Saturday, November 01, 2008

Flight Time & Memories

I was going to sit home and study for the IR oral but the beautiful wx got the best of me. I decided to head to the airport and take 679er for a fun flight. Mary was spending the day with her mom and cousin shopping (shoe shopping). Wow, exciting as that sounds, I'll take a pass.

I closed the books, did a online wx and TFR check the grabbed the flight bag and made a beeline to the airport. On the way I called a co-worker that really wanted to get some flight time. Paul is a riot and he has been a lifesaver for me when it comes to managing my projects at the Cape May Lewes Ferry. I asked him if he wanted to fly some today and he responded what time and where. I figured by the time I preflighted, fueled up and putzed around I would be wheels up around 12:30. I told Paul met me around 1, it may be a few minutes later but I'll be there no later then 1:30.

I taxied out and launched from runway one nine with a left turn on course approved, pointing me to the south east. It was so nice to fly along, hands off looking for traffic and listening for calls to the local airports. I had Dover approach, Millville Airport, Atlantic City Approach and finally Cape May airport tuned throughout the flight. I reported at ten and five out of Cape May with one aircraft heading my direction but was staying at 1500 feet. We exchanged info and both were looking for each other. It's so nice when everyone plays nice on the radio, although, some didn't today (more on this later).
I never did see the piper as I descended from 3000 to traffic pattern altitude, now just a mile and half shy of crossing midfield. "Cape May traffic, Archer 28679er crossing midfield for left down wind entry two eight, Cape May." I followed with the down wind, base and final calls then made another great landing, stall horn moaning, airspeed just dropping under 60 knots and just the softest touchdown. I knew I was down because I felt 679er rolling out. I have to mention my landings only because since I started my Instrument rating they have stunk, my hard work is paying off, I'm back in the landing groove.

I taxi into Big Sky and Paul is waiting. I motion for him to enter from behind the wing since I set the brake and opened the door. Paul gives me a thumbs up and climbs up the wing, he already had that unmistakable grin on his face. All you pilots know that grin I'm talking about, ear to ear, like a kid in a candy store with no spending limit. Paul handed me an apple, said he brought it for the teacher, he cracks me up. I got him squared away with a briefing on the operation of the door, time to talk and not talk and a few other odds and ends. We started to taxi back out to two eight and decided on a short hop to Millville. A smooth take off and gentle climb out towards Millville had us both enjoying the view. Paul quickly spotted his friends house on thirty five plus acres with mutiple ponds. I swung over to my right and positioned us for a few pictures. We finished up and pointed back to KMIV. I announced ten out then five both times stating "with information", it didn't matter I got the briefing from Millville radio each time along with an overview of everything that was flying in a twenty-five mile radius.
As soon as I got the yadda yadda from the guy the next poor soul that was inbound from the northwest got the same ear full. Needless to say this went on over and over again. I saw a citation jet at the hold short and made a call on short final as a courtesy, Millville radio came back and asked if i saw the Cessna skyhawk departing two eight. Affirmative have the traffic on the upwind and that was the final straw. I told radio that if he wouldn't make so many calls the "pilots" could hear each other announce their positions. It fell on deaf ears, at least for now.
Once clear of the active I announced and then we taxied back for another take off. I made a call to announce crossing runway ten two-eight and radio again gave me the full run down of weather, aircraft in the area and whatever else he could think of. Heck, I didn't even say I was taxing for take off, I was just crossing the runway. We get out to three two and hold short for a Cessna cardinal on short final, watching him make a beautiful landing. Once the cardinal is clear I announce departing on three two and begin rolling for take off. Yep, you guessed it the full report again. I ignored him, instead making my call on the crosswind and down wind departure to the south. I gave Paul a chance to take the controls, I explained the instruments and he asked about every single flight control and it's operation. He slowly grabbed the yoke and as every beginner did a gentle weave. Not bad at all since he held altitude pretty good and kept us on course. I set up for our descent back into Cape May and followed my earlier arrival by crossing midfield and entering the left down wind for two eight.

I shut down at Big Sky and we sat and talked about flying as Paul shared some stories his father had passed on to him. Paul's dad was a bombardier based in Italy with the 15th Army Air Division (I hope I got that right). Paul's dad was shot down on his final mission and rode out the remaining time of the war as a POW. Paul's father has since passed but you can see the sparkle in his sons eye as he recounts the stories his father shared with him. It was a great day to fly and Paul just soaked it all in. I hoped it provided some tie to his dad and that view we as pilots enjoy every time we saddle up was something he could relate to. I'm sure we'll fly again soon, I want to drag him out on a lunch run along the coast.
When I returned home I put in a call to the Leesburg, VA Flight Service. I asked to talk to a supervisor and went on to explain about the gentleman on the radio this afternoon. It's a shame but I did share the very fact that this guy crowds the air so much he has been nicknamed "double trouble" by locals who fly in and out of MIV. We chatted for a good twenty minutes about service, briefers, pilots and todays fiasco. The supervisor was really great to chat with and he understood my concerns. He advised that he would have a talk with the operator. I passed on my tail number in hopes that it would jog his memory and thanked the guy for taking the time to listen. I hope it helps.


Rob said...

After listening to your videos, I'd yell back at him too. Good thing you did yesterday calling Flight Service. Hopefully it will improve for you and the others in the area.

Love the sign and the rock!

Gary said...

I hope it helps.....

I found that "wx station" picture on my old hard drive while cleaning files since my computer crashed. I can not remember for the life of me who sent that to me.

Anonymous said...

So glad you called JYO FS. Take the guy of the radio and put him on line answering phones - mike

Anonymous said...

Great Write Up. I know the pain it is having to listen to a chatterbox on the radio. Sounds like all the other bits of the flight went great though. Be Particular.