Sunday, November 29, 2009

She's Home

08Romeo is home!
Thanks MikeB for the hop to 58M. Once shut down at Cecil Aero I went in to settle up the bill and pick up my keys. I don't even own a spare set, well, not yet anyway. 08R checked out, all systems go and Mike was kind enough to give her a good once over with me. Mike launched ahead of me, he was headed back to ILG to catch up with a friend for some multi engine time. I taxied out and was number three for departure. The run up was fine and with a few calls on CTAF I was off! The plan was to meet up with a few friends at Chester County, KMQS. 08R was perfect, just like I remembered after our last flight nearly 4 weeks ago. I took my time getting her tied down at Red Eagle and hated to lock her up. Mary and I will get some flight time in over the next few weeks and together we'll become familiar with our new ride.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Making Arrangements

Mary and I headed south to 58M Elkton, Cecil County airport yesterday to check on 08R and square up the final bill. We decided to load up the dogs and take them for the ride, yes, I brought both of them back. They went nuts when I said we should take them with us. I went out to put the seats down to provide more space in the back of the SUV as Mary was getting ready. Rudder ran around the house in overdrive barking non-stop and he's normally not a yappy dog. Maggie gave chase and together it was like the Daytona 500 around our split level home. I gave the all clear and Mary let them out the front door. I have one rule before they load up and that is a potty break, like asking a little child if they have to go ten times before you put them in the car. Both dogs hit the grass and did their thing then waited for the "kennel" command to load up. Well, Maggie loaded in no problems, the little guy could only dance around performing the pick me up ritual, yeah your cute, now get in the truck.
Traffic was light and we made very good time heading to Elkton. When we pulled in I saw the club plane 679er tied down next to our new girl, I almost felt uncomfortable, sort of like that first time you see an ex while taking your new girl out. I know, call me crazy. The guys at Cecil Aero were going to bring 08Romeo in and complete the windscreen seal and leave her sit in the hangar over the weekend to dry. After looking at the wx next week I made the decision that Sunday looks best so I was going to bring her home then. Keith said he would call to confirm she's done and they would expect me between 1 and 1:30 Sunday. Done deal.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

08Romeo, Ready to Come Home

08Romeo is finally ready to come home, now I need the wx to cooperate!

Here is a break down of the work on our first annual

Annual Inspection

Two master cylinders rebuilt
Right side landing gear

- Jo Bolts (2) removed and replaced
- One new hole drilled
Vacuum regulator rebuilt/repaired
New ELT battery
Windshield reseal *
Oil change
Corrosion spot repaired and repainted

-(Vent duct corrosion,dissimilar metals)
Wing tip replaced and repainted (on the shop)

*I added the windshield reseal since it caused corrosion of the vacuum regulator and the corrosion next to the vent duct on the right side under the windscreen. There was not a constant dripping leak but after hosing the heck out of it it would be damp in and around the vacuum regulator and the original black duct which eventually rotted and exposed the metal to the skin of the aircraft thus,dissimilar metals. The regulator filter, often called the garter filter was replaced for the annual and sent the suction gauge above normal on run up. Upon further inspection there was corrosion everywhere on the regulator so, they took care of that.

Total cost.....$1.7 AMU's
(Aviation Monetary Unit)
Hands on learning experience...PRICELESS!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cirrus SR22 Flight Time

Mike B and I traded emails Friday afternoon and he asked if I was available for some right seat safety pilot time in the Cirrus SR22 on Saturday. Well, let me think, oh hell yeah I'm available! Mike sent me a text this morning and as I was texting back he followed up with a call. We were on for the SR22 flight. I would have taken us to Lancaster in the Sundowner but it's still at the shop. I offered to drive since Mike was providing the airplane so we decided to leave from my home. I swapped vehicles around so he didn't have to park on the street and Mary was getting ready to head out to visit her Mom in the Hospital and check on Pop.

Traffic was moving at a pretty good pace this morning as Mike and I retraced the path Rob and I made on the North East Flyer's Lancaster Fly-In. This time I was ready for the Rt. 30 bypass around Lancaster, it went much quicker. We found a parking spot close to the main door of Dutch Country Helicopters and unloaded our gear. This was a switch, Mike had the bag full of charts, checklists, headsets and anything else we might need and I was holding on to an AOPA headset bag with my Zulu's and knee board. We walked through the building and out on the ramp sat our ride for the day. A gorgeous SR22 trimmed in blue that screamed hot hot hot. I know, Mary and I just bought a plane and we both love it but someday I see us flying a Cirrus, hey it's my dream.
Ok, back to reality. Mike performed an extensive preflight and I followed around trying to soak this new stuff in. The Cirrus has the same fuel caps as the Beech except free of paint and on a much smaller scale, so easy to flip open and lock shut. A few things that caught my eye compared to the SR20. There is an 18-inch extension at each wing tip. The wider span provides more wing area, to better distribute the higher wing loading and improve initial climb and high altitude performance. Cirrus engineers also mounted a vortex generator on the fuselage just ahead of each wing root to keep air flow attached to the wing at higher angles of attack, which improves low-speed handling. The last change I noticed was the change in height, the SR22 sat a few inches higher then the SR20. I notice this stuff since I have to make the step up with the new hip parts. I would think this will help eliminate some of the prop strikes with the added clearance. While Mike finished up the preflight I pulled the chocks then climbed inside. It was chilly out today standing in the shade of the hangar. Once we were both buckled in we set up the cockpit with our headsets, secured the water bottles and flight gear. The preflight was completed and it was time to wake this 310hp monster from her early morning slumber. If I could only insert a few Tim the tool man Taylor grunts, it would be perfect.
We taxied out after contacting ground and were cleared to runway three one via Delta, Alfa and Bravo for our south east departure. We had to wait on three arrivals before we were instructed take off. Looking back I noticed there were a few planes waiting in line to depart, thankfully we were number one to go. Mike advanced the throttle and we were on the roll. If you read my post about the SR20 flight back in July you may remember my comment on take off that "This baby was screaming and it sure scoots along faster then the Archer", well take it up a few notches. Holy smokes, 310HP really push you in the seat and a roar is more the description then screaming down the runway.
I had a smile stuck on my face like a little kid at Christmas. Unlike the SR20 that needs some runway the SR22 jumped into the air and climbed as they say, like a homesick angel, I have goose bumps typing this. Things were happening fast as we followed our right turn on course as directed by the tower. The field was slipping away beneath us and we were looking at some ugly haze and cloud layers ahead. We leveled off to stay under the first layer then let 317G have her head as she pulled through the clearing and topped the next layer with ease. What a great feeling to point the nose and get to the spot you are looking at without concerns. We were hauling the mail as they say, moving along at a good clip holding 170 knots ground speed. The sun was shining on the misty haze layer below and the reflection was really bright. I could see the top of the Chesapeake Bay off our right wing and I mentioned that 08Romeo is parked down there at Elkton. Hopefully planes are like dogs, they don't really care who your with when your not with them and they love you when they see you with no strings attached. I really need to get 08R home and get some left seat time in the log. I'm instantly brought back to reality here as I hear a change in the engine hum of 317G. Mike noticed my quick glance over at him and he said that was me, as he throttled back the power.
We were turning on course for KCGE, Cambridge Dorchester as we crossed our checkpoint KEVY Summit Airport. I was so engrossed in this bird I didn't even pick up flight following although I did have Dover tuned in. I mentioned to Mike that Ridgely has jumpers and they do announce on Approach. It's always good to monitor if not on flight following. The SR22 TCAS was much more efficient then SR20 system as we identified and tracked contacts.
As we approached Cambridge TCAS was looking like a bee hive with planes everywhere. Mike was setting up to fly the GPS 34 approach and I was eyes out searching for traffic and creating the mental picture of tail numbers and locations relative to us and the field. I ID'ed a Cessna departing and one holding short but still could not locate the Mooney on down wind, he blended into the ground cover. Mike was out bound on roughly a 155* heading for the procedure turn and I was making the radio calls. Once turned back in on the approach I stepped up the calls reporting our position and working to blend with traffic. As we approached the field I noticed the traffic had eased and we had an easy shot for the straight in with only one aircraft reporting a 45* entry to the left down wind for three four. I did alert Mike we had a Cessna holding short and that I was watching it just in case we had to go missed. We work pretty good together on that CRM stuff!
Mike crossed the fence at 80 knots and greased the landing, very nice. We taxied to the ramp and found a spot to park, it was time for some lunch at Kay's at the Airport. I would never let my readers down by not reporting on the eats. I ordered up the crab cakes that came out on english muffins covered in cheese just crispy on the top with a tomato smothered in there too. Mike had a tuna salad that was piled high and could have fed two people. We each had a tea in the typical mason jar serving containers. I had to have the sweet tea, which is some of the best around, in my opinion.
Mike filed from KILG to KMDT Harrisburg. The plan was to fly to Wilmington, shoot the ILS 1 approach then pick up the clearance and head to Harrisburg and shoot an approach there before heading back to Lancaster. Mike preflighted and I climbed aboard 317G. The Mooney had left along with a Sierra and a few Cessna's. I think there was maybe two of us left on the ramp. We fired up and taxied out to runway three four and announced our departure. Once again I was very impressed with the power of this bird, not to mention the awesome sound. We were climbing out and heading north for ILG. I dialed in Dover approach and requested flight following, he handed me off to Patuxent.
Ok, Patuxent approach Cirrus 317Golf off of Cambridge 2,200 climbing 5,500 VFR to India Lima Golf. We copied and entered our squawk code and were on our way. We had one traffic call out that we acknowledged 1,000' low and across the nose, no factor. Shortly after the traffic contact we were handed back to Dover. We road along for a bit and we exchanged control of the plane. I was flying the bird and enjoying every second of it. The SR22 handles very smoothly, in turns I had to work to keep the nose level but got used to it fairly quickly. The nose up trim felt good but any touch of nose down trim and you could quickly feel the shift. This ain't your Daddy's family wagon, this here is a sports car.
I transferred the controls back to Mike so I could take a picture of a balloon passing by our right wing tip, actually mike had to dip the wing so I could find my target. I made a request to Dover asking if we could fly the ILS runway 1 into Wilmington when handed off to Philly. Dover turned us over to Philly and off we went. I asked Philly for the ILS runway one approach for ILG, he responded your VFR now? Affirm, VFR requesting the "practice" approach ILS runway 1. Philly gave us vectors for the ILS which consisted of maybe two tuns to intercept the localizer. We were handed off to the Wilmington tower and I checked in with 317G on the ILS with the current ATIS, which escapes me at the moment while I type this. The tower cautioned us for bird activity and indeed there was some feathered foes out there at the threshold. Mike extended to clear the birds, then executed a nice touch and go. We were climbing out for the published missed. ILG handed us off to departure and I made the contact; Philly departure 317Golf on the missed approach ILS runway 1. Mike suggested I should have given a heading flying on the missed, I file that one away. We requested picking up our clearance to KMDT, Harrisburg and advised ready to copy. Philly gave us cleared MDT, radar vectors, V469, maintain 3000. Mike responded with a request for direct MDT, Philly acknowledged.
Philly handed us off to Harrisburg who then provided a few vectors to intercept the ILS Runway 31 approach. We intercepted the Localizer somewhere between the MTJOY intersection and the Final Approach Fix HINTO. Mike was on the instruments, or glass as the case may be and I was eyes out playing safety pilot. We had traffic on the TCAS within 100 feet in altitude crossing left to right across the nose and an audible warning. I alerted Mike right before the audible warning and he went eyes out also to confirm my visual on the traffic. He made an immediate left turn and at the same time Harrisburg approach started to call out our tail number then went quiet. The twin engine traffic passed just off the nose and very close to us. If we were in the soup and didn't have the TCAS we would have had a very rude awakening. Mike was quick with the evasive maneuver and avoided a problem. The twin never flinched, kept on course maybe never saw us. Approach never said another word and we turned back to keep on the localizer. Mike made a nice approach and went missed following the instructions to turn out on a 050* heading and climb to 3000'. Harrisburg gave us a direct to KLNS Lancaster.
The haze was thick and I didn't see LNS until we were 6 miles out. Once handed off to the tower we were directed to enter a left down wind three one and report midfield. I acknowledged and reported, we were now in the home stretch. Another smooth landing and roll out to taxiway Delta had us switching over to ground. We shut down in the same foot print we had left from just out front of the hangar. A great day of flying! I could have done without the excitement on final into Harrisburg but none the less a great day in a fantastic flying machine! Thanks for the invite Mike!!!

Dinner Hop - KMQS

I got a call from Jeff Frey (33N) asking if I wanted to safety pilot for him this evening. I have not been in the air for three weeks, oh hell yeah I want to go! I had a few things to finish up around the house having just got in from work. Mary was still at the hospital with her Mom so I took care of the zoo, finished folding clothes and getting the basket upstairs and picking up a few things around the house.

The plan was to meet up at KILG - Red Eagle around 5-5:15ish. I headed out a bit early so I could put my tie down straps at our new ramp location. I finished digging out around the tie downs so I could set the hooks and then parked the SUV out in the lot. I walked back through the gate and stood around watching jets take off and climb out of sight along with a few Cessna's doing pattern work. The sunset was gorgeous, now if I only had my beach chair and a cool drink I would be a happy camper.

I watched an aircraft heading towards the airport from the south, it had to be Jeff. Sure enough he entered the pattern and worked in between the departures and pattern aircraft. I walked over to the taxiway that turns off Kilo into Red Eagle so I could climb in. Jeff pulled the throttle back and opened the door for me. I had asked him not to bother shutting down as I would approach from the rear of the plane and climb in. We made a quick turn and Jeff called ground to let them know we were ready to taxi out. There was a straight tail Cessna that came in on the red eagle ramp so Jeff repositioned towards the Boeing ramp side. The Cessna driver made no call on ground and taxied towards us and sat there. Heeellllllloooooo.......say something dip stick. He didn't so Jeff hit the push to talk and advised ground that we were um "maneuvering" for another aircraft.

It was a a cool night as we rolled down the just reopened runway two seven. 93Zulu climbed out enjoying the night air. We were cleared on course to MQS and off we went, enjoying all the lights. Jeff's two children (Hannah and Bryan)were on board and they serenaded us with a modified rendition of twinkle twinkle little star, just too cute. Traffic was minimal this evening and it seemed we would have Chester County all to ourselves. Jeff shot the GPS 29 approach and made a very nice landing rolling out long and having to taxi back, I guess I should have told him where the terminal was located, it was his first time at this airport. We had the ramp all to our self. I climbed out and gave us a push back just to get aligned.

The Flying Machine Cafe' was open for business and actually seemed to be very busy. We were seated at a table overlooking the ramp which is always nice. The kids had mac and cheese, I had ravioli with Italian sweet sausage and Jeff had a either a crab cake sandwich or some fish sandwich. The food was very good but it took awhile for it to make the table, maybe because they were busy. Hannah and I played numerous games of tic tac toe and she really enjoyed blocking my every move, she caught on pretty quick. It was time to saddle up and head back to ILG. Jeff loaded up the children and I gave Mary a call to give her a heads up. After his walk around and fuel check he and I climbed aboard. A Cessna 172 taxied in as we were leaving and that was it for ramp traffic. We headed out to runway two niner and launched into the night sky. It was a short hop back home and the tail winds provided 140 knot ground speeds, fun stuff.

It was good to be back in the air! Thanks for the invite Jeff and for dinner. One of these days if and when I get my plane back I'll take you flying.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NEF Lancaster Lunch Run

It was sure ugly out there yesterday morning. The plan was for the North East Flyers group to meet up at KLNS-Lancaster Airport in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This is always one of the favorite stops. The sign up list had thirty names with a few maybes added in as passengers for a grand total of nineteen aircraft and one ground pounder. 08R is still in the shop so Rob (Rob's Flying Adventure) drove his van, I mean truck. As you can see by the map I was not a very good navigator. We were so busy talking about flying and airplanes I missed the on ramp to the bypass around business route 30 in downtown. Rob managed to drive us to the airport weaving his way through town like he lived there....Thank God for the iPhone and maps.

The wx was as predicted; wet, overcast and chilly. A few brave folks took advantage of the wx to get some Instrument work and knock out an approach or two. Ron in 22RL from KSBY, Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport in Salisbury, Maryland was first to arrive and farthest traveled at 112 miles give or take a few as Rob and I pulled into the parking lot. Next Scott made it in from KJYO - Leesburg Executive Airport in Leesburg, Virginia and the last to arrive by aircarft was Ted and Adam from KIPT - Williamsport Regional Airport in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Bryon did fly in from KRDG - Reading Regional Airport/Carl A Spaatz Field in Reading, Pennsylvania the shortest distance about 22 miles.

Lunch was very good as it always is at Fiorentino's Italian Bar and Grill. A few of us headed over to the pilot shop to check out what goodies we could find and Scott, Ted & Adam and Ron headed out. Ted and Adam were on a Cloud Nine mission for ARF so they saddled up and pointed the Aztec to KISO - Kinston Regional Jetport at Stallings Field in Kinston, North Carolina.

Left to right around the table: Me, Adam, Scott, Ron, Beth & Shane, Bryon, Ted, Rob, Bella and Ally
A fun day despite the wx and a chance to meet up with fellow pilots and friends. I should add here that Mary did not attend because she was teamed up with Rob's wife Becky on a Delaware shopping adventure. The ladies had a fun day and when we all caught back up we enjoyed a nice dinner together at Lotsa Pasta.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Please, take time today to remember those men and women who serve in all branches of The United States armed forces. Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to provide the very freedoms we all enjoy, everyday. Mary and I would like to pass along a heart felt Thank You to all of our Veterans and to those who have yet to return.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

08Romeo Annual Day 2

Day two calls for another really hot shower to start my day, the way I ended day one before I went to bed. I'm also going to take an Advil with breakfast so I'm ready for wiggling into any position needed to fasten, inspect or reinstall aircraft parts. I'm soon southbound on Interstate 95 and traffic is moving rather quickly. When I arrived at the shop I found the door was still locked, woo hoo....I beat the guys in! Keith opened up the shop in just a few minutes and I walked in with my travel mug of hot apple cider ready to have at it. No donuts this morning, I was already amped up and sugar would have blown the roof off.

We soon picked up where we had left off at the close of day one. 08Romeo got fresh oil even though I only had 16 hours on the last change. It seems I have an oil screen vs the conventional oil filter, I'm not sure I like that set up. It's four screws that can be a bit hard to reach and the frequency of the change is more often then the filtered models. Anywho,I did want to change to a more appropriate weight oil for our north east temps. In Texas the previous owner was running straight 50 weight oil, I switched to 15W50. Aeroshell 15W50 is a premium multigrade ashless dispersant oil specifically developed for aviation piston engines. Ashless means that the product does not contain any metallic components - this is important because it reduces the formation of harmful metallic ash deposits within the engine. Dispersant means it will hold small particles in suspension if they do not dissolve, allowing these particles to be carried away from critical areas and filtered out. This helps keep the engine clean. The advanced additive package provides excellent protection to engines operating at extreme ambient temperatures. The ashless anti-wear additive package provides exceptional wear protection for camshafts and lifters and other wearing surfaces. I should also mention that 08R has a quick drain oil plug which really made things move quickly.

I moved on to reinstall the inspection plates under each wing and the tail cone since inspection was complete. Frank didn't like the way the tail cone was fastened so we changed the screws and added dimpled washers that sat in the predrilled hole much nicer and provided a much cleaner finished look. With the tail end completed we moved to the fuel system. I was back under the plane removing the gascolater/fuel strainer cover to make ready for removal and inspection. The fuel pump is also located under this inspection plate. While removing the gascolator we noticed some sticky residue and it turns out it was brake fluid. It had been there a good while since it was really more of a slime/sludge consistency. This started the trail to find the source. It seems a master cylinder had very minor leak on the right side rudder/brake pedal evidenced by the same sticky slime. We checked the hoses and cleaned the area and also rebuilt one master cylinder on the pilot side. Was fluid spewing out? No, but why wait for a problem to snowball.

We are still waiting for the ELT battery and the wing tip but for now I continue to button things up. Keith climbed inside to replace two filters behind the panel; the vacuum system filter and a relief valve filter. What I want to know is who designed this thing and placed it in the most out of the way, hard to reach space. Obviously aircraft design Engineers and roadway/bridge Engineers both forget about the field guys. I did get a good look behind the panel and things seemed very orderly. I also checked out the space available for the future panel mounting location for my Garmin 496, plenty of room. While Frank and Keith were hard at it I was assigned the reinstallation of the back seats and rear cover for the battery. I also took the headset plug apart so I could repaint the interior plastic piece that houses the two plugs. They had some scratches that will drive Mary and I nuts so now was the time to clean it up. Since the plane was still on jacks I had to use a step ladder to crawl inside. What a sight, to high to lift the new hip in a tight space so I did the belly crawl to get my butt inside the baggage area, thankfully there were no cameras taping this scary stuff.
Following afternoon break we were ready to hang the bottom cowl. The screws for the cowl were some sort of quick set, by that I mean a quarter turn and they locked, which was a good thing for there were many to address. Next, the left side landing gear was temporarily put back together. A high tensile bolt was placed through the Jo Bolt holes so we could lower the plane and prep for drilling the two new Jo Bolt holes. The Service Instruction (SI) detailed the replacement process. I should mention the Beech Aero Club (BAC) that has a very comprehensive list of Service Bulletins (SB) and SI's. If it's related to Beech aircraft they have it. The membership fee is worth the information available to any Beech owner, not to mention all the fly-in events they schedule and the people you meet.
We are pretty much complete for day two since we are waiting on parts. I will not be able to finish up since I am going back to work on Monday. I'll get a call as soon as the wing tip is completed and I will schedule pick up late next week. I'll have to bum a flight down or have Mary drive me down. I hope 08R is back in time for the North East Flyer's Lancaster lunch run on the 14th.

08Romeo Annual Day 1

An early start to a great day and a day off work to go play with tools and get dirty. I headed to Cecil Aero early and traffic wasn't to bad. I did make my Dunkin Donuts stop so I could walk in with a dozen and a large tea extra sugar for me. When I arrived I found that the plane had already been brought in and the cowl removed the night before. It was good to see everyone and I knew it would be very educational today.

My first job was to remove all the inspection plates under the wings and fuselage of the plane. As many as I have removed over the last 3 years one would think I could tell you how many screws were in each.....I have no clue. I borrowed a battery powered (DeWalt) screw gun from a co-worker for my portion of the annual, all other tools I could use at the shop. Keith was the ground guy today and he started on the landing gear getting things taken apart, cleaned up and bearing packed with fresh grease. Frank was up front at the power plant, Oil was draining and plugs were coming out for a compression check and give the plugs a once over. When I removed all the inspection plate screws (all but one so the plate could spin clear of the hole) I moved on to cleaning the plugs. I got to use the sand blast machine with a dust collector. I had to put my arms in the heavy duty rubber gloves and used a foot pedal to activate the system. I cleaned all the plugs starting with the threads and then carefully cleaning the inside around the insulator tip making sure there was no carbon build up. I was like a kid in a candy store only having to add in a Tim Allen Tool Time grunt to make it complete. I should add I had to keep the top plugs and the bottom plugs separated since we would swap them when we reinstall.

I had the opportunity to check out the JPI probes for EGT and CHT and learned that my CHT was indeed the thermal transfer, for lack of a better description, a washer with a wire attached. I also noticed the new Lycoming power plant had a Reiff preheat system on each cylinder and a stick on heat pad for the oil, this was not listed nor mentioned by the previous owner. I guess those folks in Texas don't give freezing temps a second thought. I could live without that thought too. I headed to the back of the plane to remove the rear seats and the vertical wall panel that hides the battery and other goodies. I also removed the ELT battery panel on the left rear and the opposite side panel for inspection along with the tail cone. There were plenty of little plastic cups with screws strategically placed around the plane where I had been working with the screw gun. The cracked wing tip was removed and a replacement ordered. The shop is going to paint the tip and reinstall. I feel bad, I know it's not intentional and crap happens, at least I didn't do it.
I could not believe how fast time was clicking off. It was lunch break already and it seemed like we just got started. I made a quick run to the local deli for a small mushroom cheese steak and an Orange Crush. Heck, I was ready to get back at it! We sat and talked airplanes and a few folks stopped into visit Roger and the guys. I know my body can't take the physical end of this type of work but I sure could get into this stuff and have fun doing something that really makes you feel like something was accomplished.
Lunch break was complete and we headed back out to the shop. I kind of snooped around watching Keith check brake hoses, complete the reassembly of the left side main and disassemble the right side. The guys are great and answer every question, a true learning experience. I got to inspect the wings for corrosion and the main wing spar right under the cabin. 08Romeo was in great shape and the guys commented that it was probably the cleanest Sundowner they have seen in a good number of years. I got an education on the wings and how the skin is attached since there are not rivets from the leading edge back to about halfway across the wing. I did find two little mud nests maybe the size of my thumb, one in the engine compartment and one just inside the wing tip. I cleaned them both off and treated the one inside the wing tip by hitting it with a Scotch Brite pad and spraying some Corrsion X just to be safe.

A fun day 1 of the annual adventure without to much damage to the flying account. We will have to contend with the Jo Bolt issue on the right side main gear since one was loose and one was still in good shape (nice and tight). I wanted to print out the Service Instruction I read on the Beech Aero Club forum so we could have some additional info to review. I head out to the car and drag my sore body in. Both shoulders are snapping and the hip is sore along with almost every other joint that touched the concrete floor today. Maybe I should have taken an Advil 'prior' to getting started. I'll be taking one or two with dinner. Day one complete.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

08R’s Headed to Annual

Mary and I dragged ourselves out of bed this morning so she could run me to the airport (Wilmington) and then head over to her Mom and Dad’s to meet the movers. It has been a crazy….CRAZY few weeks in our home. Truth be told I am as nervous as can be about the first annual on 08R after we spent so much on the down payment, insurance, tie down location and the list goes on. Mary on the other hand has been busy helping her Mom and Dad get ready for the move to their condo and the sale of their house while taking the time to send out resumes for potential work. I have to give her a lot of credit; I don’t know how she does it.

Some history leading up to this morning....Mary and her cousin Amy went through the condo top to bottom spending Sunday cleaning and Monday putting the kitchen together and getting things set up. I thought the place was pretty darn clean to start but hey, I’m a guy what do I know. I was wide awake Monday morning by 3:30am and now that the day is coming to a close I was really dragging. Mary and I met at the house last night, took care of the zoo then headed to Elkton, MD (58M) Cecil Aero to drop off a car so that I would have transportation to work. Two vehicles making the run, rush hour traffic and I am starting to really feel the effects of very little sleep last night. I was leading the way and somehow managed to find this gem on the back country road and having not been here for a year. A few things I noticed; There is a new terminal building that is really impressive and a new parallel taxi way to access runway three one. We locked up the car and piled in the truck, both dogs in tow. Maggie and Rudder came with us just for a change of pace.

Why does it never seem to take as long going home as it does getting to the destination? One of those mysteries of life I would guess. We made it back to the house around 7:30 and after letting the pups out we went right to bed, we were both dead beat tired. I also started to feel like I was getting a sore throat and the sinus was acting up. I had one pill left from my last antibiotic prescription so I took that and crawled in bed. I managed to drift in and out and did catch the last inning or two of the Philly win over the Yankees. Mary let me know this morning that between me and Maggie girl it’s lucky the house is still standing, we both were snoring pretty badly.

I am up and ready to go around 6am and the dogs are ready to eat. Mary tossed and turned all night reminding me that the little guy, Rudder, walked all over the bed last night and kept her up. I wouldn’t have known if a bomb had dropped. My throat feels better and I’ll call the doc for meds to fight it off. Mary was up, showered and ready to roll by 7am. I drove to the airport and together we uncovered 08R. I ordered fuel from AeroWays since Dassault didn’t answer the phone. 08Romeo took on 21.3 gallons of fuel for her 2.5 hours of work on our last flight. 8.5 gallons per hour burn and I’m just starting to get the hang of the JPI engine monitor.
Mary left for her parents and I got the plane started. I sat for a good bit letting the oil temps come up all the while enjoying the sun as it was warming the cockpit.

I picked up the ATIS info and called ground for taxi instructions. I was directed to taxi to runway one, that’s it, just taxi to runway one. Hmmm…ok, Zero Eight Romeo taxi to runway one. I took my normal path and once at the hold short I completed my run up. Once cleared to take off I gave 08R some throttle and we were off. It was gorgeous this morning, at least around Wilmington. Looking towards the Chesapeake Bay I could see ground fog. When I was nine out of Cecil County I announced my positions and intentions. Winds were out of 240° at 6 knots so I planned to land on runway three one with a crosswind. I was watching the ground fog linger around the bay and hang around Elk Point just of the extended center line of runway one three or as you can guess covering the approach to three one. I decided to buy a bit more time and repositioned for a crosswind entry to three one and I was at pattern altitude of one thousand feet. I turned to the downwind and d had a clean view of the three one approach and had the numbers clearly in sight. As I added a second notch of flaps and turned left base the end of three one was covered by ground fog. Ugghhh….one three was clear to the north so I announced my new intentions to enter the left downwind for one three and give this a try. Down wind was looking good as I watched my airspeed and position to the runway. I was keeping this one tight as I turned base then final now deciding to hold off on the last notch of flaps until I was over the displaced threshold. I was right on it, descent looking great, on center, last notch of flaps added followed by wheel chirp, I was on the ground. Flaps retracted and brake brake brake, there would be no missed this round. I made a turn off at the old terminal and taxied back to Cecil Aero in search of a tie down.

Tale of the tape for 58M
Runway 13/31 Dimensions: 2987 x 70 ft.
Displaced threshold: Runway 13 is 288 ft - Runway 31 is 602 ft

Roger walked out to meet me and he chocked the plane. I handed over the books for 08R and stood around to chat for a bit. I know he is busy so I told him I would wait for his call so I could take time off work to ‘assist’ (get in the way) for the Sundowners first annual. There will be more posts and lots of pictures to document the process. There is so much to learn about a new plane!