Monday, October 19, 2015

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.


Jim and Sandie said...

That weather sounds down right scary to me. Sure glad you got her on the ground with all parts still attached. Small world some days - meeting up with your plane's sibling. I want you to know, that you now have Jim plotting when and how we can get back east again. So don't be surprised if someday you hear from us that we are in your neighborhood.

Gary said...

Sandie, looking forward to that surprise visit!

Anonymous said...

Great call. 08R is a great machine but your ready for next level :)