Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Getaway to Gettysburg

Mary and I decided to go tour Gettysburg next week. I am going to take a day off and fly out to spend the day. Yes, it's cold out but we will do the bus tour or a car tour with the CD or rent a guide.

This is on the list of day trips and we figured on beating the crowd. This hop is under 1 hour flight time. I am sure this weekend we will plan out activities to keep us busy. We will post pictures and a write up once we return.

Just some info for the land locked folks. The drive, round trip,5 hours. As noted above we will be under 1 hour (45 minutes)each way and home in time for dinner with no traffic problems.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ride Em' Cowboy

I needed a flying fix today really bad so I decided the 17-19kt crosswind was not to bad for a short trip to Georgetown for breakfast. Mary and I headed out early to preflight and top off the tanks. It felt great to be back in the left seat. I have not put in 1 minute of flying this month due to the weather and winds.

METAR KILG 231351Z 31025G38KT 10SM CLR 00/M09 A2993

A call to Wilmington tower with information "C"harlie has us underway for a runway 27 departure. Winds now 310* at 19 gusting 24 as we take to the runway. A 40* crosswind not terrible but on roll out that gusting wind really was fighting me to keep my wing level to rotation. Off we go with a slight wiggle waggle and a lot of rudder. Mary says "not fun but straight" as I maintain runway heading. Once at pattern altitude I turn south for Georgetown. Really kicking today with winds at 3000' 41kts. We make our way south now getting a good push with ground speeds showing 151kts (174 mph) on the garmin 300 GPS. Across the C&D canal and heading towards Dover I tune KGED ASOS . Winds 320* at 19G25 . Runway 31 is closed so 4/22 is what's available. I give it some thought and decide with no time in the book this month and a direct crosswind greater then 20kts that breakfast just is not that important.

METAR KGED 231354Z AUTO 32015G27KT 10SM CLR 01/M11 A2992
METAR KGED 231454Z AUTO 34016G24KT 10SM CLR 01/M10 A2994

I decide to turn it around and high tail it home. Ok well not high tailing into the 41kt now headwind but making my way back to KILG. At 15 miles from the south I contact Wilmington tower for full stop with info "C"harlie and acknowledge instructions for left base 32. At 5 miles I call left base and look for traffic inbound on a right base turning final for the same. My call, 679er do not have traffic....after receiving the clear to land I reply, 679er clear for landing runway 32, No. 2.

METAR KILG 231451Z 32023G34KT 290V350 10SM CLR 01/M09 A2997 .

Winds 23 Gusting 34 but a headwind, I am on the numbers, PAPI's looking good and as I cross over runway 1 the wind kicks up and my airspeed takes a dive.....more power, hold it off, a short chirp by the stall horn and then wheels down. Mary says niiice, but that was different then normal. She referred to the burst of throttle at the end and once parked I explained. Our quick return was noted by the tower as I responded with a rodeo cowboy ride for breakfast is just not worth it, they agreed!

Taxi to parking and secure/cover 679er up for her winter slumber until called on once again. I needed that short hop just to run through the checklists and feel the throttle in my hand and connection with 679er as I worked the rudder and yoke to keep us squared away. Another .9 in the book and home safe.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine Ice Storm Warnings

Ice Storm Warning in effect until 10 am EST this morning. Flood Watch in effect from 9 am EST this morning through this evening. Can it get much better?

Freezing rain and sleet. Significant ice coating expected. Windy with highs in the lower 30s. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph...becoming northwest this afternoon. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Brrrrr...not much fun in the first state today! Mary and I hope to get some fly time on Monday as we try to complete our beach patrol flight plan. As of this morning the President's day forcast is calling for mostly sunny, highs in the mid 30s.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Scrub Beach Patrol

This morning the plan was to sleep in a bit then head to the airport for a 9am preflight. The plan was to stop at KGED for an early lunch then overfly OXB (maybe stop) then back north to ATR VOR which is located at lewes Delaware, take photo's and head to WWD. From WWD head to KMIV for T&G's then finally back home to KILG.

Mary and I got up on time but must have dragged tail feathers a bit. We hit the Wawa after 9:30(convenience store) for a Chai for Mary and a Chocolate Milk for me, yes of course I grabbed a tastykake koffee cake....who could resist. First strike for the plan is no chai and when Mary informed the person working there the response was "ok". Well DUH.....fill the thing!!! Grrr....Mary passed on the Chai and I went through the line to checkout, which was about 6 deep. I get to the checkout and she says wait a minute and walks away. OK, what's the deal? Ahhh...she returns with manager in tow because she needs change, no biggie. The lady rings me up, double charges me for the choc. milk and charges me for the two dozen eggs off to the side that the guy behind me is buying. Ah...Miss?, I didn't get eggs and there is only one choc milk here. Her response, the eggs aren't yours? (here's your sign) I said no, unless this man would be cooking breakfast for me and the Mrs and I don't think he's going there. He smiles and says nope. The young lady now backs out the eggs and the extra milk but can't figure out my new total. Ok, let's see....milk 1.49 and coffee cake 1.19 I'm thinking 2.68 and out of ten dollars that would be 7.32. The check out chick and her supervisor are stumped. I repeat this "new" math and tell her trust me it's correct. The supervisor says thanks I would have needed pencil and paper. I almost fell over. I said why don't you get rid of that register that tells you what to do and use pencil and paper, you can check folks out and practice the math, have a great day ;)

Finally on the road to the airport. Mary and I pull in next to 679er and I notice the winds have picked up. WX Brief this morning called for winds 250* at 4 kts with winds picking up around 10am and Airmet Tango also called for Moderate turbulence. Metar from this morning's brief, METAR KILG 101251Z 25004KT 10SM CLR M06/M14 A3009.

I exit the truck and make a quick fuel check. Looks good to the tabs and that will be fine for our flight today. As I turn back to walk to the truck the wind really starts to pick up. The preflight brief noted 310* 31 knt tailwind to head south to KGED, not bad 27 minute flight instead of the normal 40 minutes. The home leg would be an hour.....not so good. I still decided to go (at preflight time) but now was second guessing. It's 9:45am and I dial up the AWOS. Report says it's now winds 270* at 16kts. Almost on time to match the brief calling for the change from 1500z to 2100z. I climb back in the truck, discuss with my Bride and make the call for a "no go". Mary agree's and reminds me of our Wilkes-Barre trip in windy conditions. Yes, it's no fun getting beat up for a day of proposed "fun flying". We head out, trip the gate, and exit the parking lot. Of course I second guess and think was I a wuss, should we have launched ? Mary can see the concentration on my face and said it's the right call. I agree even though I want to get back in the air. Take a look at the reports, it was the correct call.

METAR KILG 101451Z 27016KT 10SM CLR M02/M14 A3008
METAR KILG 101551Z 28017KT 10SM CLR M02/M15 A3007
METAR KILG 101651Z 30015G19KT 10SM CLR M01/M14 A3006

METAR KILG 101751Z 29016G21KT 10SM CLR 00/M15 A3004

We decide to head out for breakfast and go pick up her new hat with 679er's tail number on the back and her designated co-pilot status on the front under the embroidered aircraft! She loved the hat and can't wait to wear it to the fly-in on the 17th.

Off to 44N next week with the North East Flyers.