Monday, September 18, 2017

Seeking Shelter

Due to construction at the Ocean City Airport (red box) 08Romeo was banished to the ramp.  Talk about timing, this all takes place prior to the Beech Aero Club Fest, just in time to present my plane in a state of filth. Between construction dust and dirt, to the black streaks from the cover, the poor girl looks like she gets no love.

Unfortunately, I have bigger issues to contend with. Hurricane Jose' is working it's way up the coast and has taken a turn for the mid-Atlantic and north-east. Memories of hurricane Sandi in October 2012 and looking for shelter.

I made calls in advance and had scheduled a potential hide out in one of the corporate hangars at the Millville airport, thanks to Big Sky Aviation. I also had a potential spot in a hangar just across from my temporary tie down at Ocean City. Tom was going to be out of town on business with his gorgeous Bonanza. I acquired this insider knowledge from hanging out in the office chatting with a few of the pilots. Tom graciously offered his hangar if Jose' was going to hit. I asked about his plane and he said he would keep it at his other hangar closer to DC. Talk about timing.
I traded phone calls with Arnie, Toms friend, who also moved his Bo in the hangar for the duration of construction. It was all set if needed. Saturday's weather report was calling for 20mph winds and I didn't feel the need to bother moving the plane inside, I thought no big deal. Mary and I went over to the airport and I added tie down straps in addition to the ropes I already had securing 08Romeo.

Fast forward to this morning. The forecast has changed, Ocean city was reporting LIFR conditions along with the potential for 50mph winds on Tuesday. Crap! Millville was socked in, and ocean city was still the same. I had contacted my friend Jeff D from Woodbine knowing he had just sold his beautiful Mooney and may still have a hangar open, he did. I couldn't get in there either.
I decided to head over to the airport and look for the best tie down location I could find. Mary and I decided on the ramp adjacent to the self serve fuel. This spot is partially blocked by a hangar to the north and west, it was my best shot. Before moving 08Romeo I went up to the office and asked if there were any open hangars that they knew of. Nola (what a sweetheart) called Tom, who I already had talked to and he said he was still holding it for me, GREAT! With a quick call to Arnie he met me at the hangar and I tugged 08Romeo inside. 08Romeo is safe for two nights and I'll tug her back out on the ramp Wednesday morning around 10am.
While sitting in the office another man walked in, the plane he flies was in the shop so Nola asked if he had a hangar open. The pilot (Ed)said he would call his boss and see. I said I'm good, since Tom still had an opening but we got to talking planes. Ed's boss is looking to get home from Martin State, KMTN. I offered the Sundowner but three big guys might not make W&B. I thanked Ed and Nola then headed out to move 08Romeo.

What a bizarre morning. It's all about timing. My stomach finally stopped doing flip flops and I feel much better knowing 08Romeo is safe for the coming storm. Now the revised plans for Boston. Mary and I made calls to push our hotel reservation, car rental and pet boarding  until Thursday, when we'll try this flight plan again. Maybe its time for a mermaid lemonade or a captain and coke.


Chris said...

Glad to hear the airplane is under solid cover, Gary. I hope that means you'll sleep better over the next couple of days.

Gary said...

I slept like a baby last night. The previous few nights I was up every two hours, wide awake. I can hardly wait to get back in my hangar.

Now the plan for Boston. If I can't go Thursday and can't push back into Friday, it will be a no-go. I actually gave some thought to taking a train, that would be a first for me. Amtrak out of Wilmington Delaware (two hour drive) is just over a five hour ride to Providence RI. I can rent a car for the thirty minute drive to New Bedford.

It's a hassle either way, but, looking back on the people of the islands and key west and their issues, my issues are not that important in the grand scheme.

Chris said...

I understand, Gary. I did not sleep well at all when my airplane was trapped in the Hudson River Valley during hurricane Sandy.

I hope things work out for your trip. I know you've been looking forward to this for a while. Still, like you said, at least you're not facing the sheer level of devastation that others have experienced this year. Even after seeing the pictures, it's still hard to fathom.