. I figured I was going to get pushed towards Salisbury and decided I would cancel IFR and fly the last 10 minutes home on my own. Despite cancelling with Dover I was instead directed to keep my squawk code and switch over to Patuxent (Pax). Ahh...what? I didn't clog the airways asking why, instead switched over and contacted Pax. After checking in, I advised Pax that I had canceled IFR with Dover but they still wanted to hand me off. I proceeded, once again, to cancel flight following in my best asking a question voice. Pax advised cancellation received, squawk VFR, frequency change approved, only traffic noted is the jump plane at 9000.  I Thanked ATC and made the appropriate changes.

cools temps at altitude
I made my position calls at ten and five miles north of Ocean City to advise inbound for a full stop runway two-zero. Winds were just about down the runway at 9 knots gusting 14. The jump plane had dumped it's payload of thrill seekers and was now reloaded and heading back out. I advised final 1.7 miles and the jump plane said they were going to scoot out ahead of me. I said you best hustle. The jump plane wasn't even up to the hold short, but was rolling quickly. In one motion she crossed the hold short turned to align and launched. I had pulled the power and slowed, adding the last notch of flaps to try and give some spacing. The Cessna was wheels up as I was crossing the fence, it all worked out.

It was a busy day, but fun. Having the plane made it doable, I could not imagine driving the round trip or making Ziva wait on us to be let out for so many additional hours.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MyFlightbook.com Stats

https://myflightbook.com
I was adding my flight hours from Sundays flight and noticed a few updates on MyFlightbook.com. This logging program has been a joy to use, frequently updated, excellent customer service and it covers all aspects of my flying.

After I added my recent flight I decided to look at year to date totals, depressing for sure. Usually its a small box that lists hours, approaches, IFR time and landings. This time a chart came up and I thought it was pretty neat, the chart, not my hours.

Of course I HAD to go punch up last years dates to match the first year to date chart and punish myself.
Some neat new features in MyFlightbook.com for the nerd in me to explore. I'm looking on the bright side...I'm only fifty hours behind last years total and I have plenty of time to make a dent in that number.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

The Swift Kick I Needed

Thank God for good friends.

I have received text messages and emails from friends trying to jump start me back into flying. I'm not walking away, I just don't seem to be motivated these days. Maybe I do need a long trip or just take advantage of retirement and go flying every morning. Who knows.

Today I good a good swift kick that got me flying. Charles from (N57) flew down to Georgetown, Delaware Coastal (KGED) to meet up for some approaches and a follow up for breakfast. I could not remember the last time I was tugging 08Romeo out of the hanger before 7:00, maybe one of our recent rescue flights.
I taxied over to the self serve fuel at Ocean City and added twenty gallons to 08Romeo to bring the total on board to forty-five. The terminal wasn't open until 8am and I wanted to be in the air by 7:15 at the latest. With the fueling complete I started up and taxied to runway three-two. It was very quiet this morning as I rolled for departure. I missed a few small birds darting across the runway and climbed out well in advance of three thousand feet remaining. The cool air was great and 08Romeo loved it too. I made my way into Delaware coastal, number two behind a Mooney. I heard Charles makes his position reports and he was entering the pattern.
We quickly saddled up for a few approaches here at KGED. First up was our departure on runway four that pointed us right at HUVOX. I headed out at 2,000 ft., hands in my lap trimmed out and enjoying the ride.

When I reached HUVOX I made a teardrop entry and at about three miles turned inbound to 225° for the final approach. By UMBLE, the final approach fix (FAF) I was at 1,500 ft. and now descending for the runway with an LPV decision height of 301 ft. This was a low approach only and I climbed out for the GPS 4 approach.

LPV Approach - Localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) are the highest precision GPS (WAAS enabled) aviation instrument approach procedures currently available. 
 Direct to ZARVI at 2,000 ft., once again hands in my lap trimmed for level flight and on course. Another teardrop entry and holding 2,000 ft. until SABRE. Once crossing SABRE I was clear to descend to the runway with an LPV decision height of 301 ft.

Next up on the list was one approach into Ocean City, the GPS 14 approach. I've shot it plenty of times for practice and many times to get into home base. I set up for direct PFAIR without the procedure turn (PT), instead, making a turn inbound for the airport. Maybe this threw me off, or maybe it was because I had zoomed in the Garmin 530W or that I was talking and distracted. I noticed I was pretty far out for descending below 1,500 ft. and as I rechecked my position I got an audible terrain warning. I immediately climbed for 1,500, I had busted the hard minimum altitude.

This is an ABSOLUTE no-no. This results in you burning a hole in the ground in IFR conditions if you don't catch your screw up. I had dipped down to 1,200 ft. I was still well outside of LANDY, the final approach fix, so I continued on, now at the correct altitude. Once crossing LANDY I descended to the LNAV Minimum descent altitude of 700 ft. There was traffic on final for runway three-two so I broke my practice approach off early and headed back to Delaware Coastal.
Charles and I monitored traffic and decided I would shoot the GPS 4 approach to try and blend in. By this time, 9:10ish, traffic was getting very busy. I made my position calls and worked my way in deciding on a low approach only and proceeded to fly up wind well clear of pattern altitude. There was a King air and an RV inbound and now that I was free of foggles I had visual on both. I made a left turn at midfield and joined the left down wind, number three to land. I made an ok landing and taxied clear, I was ready to eat and have something cold to drink.
Bob C was already on the ground and we caught up as I set chocks for 08Romeo. The airport was crowded with planes, I don't think I have ever seen it this busy. We made our way into the terminal and ordered fuel then found a booth open near the windows. We each had the buffet and it was good. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, tater tots, some kind of hash with potatoes, and a guy making omelets. Plenty of flying was discussed and maybe we even solved a few world issues. Ok, I added the world issues for effect.
We squared up our fuel bills and I bought two quarts of Aeroshell 15W50 since I was out. It was a conga line leaving Delaware Coastal, we saw six lined up ready to go at one-four. Charles was parked out front from this morning, Bob and I had to stroll over to the old hangar area for our rides. Charles rolled out first then me and finally Bob.
It was a fun day flying with Charles and I can't possibly thank him enough for being my safety pilot. It was also fun to meet up with Bob. I love Ocean City but I miss having my flying friends close to home, it is the reason that flying hasn't been as exciting for me.
I guess I'll work on a mission for some long distance flights and make more of an effort to get out on weekends for breakfast runs. Charles wants to get me night current and I'm sure he will talk me into that very soon. So for now I'm more excited about flying then I have been in months and I have my friends to thank for that.

The Realization of a Boyhood Dream

 
My new book, The Realization of a Boyhood Dream, is available now for pre-order here on Amazon. It was a blast reliving my training days and reaching my goal to fly. I hope the dreamers that want to fly enjoy my journey, and what it takes to make it happen.

This book provides the in cockpit details of the pursuit of my private pilots license. The excitement of climbing aboard, the frustration with learning plateaus and breaking through those plateaus to take on the next challenge, and finally completing my training. The high and lows of flight training and the resulting perm-grin after my solo and passing the check ride.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Air Time

08Romeo, ready to go
It feels like I haven't been in the air in months.  Sadly, the flying fire in me has diminished and I just can't seem to get myself motivated to pull the plane out of the hangar. I am out of currency for the first time since I completed my instrument rating (August 2010). It's not a good feeling and it's strange but I'm not upset. With all this in mind I decided I would get up and fly first thing this morning, before the heat kicked in. Well, I didn't get out to the airport until almost 10am.  So much for trying to keep it cool.
Keeping the rides cool in the shade
It is a gorgeous blue sky with eleven knot winds out of the west. Runway three-two seems to be the active. It's busy today with the jump plane, school planes and transient traffic, the ramp is cluttered with aircraft. These are all positive signs for a healthy airport.

I did my pre-flight checks and tugged 08Romeo out into the sun, apologizing for the down time between our flights. Everything looked good to go so I closed up the hangar and climbed aboard. It's not the same feeling as it once was, but it felt good to be back in the left seat. I made a last check for TFR's and followed with several pumps of prime to get the fan turning. 08Romeo quickly fired up and smoothly idled at 1000 rpm, not a trace of sitting, she was ready to work.
Ocean Downs Casino and race track
I taxied out to three-two, completed my run up and announced holding for the jumpers. The jump plane pilot advised he is at ten thousand feet and they just exited, crazy people. He said you're good to go so I gave another look and without delay departed Ocean City.
North and South beach views at RT90
I flew north to RT 90 then made a turn to the east to follow the busy road to the beach. Once at the beach I turned north and followed along until reaching Fenwick Island. I guess this was more of a follow the roads flight since I now turned west to trace the path of RT. 54.
Fenwick Island
I was starting to feel at home again in the left seat. 08Romeo purred along responding to each control input, we were back in sync. I enjoyed the quiet flight time despite the radio chatter on Ocean City's CTAF. I remembered why I loved flying, the view, number one reason is the view. In the air there are no rude drivers, no traffic jams and no one to cut you off. It's peaceful and calm, yet requires your attention to every detail.

I tuned 08Romeo south, tracking towards the airport. I descended to 1500 feet and looked at the cars and people busy with their daily routines. Here I am free as a bird playing in the air, with no schedule or deadline to meet. I forced myself to concentrate on the pilot mode and worked my plan to enter the pattern at Ocean City. I swung 08Romeo well past the airport and circled back to enter on a four mile forty-five for the left down wind pattern for runway three-two.  I made my calls, fell in line and set up for landing. The Cessna in front of me landed and took a while to roll out as I was now on short final. The Cessna advised he thought he blew a tire and might not make it off the runway. I advised no problem I'm going around and will rejoin the pattern at mid-field for the left down wind. The jump plane called a minute to jumpers away, as I was now turning final, a bit high. I added the last notch of flaps and slipped 08Romeo to the numbers, we were flying as one, just like old times.
I taxied to my hangar, passing the Cessna that thought he had a flat.  I called him on the radio to let him know the tires all looked good. I shut 08Romeo down and didn't see any movement from the man sitting in the plane. I climbed down the wing and hurried over to the Cessna, ok, as fast as my still sore foot would carry me. "hey buddy, you ok"?  He slowly lifted his head and said "I'm fine, thanks". His tires did look good and we chatted for a bit about the recent crack seal work that feels like worn rumble strips. I assured him I felt the same thing but I'm used to it. He thanked me for checking and the chat, then I headed back to tuck 08Romeo back in her hangar.
As always I clean the wings, nose and stabilator of any bug guts. I closed up the hangar after updating my dry erase board with the new GPS data date, and a new VOR check. After repositioning the Ranger pick-up I headed home. It felt great to be back in the air and I think I will try and head out early after I feed the zoo in the morning. No sense going back to bed at 5:30 in the morning when I'm wide awake.