Thursday, July 30, 2015

Flying with Friends

Rob and his family have been vacationing on Aseteague Island for the week and we had talked about getting some fly time in.  We traded a few text messages yesterday and the final plan was to meet up at 7am at the tenants gate at Ocean City Airport.

I arrived a bit early, got the hangar opened up and put the rear passenger seat back in the plane. I honestly can't remember the last time all four seats were in 08Romeo. I wanted to top off the tanks to make for fifteen a side but the FBO does not open until 8am. Nota big deal, I'll start up and taxi to the self serve and save some change.
Rob got the girls buckled in and we started up to taxi for fuel. Maddie wasn't real happy and she stressed a bit so Rob had a chat with her while I set up to pump fuel. By the time 08Romeo was fueled and ready Maddie wanted out so her and her Dad walked back to the hangar, Ally and I taxied back and shut down. Rob drove Maddie back to Aseteague then turned around to once again join us for this mornings flight.
Ally is used to flying, she flew with Rob in the Diamond and C172. It was time to once again get the fan turning and taxi out for runway two-zero.  Winds were light and pretty much down the runway,the temps were high 70's.  We climbed straight out then turned east then south to follow the coast along Aseteague Island above 2000' and remaining clear of the Wildlife Refuge.
I then turned out over the ocean to travel north up the coastline so Ally could see the ocean city boardwalk. We were careful to remain clear of the Wildlife Refuge and the Warning area offshore W-386. There was a scattered layer west of Ocean City that made for a nice backdrop on some of the photos. We remained clear of the clouds and continued north towards Lewes, DE. Rob and I transferred controls heading north between Aseteague and Ocean City, he didn't show any signs of rust.  I did ask the last time he flew and he quickly blurted out October 22nd, 2011.  OK....that date is registered for all time.
Rob did some circles around a point, the point being the wind turbine at UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus located north of Lewes. FYI, Since the wind turbine  became operational in June 2010, the turbine has generated 9.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh), spinning out more than enough electricity to power the Hugh R. Sharp Campus.
From the wind turbine we headed over the Lewes Ferry Terminal, Ally got to see one of the boats leaving the dock and getting underway to cross the Delaware Bay. Rob did a fine job keeping us clear of the Warning area and Ally seemed to really enjoy checking out the sights along the beach.

We once again transferred controls as I turned us west to follow RT 90 for a bit then start a long final. Depending on traffic my plan was for a straight in or fly upwind and join the left down wind pattern. There was only one other aircraft inbound and he was six miles or so behind us, I made for a straight in approach to land. I made an ok landing and taxied back to the hangar to wrap up a short but fun flight over the beach.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

iPad Mini 3 Install

This morning I decided to touch up the support tubes in the Sundowner and get the iPad mini 3 mounted. I papered off the area and after cleaning up the tubes, put down two coats of black paint. The 'scars' as a result of normal wear and aging now look a bit fresher and clean.
This week I had purchased the Sporty's iPad Mini 3 Yoke Mount. I really like the easy snap in/out to make the connection and it sits very secure in the mount. The package came with the following items; the iPad Mini Cradle with 1” ball,  Standard Double Socket Arm (3") and the Yoke Mounting Base.
Installation was very easy, typical RAM mount products.  I moved the mini back plate mount 1" ball to the optional location that allowed the iPad to sit lower over the yoke. Overall it squared up very nice and felt secure. My one concern was that if not centered it would cause the yoke to turn while in flight.  I flight tested on the flight last night to and from KILG to take our friend Jo Ann home. I flew hands off with no issues, the light weight iPad mini had no affect.
My flight test did provide one tid bit that I am going to change and that is the standard double socket arm.  The 3" length projects the iPad to far from the yoke, overall length 3.69", socket to socket length 3-Inch. I ordered the smaller version with an overall length of 2.38" and socket to socket length of 2".  This change, although just an inch, will tuck the mount closer to the yoke and provide a cleaner look and feel when holding the yoke.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Out and Back

Our friend Jo Ann is going to join us at the beach this weekend and Mary offered that we could pick her up at Wilmington, KILG and save her the drive.  Perfect out and back mission that will add some time to my flight totals.  Besides, who likes driving in beach traffic, not me.

We had a few errands to run and then we headed to the airport. Mary and I seem to be out of sync, due mostly to our lack of flying together since I retired. I took on 22 gallons of fuel to bring 08Romeo to 45 and we were ready to go.  I completed my final walk around as Mary closed the hangar door, we were finally ready.
great temps at altitude
I had filed last night but decided to just pick up flight following with Dover.  Wilmington had a Vice Presidential TFR scheduled but the plan was to be back in the air heading south when that kicked in. Dover eventually cut me loose and recommended further flight following with Philly but I switched to the tower at ILG and monitored traffic.

In just a few miles I would be at the ten mile out mark crossing the C&D canal contacting the tower to advise inbound, with (ATIS) Lima, going to Red Eagle. I was directed to advise 3 mile left base runway three-two. As I was about to advise the left base position the tower asked me to extend the base....huh what? I knew what he wanted, he need some extra time so that the jet, on an engine test flight, could run up and then depart. I acknowledged and slowed down, adding a second notch of flaps and turning out enough to be on an extended final approach when I turned for the runway.
cape henlopen
I made a nice landing and got the full length taxi, crossing runway nine - two-seven and exit on the last taxiway. Perfect, this put me just a short distance from Red Eagle. I shut down on the ramp and went inside to talk to the guys at the shop while Mary watched for Jo Ann.
I wanted to ask about getting on the schedule for some work, adding the Garmin Flight Stream 210, GDL88, an Stec 20 auto pilot and he has a Garmin 340 audio panel just traded in that he'll give me a good price on. When we get back from South Dakota 08Romeo is headed in the shop, she'll get her IFR cert done too.
A fun day flying and I got some info for 08Romeos avionics upgrades.  Next up is a tour of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern shore of Virginia. I'll have pics to post and a write up to share.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

South Jersey Regional at OXB

After swapping a few text messages Dave S and I agreed on a meet up for dinner.  The plan was to meet him and his Bride Lynn for dinner at the Harborside Bar and Grill in west Ocean City, MD.  Dave gave a heads up that there would be eight in the party heading down from KVAY- South Jersey Regional.
This was an easy gig for Mary and I, a ten minute drive from home to the airport.  We headed over to OXB in time to hear Dave call 14 miles out of Ocean City.  The fly guys of South Jersey made their way in, one by one.  First Dave in his Cherokee 235, followed by Michael in his Arrow and the last couple in their Cessna 182.
I had room for two in our ML320 and the rest of the group piled in one of the Express Rent a Car Ford Expeditions supplied by Don. It was a short hop to Harborside for great eats and even better company.
We all headed back to the airport and said our goodbyes. Mary and I watched as one by one they taxied for departure.  We headed out and parked on the airport road as we watched all three climb out for home.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

iPad Mini 3

iPad Mini 3 64GB Wi-Fi/Cellular
I decided it was time to upgrade. I have been using Foreflight v5.0 on my iPad1 for what seems like forever.  I use the iPad for flying only.  I have the typical wx apps, weight & balance, Airnav, Flightaware and the likes. I will say it has worked without any problems although I've noticed it seems to be slowing down. I have all my instrument plates stored and IFR low charts.  With all the Foreflight updates, now version 7.2, I was starting to fall behind the curve.
The mini was delivered today and in just a few minutes I had downloaded all my goodies from the Cloud. My W&B didn't work so I'll need to learn how to share my airplane file for that to get squared away. I have been doing my flight planning and file on the iPhone6 plus, so additional screen size will be nice.   
I also purchased the yoke mount by RAM. This seems to be the mount of choice with my friends that have the mini so I'm giving it a shot. I will have a trip report posted this weekend with the mini mounted on the yoke and my iPad on my lap.
This will be step one in the upgrade process. I'll be adding the Flight Stream 210 and the Garmin GDL88 to couple to my 530W and have the Bluetooth wireless gateway in place along with ADS-B and Traffic.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

IFR Focus

Instrument Pilots: Get "IFR Focus"

Free, monthly tips, tactics and techniques help you get the most from your instrument flying.
  • Emphasis on practical information
  • Video workshops
  • Advanced ForeFlight Q&A
  • Avionics tips
  • Written by former IFR Magazine editor,Jeff Van West

  • IFR Focus is a cross between a monthly blog and an in-depth article. Content-wise it’s serious IFR, delving into a specific IFR topic from a pilot’s perspective. Each installment of IFR Focus offers practical tips and techniques for getting the most utility out of your IFR flying.

    Sign up today!  IFR FOCUS

    Saturday, July 18, 2015

    ForeFlight Connect

    LOVE IT!!!  Great job Foreflight!


    ForeFlight Mobile connects to compatible Garmin avionics via the Flight Stream 210/110, Garmin’s Bluetooth® wireless gateway, and displays the full suite of ADS-B weather and traffic information received from the GDL 88/84. The Flight Stream 210, with its internal attitude sensor, powers ForeFlight’s Synthetic Vision and adds a backup attitude capability with dynamic pitch and bank information.

    WAAS GPS position information from GTN™ 650/750, GNS™ 430W/530W navigators, or GDL 88 with an internal WAAS receiver can also be used to power features like ForeFlight Mobile’s moving map and geo-referenced approach plates and taxi diagrams to enhance situational awareness in the air and on the ground.

    Additionally, flight plan transfer capability is currently in development and will be available in a future app update.

    Support for Garmin Flight Stream connectivity is available with ForeFlight Mobile 7.2, now available for download on the App Store. For more information, visit

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Breakfast With My Brother

    We have been talking about this for some time and Thursday evening I told Mary I'm going to text Joe and see if he wants to meet up.  My brother owns his own business, Mascelli Financial Associates, and he works from home on Fridays.  I think he's just bagging work. ;)
    The plan was to meet up around 9:30 at the Summit Airport, KEVY located in Middletown, Delaware.  It's a quick hop in 08Romeo vs an hour and a half drive.  Joe made the 10-15 minute trip from his home to the airport terminal to pick me up.
    I ran a little late getting to the airport due to chatting it up this morning with our new neighbors, they are really nice folks.  I was soon pulling through the gate and calling for fuel at the terminal. Tony came out, added fifteen gallons to bring me to forty for my flight. I had filed but decided on picking up flight following since there was no misty fog layer this morning, it was all clear. 08Romeo launched and made a nice steady climb for three thousand. I made my call for flight following with Dover Approach providing them my position, altitude and request.  Dover came back with my new squawk code and off we went, riding along together.
    Dover turned me loose to squawk VFR since I was exiting their control area to the north. I thanked him for the ride along and switched over to Unicom at Summit. I shot the GPS 35 approach and since the winds were pretty much calm I landed instead of circling to land on one-seven.

    I walked through the terminal and sent a text that I was at the terminal. As I walked out the front door Joe pulled up in his SUV, what timing!
    Milford, DE  SR1 and RT113
    It was a short drive for breakfast at Bob Evans. The food and Service was very good. It was nice just to sit and catch up, I miss our days of coaching baseball and dinners after the games but at least we can still meet up as often as possible.
    We are going to get together and play another round of golf soon.  We ended up in a tie on the last round we played over the 4th of July holiday.  I would say he took it easy on me but I know better, I just got very lucky.
    Ocean City Airport...JUMPERS AWAY!!!
    The return flight was bumpy but not terrible. No flight following this leg, instead, I cranked up the SiriusXM radio and sang along to the hits of the 70's. God forbid if I EVER had a stuck mic. Mary and I are looking forward to catching up with Joe and Janice for some additional beach time, (ladies shopping and men golfing).

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Commercial Pilot Training

    I gave this some thought back in February 2013 and I have finally decided to take the plunge and chase down the commercial rating. Mixed in there I will also knock out the complex endorsement. I'm not sure what opportunities may open up in retirement, here at the beach, but this will keep me busy and out of trouble. There are scenic flights, I'm thinking that could be fun if a left seat position presents itself.
    And then there is banner towing, I'm thinking that's not going to happen.
    I guess I'll finally have to get night current too...sigh (See highlighted text below). I will also have to investigate the second class medical requirements. Worst case scenario, I will have honed my flying skills and added some flight time to the log book, that's always a plus!
    FAR 61.123 Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible for a commercial pilot certificate, you must:

    1. Be at least 18 years of age.
    2. Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
    3. Hold at least a private pilot certificate.
    4. Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
    5. Pass the knowledge test.
    6. Pass the practical test.
    To exercise the privileges of a commercial pilot certificate, you must hold at least a current second-class medical certificate.

    FAR 61.125 Aeronautical Knowledge

    If you are applying for a commercial pilot certificate you must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

    Sec. 61.129 — Aeronautical experience.

    (a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 250 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:

    (1) 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes.
    (2) 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least—
    (i) 50 hours in airplanes; and
    (ii) 50 hours in cross-country flight of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes.
    (3) 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(1) of this part that includes at least—
    (i) Ten hours of instrument training using a view-limiting device including attitude instrument flying, partial panel skills, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, and intercepting and tracking navigational systems. Five hours of the 10 hours required on instrument training must be in a single engine airplane;
    (ii) 10 hours of training in an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, or is turbine-powered, or for an applicant seeking a single-engine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a seaplane that has flaps and a controllable pitch propeller;
    (iii) One 2-hour cross country flight in a single engine airplane in daytime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
    (iv) One 2-hour cross country flight in a single engine airplane in nighttime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    (v) Three hours in a single-engine airplane with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test.
    (4) Ten hours of solo flight time in a single engine airplane or 10 hours of flight time performing the duties of pilot in command in a single engine airplane with an authorized instructor on board (either of which may be credited towards the flight time requirement under paragraph (a)(2) of this section), on the areas of operation listed under §61.127(b)(1) that include—
    (i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point. However, if this requirement is being met in Hawaii, the longest segment need only have a straight-line distance of at least 150 nautical miles; and
    (ii) 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

    Sunday, July 12, 2015

    Cambridge, KCGE

    The weather was finally looking good for a breakfast run and the Woodbine bunch was headed to Cambridge Maryland, KCGE. I haven't been in the air since June 29th, almost two weeks.  It felt good to tug 08Romeo out of the hangar and pre-flight.

    I got the fan turning and taxied out for runway three-two. Winds were calm as I climbed out, making a call to advise the jump plane of my position and that I was leaving the area. I climbed out to 3,000 and sat with my hands in my lap, a very smooth ride. I did double check the restricted area floor for R-4006, it was as I noted 3,500 feet.

    R-4006 is special-use airspace located approximately 20 NMI east of the Patuxent VORTAC, Channel 123, bearing 090°. The airspace extends from 3500-feet MSL up to, but not including, FL250. R-4002, R-4005, and R-6609 are within, but excluded from, R-4006. R-4006 is utilized primarily for aircraft RDT&E exercises. No ordnance is authorized in this area. R-4006 is available continuously.
    Traffic wasn't to bad for my landing at Cambridge as I set up to cross midfield and enter the left downwind for runway three-four. I had traffic behind me and I made it a point to land long and quickly clear.

    Breakfast at Kay's was great as always. It seems we beat the rush today and walked right in and were seated quickly.  Not long after placing our order the line to get in backed up down the hallway to the back door. Our timing was perfect!

    The ramp was busy today and planes were parking everywhere, there was even an Embraer Phenom 300 on the ramp getting ready to depart for KMVY, Martha's Vineyard. Some of the group took on fuel, I was good to go.  I did a quick walk around then climbed aboard, it was getting warm out.  I was first to taxi out and did my run up at the end of the taxiway holding short of three-four. Once the short final traffic landed I took off, climbing out in the pattern for my east departure. 
    The ride home was bumpy as the clouds started to build with the rising temps. I climbed just above Salisbury (KSBY) and scooted along the northern edge of their Delta airspace. The clouds actually cleared as I approached the coast, but the ride was still bumpy.
    The jump plane had just landed at Ocean City as I made my ten mile position call. There was traffic in the pattern and one twin Comanche about twenty out. I reported five miles and short final the Comanche advised number two and followed me in. I landed long and cleared quickly so he could get in with out a go around.  Of course as I cleared the runway the Maryland state police helicopter decided to air taxi towards me and turn east for departure on the parallel taxiway, smooth move since you had to hear me advise I was landing long to clear for the twin.
    Another 1.2 in the book. I have a flight scheduled to KEVY Friday late afternoon to pick up our friend Jo Ann who will be spending the weekend with us, that will add some additional flight time for July. My flight physical is scheduled for July 27th, oh joy.

    Book Review: Flying Low

    Brian entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in Pensacola, Florida, and became a carrier-qualified jet pilot at age twenty. As an aviator Brian flew 3,669 hours in thirteen different types of aircraft, he made 652 carrier landings including 163 night traps and flew 183 combat missions during the Vietnam War. Bryans was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and thirteen Air Medals.  He went on to command Attack Squadron 35 aboard USS Nimitz.

    Bryans earned a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Operations Research & Systems Analysis. He also served as aide to Vice Admiral Blackburn, the Senior Member of the United Nations Armistice Commission in Korea, an aide to the Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet  and Chief of Special Studies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Bryans retired from the U.S. Navy as a Captain.

    This is a very good read, all 284 pages.  Captain Bryans flew off the USS Ticonderoga, Coral Sea, Constellation, America and the Nimitz.

    There is plenty of  action as the readers ride along on the various missions over Vietnam. Bryans details his flights, camaraderie and life events aboard ship. He takes us through his life in the Navy from training, flying, and time spent working in the pentagon.

    I am looking forward to reading more of Bryans work.  I read Those '67 Blues and next up will either be the Flying Lucky series or Dog Robbers and Flight to Redemption.

    Check out his other books at