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.


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.

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