Thursday, September 04, 2008

Elusive River Tour

Today started out with the best of intentions, I know, famous last words. Airmet IFR warnings covered my general area of flight but it looks to be burning off around 10:00 am or 1400 Zulu. Not a big deal, I was in no rush and just wanted to enjoy the day. I made a change to my flight plan and decided that since it was a later start I would fly direct to Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley (KWBW), use the crew car or rent for transportation and take care of my parents grave site, the reason for the WBW stop. Mom loved geraniums so Mary and I planted them for memorial day. They are still blooming and doing fine and needed only a drink to make 'me' feel better.

I still miss my folks so much, Mom always the tough one and Dad the teacher and best friend. I miss his words of wisdom and all his quick come backs, I guess I got them honestly. I visited where my Grandparents are buried and most of my Aunts and Uncles, their generation is almost gone. It's kind of scary, the place I called home really doesn't have a lot of family left, just great memories of times gone by. I had to stop by and say a prayer for my dad's sister Rita, who always had a smile to share, her husband Joe and one of my favorite Aunts (really like a second mom) Josephine and her husband "Murph". Murph passed a month after my Mom in November 2003, he was awarded a bronze star and a purple heart during his military service. He and I really got along well, all the time. Between my Dad and Murph's construction stories it doesn't take much to understand why I do what I do for a living.

Back to the flight to get here....

679er ran great as she always does. It was a smooth flight north in decent time and flight following provided the extra eyes. I was kicked around by Philly approach, handed off to another section, then kicked to Potomac, then to Harrisburg, I was starting to get a complex. Finally I called Allentown and they said I had about ten miles until their area. Great, I respond that I'll ride along this frequency, 679er. Sure enough in just a few minutes Allentown contacts me with a squawk and I'm on my way. I flipped frequencies so many times in that short span I think I have a blister!

Once on the ground Ed from Valley Aviation met me with chocks and I shut down where I was instructed to park. No crew car so I had to call Enterprise. They showed up and gave me a lift to their office (paperwork) then I was free to roam. I made the rounds as noted above, made a quick stop for lunch at Burger King and wandered my way back to the car rental office. I had a short wait for a ride back to the airport and was soon playing counselor with the young driver. I must be getting old. We talked about work, dealing with the boss and job prospects in Delaware. He was a nice young man, fresh out of college with a biology degree.

Finally back to my plane! I hang out with Ed for a few talking about how much the area has changed since I was a teenager and places of interest for future travel and the latest update how his family was doing. Well, there is not a lot of traffic today so instead of playing airport bum any longer I decided to tour the river. On departure after contacting Wilkes-Barre Approach I flew south and really had a hard time picking out the mountains that lined my path. I climbed to 6,500 and the haze was still covering the valley. I decided it would not be fun slow and low having to pick my way and the camera shots would really look crappy so I turned for home. I advised approach that I was changing my final destination to ILG, India Lima Golf, Wilmington, Delaware the controller thanked me. Once south of Blue mountain I dropped down to 4500 and rode that until Reading Approach couldn't get me handed off to Philly. Not a problem, I continued down to 3000 ans monitored approach until needing to contact ILG. I picked up the ATIS and called Wilmington at 11 miles out. An easy straight in for runway one nine with a five mile call on final.

Not exactly the day I had planned but a good day for my heart and soul none the less. I just needed to get north and recharge, reconnect with the area and my family. I feel better, I still have the tour to complete and I had fun just flying with nothing to think about but "flying the plane".


Rob said...

Another Nice video Gary! Pretty Hazy flight, but seemed clear down low on your approach. Looks like a nice little airport.

Gary said...

Yep, WBW is a quiet place with nice folks working the FBO. It was really hazy when I was ready to head south along the river so I decided it will wait for another day when I can really enjoy it.