Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Day to Play

Mary and I decided that since the rain finally stopped we would take our plane for a joy ride. I don't think we have both been in the plane together since we brought it home. I did fly a few times but it was with the guys. The plan for today was to head south west for seventy miles and invade Kays at the Airport located at Cambridge Dorchester, KCGE. We decided to post on the POA forum just in case we had the chance to meet up with our friends. RonL was a maybe and BobC was a go to meet up. We exchanged phone calls and text messages to confirm departure times.

Mary and I got up around 8am and showered and wait, we didn't have to pack a thing, everything was in OUR plane!!! I just had to add that, it feels good despite the monthly payment. The dogs quickly caught on that we were leaving but for some reason they thought THEY were going. Buzzzzzz.....wrong answer dear four leg furry children, it's me and Mom solo today, no critters. I went out to start the truck and look for my baseball batting gloves just in case it was a bit nip at the plane, I didn't need them. I did have to carry one item to the plane, a little tiny bag that Garmin supplies for the 496 and my airport print out for KCGE. When I came back in Mary said the dogs were going crazy thinking they were going with us...ah...noway!

We arrived at 08Romeo and quickly uncovered and ordered fuel. Dassault Falcon jet 100 LL price is $3.99 a gallon full service, best deal on the airport. The truck was out at the plane in less then fifteen minutes and we took on a total of 16 gallons to bring us up to 40 total. The final part of the preflight is my fuel sump test and I completed that, stowed the Gatts jar (for fuel testing) and locked the baggage door. Several shots of primer and 08Romeo came to life, the fun may begin.

We were cleared to taxi to runway one, complete run up and contact the tower. Everything checked out just fine and we made the call, Wilmington Tower Sundowner 08R is ready to go fox 1 and 1, 08 Romeo hold short Cessna on final, 08Romeo holding short, and so we waited. Once the Cessna cleared we were given the clear to go and launched out of Wilmington. Left turn on course we were headed to Cambridge. I know I'll get in trouble for this but my lovely Bride was asleep before we crossed the C&D canal, less then 10 minutes in the air. I picked up flight following with Dover Approach as we passed within a mile or two of KEVY, Summit Airport. We were riding along enjoying the view even though it was a tad bumpy. I was on the lookout for jumpers at Ridgely since we would pass directly over their airport. It would not be a good thing to tangle with meat missiles. Dover turned me loose prior to crossing Ridgely so I acknowledged and quickly tuned to their common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) to report my position and get any report on the jumpers. We passed with no problems, no jumpers at Ridgely at that time but we did hear jumpers away at multiple airports on the same frequency as far away as New Jersey and Chambersburg, Pa.

I switched over to Cambridge to listen for traffic and picked up the wx report at 15 out. Winds favored runway 34 with winds 350 at 8 gusting 14. I crossed midfield and entered the left down wind making a good landing with a long taxi to the left turn off. All of the parallel taxiway is freshly paved with new striping, looks and feels real nice. I found a place to park next to a Mooney and shut 08R down. Bob was en route and we figured we would walk in and add our names to the list.

We needed to get in line since this place is always busy. We watched a few planes taxi in but no Bob. We gave up our spot twice as we waited and tables were turning over pretty quick, the service is very good. Bob taxied in so we let the ladies working know that our party had arrived. We were seated almost in the middle of the restaurant. As does every seat in the house, we had a good view of the ramp and runway 16 approach. I have read a lot of good reports online about the crab omelets so that's what I wanted, Mary and Bob followed suit. Food and service were very good, as always. I struggled to gulp down the mason jar size serving of sweet tea that I ordered, but I managed. Mary had a monster mug of coffee that I'm sure would keep her wired for the rest of the day.

Bob was going to head back to Wings Field (KLOM) and Mary and I decided to make the hop to Lewes, Delaware. We would land at Georgetown Airport (KGED) and hope they had a courtesy car that we could use. We all left with full tummies and headed out so Bob could check out our new ride. Bob seemed to like the new bird and made mention about trading something for my Garmin 530, no deal! As we checked out the plane the ladies that were sitting next to us walked out on the ramp. Three generations of lovely young ladies out to check out the aircraft. The youngest, Morgan, I think, wanted to see the plane and so I gave her a boost to climb aboard and sit right seat. She seemed to get a kick out of it, and let me tell you she was as cute as could be, and just so polite. Her Mom snapped pictures and Mary talked to her Grandmom as the men went back to the plane. The little cutie stood under the wing and stretched out her arms like she was flying while her Mom took a few more shots, that moment alone was worth the gas to fly to Cambridge.

It was time to say goodbye to Bob and our new found friends. We climbed aboard and got the fan turning so we could bug out for Georgetown. I taxied out and had to hold short for a plane on short final then once they cleared we launched. I saw Bob taking on fuel and acknowledged his wave goodbye with a wag of the wings, we were off. It was short hop to GED but I picked up flight following with Patuxent to check on the R4008 restricted area. The floor of the restricted area is 8,500 and I would be well clear but I always like to check to see if its active (hot) or not (cold). R4008 was cold and I climbed to 3,500 and made way to the east for Georgetown. There were a few planes in the pattern and as you can see by the GPS track turned away from the runway and entered on the down wind, not quite a 45* but more of a midfield bank right and announce. I made an ok landing with a short skip and almost flat, I still need to get used to the new sight picture.

The lineman marshaled us to a parking spot and acknowledged there was a courtesy car available for us to use. Well alrighty!, I'll take that tie down spot and I pulled the mixture to shut down. We walked inside the terminal and the retaurant just inside the door cooking up a storm smelled fantastic. I signed out the courtesy car, the "silver bullet" as she is called and off we went. We headed towards Lewes, Delaware and made our first stop the DRBA Ferry Terminal. I wanted to see a project I had managed but was not able to attend the grand opening due to my hip surgery back in April. It looked great! The granite counter tops really stood out and all the new roll up doors and electrical work really turned this into something nice. It was good to see my co-workers and walk along the water front with Mary.

We walked back to the car and decided to check on the condo for her Aunt & Uncle. It's a short drive from the ferry terminal and it overlooks the Delaware Bay, very nice place. Mary asked if I wanted a peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen since the place was open but I passed.....that's a first. Next on the list was a stop at a little market in downtown Lewes to pick up Milton Sausage, Mary's Mom and Dad like it and so do her Aunt and Uncle. We picked up sausage for everyone including us and two roasted chickens for dinner. We planned on dropping one off at Mom and Dads so they didn't have to cook either.

I made one more stop to put some fuel in the courtesy car and then headed back to the Airport. We thanked the gentleman at the desk and headed for the plane. As we walked across the ramp it's still sinking in that we own a plane, I guess it will soon be like walking out to the car in the driveway.....nah, not for me. We launched out of KGED and headed due north for home. I picked up flight following with Dover and Mary snapped pictures along the way. We passed right over the Air Force base and got a great look at the mighty C-5's, they are large even from 3,500 feet. I dropped with Dover and flipped over to Wilmington's tower. I had already noted the ATIS report and called in with my position, altitude, intentions and with the current information. I was number three to land and continued in having to report crossing the C&D canal. I tuned in the ILS runway 1 and shot the approach but only peeking inside for my scan of the needles since I was VFR and the only pilot on board. About four miles final a regional jet was cleared to take off with no delay for traffic on final. Heck I had two notches of flaps hanging out there at this point, I couldn't catch him if they paid me. Finally cleared to land I made an ok landing but once again a tad flat, Mary said it was on center. Thanks Hottie. We taxied in to our tie down spot and shut down. Mary took a picture of the plane next to us since we both liked the snoopy decal on the cowl. Once 08R was secure we headed for Mom and Dad's to drop off dinner. It was a fun day flying, a better day spending it with my Bride!


Rob said...

Awsome flight Gary ! Sure was a great day to be outside. Glad Bob was able to fly down as well and meet up with everyone.

Steve said...

I don't think I'll ever tire of walking out to my plane when that day comes, either. Great writeup of the day's events.

And I agree completely about the C-5s. Even when they're 20 miles away, they look like they're about to hit you sometimes! I'll always remember on my 2nd solo XC when I saw one pointed right at me off of WPAFB with those bright landing lights shining me in the face. It may have been 15 miles off, but it sure made me jump!