Monday, December 18, 2017

2017 Year In Review v2.0

I spent some time putting together my annual year in review, happy with the final edit, I was ready to post it to my blog. Maybe the flying Gods smacked me down for so few hours this year, I'm not sure.  Somehow, everything was deleted. I guess this is a reflection of how my flying went this year so I should just deal with it and move we go.

I started this year with a flight on new years day. I was excited to play with my new VIRB camera and the set up process. I hoped to figure out the settings, and if lucky, get some video posted. The video was fine, I needed to hook up the audio cable. Lessons learned.
With my first flight in the log book I was ready to get checked into Peninsula Regional to have my foot surgery taken care of. I should mention that I really do not like hospitals and have a strong tendency to break out when I've had enough. I have a history and have caused hospital floors to be locked down while they look for me, honest, I'm not making this up. Surgery went very well and my Bride was there to provide support and keep me in my room. I was released Sunday and Mary drove me home after a brutal snowstorm swept through the area on Saturday.

February started like January ended, more doctor visits and a new cast after staples were removed. The healing process was moving right along and the doctor seemed happy. I was happy just getting out and about even if it was for a doctors appointment. Mary loaded me up and drove Ziva and I to the airport where she could play and I could master the scooter.

I found myself reading more and working on gathering stories for my manuscript. I am finally going to write that book that I have been talking about.


I got busy typing away, working on putting my book together and working towards an imaginary deadline for my editor. I spent a lot of time sitting in the office and assembling a time line of sorts for the basic chapter layout. While I was typing away I also took some time to learn about the self publishing process, royalties, printing, shipping and advertising. This was a whole new world to me.
I was also moved to weight bearing status! I lost the last cast and was put in a walking boot, the moon boot, as I liked to call it.

I didn't forget Zero Eight Romeo while playing author, I was still the maintenance chief for my aircraft. The Beech Aero Club had some great deals and I ordered Landing gear shock discs (donuts), new rubber trim and a few other bits and pieces for my inventory.

With the down time I was also able to put together some new buttonolgy posts. I enjoy working through various scenarios and learning new tips and tricks for my avionics.


The month of April was all about weight bearing and trying to push myself to shed the walker and crutches. The Doc had moved my weight bearing status up and I started in late March, he was very happy with the fusion and how it was healing. I was making serious progress toward walking unassisted.

I was shifting gears from maintenance to pilot and the thoughts of shedding rust was now my focus. I reviewed my checklists, the POH and worked with my forflight and Garmin sim to help transition back to the cockpit.


I returned to flight on May 3rd.

I had butterflies in my gut as I was on the roll but I calmed down once climbing out. The pilot stuff kicks in and we do what we were taught to do, fly the plane.  My first pattern was sloppy, altitude up and down and speeds a bit fast. I made my turn from base to final and I was waaaaay high and fast.  I chopped the power and made it down to 400' before going around, yikes, I am rusty.
I did a few take off and landings and felt back at home, left seat, by the time I was finished.

I had been on the fence about getting a tug but finally decided it would help the repaired foot.  With networking in full force I acquired a tug from my friends Adam and Dave from Wings field.  Dave delivered the tug to me in Ocean City, saving a long drive.  Thanks Dave!


June was a busy month. I was back flying and trying to log some time while trying to get my final book edit approved and published.
Time to Spare...Go by Air was available for pre-order. It finally happened, I was published. Now, it wasn't for the money or some wild dreams of crazy sales, I just wanted to cross another item off my bucket list.
My flying was feeling more comfortable each time and Zero Eight Romeo experienced no side effects from three months of down time. Mary and I got back to dog rescue missions and once again worked with the Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue to get Cole to his forever home.

We finished out the month with Mary staying up in Wilmington to help out with her brother after his back surgery. I flew a few missions to provide transportation. I also was finishing up my second book, The Realization of a Boyhood Dream.


My second book, The Realization of a Boyhood Dream was back from editing, thanks to Melody, and I was ready to self publish. This book felt more polished, more attention to details that made the presentation all the better. I have Melody to thank for all her hard work and the many emails to help me along the process, she's a pro!

July saw multiple trips to Wilmington and a few breakfast flights along the way. One of the most important flights of the year was my flight with Charles form N57. The Swift Kick I Needed got me back on track and wanting to fly. I had been dragging a bit and honestly lost my motivation to fly.

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.

Thank-You Charles for the motivation to drag the plane out and go fly. You have kept me focused and reenergized.


August was family trip time. We made a short hop to the Jersey shore to visit Mary's brother and his family. They have a new place in Long Beach Island, Harvey Cedars. A beautiful town with plenty of things to do and see. Mary had a special bonus, she got to visit with her great nephew, Brennan.
Mary and I had a family visit from my niece Katie,and Mike, along with our great niece Brooke. Mike wanted to fly so I was happy to tug out Zero Eight Romeo and do the beach flight up the coast to Lewes and back.

 Mary and I needed a vacation so me made plans for Sint Maarten. We went to Hawaii with our friends Pam and Ted and we all decided on the Island vacation to Sint Maarten. Air travel by way of American Airlines/Piedmont was a royal PITA.

I did get to watch the planes land at Maho beach, that was on my to do list if visiting the island.

When we returned from vacation I got a call from the company I did consulting for last year, they wanted me back. I accepted a position and will be headed back to Lewes, Delaware for DelDOT/DART.
Mary and I finished out September with a trip to New Bedford, Massachusetts to attend the Beech Aero Club BACFest. We had a fun time even though we were forced to drive thanks to hurricane Jose'. 


A few milestones; we have owned Zero Eight Romeo for eight years, bringing her home from Texas in 2009. Zero Eight Romeo is also celebrating her 37th birthday!

I saw some flight time, making the trip to spend time with my brother after his surgery. I also planned and attended the BAC fly-in to Ocracoke Island.
Zero Eight Romeo survived a couple of months on tie down due to a repaving project that blocked access to the hangars. She's happy to be back in the nest and I gave her a spa day to make her presentable.


It's annual time! I repositioned the plane to 58M, Claremont for inspection.  With work and Mary's eye surgery I could only assist one day. The men at Cecil Aero did a great job and Zero Eight Romeo had no issues. I did have a few things done for preventative maintenance.
After annual I repositioned the plane to KILG, Wilmington.  I had an appointment with Red Eagle Avionics for the IFR cert and I added an upgrade while the plane was in the shop.
My panel is now sporting a new PMA7000M BT audio panel and it sounds great. I love the Bluetooth feature and making calls for clearance delivery are unbelievably simple.
I finished up November with a trip to the Dover AFB, Air Mobility Museum with my brother. We had a great time while the ladies shopped, black Friday shopping.


Zero Eight Romeo is home after her annual, IFR cert and new audio panel install.  I am trying to schedule Ivan from C.A.V.U. for a real spa day.

Here is my year to date by the numbers. I did manage to add two new airports; 31E, Eagles Nest in New Jersey and KOKV, Winchester Regional Airport in Virginia.

58 Landings (58 Day), 6 Approaches
Approaches - RNAV/GPS: 6
Cross Country: 34.9
IMC: 0.4
Simulated Instrument: 2.3
PIC: 50.8 
Total Time: 50.8 

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