Friday, December 31, 2010

MAESSR Rescue Flight

Tuesday, December 28th

The Mid Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue (MAESSR) email announcement read as follows...

"Magdelena is being adopted by a family in Wilmington, DE. I currently have her near Richmond. If anyone is heading North on 95 and can help will all or part of the route, please email me."

Hmmmm.....Mary and I discussed the rescue flight via emails from work and agreed we would volunteer for the run. My email reply.

"I am flying Friday since I am off work.  I can point towards Richmond and bring Magdelena home to Wilmington.  Let me know!"

The flight/ride to bring Magdelena to her forever home was already filled, there would be no transport over the holidays for us or 08Romeo.

On Thursday, December 30th I get an email from Debbie.

"Do you still want to fly tomorrow? If so, I have a springer in West Grove, PA that needs to come to me."

Great news! We are back on for a flight! We swap information and make arrangements to meet Adam (foster home and a pilot) at Wilmington, KILG.  Mary backs out from the flight since she wants to spend some extra time with her folks and she knows Mike will fly.  Mike and I swapped emails and he was on board for the mission.

Friday - 12/31/10

We decided to plug in 08Romeo yesterday and keep her warm for our planned early start this morning. Well the oil and CHT's were nice and toasty but all surfaces had frost and needed time to be cleaned up.  Mike and I got to work polishing off the frost with the plane tugged out of the tie down and pointed to the sunshine that was trying to peek through at 8:30 am.

Mike and Scruffy
 Adam rolled in on time and we made the transfer.  Scruffy is a sweet boy, and just a gorgeous dog. I don't know much about the Springer standard but this fella had a beautiful head and top line and the very best personality to go with his good looks. It was time to saddle up and get the mission started.

Scruffy with a kennel command and a tap of my hand inside the baggage door gave me a jump  into the doorway.  I assisted with  a little boost and he was ready to go. A few spins in the baggage area and a lap or two around the cockpit and Scruffy picked out his spot.  Yeah, he passed on the nice moving blanket in baggage and instead sat his butt on my back seat and peered out the window with the "lets get going" look. The same look he had when I let him keep warm in my ML320.

Scruffy..If I can't fly the plane can I drive your SUV?  Huh...can I?
Mike and I got 08Romeo started and  taxied for departure. We decided not to open the IFR flight plan and instead make the flight VFR, the weather was beautiful. We soon were climbing out and switching over to make contact with Dover approach. Dover gave us a squawk code then canceled it and handed us off to Potomac approach. Potomac did a nice job and eventually handed us off to Washington Center. Washington handed us back off to Potomac and we road along together until maybe 15 miles north of the field. We were advised we had a transponder problem so we canceled flight following and set up for the GPS 16 approach. The transponder was intermittent, who knows. Mike asked me to brief our passenger but he was still asleep. After we landed our furry passenger was sitting between us looking out, maybe he wanted to give the controls a try.
CandD canal...lokking west
We taxied clear of one six and headed to the FBO. I advised we were bringing in a rescue Springer Spaniel and if there was someone waiting for us, there was, Debbie was out front.  Once we opened the doors Scruufy was first to deplane....not the plan we had. I grabbed the leash and then Mike grabbed hold. Just that fast he now gave my door a try as I was climbing out. I had to do my best goalie immatation and sprawl across the wing walk and roll off the back of the wing with Scruufy in tow, man he's quick!  We made the hand off to Debbie, did the nature break and headed back out to the plane. I was now flying left seat for the ride north. I'm not sure what caused the transponder problem but everything looked good for us to launch for home....with a planned lunch stop of course.
08Romeo climbed out of Hanover at plus 1000 feet a minute, proud girl she had completed another rescue mission.  I was pretty happy too, I really enjoy theses flights.  KESN - Easton Maryland was right on the flight path home. I was looking down runway four as Mike made the contact for a clearance to land. Easton tower directed us; "Enter right down wind, report midfield for runway two two", Mike acknowledged.  There was another plane from the east nine miles so I kept the power on and descended around 120+ knots to the field. Base to final with a pretty good landing in the book. We taxi clear and head to the FBO for lunch at Sugar Buns Airport Cafe.
Ok, if not on the seat then it's my pillow
With full tummy's and a doggie bag, we walk out to the plane for a pre-flight. I sump the fresh fuel and Mike performs the walk around. We strap in for the flight home and taxi for a runway two two departure, right turn out for noise abatement.

08Romeo climbs out and I quickly notice cold air really blowing across my legs. I think to myself, Nah, it can't be. Yes,it certainly can be, an open door, my door. Maybe too much lunch at Sugar Buns and I couldn't squeeze in, I'm not sure.  Mike makes the call to the tower so we can return and get squared away.  Take two....we taxi back and with the clearance to take off we once again rumble down the runway. This departure was a non-event and I am hands off for most of the trip home to Wilmington.

Debbie and Scruffy
I guess I should mention that as we were heading North east to Wilmington Mike and I heard the Air Force try and contact an aircraft on guard frequency to alert them about entering a restricted zone. There was no answer from the offending aircraft.  The Air Force then directed the aircraft to contact the FAA for violating the restricted airspace 30 miles north of KGAI, Gaithersburg, MD.  With a quick look on the sectional I think they might have busted P-40, Camp David. I calculate that Fredrick Maryland, KFDK is about 18-20 miles north so P-40 looks to be the restricted area in question.  Pilots need to keep ahead of the plane, there is NO reason to penetrate restricted airspace.

Back to the flight.....Mike makes the call to the Wilmington tower and we are directed to make a straight in for runway one, and for us to check our transponder. Great, no flashing light means it went belly up...UGhhhh that means $$$.  I land long but make it a great landing that Mike even commented on. I know I'm doing it right when he gives an atta boy. I taxi to 08Romeo's tie down and flow through the shutdown checks, mission accomplished.  We push back and get the plane squared away; clean out, reinstall the seat, place the deice pump sprayer and all three extension cords in the baggage area and lock up. Install the cover, nose plugs and pitot tube cover, double check the tie downs and give 08Romeo a pat on her cowling.....good girl.


Steve said...

Just wanted to say I love your rescue flight posts - keep it up.

Sorry, in catch-up mode right now... been working all the time, out of town for the holidays, and leaving for Japan/Korea on Monday for 2 weeks!

(I am too busy, sheesh.)

Gary said...

The rescue flights are fun, so far the furry kids have been a pleasure. If Mary and I can give something back for all the hours of fun (and torture) our guys provide us then we are better off for it. Besides, it's a great time to use the new rating.

Steve said...

^ Absolutely, to all of the above. Rescue flights are something I really wish I would have gotten around to myself by now...