Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friends Fly-In

file photo thanks to the internet!
I received a private message from Adam B on Pilots of America that he and Jeanine were going to be in the area and they wanted to visit.  GREAT!!  Mary and I invited them to stay with us, we were really looking forward to catching up. We haven't seen our friends since the Wings Fly-B-Q back in May.

The plan was for Saturday, an overnight but the plan changed to a Friday overnight followed by a flight to St. Marys Maryland and then on to North Carolina.  I think Adam and Jeanine love to travel as much as Mary and I do.
I tracked their flight from KLWM, Lawrence Municipal Airport located in Lawrence, MA. to Ocean City, KOXB. Mary and I headed out to meet them when they landed at OXB.  We opened the hangar and turned the lights on then jumped back in the SUV to drive out near the taxiway and wait while keeping warm.

While sitting in the SUV we saw a truck driving around the airfield and lighting up the woods, this nut was spotting and or chasing deer. I'm thinking oh this is great, Adam is entering the pattern and this guy is flushing deer out or trying to and doing God only knows what crossing runways and taxiways. I give Adam a heads up that the guys is near the approach end of Three-Two and to keep an eye out. Adam ends up entering a left down wind for runway two and rolls out to a very dark taxiway with only reflectors. I turned on my emergency flashers to try and help designate the taxiway to the ramp. After shutting down and getting the bags out, I helped tuck Adams Socata TB-21 TC Trinidad in 08Romeos hangar. The plane would be protected and heaters plugged in for the overnight forecast of 35 degree temps.
We quickly loaded up and headed over to the Shark On The Harbor restaurant for a late dinner. Catching up seemed like no time had passed, funny how that is with friends. Dinner was very good with the ladies having crab cakes, Adam I think had tuna and I was the odd ball, go figure, having a burger.
Our zoo loved having new people to mooch attention never gets old with the critters. We all finally called it a night and retired, tomorrow would be busy for our guests.
Breakfast at a local restaurant then off to the airport. Zero Kilo Mike was nice and toasty when Adam disconnected the heaters. The bags were loaded, hugs and handshakes exchanged and our friends were boarding for 2W6, St. Marys. Way to short of a visit. We hung out to watch them take off from runway two and with a wing rock from the plane we waved good bye from our SUV's open windows.
Dad, I hear noises from the other side of the house!  Yes baby girl, Adam and Jeanine are here, did you forget?

ADS-B Install Flight to Red Eagle

Thursday 10/29

Mary and I will be taking 08Romeo north to KILG - Wilmington for her ADS-B install. The weather forecast is looking excellent but I'll file for the morning trip.  I removed both back seats and my handy container of cleaning products, oil and the few tools I travel with.  I did toss the plane and tail cone covers along with the fuel sump back in so I can test whatever I might take on at ILG. I'm ready for tomorrow.

Friday 10/30
The plan was to be in the air by 8:30. Once on the ground at Red Eagle I have arranged for Enterprise to drop off a rental for my one way trip back to Ocean City. I'll make this trip in reverse next week when we pick up.  Yes, MY one way trip.  Mary wasn't feeling good this morning so I made the drop-off by myself.

RT. 50, Home Depot and Walmart, The Inlet
I ordered fuel to bring 08Romeo to forty gallons and soon got the fan turning. I did add my single strand of black duct tape to block the vent that mixes into the heater box.  There is absolutely no sense in mixing the air this time of year, this pilot wants HEAT.
Quick snack at three thousand, egg Mcnuthin'
I launched off of three-two after picking up my clearance with Patuxent. Pretty much as filed  except for the usual add on of "on departure, fly heading 270*". I was climbing to three thousand and once observed with an ident by Pax they turned me direct Smyrna (ENO).

Temps at 7000
Pax had me climb to seven thousand and the ride was smooth with a ten to fifteen knot tail winds. Once handed off to Dover approach they had me descend, as they normally do, to five then three. Each step turned to more of a head wind and at three I was slogging through twenty-five knots just off the nose.
Dover handed me off to Philly and I checked in with three thousand level, have the wx at Wilmington.  Philly had me report the field and off we went. I had Wilmington maybe 13 miles out and reported to Philly, then turned me over to Wilmington tower. Wilmington cleared me to land two-seven as I was just passing eight miles south. They did add in "report turning final". I acknowledged.
Delaware City on the leading edge, Delaware City Refinery and tanker offloading on the Delaware River
Bob C and I had traded messages on Facebook, prior to my departure, and he was in the area. Bob headed for Red Eagle so we could meet for a late breakfast or early lunch. I made a nice landing and taxied clear for red eagle. I secured 08Romeo to spend a few nights outside until she gets tugged in the hangar for work Monday morning. Bob was waiting inside so I finished up some paper work, traded jabs with Dale and waited for Enterprise to pick me up.
After picking up my car, now changed to a ford pick up truck, we were off for lunch at the Dog House. I haven't eaten here since I retired, good dogs, love the environment and good service. Bob and I enjoyed lunch then I headed south. A fun day with a short flight and catching up with a good friend. 
Fall finally arrives on the Delmarva Peninsula
I'm not sure about getting many pictures of the work, but I'll have a full report on the shakedown flight home with pics and a final $$.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The "legal" weather briefing

Screen capture from AOPA weather wise video
From AOPA...

Preflight weather planning is one of the most important jobs we do as pilots. It’s the foundation for some of our most critical decisions. But with the sheer amount of weather information available these days, how can we be sure we’re getting what we need? In this short video—the first in a series focused on practical weather flying for pilots—we look at strategies for sorting through the chaff and pinpointing the information that really matters for your upcoming flight.

Weather Wise: Gathering Information Video

From ForeFlight...

What is the legality of the weather briefing for FAR Part 91 operations?

There is ongoing confusion many pilots have about weather briefings.  There is not, in fact, such a thing as a "legal weather briefing."

The FARs only require that pilots obtain "all available information" (FAR 91.103). ForeFlight delivers weather, NOTAMs, etc. that help a pilot meet this requirement - especially when obtaining a briefing from the file/brief system.

ForeFlight's weather comes from the National Weather Service / NOAA, which is an approved source of FAA weather.

What pilots typically are concerned about when they discuss a "legal weather briefing" is whether or not they will have some proof or record of their briefing.  This is important so that in the event of an incident, they can prove they met the requirements under 91.103. We do keep a record of the briefing you get for 120 days, provided you tap the "Brief" button. If you simply look at METARs and TAFs in the app, such as on the Airports page, we don't keep a record of that.  ICAO flight plan briefings are kept by Lockheed Martin Flight Services.

Also, if you are wondering about Qualified Internet Communications Providers (QICP), the Advisory Circular (AC) 00-62, Internet Communications of Aviation Weather and NOTAMs was canceled effective August 15,2013.  FAA Flight Standards Service (AFS) no longer requires operators to utilize vendors that are approved QICP.

ForeFlight repackages aviation weather data from various sources including the National Weather Service and Weather Decision Technologies. Our servers continue to meet the previously defined performance criteria established under the QICP program.  For more information, please see this BLOG POST.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Shelagh's Birthday!

Sunday 10.18

Mary made plans last night for us to visit family in Wilmington.  It was her cousin Shelagh's birthday and we wanted to see her since she was in town. Shelagh, her husband Fred and daughter Juliette  live in Boston. While Fred is working in New York city Shelagh and Ju Ju headed south on Jet Blue to visit her Mom and Dad and visit with her sisters for her birthday.

This Morning...

I had a hot chocolate with whipped cream this morning while getting comfortable to watch the morning news. Then it hit me, I didn't plug 08Romeo in yesterday.  Ughhh...I threw on my slippers, a ball cap and sweatshirt to go with my fuzzy flannel, I'm a bum, fat boy pants.  Ok, I call them my fat boy pants because I have no idea what they are really called. Their comfortable, warm and I love them. Yeah, Too much info, good luck getting that picture out of your head.
Ocean Downs Track and Casino
I went through the gate and slipped in to the hangar undetected by airport operations so I didn't have to sit and chat and be caught in my Wal-Mart look. 08Romeo was good to go and I was back on the road to the house. I don't think any neighbors eyes were injured completing this mission as I ran to the front door from the truck.

We decided to head to the airport around 10 and we were off the ground before 10:30, yes 08Romeo's oil was in the yellow already. I plugged in a direct flight and planned on flight following with Dover. Bumpy as heck today but clear as one could hope for.  At three thousand feet you could see from Ocean City across the Delaware Bay enough to see the skyline of Atlantic City, NJ. I called Dover maybe fourteen south of the Waterloo VOR (ATR) and for the third time in a row, received position as reported. I got a streak going.
As we were closing in on Dover we heard two Jumbo's, yep C5's heading for the AFB.  The one pictured came up the bay and was getting vectors for the TACAN RWY 32 approach.  The pilot then asked for the procedure turn to simulate a hold.  Cool! Right? I'm watching this aircraft shadow me up the bay and then turn left in front of me and pass below me with 1k separation.  I didn't get to see him land when he got handed off to the tower but I have to say it's always impressive watching the Air Force at work.
The rest of the ride was uneventful and we advised Wilmington tower of our three mile left base for three-two as directed. A nice landing and back taxi for the former AeroWays, now FlyAdvanced FBO.

We secured a rental for the day and we were soon off on our Wilmington adventure.  First stop a bakery for Shelaghs German chocolate cake then off to her Mom and Dads home for a visit.
We all went out to lunch at Krazy Kats Restaurant. Mary and I had the Herb Crusted Filets of Beef with cheddar chive potato rosti, exotic mushrooms, grilled asparagus and triple onion jus.  We had an excellent meal and great conversation, what a nice time catching up. As always time passes by way to fast, it was closing in on 3:30. We headed back to the house and chatted for a bit then headed for the airport.
We squared up with FlyAdvanced and then headed out to the plane. 08Romeo was sandwiched in between a Citation Excel and Citation jet. I did my pre-flight and start up, getting out just ahead of both. It was a long taxi from the south east end of the field to runway two-seven but I got to take a peek at all the taxiway Bravo construction.

I held position for a Cherokee six then launched for home when he was clear.  It was a smooth flight at three thousand five hundred, checking in with Dover for the south leg. I made a nice roll it on landing and said out loud...sweeeet.  My lovely Bride said yeah, nice stall horn, and you thought Mike B was tough.  If I could add a sound bite it would be the air coming out of a balloon since there was no stall horn to hear. Harummmph, don't worry Mike, Mary is keeping me honest. I love my Bride!

Mary and I enjoyed the view and ride as we reflected on our day. We are blessed to have such a nice travel machine and to come and go as we please with no schedule. Life is good!

**Flight time since September 30th is 39 hours, it's been my busiest month flying!

Virginia Coastal Fly-In

The post on the POA forum read as follows:

Come join us for our first Virginia Coastal Fly-in at KMFV on October the 18th starting at 11AM until 3 PM. Good food and good people and it's FREE. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and EASTERN SHORE CHERRYSTONE STEAMED CLAMS. Enjoy the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's Eastern Shore. Drop on in for good food and tall tales.

The wx forecast was looking good so I launched for 33N to pick up Vince as soon as he texted me that his fitness test was complete. My ETA was 10:30 as I battled headwinds north bound.
Build ups over the Delaware Bay
I had picked up flight following with Dover and cancelled 10 south of Delaware Airpark. It's been a few years since I've been here and the view has changed with the construction of new hangars and prep for the new runway. Left base to final and passing over the wires for a smooth roll it on landing. Why use the brakes, I roll to the left exit on the end of the runway and taxi back to the terminal.

Vince loads up his camera and headset then climbs aboard. I decided to file since the weather forecast of a clear sky was bogus. I knew we would have some build ups to contend with.
I launch off of two-seven and climb out, turning for the Smyrna VOR (ENO). After my last call on the Airparks Unicom frequency I switch to Dover Approach and pick up my clearance to Accomack, KMFV.

really building up over the bay
It wasn't a bad flight, the ride is fairly smooth and Vince is flying to Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS). Despite his lack of flying time, youth must not accumulate rust like this older pilot.

Odd, but the only thing that showed up was that big ugly over the bay (previous picture)
We transfer control as we approach some build ups and we get to punch through some bumpy conditions. At least we have a great tail wind pushing us along to our destination. Dover handed us off to Patuxent and we road along with them until I canceled IFR about ten out of Accomack. I made my initial position call when I switched to Unicom and followed with calls until short final. Don't you just hate when you are set up with a stable descent and lined up on center line then the wind just drops out and the plane feels like it stops? It was an ok landing needing power to get to the runway, I left no parts.
Vince and I signed in and made our way out to the eats. There was a good turn out despite the wind and chilly temps. The ramp filled up and we watched a few planes land dealing with the winds. We saw a Beech Sundowner land and taxi in, I almost choked when I saw its tail number, N6708N. Wow, that's pretty close to mine, we need to check this out. When the pilot walked up to the terminal to sign in I introduced myself and asked if he was a member of the Beech Aero Club.  Steve let his membership expire but wants to rejoin. His passenger Mark was not a member.

We enjoyed a good lunch together, staying warm inside the terminal. The Eastern Shore Virginia Pilots did an awesome job! We hung out for a bit then decided to fuel up and head home. We taxied to the pumps and took on twenty five gallons then tugged clear for Steve and 08November. I had to check the plates and our serial numbers were consecutive, 08N was 2243 and 08R was 2244.  Very cool to reunite these two siblings many years after leaving the production line. 
I filed for the flight home and soon after got the fan turning. I picked up my clearance in the air with Patuxent and climbed 08Romeo to five thousand with an almost full belly of fuel. Of course I had to use the famous Star Trek line with Vince, Scotty: I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!
We rode through a few build ups and it was beating us up pretty good. I ask for seven thousand and just climb above the next big road block. Looking ahead it's not much better. I request a climb over the next line and get a stand by. The temps at seven thousand are now sitting around 15* and we had passed through some very light showers. If I can't get higher now I need to drop below this mess. I don't want to climb through the build ups ahead of us with moisture and freezing temps.

The wait is not going to work for me. I request lower and Pax seems miffed but at this point it's my butt riding through this and not his. I get handed off to another sector and they get me below this rodeo ride of build ups, scattered light rain and freezing temps.

The view up ahead was getting dark and you could see rain shafts east and west of us. The xm was painting rain with yellow and a spot of red moving towards our destination at 33N. I tell Vince my whole trip to South Dakota and back was good IFR and nothing like this crap. My concern is not as much getting into Delaware Airpark as it is if this wx beats me back to the coast and sits on the shore line. It's a whole different animal near the water.
I decide to divert to Ocean city now since it's to my east and it looks clear enough to get in. Of course approach asks why the diversion and I answer I don't feel like tangling with the wx ahead. I get a direct OXB maintain three thousand, off we go. 
our view after leaving the airport driving west on RT50
We pass through some of those rain shafts and once closer to the coast have a clear shot to OXB, it's looking much better. I enter the pattern coordinating with the jump plane who just kicked out his last load of jumpers and we could see them landing. I make a nice landing too and with Vince's help get 08Romeo tucked in the hangar. It's time to ground pound north.

An hour and a half each way by SUV was a small price to pay for a safe trip. I admit I'm a pretty conservative pilot and maybe someone else may have continued on but it was not for me. It's not fun getting beat up on a "fun" day of flying.

Friday, October 16, 2015

KOXB-KILG and Red Eagle

The plan for this morning was to head north and visit Dale at Red Eagle Avionics.  I wanted to work through the estimate they sent via email and discuss a few options for my plane. The weather was looking good and I decided I would pick up flight following for the north leg. There is a TFR scheduled for VP Biden but that will be around 2:30 and I'll be back at OXB by then.
RT 90 Bridge into OCMD
I had turned the heaters on for 08Romeo last night early this morning around 3:30am.  I had to let the dog out and it seems I can't make it through the night either if I drink a few bottles of water. Ziva and I were both good to go. Mary was not feeling good so she took a pass on heading north so I was up and headed to OXB on my own.

The winds were picking up but were pretty much down three-two. I launched for Wilmington and enjoyed the morning view. I did miss sunrise but it still looked beautiful looking to the east south east over the RT 90 bridge into Ocean City.

I made my call to Dover, 14 south of Waterloo VOR 3000 level, request flight following.  I picked up a squawk code and they identified me. I like when they say identified as reported. The head winds were really kicking and my speeds were down to 103 knots and dropping as low as 93knots. One can only hope the Gods of wind will make nice on my return trip south.
Dover dropped me and offered the Philly approach frequency if I wanted to try and continue with flight following. I thanked him for his service and switched over to Wilmington's tower. I already had the ATIS report so I contacted the tower at ten miles south. I was directed to enter a left base for two-seven, report 2 miles. I acknowledged and continued in, starting my descent for pattern altitude. As I flew up the Delaware River I was cleared to land two-seven disregard the reporting point. Again, I acknowledged.
I made a squeaker of a landing, I didn't hear stall horn but I rolled it on and held off the nose. I taxied for Red Eagle and shut down as Vince walked through the gate. It was so good to see Vince! It's been forever, or so it seems, I really miss flying with him.

We walked into Red Eagle and sat down with Joanne to discuss my estimates. Dale came in and we went back and forth about a few different products. The least expensive route would be to swap out my Garmin 327 for a 330ES, ADS-B out good to go.  Then for ADS-B in I would need a Stratus 2 and also add a FlightStream 210 so I can update/crossfill from ForeFlight to my Garmin 530W. The 330 installed would be @4.4k, add the Stratus 2S and that's another $900 and the FlightStream 210 at $1000 plus install.
FlightLess 210
Let me first say I really didn't want to go Stratus because I don't want to have anything that I will have to charge or locate in my view again.
I was on the fence between two units, the GDL84 and the GDL88. The GDL 84 costs less ($3900 + install) and comes with the FlightStream 210. The one thing it would need is an additional antenna and coax run for the ADS-B in portion.  After reviewing the parts and additional labor it would be more than the GDL88. Add in the two coupons Garmin has available ($200 and $250) I went with the GDL88, FlightStream 210.  The GDL 88 comes with an antenna to replace the current transponder antenna. Now I wait for the first available date in October for the install and my IFR cert to be renewed.
Vince and I headed out for lunch at the Flying Machine Cafe'(KMQS). The ramp was very busy today with jets coming and going. We even got to see The United States Army Parachute Team, nicknamed and commonly known as the Golden Knights!  The twin Otter they used landed and taxied in while we sat and had lunch.
Looking at the wx heading south between Dover and Ocean City
With full tummys we headed back out to 08Romeo. I doubled checked the fuel order and sumped the tanks, we were good to go. I launched off runway two-nine and pointed south for Wilmington.  I transferred control to Vince and he was back to standards flying us to the pattern for three-two at ILG. I rolled another one on smooth as could be and taxied full length to depart at Kilo 6. The tower said continue taxi, right turn Kilo 6.  I had Vince make sure he stated 'cleared to cross 9-27, right turn Kilo 6.  He did and there was no response from the tower.  I thought any crossing had to be in the directions as standard phraseology?

I shut down on the ramp so Vince could unload his cameras and monster lense.  It was great to catch up and I'm sure we'll get more air time soon. Vince has grown into quite the young man, I'm sure his Mother is very proud.
I decided to file for the return trip to Ocean City. I was looking at the Duats Mid-Atlantic and I thought I would be passing through rain. Wilmington ground released me and off I went climbing to the south. The tail winds were indeed behind me and giving me that payback push. Philly cleared me to four thousand and handed me off to Dover.  Dover road along for a bit then turned me direct OXB and handed me off to Potomac Approach.
Dover AFB

KGED- Delaware Coastal Airport
I cancelled in the air maybe 8 miles out and headed in on the Unicom listening for traffic. Winds had changed from 330 at 7 to winds calm so I decided on a straight in for runway one-four. Another greaser landing and I'm back on home pavement. I get 08Romeo pushed in the hangar, swap the car around and plug in the pre-heats in case I need to turn them on for the Sunday Fly-in to KMFV, Accomack County Airport in Melfa, VA.

RT 90  into Ocean City, this view heading south to OXB