Friday, August 31, 2012

Wet Weekend

Our planned departure out of KILG is for 3:15 today or 1915 Zulu time. It looks like the forecast is only getting better!
The pilot and copilot
Looking across the Delaware Bay
The RV Park
Our flight was pretty straight forward.  As soon as we got handed off to Philly they gave me climb to 4000.  Philly passed us off to Dover and they quickly gave me direct Ocean City then handed us off to Patuxent. Pax descended me back down to 3000 and we road along for a short time.  Once I reported the field in site I canceled and switched to CTAF to monitor local traffic.  I was number two to land runway three two and completed the flight with a nice landing. We placed a call to Lombardi's for pizza and made the pick up enroute to the motor home.
Mary went in to get the pizza
pizza secure, next stop 64th street market for beer and supplies
I'm on patrol here.....when is Mom coming out of the market?
Saturday 9/1

Saturday was a lazy day.  I took a look at what I needed to do to replace the jack leveling spring on the motor home.  I was worried how hard it would be to lift the jack in question without a spring, turns out it went pretty smooth.  I got it started with a pry bar (long 1/2" extension) then slid the scissor jack from the VW Cabrio under the landing pad and cranked away.  I got the jack to retract all the way and once the hydraulic system was shut down I couldn't pull it back by hand.
The ground was still pretty wet so I decided I would repeat the process when we decide to pull out of the RV park. I'll add a safety tie wire to make sure it doesn't drop on the ride north. After the rig is home I'll get it taken care of at the local shop.

Mary headed to the pool and once cleaned up I joined her.  We enjoyed a refreshing dip and catching some rays.  I left once the kids that invaded started the high pitched screams and squeals, to much for me to handle. Once we got settled in I cooked dinner  for us both. I made chicken over grits with shredded cheddar cheese mixed in and some mixed veggies, it was pretty good.

Sunday 9/2

Today had a crappy start after listening to the rain pound on the coach during the early morning hours mixed in with some thunder and lightening. It gets worse, I cleaned up the car Saturday at the local car wash and spent some time with the vac cleaning out Maggie hair. We decided to change the "sling" she broke/rides in and instead opted for a nice beach towel covering the back leather seats. Ahh...the car was once again clean and the seats protected. I took Maggie out this morning and noticed I had left the windows open all the opening sentence of this paragraph. 

I headed over to ACE hardware and picked up a small wet dry vac and cleaned the car, again! Water was dripping off the floor mats when I removed them and it took three beach towels to get everything dry, damp. I did pick up a container of DryRid to help remove the remaining dampness and prevent mold or mildew.  Once I was finished I checked out the wx and wasn't to happy.  There was some sun peaking out but what was moving east was going to rain on our remaining holiday weekend. We made the decision to bug out and head home.

I picked up my clearance with Washington C/D and launched for home.  We had a simple change and that was to head west to SBY. Once patuxent got an ident on us they quickly turned me to the ATR VOR over Lewes Delaware. The ride north got worse and as you can see we were in for a ride when we get to Wilmington. I had planned for KMQS -Chester County to be my alternate just in case.  By the looks of the wx and our timing KMQS was looking better if I couldn't make it into Wilmington.  I made the decision to make one try then go missed and head to MQS.

Philly gave me the GPS RWY 9 approach as expected and sent me on my way but keeping me high. It was very windy with +/- 20 degree swings, heavy rain with 500+/- lifts and drops at its worst. I crossed DREFF at 3000, as directed, then started my descent according to the plate. I must say I shot my toughest approach to date. Trying to hold 3000 with lifts pushing me to 3400 then back to 2800 and holding three. up and down, Mary called it the roller coaster. I wish I had a chance to take a picture of the yellow and orange we flew through as I turned in from AWINN.
My Bride road out the approach like a real trooper. Maggie on the other hand kept licking Mary’s hand, I’m sure if she could talk she would be asking why we can’t see out the windows and what the heck are we doing here! Maggie’s look was reinforced when Philly asked how the ride was and to expect heavy rain. I just told them we were good, in the rain now, I wanted to tell them I'm kind of busy here. I broke out at 700’, minimum descent altitude was 520’. I drove along between 600' and 520’ and finally had the runway in view, dang, it looked beautiful! GWe got drenched securing the plane but we had a good laugh looking at each other dripping wet.
Driving forward at 520'
Mary got all the approach pictures once we broke out....good job!!
Burger and beer for my Bride and a double captain and coke for me to wash down my burger. 1.5 for the ride home, .4 IMC and one approach added to the log, with a few memories.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BACFest Flight Plan

Plans are shaping up and we have made a few changes to the original plans for BAC Fest.  It looks like we will bug out a day early and overnight in Camden, SC.  It should be an easy reach for the 400 mile flight lasting three to four hours tops depending on the winds the day of departure.  I called the FBO at KCDN, Woodward Field Airport and arranged for a courtesy car and discussed lodging. Dale was very helpful and provided me his cell phone number. I am to contact him the day before we launch to finalize arrangements. He also added if the wx is bad overnight he'll get me in a hangar, no problem.
The next morning will be an early start with a departure following breakfast. It figures on another three to four hour hop, again depending on the winds, for our arrival at KJKA, Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores,AL.
I'll file an instrument flight plan for each leg.  I just had my Collins Comm two radio repaired and I am going to schedule an oil change and have 08Romeo checked out prior to heading south. Plates and charts have been added on Foreflight for the states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida along with IFR low enroute and VFR sectionals. I only have to schedule boarding for the Maggie girl and we are set.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beach Run

I took the day off work so I could take Mary to the doctor then we could head to the beach. I had filed for today's flight and picked up my clearance with Wilmington ground.  It seems ATC likes today's route the best KILG DQO ENO EZIZI KOXB as they gave me runway heading,radar vectors to join V29 as filed.
Dover AFB  Looking SE
Once handed off to Philly they gave me four thousand direct Smyrna. We cruised along in smooth air jamming to the country hits.  I had fixed Mary's Bose headset earlier in the week switching the dip switch to stereo and low and behold the music really pops now!Philly silenced the tunes as they handed us off to Dover. We never did get six thousand but the temps at four thousand were a comfortable sixty five.
Mary called this the "lonesome little cloud"
Dover handed us off to Patuxent as we started to see a stray cloud or two at our altitude. We started to bump along now just fifteen minutes out. Pax cleared us for the visual once I had the field in sight and I canceled in the air.  There was good crosswind action on short final but I made a nice landing with the right main down and riding it followed with the left main and nose.

I secured the plane while Mary checked us in at the terminal.  When Mary walked in with Maggie there was an itty bitty yorkie, all of three pounds, in the office that started to growl and bark. Our Italian mastiff, one hundred ten pounds, hit reverse and was outta there! The owner escorted killer out the door so we could check in, we all had a good laugh.


Not much on today's agenda so we decided to have breakfast in the coach, digest, then hit the boardwalk after we clean up and walked Maggie. Ocean city was as busy as the 4th of July holiday with folks headed to the beach and traffic filtering to the inlet. There was a BMX and skateboard event sponsored by Mountain Dew and the set up was very complex as it sprawled across the beach.
Mary and I strolled along taking in the view, people watching, then hit a few stores. One stop was Jessica's fudge where we picked up some fudge for Mary's mom and her moms friend Marge. While Mary was picking out the perfect fudge I found pecan carmel praline blocks. Yes, I purchased two for our planned tram ride and Mary picked out a chocolate covered peep. I also decided to try the chocolate covered bacon, my heart kept saying no but my tummy said you bet!
We purchased round trip tickets on the boardwalk tram that ran twenty seven blocks each direction. We enjoyed the shops, more people watching and the huge display of kites anchored on the beach, it was a perfect day for kite flying. Mary and I decided to grab burgers at one of our favorite places, Froggy's. Great view overlooking the inlet mixed with the best burgers in town capped off a fun day on the boards.


Today was departure day.  The wx was looking good all last night but the updates this morning didn't look so hot.  I also wanted to get home and maybe get some sleep time since I had to be in at work around 8pm with a twelve hour shift ahead of me.  We had a quick breakfast and locked up the coach.
I took on ten gallons of fuel  which brought me back to 40 gallons. The cool air felt great and there was little if any breeze as we taxied out. We launched off runway three two and pointed direct to Wilmington. I did monitor Dover approach but cruised along with my hands in my lap at 5,500.  I started a nice descent about nine minutes out needing to get to the pattern altitude of 1080'. It was a nice flight at 60 degree temps and a smooth landing.
As a side note the contractor canceled for this evening since there was a chance of rain. The product we are working with on the bridge deck does not play well with any moisture. The contractor will give it another go tomorrow night and I won't have to cover!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

BFR Completed

Yes, I'm good for two more years.  I called Mary and told her I can still take us to/from Ocean City!

Mike and I met up this morning and did a ground review of  aircraft procedures.  We review planning, weather and risk management every time we fly together in our preflight and mission debriefs, I think we are comfortable with that part of the review.

With a review of today's flight regarding location, safe altitudes, required maneuvers and procedures we were ready to climb aboard. I picked up the ATIS info and contacted ground for taxi instructions. I was directed runway two seven at taxiway Mike via Kilo.  We were off, I flowed through my typical checks for IFR as we taxi/turn to the correct taxiways. I completed my run up and contacted the tower for my departure.  I was cleared to take off runway two seven and got a wind update. As soon as I rolled on to the runway the tower canceled my take off and had me line up and wait instead, very strange indeed.  Of course the first thing that runs through my head is if this flight is going to be like this the whole time or somewhat normal, we shall see.
Take II - I was off for the practice area, it's been awhile. I was pointed southwest towards  the Chesapeake Bay but remaining east of it and north of the Sassafras river yet west of Summit airport, KEVY.  Mostly farmland with multiple outs if needed.  I did a few clearing turns then jumped into steep turns.  Unlike my last practice session where I cut through my own wake, this go was sloppy I was showing the rust.  I recovered and rolled out on my initial heading and back at my altitude.  Let's give this a go to my right, this time a bit more consistent but nothing I was real proud of.  Mike had me do another round and I did better, still not happy with my performance.

We moved on to slow flight and that went fine, followed by stalls that went good too. The rust was coming off and I was feeling better.  There's a big difference from doing the simple taxi run to/from the beach every weekend vs really flying the plane and practicing maneuvers, I need to set a practice schedule.

Mike pulled my power and I worked through my flow for an engine out, trimming for best glide and then performing a flow of pump on, check primer locked, carb heat on, check full rich, switch fuel tanks. All the while picking a place to put the plane down and getting to it. Simulated no restart so I figure for the worst case.  I plan to kill fuel and master on a short final and crack the doors open.  At just under a thousand feet Mike restores my power and we are climbing back for three thousand.

Next up was unusual attitudes, I'm a bit goofy but I like doing this stuff. Ok since I'm instrument rated I had to put the foggles on then head down and eyes closed. I swayed in the seat and listened as the engine rpm's picked up then got quiet and I felt my self get light in the seat, like going over a back road and feeling your tummy drop out.  Next I heard "YOUR PLANE", alrighty, pull power, level wings from my steep bank and maintain altitude, trim, recheck systems, we're good.  We did this a few more times and on the last go Mike covered the attitude indicator.  Yikes! My eyes immediately went there as a first look for recovering, then, with out hesitation I changed the scan to turn coordinator for getting wings level and VSI for trend as I pulled power for my nose down condition, checked rpm's to confirm and altimeter for getting back to my starting altitude.  All in a blink of an that was fun stuff!

Next up was another engine out and I made my glide work for KEVY summit. I had to slip to get in and dumped my flaps but got in and stopped with plenty of runway left. We taxied back and headed to Wilmington for some landings and I checked in with the current wx  confirming where they wanted me. Mike asked for a spot landing to commercial power-off 180 degree accuracy approach and landing grade, I was just hoping I didn't disappoint. Mike picked a landing point, I pulled the power turned inbound and seemingly dragging it in, nailed the spot he picked.  I loved hearing him start to laugh and his comment, you really know your plane, it made my day.

Short lived kudos as I was on the roll and climbing back out for another go. Mike asked for a full stop and pulled power in the pattern, I didn't think I would get there but he stressed holding that best glide speed and I did, and I got there, "just" got in there.

My flight was complete, I was beat, needed water and air conditioning. Good to be home writing this knowing I'm golden for two more years!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Nexrad Delays


Our typical beach trip with some weather that needed attention, that would about sum up this post.  I filed for my typical route,one that I seem to get better altitudes with.  DQO ENO EZIZI was my plan but that rapidly changed when I called for my clearance.  I know, I should just file what they want to give me but at least I have to try.  Maybe next week I'll just file direct and be a real lazy butt.  I was cleared OXB, runway heading ENO SBY Direct.

I had a headwind to contend with and my Garmin 496 was painting a storm cell over KGED as I was just south of Dover, Delaware.  My typical in flight checks has me run "WIRE" weather, instruments, radios and everything else for arrival. Destination wx looked good with some gusty winds.  The wx bugaboo was a large cell over GED and I noticed it didn't move after my checks. I will always check the refresh times on the bottom of the screen and my 496 counted up to 30 minutes. 
"The Cell" moving north east from KSBY
Just north east of Georgetown KGED

My visual was not matching what the GPS painted.  With the wind speed and direction blowing out of the south south west I knew the big ugly clouds with solid rain shafts would be moving across my path east north east. I advised Dover approach of my wx conditions and turned towards Salisbury, south west to give a wide berth to what I was looking at.  I also recycled my Garmin 496 and it was now painting shades of green only as I performed my end around.

I updated my wx for OXB and figured our arrival time would be around 4:30 local or 2030 Z.

031854Z AUTO 17011KT 10SM FEW070 33/23 A3003 RMK AO2
SPECI KGED 031946Z AUTO 24009G19KT 2 1/2SM +RA SCT050 SCT075
BKN100 26/20 A3004 RMK AO2 PK WND 20027/1931 WSHFT 1929 RAB39 P0005

031954 031954Z AUTO 23007KT 4SM -RA SCT050 BKN080 BKN10026/22 A3004

031853Z AUTO 19009G16KT 10SM CLR 28/24 A3006 
031953 METAR KOXB 031953Z AUTO 19007KT 150V230 10SM CLR 28/24 A3006 

032053Z AUTO 20007KT 170V250 10SM CLR 28/24 A3004 

Not a real pretty landing but I added power and counted number two planting as my good landing. We were at the beach!


Saturday was a lazy day.  I did a few things around the motor home and we decided on taking a ride to find Float-Ors on Fenwick Island in Delaware.  We made our way north on RT.113 and turned east on RT.54.  Along the way we found a little corner restaurant and pulled in for some burgers. Food and service were excellent and its a short hop from our Rig with no traffic like the coastal highways.

Georgia House Restaurant

With full tummies we continued our easterly heading. We found a grocery store we had been trying to find, Harris Teeter. We also stumbled on the destination we had planned for, Float-Ors. I think I had the car stopped but I'm not sure as Mary was out and walking to the front door. I followed suit and we enjoyed looking at all the items they carried. I'm sure we will be back, despite my best effort. With treasures in hand we pointed our little Cabrio west south west and high tailed it back to the motor home.

We did swap text messages with our friends Pam and Ted who were going to meet up this evening with us around 7pm.  This would be our first visitors/guests at the new beach digs. Mary and I made a quick supply run to the local 64th street market for some wine, beer, munchies and ice.  We had a great time catching up and we are looking forward to doing dinner with our friends the next time we are all down.


I was watching the wx since I got up this morning and figured we could bug out early and beat the heat along with the potential boomers.  I did give some thought to one more overnight but the wx didn't look any better for Monday morning.
south west view departing KOXB

east-south east view departing KOXB

We loaded up and headed to the plane.  I had plenty of fuel, 30 gallons, and a nice tail wind to help my time and fuel burn.  I contacted Washington Clearance Delivery and picked up my clearance to ILG.


051253Z AUTO 23010KT 10SM BKN015 27/24 A3018
051250Z SPECI KOXB 051250Z AUTO 23011KT 10SM BKN015 27/24 A3018

My typical was amended before departure and I was now headed to SBY ENO Direct.  I had filed for a flight to the Delaware bay and ATR VOR then following the Delaware coast up to Wilmington.  It was fun climbing through the broken layer and popping out on top as we headed towards SBY.  Once handed of to Patuxent I was given direct Smyrna (ENO) and off we went.  A good flight with Mary asleep, Maggie snoring in the back and me sitting with my hands in my lap.
Inky doing happy feet on his girl maggie, he really misses her when we are away.

I made an ok landing, following a jet departure and was happy to taxi into red eagle. Good to be home but the weekends are way to short!