Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finally Some Flight Time

I decided that I would keep my batteries at home, hoping the least amount of exposure to the cold would help them hold a charge.  I got up early this morning and topped both batteries off with my new charger set at a two amp trickle charge.  Each battery had its turn and by 8:45 I was ready to head to the airport.

No word from my safety pilot Mike so I figured he was out. I swapped text messages with Vince and he was ready to go. I picked Vince up and we headed to the plane.  We arrived at the ramp and actually saw life forms, no kidding there are people who fly from the Red Eagle ramp!  A straight tail Cessna was getting ready to start while Vince and I flowed through 08Romeo's pre-flight. Both batteries installed, SUV parked outside the gate and the pre-flight complete, it was time to put 08Romeo to the test.
Clear Prop!!  Maybe three blades and she fired up, life is good.  Honestly, 08Romeo has to be itching to fly as bad as I am. Vince and I picked up the ATIS as I taxi to the edge of our ramp.  Oil temps looking great since 08Romeo was plugged in overnight and we will be in the green easily for the run up and departure. All systems go, we're ready to rock and Wilmington gives us a line up and wait. (sigh)...We are soon directed, "08Romeo cleared for take off runway two seven on course approved", Vince quickly acknowledges and we are rolling again.

The air is smooth as glass this morning, hands in my lap and steering with my feet only when needed. Vince tried for flight following with Dover and for the first time ever we were denied, but advised to contact Philly.  Hmmmm, we are heading south through the west edge of their space but we'll listen in and go at it on our own, not a problem. Dover does work closely with KRJD- Ridgely Airpark and it's best monitor for meat missiles (those folks who like to jump out of perfectly good airplanes). RJD was quiet and I didn't see any life there on the ramp as we passed overhead.
Final 16
We missed the big push of aircraft going to Cambridge for breakfast but still had to search for a place to park on the crowded ramp. There were more planes on the ramp at Cambridge today than I can remember. It's great to see general Aviation alive and well. Vince and I had a short wait for a table as the Woodbine bunch was just finishing up, it was nice to say hello to the group. We were seated next to a window with a good view of the ramp and as always at Kay's, enjoyed a perfect breakfast.
The Ramp at Kay's
The price of fuel was $5.70 vs the $6.14 at Wilmington. I took on an additional fourteen gallons to bring me to forty and tankered that back home. Once again the air was smooth, temps holding around thirty five at three thousand feet. Vince and I traded off flying and I eventually made the call to Wilmington to advise inbound for a full stop. We had a traffic call out as we turned to the right base but the aircraft was no factor. I floated one in and with a bit of butt sink and touch of the throttle 08Romeo squeaked one on. Vince said I finally felt the butt sink, yeah! He gets it and now will be ready to work on landing the 08Romeo.
We secured the plane and I left the batteries disconnected, well at least one connection. I removed the copper tab that connects the negative and positive of the two batteries and left the other two connections intact. I used the alligator clips that came with both sets of solar chargers and with the copper tab removed I could charge each battery separate with a twelve volt solar unit for each.
Fingers crossed, we'll see how 08Romeo is next weekend when we fly to 44N, Skyacres, Perfect landing cafe on Sunday, February 17th. Sign up on POA forum.


best flying school Canada said...

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Steve said...

Nice to see you got up again with someone from your usual cast of right-seat characters.

Fuel prices seem to be in the same ballpark as they are out this way. Most seem to be in the $5.70 to $5.90 range. I did see as low as $5.35 on the way to Evansville last weekend, though!

Gary said...


I plan on tankering fuel to/from KOXB -Ocean City, MD this summer. Right now OXB is posted at $5.50 SS.
I hate not getting the 23 cent a gallon motor fuel tax refund from delaware purchases but its so much cheaper in MD.

Steve said...

Hard to beat that. Especially when you use the airplane to travel as you guys do. Those gallons - and dollars - add up!

Even as a renter, I always try and plan for efficient (i.e. cheap) fuel stops if they don't tack more than 5-10 miles onto the leg.