Monday, March 19, 2012


Tonight was too nice to pass up.  I sent a text to Mike B and asked if he was interested in flying, I wanted to get night current and shoot a few approaches.  Mike was available now and I advised I was on my way.  I didn't think we would make the one hour after sunset for night currency but I still needed to work on keeping my instrument skills proficient.

08Romeo fired up in a few blades and we taxied for departure on one nine.  After turning out on course Mike worked in some vectors with slow flight, adding in altitude changes along the way.  Slow flight was followed by steep turns that were pretty good, crossing through my own wake that also confirmed my altitude was dead on.

Next up was the ILS 10 approach into Millville (KMIV).  I did a real nice job down to the decision height then went missed. The missed tracks to the VCN VOR which provided a lap in the hold and the start of the VOR A approach. I like to keep the Garmin 530 on GPS and track the VOR approach while keeping the #2 CDI set up for the VOR tracking.

A real nice approach with regard to the course but I blew the step down altitude. It called for 1600 feet at VINER and noted the VCN distance was 6.1 miles.  I briefed and called out VCN at 1600, it was 400 feet below the assigned altitude.  Thankfully Mike acting as my safety pilot alerted me and I briefed again and saw the mistake.  Ok, I'm still on course and speed with the corrected altitude, making my way to the field. The approach ended with a great circle to land and an ok landing.

We departed Millville and headed for home. I tuned Philly approach on 119.75 and requested the GPS 27 approach into Wilmington, Philly gave me the "stand by".  A few minutes passed, the controller was really busy, when he contacted me with a squawk code and turned me direct Woodstown. I was good to go and entered the approach on the 530. I actually felt a bit rusty chugging and plugging on the Garmin.  IFR skills, use em or loose em. It was another nice circle to land for runway one niner and a not so nice landing that was a tad firm. Mike treated to dinner at a new place. We enjoyed a very good meal while we debriefed the flight.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A New Blog

I decided to make a change.  I am going to keep my Flight Journal blog strictly flying and with that decision I created a new RV Ramblings Blog.  I admit, it will be a slow first year as we settle in and get used to the Coach but I'm sure there will be some fun stuff dealing with a new place and trying to get our 110lb Italian Mastiff to adjust.  Maggie will have to get used to more flight time and living in a smaller world on weekends.  The benefits for her is the chance to explore the beach and spend her weekend time with us instead of boarding at the vet.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

OXB & Bali Hi

Despite moving the clocks forward one hour, Mary and I managed to drag ourselves out of bed at a decent time. The plan was to try a flight, Marys first since her three TIA's (mini-stroke like episodes). We headed to the airport and I pre-flighted 08Romeo by myself. I did not want to take the chance having Mary help and I thought better of it that she should stay warm in the SUV. I tried to start 08Romeo but she only turned a few blades. I guess it was going around as the Archer two up from me cranked his dead and it took forever for the Grumman next to me to fire up.
Looking up the Delaware River, Twin spans off the wing tip

Background tip of Cape May, 4 tankers, far right tip Cape Henlopen
I pulled the suspect battery and charged it with my jumper cables I keep in the SUV.  I gave it twenty minutes then reinstalled. 08Romeo cranked over in two blades and roared to life. I think she was happy we were once again flying and just wanted some extra attention.  Mary parked my SUV and I taxied to the gate so she only had to come through it and climb aboard. I had the possible walk around blocked with my wing tip so there was no chance of walking into the prop unless you physically crawled under the wing to get by the building.
Our Park is left of the island connected by the two bridges
We soon taxied and launched for Ocean City Maryland. It was a nice smooth flight with a few knot tail wind. Mary slept the whole way and opened her eyes when I was exchanging position reports entering the pattern at OXB. I secured the plane and Mary went in to ask about a rental. Don at XPress cut us a great deal for the few hours we planned on being there.
OCMD Beach
Our Friends condo -  brown roof building behind round red roof bldg. center of picture
We were on the road headed to our leased lot in the RV Park.  It was pretty easy to find and just about 13 miles north of the airport. The ground was wet along the road but we did get out and check out the space.  There were plenty of permanent travel trailers set up and one other Motor home coach.  Everyone waved and said hello and we met one couple raking leaves and cleaning up their location, they were really nice and welcomed us to the park.
Tanker off-loading at Delaware City Terminal
With our mission accomplished we headed back to the airport with one stop for a quick lunch. We checked out the local places to shop, get gas, spirits and hardware, everything was close by. The beach was just about four miles so Mary was happy. We returned the rental after adding some fuel and hung out a bit to chat with Nola who worked the desk.  We went over the overnight fees and what was the best plan for us. The monthly plan (30 overnights) was just $50.  Not bad at all compared to the daily rate of $12. We will sign up for that deal and they keep a log, you can carry the remaining days until they are used up.

We finally saddled up for home and 08Rome was ready to go. Two blades and she was back to her normal purrrrr. Winds were gusting but pretty much right down runway two zero. We were off in a hurry and climbing out to follow up the coast.  I wanted to take a few shots of the Indian river inlet bridge but instead turned to look for the RV Park. It was time to point 08Romeo north and get on home. I added power to run at 2500 rpm and leaned to save some fuel. I didn't bother with flight following on the way home but did have Dover Approach tuned in for updates on local traffic while we listened to some country music.

I contacted Wilmington and acknowledged the enter left down wind for one niner report midfield. Base to final with a bumpy landing approach with the forty five degree cross wind gusting 18 knots. Right main wheel down, wow feel the wind, left main down with the nose quickly following. Knocked off some rust today and I feel more proficient  for it. Hope to get in the air again the next week or two!