I got a text from MikeB about the possibility of some flying tonight. Mary and I had no plans other than to kick back and watch some TV since it was the season premiere for Grey's Anatomy and The Mentalist. Mary pretty much said go play pilot and so I figured who am I to argue that point. I grabbed her headset so I could try it out, she had complained of not hearing ATC very clear. I also brought along all the electronic goodies since Mike had the new power cable ready to go in Two Five Uniform.
With the pre-flight complete and ATIS noted I made the call to Wilmington ground for taxi clearance. We had to hold short for a corporate jet on final and then we were cleared for take off, no delay since a King Air was now on a 3-4 mile final. Mike acknowledged and had us rolling.
It was really nice out this evening, clear skies ahead as we pointed the nose towards KLNS, Lancaster, PA. I picked up flight following with Philadelphia for a short ride, then got handed of to another Philly sector. Eventually we were handed off to Harrisburg and I checked in with the following. Harrisburg Approach, Cessna 3525Uniform, 3,500 level with request. I acknowledged the Altimeter report and stated the request which was the Lancaster GPS RWY 31 approach and we had information Mike. Harrisburg gave us direct to AYOSA from our current location, just passing over the Initial Approach Fix PADRE, which requires NO PT. Mike was steady as we tracked inbound and again verbalized everything he was doing which really helps me out.
We taxied in to park on the West ramp and decided on dinner at Fiorentino's Italian Bar and Grill. It was so nice out tonight that we sat at an outdoor table. Good crab dip followed up by tasty salads. Hangar flying as usual while we ate is always a learning experience for me. As we finished up a guy was setting up all kinds of equipment, it was Karaoke night. That was our queue to get rolling. As we stood up to go the DJ (not sure if that's what you call people that run karaoke)asked if we wanted to sing or pick out a song or something. Jeff and I laughed and I said out loud you don't even want to go there, I could scare these patrons out of here. Actually I'm quite the shower singer...ok, way to much info.
We saddled up for home after talking with two pilots that were struggling to get their Cardinal started. One of the construction inspection folks working on the airport gave the guy a jump and the cardinal roared to life. They followed us out to runway three one. With the run up complete we launched for home. The 496 was picking up shower activity down towards Dover Delaware and it was slowly moving north north west. I even noticed a tic of yellow in there and kept a close eye on the track. Mike was tooling along doing that pilot in command stuff and I was getting set up to call for flight following. Harrisburg confirmed our position about eight miles south east of KLNS and we had an extra set of eyes with us. Approach handed us off to Philly and then Philly to its next sector.
Philly Approach, Cessna 3525Uniform, 4,500 level, request. After Philly responded I asked for the Wilmington ILS RWY 1 Approach. I was given a squawk code and turned right twenty degrees. Mike explained that is so they can track us for a bit before the vector us. No sooner he said that we were turned to heading 190* maintain VFR,I acknowledged. Mike was under the hood the whole time while I was soaking up the lights. I never did see the KMQS Chester County beacon but the N57 New Garden beacon was very east to spot. We were headed for the C&D canal and looked to be on a long high final for Summit, KEVY as the runway lights were inviting us to make a stop. As we crossed the canal ATC turned us left to 090*, once again I acknowledged. We were south of Delaware City shadowing the canal and its lighting would have passed for a major highway minus the vehicles.
Our last vector had us turning to intercept the localizer. I acknowledged, left turn to 030*, descend and maintain 2,000 until established on the ILS RWY 1. Once established we were directed to contact the tower. Wilmington Tower, Cessna 3525Uniform, ILS RWY 1. We were cleared to land and Mike got us home tracking the ILS to a gnats behind.
It was another fun night in the air and more time for me to practice my radio skills for the IR. Speaking of my IR, or lack there of. I plan on getting a few flights in our new plane once she's home. Over the next few weeks I'll get to know the systems and Juliet. Yes, the new bird has a name, its a spin off of the tail number Zero Eight ROMEO. Get it? Romeo and Juliet, hey as long as she treats Mary and I to safe travels I'll hug all over her. Anyway, once I feel comfortable it's time to finish this Instrument journey.