Sunday, February 06, 2011

NJ Hop

The wx forecast was on the money today! There was this big shiny thing in the clear blue sky and it was making my face feel warm. I'm not sure what they call that ball of warmth, but I like it, now if it only hangs out a few more days...weeks.

Mike B was scheduled to take a first time flyer up this morning so I made the trip last night to plug in the plane, not fun doing that stuff in the rain. Thankfully the forecast was looking good and getting wet last night could not discourage me from the chance  to fly today. We swapped text messages and Vince was included in the mix too.
Mike pushed his flight until 3pm so Vince and I launched for New Jersey around 10:30 this morning. We had twenty gallons in each wing tank that would provide plenty of play time. It was quiet around the airport this morning up until the Mig thundered down runway one, dang that baby is loud! Needless to say the thunder of the jet got the blood pressure pumping as Vince and I climbed aboard.
South East view down the Delaware Bay
Clear for take-off runway two seven left turn on course approved to depart the area on the down wind for three two. We were in the air and following the direction of the tower as we climbed up and over the Delaware River. It was bumpy this morning but not uncomfortable. We made our way over the Delaware bay and the rough air was soon as smooth as the water passing below. I tried the autopilot since I made the adjustment the other night and wanted to check our "wings level" mode. Heading bug set and autopilot switched on and tracking within five degrees of the course. Still a light roll right but the system seemed to settle down and hold wings level nicely.  I didn't try the tracking mode, this will be done on another flight with Mike.
I announce 10 out of Cape May and spot the only traffic in the pattern, a Cessna 172. I follow that aircraft in number two to land and roll out on runway two eight about mid field. The winds were gusting pretty good and I did drift left of center late in the flare but made a nice landing. After a short stay on the ramp we decided to make the fourteen mile hop to KOBI-Woodbine Airport, I haven't been there in ages. Actually I was hoping to catch up with fellow pilot Jeff D and his Mooney. Once again I was number two to land following a Cherokee working in the pattern and communicating very well so we could coordinate positions and pattern work.  Another gusty winds landing but again smooth touchdown and taxi off at midfield. Jeff's hangar was closed and not many people were around the field.
short final KWWD
Terminal KWWD
The last hop was back to Wilmington. I taxied back to the active following the Cherokee. Radios set, DuPont VOR dialed in and GPS set, we are launching on runway three one. I'm off pretty quickly and climbing out. Once established in a nice climb and everything in the green I ask Vince he he would like to fly.  I point out our rate of climb and airspeed with the reminder that it will be hard to see over the nose until we level. I will work the radios, we are both eyes out.  Vince does a nice job and I only have to point at the vertical speed indicator and the airspeed for him to know he has us climbing out to steep. He gets that squared away and I explain that the climb can lead to a departure stall and the potential hazards associated with it.  He understood and continued on. I should add in here that I gave him the headwind, rock your boat leg, he was up to it.
Twin Spans - Delaware Memorial Bridges
Vince made the radio calls to Wilmington, sounding quite the professional as he noted position, intentions and ATIS info. We were directed to enter a left base for runway two seven and call turning final, Vince acknowledged.  There was jet traffic inbound so we transferred the control back to me with the traditional my plane, your plane my plane verbal acknowledgment. Vince stayed eyes out and spotted the traffic calls and as we were on short final a jet landing on runway one was cleared to land. I extended my landing and touched down past the 1-19 intersection but still made the midfield turn off on Kilo-4.
A fun day flying with 1.7 added in the log book. We didn't have to cover since Mike was going out at 3pm but we did plug the heaters back in. I have my flying fix for another week, let's hope the snow doesn't keep me grounded for much more than that!


Steve said...

Man, I love clear winter air - makes for gorgeous photos!

If I start doing more XC flying, an autopilot's going to be a must so I'll have to find a plane to rent with one. Two hour legs on Friday holding left aileron a slightly out-of-rig trainer got tiring, and I was only flying for about 20 minutes!

Rick said...

Great write-up and pictures. Is "headwind rock your boat" simply an expression or have some meaning? Curious pilots want to know :)

Gary said...


Thanks! I had the "easy" tailwind leg and ground speeds around 128+kts heading south east to Cape May, NJ. Vince had to deal with the strong headwinds coming home. It was a very bumpy ride, hence the "rock your boat" comment. However, the young man did very well, he is only 14.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary! Sorry I missed you! A bunch of us flew to KGED for breakfast on Sunday, probably how we missed. Give me a heads up next time, would love to catch up. Jeff N1159P

Rustedgranny said...

Thanks for the visit to my blog. The terrain you fly over is so different from mine out here in the west. Also, I complain about weather but at least don't have to heat my plane.
I'll be back regularly.