Sunday, October 31, 2010
B. For operations within the airspace between the 10 nmr and 30 nmr area(s) listed above, known as the outer ring(s): All aircraft operating within the outer ring(s) listed above are limited to aircraft arriving or departing local airfields, and workload permitting, ATC may authorize transit operations. Aircraft may not loiter. All aircraft must be on an active IFR or VFR flight plan with a discrete code assigned by an air traffic control (ATC) facility. Aircraft must be squawking the discrete code prior to departure and at all times while in the TFR and must remain in two-way radio communications with ATC.
All aircraft must be on an active IFR or VFR flight plan with a discrete code assigned by an air traffic control (ATC) facility. Seems pretty simple yet some people don't get it. While I was pre-flighting a man came over to ask me if I was doing pattern work,no introduction just a question. I said my name and asked why. He tried to explain the TFR but clearly did not understand it or check for it before driving to the airport. I explained the inner and outter ring requirements and the time restraints associated with each. What he didn't get is why it reaches to KILG if it's based on the Woodstown VOR. What? The rings location is defined by the VOR as in the example of Mondays TFR over ILG for our VP.
Center: DUPONT VORTAC(DQO) (Latitude: 39º40'41"N, Longitude: 75º36'25"W)
Radius: 3 nautical miles
Altitude: From the surface up to but not including 3000 feet AGL
From November 01, 2010 at 1830 UTC (November 01, 2010 at 1430 EDT)
To November 01, 2010 at 2045 UTC (November 01, 2010 at 1645 EDT)
Center: On the DUPONT VORTAC (DQO) 039 degree radial at 5.5 nautical miles. (Latitude: 39º45'32"N, Longitude: 75º32'58"W)
Radius: 3 nautical miles
Altitude: From the surface up to but not including 3000 feet AGL
At least he wasn't going to fly today and that was a plus, good thing Wilmington has a tower to provide control, at least in this case.
Mike arrived and did his own pre-flight as he gets accustomed to the Sundowner. Mike was flying and I was working radios today. I was going to use only the iPAD today but by the time I copied the clearance the screen was full. I had to erase it to continue and I rather have that info on hand at all times. I instantly went back to the knee board and paper. The normal route to KESN is Radar vectors to V29 ENO Direct ESN. With the TFR today we got the long way around via Baltimore.
R RH RV V166 BELAY V378 BAL ->D
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday night and Mary gets a call from her Mom that she would like her help with a few things around the condo, Mary drops out from the flight. Denise is still on so we make plans to head to the airport around 9:30. Winds were 30-35 knots out of the north west so it was obviously going to extend my flight time north, I called for extra fuel. We arrived at the plane as the fuel truck was finishing up. The fuel guy filled to the slot in each tank plus five gallons. which gave me a total load of fifty.
I completed my pre-flight and we saddled up for the first leg. I saw speeds of only 100-105 knots heading north but I knew i would ride the wind coming south this afternoon. Not much traffic today with maybe two or three call outs with one Cessna passing by within 500 feet high 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock (east to west) with a call out updated by ATC. Philly handed me off to Allentown approach and they handed me off to the Wilkes-Barre Approach and they in turn to the tower when I reported the field in sight and the current ATIS information.
I did get one strange change to my flight plan while south of Pottstown. Philly ATC gave me direct Solberg SBJ VOR (the change is in red). I extended the view on my iPad and had an idea of the location but not the direct heading. With a quick scan I picked up the VOR identifier SBJ and the frequency. I plugged it in the 530 and was turning north east. As I was explaining to Denise about the odd flight plan change ATC came back on and asked if I was heading from new york. I responded, negative, India Lima Gulf, destination Alpha Victor Pappa, Wilkes-Bare, PA. The sound of brief confusion then a "standby 08Romeo". "08Romeo direct RITTY, that's in your clearance?" Affirmative direct RITTY, 08Romeo. We were back on track, the green track.
The leaves had already changed so we missed the peak time but the colors still looked great. I had the chance with my routing to fly over the Pocono Race track and I did manage a shot or two with my cell phone. That's about it for photos, we both forgot our cameras. Over to the tower and a smooth landing on runway two two. Once on the ground at AVP I taxied to Saker Aviation (formerly First Flight). I took on ten gallons and secured the use of the courtesy van. It was a short hop over to thye flower market and the cemetery. The mums were planted, the leaves cleaned up and few silent prayers said along with my favorite Mom and dad comments. Heck, for that matter I spewed out a few comments from all the family buried in the adjacent plots. I really think the family planned this so they could have one hell of a party all in the same row. I miss them all and they are in my thoughts, I can hear each one and they bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.
I decided to take advantage of the tail winds and gorgeous day and just fly VFR home. I launched off of Wilkes-Barre with a squawk code dialed in for flight following and climbed over the wind turbines on my path south. We had a few traffic call outs but it was pretty much smooth sailing home at 6,500 holding 125 to 130 knots. Once I descended to 3,500 entering the Philly Bravo airspace the ride got bumpy. Denise did pretty good and I asked her if she gets motion sickness. As if I should expect any less of an answer from my family she said "I guess we'll see." Well let's hope you don't since I have to land and if you yak I'll follow suit....everyone was fine. A fun day and a chance to pay respects to my parents. I'll make this trip again in May 2011 to clean up and plant flowers for memorial day.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I have considered upgrading to wing tip lights that will also pulse. At the very least I will add an additional light to the left leading edge and I may add the right leading edge lights too, however, this will require cutting into a perfectly good wing...... I just got that body shiver.
I will remove the wet compass and replace with a vertical card compass that also has a working light!
Replace the existing Collins VHF251 with a working unit that does not have feedback in the sidetones. I would really like to find a KX165 to replace the Collins Equipment all together.
I will do an evaluation on the Auto Pilot while the interior is opened for inspection. Depending on what I find I will schedule in the following weeks with Penn Avionics at Brandywine airport to get the AP issue resolved.
The only squawk I have is the slight feedback on Comm 2. I would also like to change the right main tire to match the new Air Hawk tire just replaced on the left side, but it still has good tread.
I guess the A/P is a squawk but I never use it anyway, or at least didn't require it until now flying IFR. It will come in handy when the work load gets busy.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
OK, on to the new toy. I purchased the 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G unit at Best Buy along with the Zagg anti-glare screen and the rubber grip protective cover. I figured Happy birthday and Merry Christmas to me but Mary said Santa may still have other thoughts.
It's the tendency of pilots to ignore potential trouble -- say, marginal weather or conditions and poor nighttime visibility -- to get where they need to go.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I got word form Mike B this past Tuesday that he passed the CFII ride! CONGRATS MIKE !!!!!
Mike is always available for safety pilot time and it's greatly appreciated. Whenever we fly together shooting approaches he keeps me on the needles and always thinking ahead. I have to start stepping up on my end when I'm in the right seat, in other words try and torture him a bit more. Last night we caught up after work so I could get some practice in. It was a gorgeous night and I was going to waste it under the foggles. The plan was to depart Wilmington and head north west to KMQS, Chester County then to KEVY, Summit and finally back home to KILG.
The Garmin 496 GPS was illuminated with yellow rings and hash marks around Philadelphia and Wilmington for the scheduled TFR's due to the Presidential activity scheduled for Friday. However, our VP decided he was bugging out of town and had an impromptu departure in the works. Peter in the tower gave me a heads up as we were departing runway nine about the TFR within the hour. Great, I climbed out and pointed towards MQS.
I was in simulated instrument conditions at six hundred feet turning left on course and setting up the Garmin 530 for the ILS 29 approach. I was given (role play ATC by Mike)direct CERTS at two thousand five hundred and was on my way. Once approaching CERTS I was directed to expect vector for the ILS 29. I was rusty, it showed, but I managed to find my way and get to the runway. At this point I went missed and climbed back out to the MXE-Modena VOR. Round two was better and this one ended in a full stop so we could re-evaluate the TFR situation at Wilmington. I once again made a call to flight service and checked the FAA TFR web page, everything was showing exactly as I had noted prior to our flight. I even made a quick call to our Op's vehicle to confirm the TFR since Flight Service didn't get any info or have any additional to share.
We passed on a dinner stop at Chester County and agreed on a few more approaches then dinner at EATS, it's become a tradition. We soon launched into the night sky and proceeded to Summit. I had filed while on the ground so we would have a back up plan if I needed to get into Wilmington, a "just in case" tool in the box. I followed vectors from Mike as we listened to Air Force 2 climb out of Wilmington on the Comm 2 radio and pick up with Philly Approach. Mike tossed everything but the kitchen sink at me making my workload very busy.
I shot the GPS 17 approach into Summit and went missed climbing out for a few laps in the hold at WENDS. Mike increased my workload by giving me an amended clearance to copy (a long one) as I was busy turning in the hold. I was making notes working the scan and at the point of overload when Mike reminded me who the Pilot In Charge (PIC)was. Mike suggested to advise ATC to standby, fly the plane, then copy the clearance when your ready. Good point, well taken and added to my "learning" process. I intercepted the inbound heading and made a few laps in the hold and was pleased with the work.
Next up I plugged in direct KILG and entered the GPS 27 approach. I was now heading north east and contacted Philly approach (for real, not role play). I provided my info and requested the GPS 27 approach. Philly provided a squawk code and advised direct Woodstown (OOD) at 2,500. I actually had my first true scare flying. Yep, a real pucker factor and that flash pain that rips through you. 08Romeo dropped out then went up and the wings rocked pretty hard....I honestly froze for a second then held the yoke steady and did a hard scan of instruments and gauges. We were in the green, right side up, all the big parts where they should be and back on the smooth ride to Woodstown. Heck, I thought maybe we had flown through someones jet wash but Mike hadn't said a word about traffic. I was still under the foggles and at that point Mike explained where we flew (directly over the cooling tower)and I confirmed on the GPS with the tip of the Salem Nuclear power plant property having just passed beneath us. Fun stuff huh? Ok, what happened to my seat cushion?
The rest of the flight was uneventful as I acknowledged Philly approach maintaining at or above 2,100 at Woodstown, cleared GPS 27 into Wilmington. I flew the needles centered and felt back on my game having knocked off the rust from two months. I made an ok landing but struggled with the lack of landing lights on the Sundowner. I am looking into adding another wing tip landing/taxi light on the right wing or at the very least an additional light in the left wing tip. I sure would like an LED landing light or some type of nose wheel light or light in the cowling.
2 night landings
Tracking and a Hold
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Today was the scheduled arrival date for the Pilots of America fly-in to (WV62) Windwood Resort in Davis, WV. 08Romeo was ready and my bags were packed, it was now in the hands of Mother Nature. I guess this would have been a great time to take advantage of my new rating but the thought of flying solid IMC even for a half hour with little actual time in the log book did not sit well. There will be plenty of opportunity to get my ticket wet under supervision and conditions with a better safety factor.
The cell phones were busy as I traded text messages with Adam and Rob along with private messages with the group on the POA forum. Rob was thinking of driving if he could not fly with me and I was watching the clock and weather. I set a hard time of 3pm as my latest window for launch. The wx at Wilmington started to break and the sun was now peaking through. Meanwhile, it was starting to rain at Wings field, they were all stuck. Rob and Ally decided to drive to Wilmington to meet me and together Rob and I were comfortable with the wx after a review to launch for Windwood.
Mother Nature had other ideas and after teasing us with some glimpses of blue sky and Sunshine she decided to roll in a layer around 3,000 feet. VFR conditions, of course, but that altitude was not going to get us across the mountains to Windwood. Rob and I regrouped and together decided on a plan of attack. We would launch out of KILG, VFR (visual flight rules) and climb for best altitude as possible. With the ceilings looking much better west of the Susquehanna River we felt very comfortable crossing under three thousand. We soon launched on a gusty crosswind take off from Wilmington. It was an exciting crab angle to say the least!
Despite the 25 to 30 knot winds that required a 15-17 degree crab on the way out to Windwood the ride was fairly smooth. Of course crossing any of the ridge lines provided thumps (more than bumps) but the sky was opening up and visibility was great. Rob and I split the crew duties, he had radios and nav, I flew the plane. I get to work radios and nav on the flight home. Rob announced our position for Windwood once we canceled flight following. Washington Center had advised they lost radar contact (due to surrounding mountains).
The winds were kicking pretty good in the valley and it was almost a direct cross wind for either runway 24/6. We were set up for a perfect left down wind for 6 but I needed to loose some altitude. I did a 360 degree turn to get down to pattern altitude and together we decided on runway two four. I was now on a long final and figuring out the winds knowing I had to hold a good crab angle. I gave it left rudder to bring the nose on center line and feel what rudder I would have left once over the trees, there wasn't much. I added in the second notch of flaps and Rob watched our over 50' obstacles (trees).
There is a displaced threshold so I wanted to just carry enough to get there once over the numbers. I set it down for what was looking like a great landing then it went to hell in a hand basket. I was a bit hot and the chirps of the stall horn were not from my flair but gusting winds. I porpoised when I landed and went for an immediate go around. This is why I choose runway two four, it was clear for the go round if we had to go around on runway six I would have had to out climb those large trees we just came over. It was a slow climb out from the field elevation of 3200 feet.
METAR KW99 012042Z AUTO 31012G20KT 10SM CLR 22/05 A2990
My second attempt was better, holding it off past the stone driveway (now paved) and set 08Romeo down with a long roll out for the turnaround at the end of the runway. It was good to be on the ground, I was getting hungry and my early morning start in the basement was now catching up with me. Some of the folks who drove in met us at the ramp to help tie down and get our bags to the hotel. I made sure 08Romeo was secure and quietly thanked her for a good ride and keeping me safe.
It didn't take long for the grilling to begin. Charcoal rolled from the bag and the flameage started as Rob, our designated chef, filled the air with those favorite summer time cookout smells. Burgers, dogs and plenty of slasa, chips, cookies and snacks filled the table in the upstairs game room, which seems to be our place to hangar fly. It was so nice to catch up with everyone as we all sat and chatted. I eventually ran out of gas and had to turn in. My day started at 3am and it had finally come to collect,I was beat. I said my goodnights and headed to the room where I decided to try and capture today's events here on my blog. It's late my eyes are tired and that king size bed is calling my name. I'm looking forward to more arrivals tomorrow, and not having to get up and feed the dogs!
Saturday October 2nd
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant was my first order of business. I showered, got my room squared away and headed downstairs. Rob and Ally was having breakfast with the Joe (the owner)and I didn't see any other POA folks seated. I picked a table facing the front windows and watched the fog roll through across the deck. Service is always fast and the food excellent at Amelia's. Two over medium, bacon, home fries with cheese and onions and a large OJ and hot tea, it all hit the spot. As I finished up a few more pilots and spouses were picking their tables and getting settled. It was a slow morning and we awaited word from Adam Z, the event organizer, on any update for his arrival. Chris from Atlanta had canceled yesterday afternoon and a to/from flight for Saturday only did not make any sense. Adam and Lee sent word they would not make it today either. The round trip one day flight so as to not have to deal with the forecast wx for Sunday really limits your time and activities. Everyone made good decision no matter how painful they are to deal with. We pilots tend to beat ourselves up on every go/no go decision that we make.
I was taught to weigh the options, know the escape routes and then decide. I used to beat myself up, now, I decide and move on, it is what it is and I'm always available to fly another day.There was plenty of fog in the valley and I guess it burned off between 9:30 and 10:00. I walked down to the ramp and took advantage of the morning dew on the plane to wipe off the bugs on the leading edges and clean the windows.
A few folks walked down to see Dan arriving in his 1940 Aeronca Chief. It was nice to hear his engine purr break the silence of the valley. He set the Chief down and taxied to the ramp at the approach end of two four. What a fun flying machine, and in very good shape. Dan did mention it was his first time on pavement in awhile and he tried landing on two four but wasn't happy with the airspeed once he had cleared the trees. He went around for a landing on runway six. Dan's comment, "the worst landing of the year with a bit of bounce quickly dampened with lots of up elevator", again pilots being hard on ourselves, it looked good from the ramp!
Hangar flying was in full swing and the day was shaping up very nice. Tim gave Dan a hop back to the lodge in his Miada and the rest of the crew headed back. I caught a ride back with Rob and Michael on Joe's 4 wheeler. The group was deciding on a Black falls excursion (pictured above)and was working out the transportation. I took a pass on the hiking adventure and instead hung out with Dan and another guest who flies a 1947 Piper Clipper. As any proud owner she provide a few pictures of her aircraft from her cell phone and Dan and I checked them out. The Clipper resembled a Pacer and after more discussion the production was switched to that aircraft.
In 1949, the Clipper sold for $2995. The average four place airplane on the market at that time cost over $5000. Only 736 Clippers were built in the one year of production. Pan Am Airlines, who traditionally called its famous luxury airliners "Clippers", took offense at Piper using the name for their light aircraft. As a result of this pressure Piper further refined the model, adding wing flaps, further fuel tanks and replaced the control sticks with yokes. A more powerful Lycoming O-290, 125 hp engine was installed and this model became the Piper PA-20 Pacer. Dan decided to head out and I walked down to the ramp with him to observe the hand prop start. The Chief came to life and Dan taxied out to runway six. The winds had picked up and he would have a crosswind to deal with. The Chief was off the ground very quickly and tracked over the ramp area to clear the approach end of two four and the tree obstacles, he was on his way. I watched as he flew out of view and the purr of his engine could no longer be heard, that looks like fun flying. I walked back to the lodge and decided to check wx and take a nap, hey, it's sort of vacation.Rob called from some point on the group excursion and we briefly talked about the wx moving in. We planned to have a late lunch when the group returned and make our decision about launching for home a day early. The wx forecast did not look good combined with the morning fog and the thought of being stuck on the ground required an exit plan. I tracked the wx and plotted a flight home to include a hop over the mountains to Grant County for fuel. The route would be the same as last years trip home; W99 ESL MRB EMI DQO KILG, and so I filed for a 4:30 departure just to be safe.
The group returned after hiking to various locations and exploring the Falls. It was decided to have a group late lunch and launch for home afterward. Michael and his Bride decided to pass on lunch and launch for home in Ohio with the thought of beating the storm to their home base before it got there. I read Michael's post once I got home and thought I would share. I will follow up on their arrival home along with tracking Ed's flight. We're stuck in Zanesville Ohio, having encountered the frontal system before we hit our destination. Good sense won out over my adventurous spirit, and I pulled the plug short of our destination. Our takeoff from WV62 was eventful, as I thought it might be. The aircraft didn't have its usual oompf that high and that hot. But we got away without any untoward debris in the gear. The flight was lovely until we hit central Ohio, and then the aforementioned frontal system. Wish us luck tomorrow. One of these days I need the IR.