Saturday, April 24, 2010

KGED Sussex County - Lewes DE

I had given some thought to flying to Williamsburg with the North East Flyer's group but decided on a no-go due to potential storms for our afternoon return trip home. It would have been nice to catch up with our friend Susan and catch up with fellow pilot Ryan based at KJGG. While I sat here at the computer looking at wx and confirming our decision with Susan, my lovely Bride was still sleeping. As it turns out, not for long, as my very sleepy girl walks into the room with my cell phone that went off due to a text message. Jeff had sent a text asking if we were up for a breakfast run. After going back and forth Mary voted for Georgetown (KGED, Sussex County Airport). The airport restaurant offers very good food and service, and the line service provided is always top notch. Mary and I also wanted to make a run into Lewes for a few supplies. Mary's uncle wanted sticky buns from a special bakery shop off second street and he and her Mom both like the sausage sold in one small corner store on Main St.
The plans are set and we need to get moving. I took care of the zoo and did a quick flight plan along with the always important TFR check. I guess we headed out the door around 9am and I ordered fuel from AeroWays on the way to the airport. We rolled through the gate as the fuel truck finished up and started the preflight. Mary and I really flow through the routine as I pop cover clips and she pulls the nose plugs, nose wheel chock and pitot tube cover. I move to the preflight while Mary moves inside to remove the gust lock and set out our headsets. She opens the vent window flips on the battery and lights for my walk around checks. My last check is to sump the fresh fuel we just took on that brings us to the slots at 20 gal each wing. 40 gallons is 3 hours flying with a good half hour reserve but I keep it to a max of two hours of flight time and that depends on the winds.
08Romeo quickly starts and the oil doesn't take long to come up to operating temps. We are cleared to taxi for departure via taxiway Kilo, Kilo 5 to runway Nine. Run up completed I contact the tower and we are soon rolling. Wheels up and a right turn out approved we are overflying the Delaware River and passing by just east of Salem Nuke plant. Visibility is very good this morning as we make out the opening of the Delaware Bay some sixty plus miles away. I picked up flight following with Dover Approach and heard Jeff make his calls for a GPS approach for landing into Sussex County.
Jeff soon closed his IFR flight plan as we started our slow descent for the airport. It was so smooth flying this morning that I actually sat with my hands in my lap for most of the trip. Course correction required a gentle rudder touch on occasion so at least my feet were busy. As we approached pattern altitude for KGED the bumps were there, not bad, but had our attention. I announced at ten and five miles out of my intentions then entered the left down wind runway 4 for a nice landing and easy turn off for the ramp. We taxied in and parked right next to Jeff and his son Bryan. The ramp was packed when we taxied in but soon emptied out as we walked for the entrance.
As we sat eating breakfast MikeB came in with Frank, Jeff's instrument instructor, and I sent him a quick text as they walked across the ramp asking him if he was ready to fly. When they walked in he started to laugh and asked if we flew down in our plane. Yep, 08Romeo is on the ramp. We quickly made plans to catch up after we got home. Mike and Frank were taking Frank's twin back to 33N to pick up an instructor and Mike was going to head north to Wilmington to get some flying time in 3525Uniform. After our trip into town I would fly Mary back to Wilmington and she would take my SUV and Mike would pick me up at Red Eagle so we could head across the field for Atlantic Aviation and his plane. Yes, it was just as confusing hearing it live.
We said our goodbyes and went separate ways. Jeff and Bryan saddled up for 33N so he could wash and wax Niner Three Zulu and Mary and I signed out the crew car for the hop into Lewes. I guess it took us 15-20 minutes to get over to Lewes and yes we did pass the stinky farm that sells ice cream. Whew, this place was strong today, not sure how the adjacent homes survive that stuff. Our first stop was at the deli on the main drag into town. Speed limit is 25 and not a bit over, police were out in force. I kept the car running and Mary did the dash in and out. She emerged with multiple packages of Milton sausage in hand, part one of the mission completed. We continued into town and I made the dreaded left to cruise second street, the place loaded with every specialty shop and boutique to make any woman's heart skip a beat. I found parking across from the bakery and Mary was out the door crossing the street in a blink. This took a bit of time so I sat people watching from the car. This bakery was busy, a constant flow of people for coffee and those who were taking sweets to go. My Bride finally pops out the door and makes her way across the street to the waiting get away car, I mean her ride. We putz along as we make our way back to the main road and get pointed in the direction of the airport. I made a quick stop to top off the tank, the least we could do for the use of the free crew car, then headed to the terminal. Thanks to my Bride for no extra shopping request today....I owe her big time, she knew I really wanted to get some flying in.
We handed over the keys to the crew car and headed out on the ramp. 08Romeo comes to life and we are soon making our way for a runway 4 departure. Run up completed I announce and depart for home. As we climb out we cross just south of the baseball complex and I get a peek at all the kids on the field, it's good to see them enjoying the wx. It was a good flight home riding along with Dover Approach. We had one aircraft pass by us heading opposite direction maybe a mile out pass by our left side for the only traffic call. I canceled with Dover and called Wilmington to announce our position. As instructed we entered a left down wind runway one niner and made sure I kept the pattern tight just bumping the 1.3 mile mark on my down wind to base turn. I was already at 1500 RPM and adding a second notch of flaps as I was now turning final. Runway made I add the last notch of flaps and set 08Romeo down very soft with plenty of stall horn.
We secured the plane but did not cover since the plan was to fly with Mike in 25U then come back over for some night op's in 08Romeo. Mary headed home in the SUV and Mike and I headed to Atlantic. 25U was tugged out to the ramp and Mike started the preflight. I wandered around looking at this checking that obviously wanting to preflight just out of habit. Mike and I split up the crew resources as I copy the current ATIS and manage the communications. Mike is ready to roll and I follow up with picking up our taxi clearance with VFR intentions to the south. We taxi out to runway one four at foxtrot three and depart once cleared. Our first approach will be the ILS RWY 19 at Dover AFB. I contact Dover and request the practice approach, they seem busy. We are instructed that we will receive vectors for the approach. We take up the initial heading as directed but approach never turns us to intercept the ILS. A senior controller, who sounded like Darth Vader, came on and vectored us back followed by the original controller now providing info. Once switched to the tower I advised inbound on the ILS 19. We were advised to check gear down and cleared for the option. My first time into Dover but Mike reminds me there is no option, it's low pass only. Mike does a real nice job down the ILS and I call going missed at 250 feet. As we climb out we are handed back to approach and I request an ILS RWY 1 practice approach. Granted, we get vectors to take us out and around. As mike sets up the nav/comms for the new approach we get a nav flag on the HSI. Mike advised approach and they advised once the aircraft landing on 19 is clear they would switch on the ILS 1 for us. Good lesson learned, when in doubt ask.
Mike made another nice low approach followed by a climb out to the north. We thanked Dover for the help today and headed home. I asked Mike if he was going to shoot another approach and he did. First I flew west north west towards KEVY and once in a safe area I returned controls to Mike. He was working on a commercial maneuver and prepping for instructing, Eights On Pylons. Once I knock out the IR check ride I hope to start on my commercial. Ok, time to head back to KILG. I press Mike for one more approach, and he puts the foggles back on as we set up for a GPS RWY 9 approach into Wilmington. I contact Philly to request the practice approach and they coordinate with Wilmington. Winds favor runway one nine so we will circle to land. A few turns and we are cleared for the GPS 9 approach just outside BATRE the final approach fix. Philly hands us off to the tower and I advise we are inbound GPS 9. The crosswind was pretty strong but Mike dialed the crab in and my view was looking good. Once down to pattern altitude Wilmington wanted us to enter a right down wind for runway nine, I acknowledged. Mike landed 25Uniform long since the tower had another aircraft turning base and we were going to taxi off on delta, it worked out perfect. I haven't flown a few feet off the runway for that distance since my PPL training days.
Once the crap wx passes this week I'll get back up in 08Romeo and get ready for a stage check with my instructor. Hopefully I'll get signed off to schedule the check ride.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

08Romeo Spa time

Today, Mary and I had planned on attending the BAC to BAF (Beech Aero Club to KBAF Airport) Fly-In. The wx was not looking good on either end this morning and since it was only a day trip I did not want to try and get there in the afternoon only to pack it up and head back tonight. The decision was made for a no-go.

KBAF - Barnes Municipal Airport, Westfield/Springfield, MA.
FM170000 09006KT 3SM -RA OVC015
FM170400 07007KT 3SM -RA OVC008
FM171500 35008KT P6SM -RA OVC020
FM171600 35008KT P6SM VCSH OVC030
FM171700 35009KT P6SM VCSH BKN040=
Mary and I headed out this morning to our favorite breakfast spot (Angels) and ran a few errands only to end up at Target or tarrrrrjaaaaa as i like to call it. We picked up prescriptions for the Bride and did some grocery shopping. Upon returning to the house and stashing all the goods my lovely Bride went into cooking mode. Mary's Aunt was in the hospital and now that she is home she wanted to bring over dinner to make things easier. A small turkey sacrificed itself along with dozens of potatoes and eggs. Potato salad, deviled eggs rolls for sandwiches and who knows what else. The place was smelling fantastic and driving me bonkers since I couldn't have any. I decided it was time to go work on the plane.
I wanted to remove the access panels and check on the potential birds nest that was started until I plugged up the tail cone. I sent a text to Vince hoping he would want to help out and spend some time at the airport. He was at the gate waiting for me when I got there. We headed in and got to work. The place seemed pretty quiet as we fought the gusting wind while trying to get some work done. Vince took a few shots as we removed a load of nesting material, it was packed. I checked out as much as possible from the access panels and washed out the dirt and small seeds. The bottom of the plane has three drain holes located from the main wing spar to the tail, they were all open and draining. Vince secured the left side access hatch and the baggage compartment panel leading to the full view of the fuselage and control cables. The area was now clean and ready to button up.
The next task was to get some polishing compound on the cowl and on all leading edges. I got a head start while Vince finished with the panels, then he followed up removing any remaining compound. I followed behind with a good application of wax on all he surfaces. As we finished up the tower started to come to life. A Lear departing two seven, a three ship formation of C-130's inbound for the ILS RWY 1 approach and another Lear in the pattern for two seven. Oh, there was also a lone C172 taking off on three two and man did they get a ride in the gusting winds.

Always fun at the airport and it was nice to have some help today. I hope to get Vince some air time. I just gave him the King DVD's for the private pilot study.
Thanks Vince for all the great shots!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Twice the Mice

I'm not sure what went on with the camera other then it had some blue screen thing going on, obviously all day.

I happened to read about a Beech Aero Club (BAC) fly-in scheduled for this Saturday in Westfield, MA at the Barnes Municipal Airport. While checking out the attendee list I noticed our friends from Texas (Bo & Sandra) were in the air heading to the north east to join in the fun. They had quite a few stops planned as they swung east to lunch in Greenville, MS then overnight Gadsden, AL. Monday was lunch in Shelby, NC with an overnight in Edenton, NC. Tuesday a trip to the aviation mecca and lunch at Kitty Hawk followed by a short hop to Williamsburg, VA for dinner and a day of checking out the local attractions on Wednesday.

Ok, I think Mary and I could do Wednesday for a day trip to meet up as long as Bo & Sandra have some time available. I called Bo and we agreed to meet for lunch at Charly's inside the Williamsburg Jamestown Airport terminal. I would call prior to start up and advise of our ETA. The winds looked great for the trip south as I printed out the flight plan this morning. Mary and I made a stop for water and a box of fig newtons for the in flight snacks. Once at the plane we went through the pre-flight having a good laugh at my makeshift stabilator covers protecting us from the bird 'stuff'.

I made the call as planned and started 08Romeo for some warm up time. The sky was clear at Wilmington but I knew we would have some cloud layer to deal with heading south. We took off runway two seven to begin our day of fun. Once turning on a southerly course I could see the layer off in the distance south of Dover. I was cleared to change frequency with the tower and switched to Dover Approach. I always try to pick up flight following on our trips, it's an extra set of eyes and so much easier getting handed off to the next sector then having to look radio stuff up. Dover handed us off to Patuxent approach and I advised 4,500 climbing 6,500 when I checked in.

We rode along on top of the fluffy white carpet of clouds with short peeks of the ground below. I did manage to see Salisbury (KSBY) off my left side as I changed course for the next leg towards Cape Charles (CCV). We were listening to country music as we cruised along in smooth air enjoying the ride. Mary did comment how nice it was on top vs getting beat up under the layer, she is really starting to get this stuff. As we cruised south along the west edge of the the peninsula we could see clear sky ahead over the Chesapeake Bay and building clouds over the peninsula. I try to look ahead at 'what if' places to land if the need arises. One location was KMFV and it was covered by the layer along with a good many airports I would go to, if I had to. The top of the layer was between 5000 and 6000 with some building clouds dotting the 'white carpet'. Patuxent handed us off to Norfolk and they in turn handed us off to another sector. At this point we were maybe 10 miles north of Cape Charles VOR so I requested an altitude change to begin my descent into Williamsburg. Again, the bay was clear not a cloud in the sky but we had to get under the layer across the Chesapeake just west of Point Comfort. I reported the tops and turned west south west. It was a smooth let down and we ducked under the cloud layer with bases at 3,500-4,000 feet. I report the cloud base altitude to Approach as requested and continue towards the airport. Approach cancels flight following after advising no traffic in the area and thanked me for the reports. I switched the radio to the Williamsburg-Jamestown CTAF and announced my position and intentions.

I crossed midfield and entered a left down wind for runway three one. I had to slow it down and set approach flaps as we bounced a bit in the wind. I was keeping this one close as I added in a second notch of flaps and completed my base to final turn. I had to pull the power and slip a bit as I crossed the fence and added the last notch of flaps. I was a little fast and landed a bit flat with not much stall horn at all. We were on the ground and rolling out for the terminal.

Bo and Sandra were outside waving as we shut down. I parked next to our fellow Mouse and secured 08Romeo. It was so nice to see our friends! Of course it was hugs and handshakes around as the girls chatted and the men checked out 4Lima Bravo and 08Romeo. I ordered fuel when we taxied in and the truck was just about there to meet us. I wanted to top off to the slots to check fuel burn and our girl took on 14 gallons, not to shabby for a tick under 1.5 hours.

We eventually made our way into the terminal for some sit down chat and a great lunch. Charly's always makes their own bread and all the food is very good. I think we each ordered the 'half & half' which is a half a sandwich and a cup of soup. I ordered the tuna salad on Bavarian bread with a cup of chili, Mary and Sandra had chicken salad on bavarian with seafood bisque and Bo had a chicken salad on white with clam chowder. It was fun to catch up on all the flying stuff and home front things too. Just to provide some background; Bo & Sandra were there when we purchased 08Romeo in Texas. They made our experience an absolute pleasure and honestly helped us have fun and not stress over the airplane deal and planned trip home. Somethings you can never repay, it's best to just pay it forward as we go. Mary and I can't thank Bo & Sandra enough for their transportation help, southern hospitality and friendship.

After we each had to roll ourselves outdoors we hung out and chatted enjoying the gorgeous wx on the patio located on the airfield side of the terminal. I can't believe three hours had passed! Mary and I figured we best hit the road and let our friends get back to the Williamsburg tours. We all walked out to the planes as I sumped my tanks and completed a walk around. I still want to take Bo's cowling from his plane and have the same set up on ours. Each side of his mouses engine room opens for inspection with two simple latches. A great feature that my plane doesn't have. I also want to add the oil filter on my next change coming up in just seven tach hours.

We climbed in and got our Sundowner started for the trip north. With our run up completed we taxied out to runway one three and announced our intentions. We were soon climbing out for Cape Charles. Norfolk Approach gave us flight following as we climbed for 7,500. Half way across the bay I turned direct Salisbury and held that course picking up following with Washington Center. The Garmin 496 provides wx and traffic which is a great feature. Traffic sounded once for a real target as a turbo jet passed by our left wing overtaking us and heading into our next checkpoint. The Nexrad wx was showing winds aloft of 15-20 kts direct headwind going home at 6000 and 20+ at 9000. The cloud layer prevented me from 5,500 and 3,500 would have put us under the layer playing rodeo cowboy. I choose to plug along at 7,500 with the headwind allowing for a blistering ground speed of 99 kts (114 mph). Somehow that 128 kts (147 mph) from this morning just doesn't make me smile on the way home.

After Washington Center handed us off to Dover approach we picked up the Wilmington ATIS. Once just south of the C&D canal I canceled flight following and contacted Wilmington Tower for landing instructions. After reporting my position, altitude twice since I gave them 4,500 vs the correct 3,500 before they caught it, we were advised make left base for runway two seven. A smooth short landing clearing the runway at taxiway Mike. Mary and I secured 08Romeo for the night including the improvised special bird protection plan. We headed home to take care of the zoo and called it a day.

A special thanks to Ryan and Kathy for offering the use of their beautiful Benz. Mary and I can't say enough about the friends we made through flying. We stayed at the airport but the offer was very much appreciated. I hope to once again pay your kindness forward to other pilots coming into Wilmington.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Breakfast at Kays

It was a last minute decision to make the run to KCGE, Cambridge Airport in Maryland. Wilmington had a TFR blanket covering us until 9:30 am so we got a late start due to VP Biden. We finally got the fan turning and taxied out. The ride south was smooth with a few traffic calls from Dover Approach then the hand off to Potomac. There was some traffic at CGE; one plane shooting the GPS RWY34 approach, myself about 5 north and one trailer about 10 north. The traffic flow worked out nice and I entered on a left base for runway one six.

The place was packed so we had a short wait for a seat. This worked in our favor since Bob Ciotti heard us coming in and asked about catching up. We had told him we were heading into Cambridge. Mary and I were seated and we ordered up a cup of soup for her and spicy chili for me. Bob and Craig walked in 20 minutes later and joined us. We enjoyed a nice lunch together as the place started to empty out. The locals really hit this place pretty good and Sunday's the church crowd invades.

We both launched for home and Bob trailed us by five to eight miles all the way north to Wilmington. We chatted on air to air which was also pretty busy. I had Dover approach tuned in and monitored all the way home. As I crossed the C&D canal I gave the tower a call with the current ATIS info and the typical inbound for full stop going to red eagle, descending through 3,300. The tower acknowledged and directed me to report a three mile left base for runway two seven. My landings of late have been a bit fast which makes long, never wants to stop flying, roll out forever to save brakes ugly adventures. So, I decided to hit the numbers on my speed and also shoot for the runway numbers. I was 80 knots on base with a turn to final at 70 knots actually adding a touch of power to make the numbers. Sweet, soft and held the nose off, I like that. We spent some time cleaning the plane and covering the tail. The birds have been having a field day and I am worried all that 'crap' will damage my paint. We washed everything down and I used a light polishing compound and paste wax to clean up stains 'they' left us. I am going to order a tail cover to take care of the nesting bird problems and come up with something to keep them off our tail and beacon.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Sunday Cirrus Time

Mike and I traded text messages to set up a meeting time for possible flight times. The best time looked to be around 2:30 with the family holiday brunch finishing up and Mike acknowledging the suggested time as a go. I headed back to the house to pick up my flight bag and give the TFR's and TAF's a quick check, all looked good. We were both headed to the airport excited about some flight time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Mike arrived first and strted to uncover 08Romeo. I rolled in and headed to the plane anxious to get the pre-flight started. Pre-flight completed I made the call to Wilmington ground for taxi instructions. Once airborne I picked up flight following with Philly and was handed off to another sector followed by a final hand offf to Harrisburg Approach. Once on with Harrisburg I asked for the GPS RWY 31 Approach for some practice. I asked for direct AYOSA and instead received vectors which worked out with no procedure turn. Mike said I shot a real nice approach and at 800 feet I looked up for the runway and continued in to land.

We parked 08Romeo out front of the Sensenich Propeller Service building and secured. It's a short walk to the SR20 hangar and the wx was great! Mike went through all his checks, ordered fuel and added oil to complete the pre-flight. We each climbed in, geezzzz I love this plane. Climbing into the SR20 cockpit is like slipping into my 90 vette, it feels good and the instrument set up is just waiting on your command. Dang, I really do miss my 81 and 90 vettes!

We were soon launching off of runway three one and man this baby sounds great. Plenty of power and a slight touch of the stick and we are climbing out. First up was the KTHV, York Airport GPS RWY 35 Approach. Mike had us pointed towards the XOPPA intersection and entered the procedure turn with a tear drop for a smooth transition down to the final approach fix YOKRI. I made additional traffic calls since there was a Cessna moving towards the hold short. As we crossed the two mile final point I made an additional call only to watch the Cessna roll on out on the runway. He did announce as he rolled through the hold short. I asked mike to come out from under the foggles and reposition and he did. After once again advising our position the jackass in the Cessna said he didn't see us on the two mile.......ahhhh....but he obviously heard us. I told Mike to relax we'll be reading about that smacked butt in an NTSB report soon enough.

After that exciting episode we headed on in to Harrisburg International, KMDT. Approach was really on it tonight as we requested the ILS RWY 31 Approach and quickly received vectors. Mike shot another flawless approach and ended with a touch and go followed by a climbing right turn to 050, 3000 feet. We ended the night with another GPS RWY 35 approach into Lancaster that ended in a full stop. It was a short taxi to the T-hangar and we tucked Cirrus 1Zulu Echo in for the night.

Always fun flying in the Cirrus! It was time to climb aboard 08Romeo for our ride home to Wilmington. Again, making the hop by plane is so much faster then the drive. It was a quick trip south east and we did see 120 knots at one point but the average was 115ish. I was soon calling the tower to provide our info and was directed to enter a right down wind for runway two seven. I have been trying to keep my patterns tight and this one was perfect. I was looking at .8 miles on the GPS stretching to my base of 1.3 miles. A decent landing in the book and a short taxi to red eagle.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Weekly Flying Date Night

I left the cover off the plane since Mary and I made plans to head up to KLOM, Wings field for happy hour. NO, I'm the designated pilot/driver so only ice tea for me. Mary had a few glasses of wine and we each had some great food provided by PACC. Crab cakes with shrimp were fantastic, Chicken Cordon Blue simply out of this world and pot stickers in a sweet tasting sauce hit the spot.

The flight is 25 minutes each way and it beats the heck out of driving on the I-476 blue route with all the rush hour traffic. On each flight I received Bravo clearance from Philly Approach and it made for a nice ride on a direct route. Good food, Great friends and always fun flying.

Change of Plans

Thursday night I gave some thought to flying just to keep moving forward on the quest for a check ride. I swapped text messages and phone calls with MikeB who was up for a flight depending on the schedule. Mike had the opportunity to catch up with his primary instructor that was flying into Wilmington within the next hour or two. We scrubbed our flight since there was noway to get to the plane, pre-flight and fly in that time frame.

Mike's friend arrived and there was a chance for Mike to hop a ride to Richmond, VA. I got a call asking if I could be in Richmond to give him a ride home on Friday. Heck yeah, you bet, I'm on holiday tomorrow and it's only 1.5 each way,what time do you need me there? Mike would call later with more details. I went into flight plan mode and started checking wx. I printed out an airport diagram for the intended destination and asked Mary if she wanted to go. She wasn't interested in the flight just to pick up and return so I decided to ask Vince if he would like the right seat. Vince obtained clearance from his Mom and the final part of the plan was set.

Somewhere in the middle of dreamland (2:30 am)my phone signaled a text message was received. Dang, Mike was home and the mission was scrubbed. I sent Vince a text advise him that he could sleep in, we could head out a bit later and run for breakfast. My phone rang soon after I was finished feeding the zoo and I traded text messages with Vince. The plan was to still meet at 7:30 but the trip was cut way short, a quick hop to Millville to sample the Flight Line cuisine would be today's run.

On the way to the airport I decided he and I both needed to get additional air time so I decided we would head to Georgetown, KGED instead. Vince did the pre-flight with me following along taking pictures and helping to get things ready for our flight. 08Romeo started up and we plugged in the course for today. I picked up the taxi clearance and we were on our way to fun flying in gorgeous wx.

The trip south was smooth, only a bit of brown yucky haze to deal with. I switched over to Dover Approach and after getting my call wrong a half dozen times I was alerted to traffic at my twelve o'clock same altitude, ten miles. Approach alerted the other traffic who jumped right in and advised descending to 4000. The traffic passed off our right side two to three miles no factor.I picked up then wx at Georgetown/Sussex County and cancelled my flight following. As is the norm I reported ten miles then five miles adding a three mile 45 for the left down wind runway four.I carried a bit of speed but set 08Romeo down with a long taxi to the last turn off not having to touch the brakes, we were the only one in the pattern. We taxied to the terminal passing the new Delaware State Police helicopter and a life flight helicopter. Unicom directed us to park as we passed by a few biz jets and finally picked a spot next to a very clean twin.

Breakfast was good and we had the place to ourselves, obviously we did get an earl;y start. As we finished up a few more planes and locals made the stop for good eats. Vince and I headed back out to 08Romeo and did the walk around. A quick fuel check in each tank for my start up choice and we climb aboard. Winds seem to favoring runway two two so we taxi for our run up. There is a helicopter turning base and I acknowledge Sundowner 08Romeo holding short two two, has the traffic on base. I could have just sat there and watched but I know I always like to hear the aircraft holding short advise they have me on base or final. It's a quick easy call that let's everyone know whats going on, besides, it's an easy safety check for all the players.

Our turn to play as I push the throttle forward and 08Romeo comes to life. We are wheels up and climbing out, heading for home. I didn't pick up flight following for the ride north but I did monitor Dover approach for situational awareness. We passed opposite direction of a KC135 taking off out of Dover heading over towards New Jersey as we made our way north. Vince wanted to take a few pictures of Summit airport and his Grandma's house so we adjusted the flight path to accommodate. Once positioned to cross well above Summit (KEVY) I switched frequency to the Wilmington tower. I had noted the ATIS information.

ATIS broadcasts contain essential information, such as wx, which runways are active, available approaches, and any other information required by the pilots. The report is given a letter designation (e.g. bravo).The letter progresses down the alphabet with every update and starts at Alpha each day. When contacting the control tower or ground station, a pilot will indicate he/she has "information" and the ATIS identification letter to let the controller know that the pilot is up to date with all current info.

Wilmington advised we would be following a Cessna for a right down wind runway one nine. I had the traffic in sight and followed it in. The Cessna was a training aircraft form the on field school and it took it's sweet time rolling down the runway before exiting, despite the tower giving the without delay. 08Romeo was on the ground and rolling, looking to make a right turn on runway two seven, right on taxiway Mike and left on Kilo. Sort of like following the yellow brick road back to our tie down. Vince helped secure the plane, leaving the cover off since Mary and I were headed back out this evening. A fun morning flying and a good breakfast!