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.

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