Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gettysburg, W05

The North East Flyers can now scratch Gettysburg off the list of places to see and things to do. We didn't have the usual large turnout but the group that made it sure did have a good time. Jeff from Dover Delaware was the first to arrive in two six Juliet with his three passengers George and pictured below Bryan and Hannah. Next was 679er with Mary and I, slow and low across the numbers once crossing over the one large tree on the extended center line of runway two four. There is no taxiway so we had to back taxi to the ramp. Next in was Sal and Loretta with their daughter Lauren, and yes the paint job on their Cardinal looks awesome!

I had already left for enterprise and Al gave rides to Herr Tavern. Jeff hung out at the Airport waiting for stragglers and for my return with the rental. I upgraded the rental from a small four seater (679er had more room) to an eight passenger van.

When I got back Rick and Ron were in from FDK and Al gave them a lift to the tavern. I made a stop to pick up the first group since the tavern said they were not open until 11:30. The group decided on a battlefield tour by rental van, the air conditioning was blowing pretty cold and it was nice having the group together. Rick and Ron passed on the tour and hung out at the tavern awaiting our return.

I drove and Sal was my navigator/co-pilot, I knew enough to surround myself with an excellent Instrument rated pilot to handle the navigation, hey, crew resource management, right?. We found our way to the "auto tour" but could not find a place that had the CD's to listen to. We managed on our own besides who wanted to walk back and forth to the packed visitor center to ask in that heat. There were monuments of every size, cannons, sculptures, marker stones and interesting reading along the way. We spent maybe an hour and a half tops on a tour that should really require more time and further investigation on foot, maybe in the fall. George who flew in with Jeff is a real history buff or so I thought I overheard. Maybe the next time we can all spend some time and really check out the southern side of the battlefield.

As a group we decided to head back to Herr's tavern and have lunch. By the time our group, 7 adults and two children got back Rick and Ron were finishing up. We stood around and chatted a bit prior to being seated for lunch. I gave Rick and Ron a lift in the burgundy bus back to W05 since they had to head back early. It was to short of a visit but maybe next time we can spend more time. I scooted back in time to order food and drink. The service was good once they remembered we were seated in the back room. Lunch chat was all over the board and the kids had a blast just entertaining themselves. The crab soup smelled fantastic and those who had it said it was very good. I had the Wisconsin Dip, roast beef and cheddar cheese with caramelized onions, it was very good.

We once again loaded up the burgundy bus and headed for the airport. Sal and Jeff pre-flighted and then headed out. I got some nice shots of both aircraft just after their run-ups. I had the hand held so Mary and I wished both flights a safe trip as we watched them depart, Sal to the north and Jeff to the east. Mary and I both agreed that the time with the group went by way to fast, we are already looking forward to the next fly-in. I slowly backed up the bus and strained to watch each flight disappear from sight, knowing I too would be climbing out of here in a few hours.

It was time to visit my Goddaughter and her husband. They live right in down town just off of Lincoln square or is that circle, well it drove in a circle so that works. Nichole works for the Gettysburg College and Dan works in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1.5 hour drive each way) . Dan will be heading to Iraq either late this year or early in 09, he's a good man and treats Nichole very nice. Did I mention they are newlyweds? Mary and I flew into KOXB, Ocean City, MD to attend their beach wedding. We sat and chatted while waiting for Nic's mom (Pam) and dad (Ted) to arrive from Gap. PA. Apparently they had a doggie emergency in the morning so they were running late. We decided to return the 'bus' to the rental place around 3:30, Ted and Dan gave us a ride back to the airport with a stop for cold water to bring along on the trip home.

We all walked out to 679er and I did my walk around, no need to sump since I didn't take on any fuel. With the call for Clear Prop 679er came to life. We taxied over to the run up area, all was good, then announced our departure on two four. I added a notch of flaps since it was so hot and runway length was 3100, always better to be safe then sorry. It was really hazy as I chugged along making a call to Harrisburg for flight following. I guess I should have dialed in Potomac since that's where they directed me, although there was no listing in the AFD. I made my call to Potomac and was given a squawk code, off we went with an extra set of eyes. Potomac held on to us well east of the Susquehanna river before cutting us loose to squawk VFR or 1200. They gave me the info for Philly but instead i dialed in the Wilmington ATIS and the tower frequency. I made my call about 10 west and was directed to report right down wind two seven. I slowed for my descent and turned to the down wind just at pattern altitude. There was an aircraft given the straight in for two seven and i was asked if i wanted to be number two or could I keep my pattern tight. I respond can do, your call, whats best for you, 679er. I was cleared to land and got good circle to land time as I kept the speed up dumping the flaps in as I turned base to final in one short complete motion and set it down on the numbers. I added power to taxi off on taxiway Kilo, the tower said thanks, taxi with me. It felt good helping the tower folks out and getting to use what I have learned in my IR lessons. With 679er buttoned up we headed for home. Mary drove, I drank down the cold water and soaked up the A/C.

I want to thank John for the contact and Al who lives next to the airport, great guy, very friendly and offered rides to those folks flying in with our group. Another great example of what GA is all about. Al, if you are reading this I'll be up to take you flying. I owe ya' one for all your time and thoughfulness you showed the North East Flyers.

Check out Jeff's pictures from the day on his web page at

IR Lesson tomorrow's going to be a hot one!

1 comment:

Patty said...

It sounds like you had a great trip.
Thanks for stopping in to my blog and letting me know you had been there. I am really looking forward to our trip. Late Sept should be a perfect time to go. We heard that the apple orchards should be ready, and of course we want to take a couple of the ghost tours. and go out on the battlefield at night ourself to see if any show up ha ha.
Thanks again.