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.