Monday, May 31, 2010

Wings Pool Hop

Mary and I packed a bag, changed into our bathing suits and headed to the airport. The ramp was busy today, some folks taking the time to wash and wax, others taking on fuel and a few ready to taxi out. This was the most action I've seen at Wilmington since I started flying! Our ramp neighbor two up from us was just completing his pre-flight, his wife never got out of the car, she was talking on the cell phone keeping cool in the AC. We exchanged hello's and he asked, "headed to the beach?" I responded, no, heading to the pool today. His look was as confused as my answer. Mary said the look was a Kodak moment. After further thought I guess it did sound nuts.

The hop to Wings was 18 minutes actual in the air time. We taxied in and shut down, secured 08Romeo then headed through the gate to soak up some sunshine poolside. Our friend Adam Z joined us which was perfect. Mary chatted with a few people and I got to hangar fly. The forecast for Wilmington was calling for gusting winds and possible thunderstorms moving in around 5pm. My plan was to be wheels up from Wings by 4 pm. Always looking to the sky constantly re-evaluating conditions (it's what we pilot folk do) I decided it was time to saddle up, it was 3:30. The sky to the north was getting dark, the winds had picked up a bit and I did see some lightning strikes way off in the distance. We saddled up and got underway following a pre-flight and saying goodbye to Adam. I was looking south to sunny skies but on completion of my run up and final instrument checks I noticed strikes showing up on the Garmin 496 wx off to the north. The density altitude was now around two thousand and our fuel load was about 25 gallons. I added a notch of flaps and advanced the throttle smoothly forward, we were on the go. 08Romeo climbed out and I gave Adam a wig wag of the wings to say good bye. I held my altitude under the class bravo and scooted home. We did see a heavy downpour over Pottstown moving north that covered a good sized area and blurred the cooling towers at limerick. It was strange to watch the wx around us and yet the sun was cooking as we continued into Wilmington. I set 08Romeo in soft and short making a straight in for one niner.

A fun day that added 1.1 to the log. Next flight is my lesson with Tom as I push to finally finish the instrument rating.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lunch Run Cape May NJ

Memorial Day is upon us and with that, the start of summer. Foremost on this holiday weekend is the special time we honor our men and women who serve in the armed forces. A special thanks to those who provide us the very freedom to spend time with family and friends.

Saturday was a day to relax and we did just that. Mary and I watched a movie (man on fire), went grocery shopping and headed to my brothers house for a cook out. We had a fun time and enjoyed perfectly cooked fillets along with lobster tails. Surf and turf, what a way to start the weekend.

Sunday was a planned day of just hanging out. Mary is back to work and as we all know that first week can be hectic. We were happy to get a few things done around here and maybe run out for dinner, a quiet weekend to unwind. I on the other hand really wanted to fly this weekend but everyone was either out of town or doing the family cook outs. I had stumbled upon a post on the AOPA forum by Ted (JuggyJet) for a lunch run to Cape May, NJ. I decided to see if Mary wanted to go for lunch and see a few friends that were flying in, it was a short hop, she agreed.

We were off to the airport around 10:30 making a stop for bottled water since I left a case in the truck and it was warm. As usual not much life at Wilmington but we uncovered 08Romeo and completed the pre-flight. I called clear prop and got the fan turning which helped keep the temps under control. Once we removed the Bruce custom Heat Shield Interior Reflectors it starts to get hot quickly.

I picked up the ATIS and taxied out for a south east departure. Runway one four straight out with a slight course correction to steer 153 degrees had us pointed to the tip of south Jersey. We had a nice tail wind and enjoyed ground speeds of 135 - 140 knots. Timing was great as we announced and entered the left down wind for two eight crossing midfield. There was a Grumman inbound and a Bellanca. The Bellanca was Ryan and Kathy but at the time I didn't recognize the Grumman tail numbers. Once we taxied in and secured the plane the Grumman was directed to park a row in front of us, it was Anthony from the Pilots of America forum! Ryan and Kathy taxied in and got another front row spot and we waited on Ted and Susan's arrival.

Anthony had plans to visit family the rest of us were heading in for lunch at the Lobster House. We had to take two taxi's into town since there were six of us. I knew this day was going to be fun when the ladies headed to one cab and the men to the other...I was already laughing. Of course once we were in and the doors closed the men, in unison, said off to the bar! Kidding, we were all flying home the same day. Our cab driver wanted to play mind games and had us each take a turn repeating phrases, I was told I don't play nice.

We ate outside enjoying the perfect wx taking advantage of the take out menu, it was different but the food was good and we had a blast. We each had lunch and split a few orders of steamed clams and calamari between the group. Following lunch we all decided to take a cab down to the Washington Street Mall for Ted's ice cream and some shopping. Cape May rescued its downtown and in 1971 the city closed Washington Street to traffic between Ocean and Perry Streets, filled in the street, placed park benches everywhere, and planted the newly created walking mall with trees, shrubbery, and flowers.
With ice cream in hand, yes I had a double dip of butter pecan, we strolled through the outdoor mall. Once reaching the end of the street we turned to the east and walked towards the ocean following Perry St. It was a nice stroll taking in the Victorian homes, now mostly bed and breakfast locations, along with all the sights and smells of the shore. Yes, Jersey shore Delaware beaches. From Perry Street we headed north along Beach Ave., the beach was filled with umbrella's and it seemed every hotel with an outside pool or bar was crowded. The group turned left on Ocean St., heading west and back towards the outdoor mall. We all made a stop in the pet friendly store Whiskers then hiked the last few blocks back to the corner across the street from Our Lady Star of the Sea church.

We all walked through the gate to the Big Sky FBO and checked in at the desk. A few of us purchased water from the vending machines just inside the main hangar and the group had a last call for nature stops. We said our goodbyes and each headed out to our planes. Ted and Susan were first off followed by Ryan and Kathy and Mary and I were last to head out. The favorable tailwinds coming south east were now headwinds as we were heading north. 08Romeo was making 105 knots but it was fairly smooth visibility was great. I did tune Millville radio so I could monitor for traffic. I heard a flight departing to the west so I advised of my position, altitude and direction of flight. Once clear of the area I switched to the Wilmington tower to monitor traffic and pick up the current ATIS wx. I was directed to report a straight in for runway two seven, why I don't know, since we were south east. As I adjusted my course to comply the tower came back with a straight in three two report the NJ shore line, I acknowledged. Not my best landing, actually kind of flat with a bit of a skip, enough to count it as two maybe three. I roll out full length and exit taxiway kilo to Red Eagle. We are sunburned, hot and ready for the air conditioning. 08Romeo secure we head out to the SUV and head north to the house.

I headed straight to the showers, Mary followed. Now refreshed, We enjoyed a nice plate of fresh fruit; strawberry's, cantaloupe, cherry's and grapes along with some crackers and a fresh container of our favorite, Brie cheese. 1.5 in the log book and a fun few hours with friends. Time to relax!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finally...Finishing Up

I met with my new CFII Tom this evening. No evaluation flight this week, instead it was a sit down and plan meeting, sort of a get to know each other meeting. Tom and I discussed the syllabus to get me finished up and reviewed study materials for the oral prep. We discussed safety issues, reviewed my log book, talked about the IR cross country that I completed way back in August of 2008 and what it would take to finish. We talked about a few publications; Aviation Safety (already get this one), IFR and IFR Refresher.

I felt really good about the meeting and I am once again excited about flying. The plan is to fly two nights a week and we will plot out a better course of action after an evaluation flight.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tune Up

I caught up with MikeB for some flying time in order to tune up for tomorrows flight with my new and hopefully last instructor. I have an evaluation flight scheduled for 4:30 with my new CFII Tom in hopes of meeting the IR Criteria for at least 3 hours in preparation for, and within 60 days of the practical test. After that the sign off and schedule the elusive check ride.

Mike and I met at 6:30 and talked about some things that an evaluation flight would cover. I should mention that Mike is well on his way to completing the CFII course. We fly really well together and I always like to tap his experience to help my flying. I did let him know he could use me for the test student (aka guinea pig) when he wants to practice. The plan for tonight was to do some confidence building with the basics. Heading heading heading and scan scan scan was my mantra for the flight. I don't verbalize my actions as well as I should but my regular flying with my Bride does not warrant this. Mary is not into knowing everything I am doing she just wants me to get it done and be safe. Tonight I was going to talk my way through the flight, accomplish my tasks and keep it business like.

It was good to role play ATC/Pilot comms and pick up my clearance and fly it. Once underway and intercepting the V166 course we diverted which was good practice having to fly the plane, pull plates and work the (role play) comms. I was well within PTS standards for the flight and just got slightly behind the plane on my first approach a bit high on my GPS 35 into Summit, KEVY. I went missed and climbed out to a safe practice area to do a few maneuvers, I was having fun. It was time to head back to ILG so I contacted Philly approach, for real this time, and requested the ILS 1 approach advising I had current wx. After radar contact I followed the vectors they gave me and eventually was handed off to the Wilmington Tower. I flew a perfect ILS, needles crossed, on glide and my checklists flowed very well. The tower asked how this would terminate and I said full stop, we can circle to land one nine. They acknowledged circle to land to the east advise one mile final on approach. At one mile I called, circled to the east and focused on keeping it tight to the runway. I was looking good, base to file in one continuous circle with a smooth landing.

I'm ready for my eval flight! 1.4 in the book tonight, one hour simulated and the confidence level way up there. Mission accomplished!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pre-Memorial Day Flight

With a VIP TFR scheduled for a 10:30pm start running through Saturday at 1pm, I thought it best I bag a day of work and get the Annual Wilkes-Barre pre-memorial day trip completed. Every year since I was a kid our family tradition was to visit the cemetery and place flowers for our family members that have passed. My Mother and Father are buried just north of the left down wind for runway six at KWBW. We always have problems with the weekend car rentals so we started to fly into KAVP, Wilkes-Barre Scranton instead. The FBO, Saker Aviation, usually has a crew car available. Today was perfect, we were in the air by 9:30ish and on the ground at AVP by 10:30, it sure beats the 2.5 hr drive. I will say that I had fueled 08Romeo to 25 gallons per side, leaving only room for maybe seven gallons. I wanted to save some room to purchase fuel at Saker for the use of the crew car. Once we had the plane secure and the car taken care of I instructed the FBO to top it off. Yes, I gave it some extra thought due to density altitude but with 7,500 feet of runway and a notch of flaps if needed, I was plenty good to go. We borrowed their crew car/van and headed out on our mission.

The first stop is a flower market just off the cross valley expressway and on the way to the Italian cemetery. We walked around, picked out the flowers and were off again. We came up to the Wyoming valley airport (KWBW) on our right which is where we turn for our destination. Always a trip down memory lane as I drive through the area, good memories of fun summers as a kid and even better times as a teen and young adult....but I digress. Mary and I get the planting completed and then make the rounds to say a few prayers at various family members. As I mentioned to Mary, I only come up here to plant flowers and make things nice, I think of my folks everyday, they are always with me.

We hopped back in the van making one stop to top off the tank for a total of nine dollars. Van checked in, fuel top off paid and nature stops complete, it was time to saddle up for home. Walking out to the plane we decided on making a lunch run on the way home. We thought we would try the Kitty Hawk Restaurant in York, PA. I was still concerned with the temps climbing knowing I had full fuel and only going to burn maybe ten gallons on the flight. The York runway is 5,100 and density altitude when we landed was 1,900 feet.

We secured the plane and made our way into the restaurant. We met a nice man that is a teacher in a local school. He was there with a student that was interested in learning to fly. The teacher asked if we would talk to him. Mary and I ordered drinks and we sat and chatted with the potential pilot. I did catch the teachers comment that he was trying to spark an interest in school with the young man. I told him flat out I didn't like school much and pretty much cruised through but....there is always a but. After working my butt off and having a very serious accident that changed my career path I put myself through school and did very well. My advice was don't wait until your an old fart like me, learn the lessons now that we all go through eventually. The same for learning to fly, I told him it's a challenge, you have to study and work hard but if it's your passion it doesn't seem like work. I asked the young man to check out the flying forums and to send me an email. I will make it a point to fly back to York and get him some air time. I'm looking forward to his email.We said our goodbyes and I wished him well reinforcing the thought to email me so we can get in the air.

Mary and I ordered lunch and drank down our cool drinks. The waitress was great and she chatted with us about the restaurant and the owners, which we got to meet. What a nice couple, very friendly and really wanting to make this place grow, great for general aviation!We saddled up for home looking at a thirty minute hop through the scuzzy haze. I had around 45 gallons on board and the DA was still 1,900 feet. I set in one notch of flaps and decided a short field take off application would be fine. I announced departing runway three five rolled on the runway, ran up the throttle and let the brakes go, we were off. 08Romeo was wheels up in a short distance and showing positive climb, she's a working machine.
We bumped along all the way home straining to see the Salem nuke cooling towers. Visibility was maybe 20 miles but the haze was really thick. I was directed to enter a right base for one nine and call. I ended the day with a short field landing needing to add plenty of throttle to make the first taxiway, kilo. Plane secured, home in the air conditioning and eating a bomb pop while I type. 3.5 hours today and some sunburn on the face....this is way better than working!

I miss my parents everyday....I'm thankful for the lessons they taught me about being a man, a good husband, hard worker and provider. I often wonder what they would of thought about me learning to fly and owning an airplane.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wings FlyBQ 2010

I was up early, anxious to get to the airport at least right up to the point where I looked out the window to witness the tress swaying back and forth. Hmmmm..something tells me this is not going to be a fun ride to Wings field. I slipped out of bed trying not to wake Mary as I convinced the dogs it was time to eat. Yes, our little monsters know the word eat and even respond if you spell it. Maggie and Rudder finished breakfast and darted around the back yard feeling pretty frisky with the winds blowing. I had to keep watch on Rudder boy, I was afraid he would blow away. After holding their noses in the air taking in every new smell carried in the wind gusts they finally retreated inside. I gave them the customary treats and off they went, back upstairs to bed.

METAR KILG 151400Z 31017G24KT 10SM CLR 21/08 A3013

I got on the computer to check for TFR's and wx updates. The winds were picking up and there was no relief insight until well into the evening. The winds would be right down the runway at Wilmington, a stiff crosswind at Wings field. I made the go decision and proceeded accordingly. I showered and double checked my flight bag, loaded up the chairs and brought additional cover in case it got chilly. Mary was up and ready to go with a few last items to add. The house was secured and the SUV fueled and ready to go, we were on our way.
Once at the airport we moved quickly to load the baggage, transfer excess weight to the SUV and complete my pre-flight checks. I had taken on fuel the day before so I needed to sump, everything was pretty blue, no dirt no water. I climbed aboard and once my checks were completed I got the fan turning. I dialed in the ATIS and made my call to ground for taxi instructions. Runway two seven at intersection Mike, call when run up complete. I acknowledged and started to roll, I was getting excited.
Cleared runway two seven right turn on course approved. I acknowledged with a flip of the fuel boost pump on and cabin blower off I was rolling for departure. I held a good bit of aileron into the crosswind and as soon as we were wheels up 08Romeo weathervaned to about 45 degrees to a 310 heading on the nose climbing on the 270 runway heading, what a sight. Needless to say the right turn on course was pretty easy and I was pointed towards Wings. No flight following today, I just wanted to listen to music, talk with Mary and enjoy the view, it's only twenty minutes to Wings.
METAR KLOM 151420Z AUTO 31009G15KT 290V350 10SM CLR 19/07 A3010
I made my calls from the quarry calling out a 3 mile 45 for left down wind two four, I was alone in the pattern. Base to final with only one notch of flaps and alert to keeping my speed up with the wind gusts. It was bumpy and slightly roller coasterish as I ducked below the tress. I thought I was home free then caught a gust that provided lift and stall horn now six to eight feet off the deck. Throttle to arrest the sink hold it off, ride it out and a half hearted kerplunk with a skip before planted on the runway. I held center line and let 08Romeo roll all the way out since I hate to use brakes.
The party had already started. I thought the plan was to arrive around ten and help set up. Gary Shelby and crew obviously kicked butt and as Adam Zucker stated "Shelby is the FlyBQ version of the Seabees. This guy gets it built, set up and ready for business." He wasn't kidding. Mary and I carried our chairs in and picked a spot to enjoy the days activities. Yes, it was windy but the sun was out and there was so many people to catch up with. I believe the final numbers were somewhere around 30 aircraft and a total of 85 people. The FBO at Wings played a big part moving picnic tables and equipment along with donating prizes and offering a fuel discount.
Prizes included the furthest flown from the North - Jim Minetti, West - Kent and Pete and South - Kelvin. A plaque was also presented for the furthest international flight to Ted for his flight from Chibougamau, Quebec, Canada or as Adam Z called it "Flamaqantanda" Canada. There was a special presentation to Ed Fred and Kelvin for their selfless donation of time and fuel in flying a woman with terminal cancer from South Carolina to spend her final days with Family in Michigan along with a presenatation to Ted for his continued efforts to use GA to help save dogs. In addition to the prize donation Tom Doughtery the owner of Montgomery County Aviation personally donated $500 toward the charitable causes supported by the FlyBQ; $250 to Angel Flight East and $250 to the Thomas Jefferson University Pancreatic Cancer Research Program. Jamie Pujol of Texas Engraving donated all of the plaques.
Andrew Porky Stanley aka "Porculus" did an outstanding job with the pulled pork, he is the grill master. Smithfield once again donated all the meats. The menu consisted of pulled pork, hot dogs, hamburgers, poatato salad, chips, cookies of all sorts and plenty of soda and water for everyone. It was a fun afternoon sitting around talking with friends, enjoying a great meal and soaking up the sun. The ladies were planning future trips and comparing notes while the pilots talked airplanes and spent time hangar flying.
Mary and I packed up sometime after 3:30 and said our goodbyes. The plan was to fly home, shower, change and either fly or drive back for dinner. By the time we were wheels up it was closing on 4pm. I followed Ted and Susan out in their Senaca II and Ryan and Katy followed in their Bellanca Super Viking. Yes, I was sandwiched in between the speedsters! I made a call for flight following and was immediately handed of to another Philly approach sector. I heard Ryan call and pick up routing then decided to just stay under the class bravo and fight the bumps. It was really kicking on the way home and I was thankful for the multiple runways at Wilmington. I entered a right down wind for runway three two and greased a super smooth landing.
We quickly secured the plane and once again I forgot to pull the Garmin data card for an update. We drove home, showerd, changed and coordinated with Rob amnd Becky for dinner out at the Aviation Country Club. We were back on the road heading north. Traffic was light and we made the trip in 40 minutes pulling into park just as Rob pulled in, great timing. We had reservations and were seated quickly. Dinner was very good and the service perfect as always. It was so nice to catch up with Rob and Becky, we really enjoy their company. The ladies are planning a cookout while Rob and I reschedule our Ohio trip.
I guess we finally headed home after ten and enjoyed the drive home on the empty blue route (I-476). Mary and I chatted and went over the days events filling each other in on the folks we sat and talked with. I know I am repeating myself but we had a great day and evening! Flying has provided us so many exciting adventures and new friendships. People talk about the cost to learn to fly along with rentals or aircraft purchases.....I would do it all over without hesitation, the adventures and friendships are priceless!
Photo's provided by:

Friday, May 14, 2010

The FlyBQ Begins

Mary and I decided that we would finally attend the pre-Wings FlyBQ event by joining in on the fun on Friday. I put in for the day off a week in advance so I was ready to start the weekend. The start of our three day weekend had us crawling out of bed later than normal and most likely the only contributing factor was the growls of our tummy's. We decided to get a few things done around the house and make a stop for breakfast at Angels.

I monitored the wx and checked flightaware for updates on aircraft heading into Wings (KLOM). The first IFR arrival was Ed on Thursday evening in his Piper PA-24 Comanche. Friday's arrivals began with Grant and Leslie making the trek from the Chicago area in a Cessna 182 Skylane. The tailwinds were great both days from the west which provided some excellent ground speeds. We made our way to Wings in the SUV so we could help out with transporting arrivals to Adam's and the hotel. AdamB was en route and was scheduled to arrive in his Socata Trinidad about the time we would get to the field, we didn't beat him in by much.

I followed RobS and AdamB to the Cheese steak Factory (Adams House) to check in then headed back out for beer and ice. Rob had already taken us to the local market so we could pick up the limes, as requested, and then to Adams. Rob headed out one way and we headed out for the supplies along with a plan to grab a quick bite to eat. While traveling around looking for a package store we stumbled upon a restaurant that would fill the order; quick eats, ice and liquid refreshments.

Eventually we headed back to drop off the goods and soak up the conversations from fellow pilots. We dodged a few rain showers along with a few boomers while Andrew worked his magic on tonight's Smithfield ribs and pork butts for the Saturday main event. The great BBQ smells from the grill were almost to much to handle.

We all tracked Kent and Pete as they were heading east just north of the storm line tracking in the same direction as they made their way to Wings. Ted was also plugged into flightaware as he made his way from Watertown Intl Airport in Watertown, NY (KART) where he had to clear customs. Ted came in from Chibougamau/Chapais Airport in Chibougamau, Quebec, Canada. Yeah, good luck if you can pronounce it!

It was a fun night of good food, great friends and many many laughs. Extra special thanks to Adam and his bride Tamson for hosting the early arrivals and opening up your beautiful home. We can hardly wait for the main event tomorrow. Mary and I loaded up around 10pm and pointed the SUV south. We had some hungry pups waiting for us to let them out. I think I fell asleep when I hit the bed, I was tired. We will be flying to Wings tomorrow morning, let's hope the winds calm down.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Oil Change

I got up extra early this morning and headed to the airport. I wanted to get the oil changed on 08Romeo before Rob (Rob's Flying Adventure) and I head out to Dayton Ohio to visit with fellow pilot/blogger Steve (A mile of Runway) this Saturday. Cecil Aero opens at 8am and I was wheels up from Wilmington at 7:15. The hop is ten minutes wheels up to shut down. I climbed out of the plane, prepared the top cowl for removal then went inside to say good morning. Frank was in the shop and soon opened the hangar door to get my oil draining. Oil drained, screen cleaned and seven quarts of new golden honey (Aeroshell 15w50)pouring in. I started up and ran for 5 minutes with throttle up to 1700 rpm then shut down for a final once over check for leaks. 08Romeo is good to go! Total time on the new power plant is 85 hours. The oil burn is one quart in 17.5 hours, everything looks great. Frank added the info to my new Adlog system and finished up the paperwork.
I was soon climbing out of Cecil County pointing the nose of 08Romeo to the twin bridges. Wilmington tower offered up a straight in for runway nine and i acknowledged. I simply pulled some power and held a steady descent making for a smooth landing. I did get on the brakes a bit thinking I would make the first turn off and I actually left some rubber. Not so smart, so I let her roll for the second taxiway which in fact dumps me right to the red eagle ramp. I secured the plane and headed into work.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Fun Flights


Mary and I headed to the airport for a date night flight. We headed up to Wings field enjoying the view on our 25 minute trip vs. the one hour minimum in rush hour traffic below us. Yes, the Pennsylvania turnpike was backing up and the tolls were a mess but we had our destination in sight, weather noted and announcing our position to enter the traffic pattern. There was one Cessna that announced and Mary spotted it off at our two o'clock making a three sixty to enter number two behind us. I was on a three mile forty five for the left down wind runway two four. Base to final turn followed by a nice landing that required power to make our turn off.

It was fun catching up with our friends and enjoying the perfect wx as we sat out on the terrace. I enjoyed ice tea (designated flyer/driver) and Mary had a few martinis. The munchies were perfect and the conversations entertaining, as always. We decided to call it a night and head south, hoping to take advantage viewing a nice sunset. The heat of the day actually made for a hazy trip home as we watched the sun set. Philly was easy to work with as I was cleared through the Bravo airspace. We made a direct line back to Wilmington. I was directed to descend and maintain two thousand for traffic and complied also noting I had the wx at Wilmington. I was then turned loose to contact the tower. Strange thing at KILG, the beacon is so hard to see. I was only four miles out and heading for runway two seven as directed but could not see the beacon. The tower switched me to a right downwind for runway one, now number two to land behind a Cessna that he said would overtake us. I turned for final and made a poor landing. I replaced my landing light that had burned out with a new (I thought) brighter bulb, it wasn't. The runway lights were never brought up from the low intensity position but it is what it is, I should have asked for medium or high. I flared a bit early and felt the sink and had to add power since the sight picture out the side, where the landing light provided some illumination had me a few feet off the ground. The touch of power was enough to arrest the sink and I carried that down the runway a bit then skipped one in. We secured the plane and headed for home.


I was up bright and early wanting to do battle with the shrubs out front. (insert Tim Allen grunt) There I was clippers in hand, two extension chords and some wd-40 to lube up the weapon of choice. I attacked the small, now round, evergreens followed by the ball tree, bush, plant or whatever it's called and a few other shrubs that dared to defy me. It looked pretty good when I finished up, heck I was feeling rather Edward scissorhands...ish. The allergies started to kick so I called it a morning, besides I needed a shower. I woke Mary up and inquired as to what we were doing for breakfast, that got her attention and she quickly got moving. My sleepy princess, well, she likes to sleep in. We talked about maybe making a beach run for the day to Ocean City Maryland or heading south to KCGE Cambridge, MD for breakfast at Kay's but finally decided on our local stop Angels. Mary wanted to stay local and clean up the flower beds and I wanted to clean the plane and fly.

Following breakfast I called Vince and asked if he wanted to putz around with the plane and take it out for a late lunch to Cape May, he was ready to go. I washed the plane with the water I bottled and packed in the SUV. I completed my preflight and only had the headset plug to tinker with before we left. I decided to take the truck out to the parking lot where I found Vince and his Mom waiting, they said they were not there to long. The plug for the headset needs to be replaced, it will not hold the plug in and the static will drive one crazy, it's on the list to be fixed. Actually I want to relocate both front headset plugs to the lower panel on each side, the current position just bugs me, I don't like wires in the area of the flap handle.

We get the fan turning and I flip the switch for the cabin blower to circulate some air. Vince and I role play for his radio work. He had the ATIS noted and was ready to call ground. Vince did a great job, made contact, followed up with all of our info and what we wanted to do then copied the taxi clearance for our departure. We were soon climbing out from runway one four headed to Millville for a landing then head to Cape May. We were lined up nice for the left down wind for runway three two as Millville radio noted two eight was the preferred runway. I advised I would be landing full stop three two. One of my coworkers in Op's made the comment always the trouble maker, I laughed and advised, so I am told. As I entered the down wind I did notice two aircraft lined up at the hold short for two eight. I advised repositioning for left downwind two eight and will extend for their departure. The second plane also scooted out, I do play nice with other pilots. This was a full stop and taxi back for our hop to Cape May, KWWD.

We were on the go number two behind a Cherokee and left the area heading south. The haze was really ugly and it was hard to see across the bay into the Cape Henlopen part of Delaware. There was traffic heading into WWD but everyone was on the radio as we announced positions. I crossed midfield for a left down wind entry for two eight following a Cessna that we watched turn base to final. I made another sweet landing and taxied clear headed towards the terminal. I had two glasses of ice tea since I forgot to bring water today. Our light lunch completed we saddled back up for home.

As we took off from runway two eight we heard a helicopter make a call that he was overflying the area. I spotted the bird off at our nine o'clock and advised we had the traffic and were turning north to exit the area. The helicopter was passing behind us and low maybe five six hundred feet when eagle eyes Vince said it looked like an AH1 Cobra. I asked the pilot for a photo op since I had a CAP young man on board and the Cobra quickly climbed to our altitude. We thanked him for the chance to snap off a few, Vince really got a kick out of that. The rest of the flight was uneventful as Vince once again worked the radios and rang up Wilmington tower. We made our way for the right down wind runway one four and I ended on a blah landing. We taxied in, secured the plane and headed out. A fun day comes to an end with two hours of flying around south Jersey. I need to get the oil change scheduled before the Ohio trip next Saturday.