Friday, August 26, 2016

Fridays Round Robin

It's Friday and another busy day on my project. The climbing temps may save me today and have us finished placing the pervious concrete at a decent time. I would like to get to the airport and fuel the plane then head back to Wilmington to pick up my Bride.
Indeed the temps busted the 90* barrier and I shut down the operation. With the last of the concrete covered for curing I locked up my field office and headed to the airport.

Today went much like Wednesdays flight, second verse, same as the first. It was getting busy at Ocean City but I took on my fuel and completed my pre-flight checks. It was good to get the fan turning and move some air, it was hot and humid. The winds were flipping back and forth between runway two and three-two so I decided on the longest runway, three- two, and taxied out. I advised ocean city traffic I was departing three-two and corrected for the crosswind. I always get a kick out of the weather vane affect once I leave the ground, tracking the runway heading but not pointing to that heading. More of a crab angle to compensate for the wind than actual weathervaning.
The Cape heading north at 5500
It's a straight forward flight, a bit longer than normal, facing this afternoons headwinds. I did check in with Dover and then eventually Wilmington Tower. I was cleared to land straight in runway one and then make a right turn on the crossing runway in order to make an immediate right on to taxiway Bravo. Bravo will allow me to back track to the opposite end of the field and to the entrance for FlyAdvanced.
Somewhere over Dover
Mary was waiting at the FBO having returned the Jeep and now ready to make the hop home. I did take on some fuel, completed my sump and then loaded up for Ocean City. Mary was quiet and seemed tired but she stayed awake for the flight. Those nasty headwinds were now pushing us home at one hundred thirty knots, that was nice. I had climbed to seven thousand five hundred and we enjoyed the almost chilly sixty five degree temps.
Cape Henlopen at 7.5
A smooth landing and roll out has us shutting down at our hangar. Mary gets the SUV started and cranks up the a/c while I clean off the sacrificed bugs along the wings and tail. Another nice flight in the book and 08Romeo is tucked into the hangar.
off the coast
I could not imagine having to make this round trip driving after a day of working in the extreme heat and humidity. I love General Aviation!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why Drive

Mary was planning to head up to Wilmington and visit her long time friend, Cindy. I decided to fly her to and from and save her the driving. Traffic is still hectic heading south bound on Fridays and I didn't want my Bride to have to tangle with that mess for two hours when the flight is forty five minutes.
RT 50, Isle of Wight Bay
Following a busy concrete paving day, fifteen trucks for one hundred and fifty cubic yards I was feeling the effects of the sun. Once home and showered I felt refreshed and we headed out to the airport.  I should mention that Mary had the plane fueled yesterday, while I was working, having it topped off to the slots. My Bride, ordering fuel, she still surprises me.
I didn't bother to file since the weather was beautiful, instead I would ride along and monitor Dover approach. I was picking up ADS-B traffic crossing my path and I was called out as traffic enough times that I caved.

Me: Dover approach, Sundowner 6708Romeo I'm your target north bound at five point five and I have the Piedmont traffic.
Dover: Thanks 08Romeo, would you like flight following?
Me: Sure why not, 08Romeo VFR to India Lima Golf a BE 23.

And so I was riding along with Dover squawking a code and playing nice. Sometimes I just like the quiet but with traffic picking up and the ADS-B screen busy I thought I would do the right thing.
I was turned loose to squawk VFR and change frequency well north of the Smyrna VOR. With that complete I tuned in the Wilmington tower and eventually called from ten to the south with current ATIS info for a full stop landing. I landed on one-nine and taxied clear on Delta. I had advised I was going to FlyAdvanced and the controller rattled off Left turn delta, bravo and two other taxiways. I knew where I was going but I also knew there were taxiway closures. She rattled the directions so quick I responded with left delta, right bravo and we'll pick up from there. Mary and I laughed. The controller did read back the remaining two taxiways that were crossings due to the closure. Entirely to much detail to basically cross a taxiway and enter the ramp...Ughh not rocket science.
Fort Delaware
Enterprise had a car waiting or should I say a Jeep Compass. With the paper work signed I rolled Mary's bags to the vehicle and got her squared away. The folks at FlyAdvanced are always so nice and do a great job. I headed back to the plane and Mary headed north for her stay at the Inn at Montchanin. I saddled up for the hop home and had 08Romeo ready to go, picking up my taxi clearance.
Crossing RT 50 Short final
A smooth return flight south talking with Dover and canceling flight following when passing Georgetown/Delaware Coastal(KGED). I mixed into the pattern at the home field finishing up with a nice landing. I'll be returning Friday to bring my Bride home.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lunch Date

The Plan

The weather was perfect and I really wanted to fly so I asked Mary if she wanted to fly to Williamsburg for lunch.  She agreed and we decided to take Ziva along since they allow dogs at the outside tables. Ziva hasn't been in the plane since we moved to Ocean City, almost two years. This would be an interesting day.

We headed over to the airport and I took on fuel, keeping it light since we had 110 pounds of Mastiff in place of the back seat and the temps were getting warm. Density altitude was 1500 and climbing.
Maybe looking for ponies on Asateague?
The Flight

I filed but could not raise Potomac clearance delivery on the radio. I decided I would pick up in the air if need be, so with that we taxied out and launched. Todays altitude heading southwest would be 6,500. We climbed above a building layer and enjoyed cool temps and a smooth ride. I tried a number of times to reach Patuxent approach with no response. Odd, I chatted with the jump plane and replied to the good morning call out from the flight school owner as he taxied out.
Mary seemed concerned but I assured her the radios were working. I figured I would try Wallops tower but they didn't answer either. Now I'm concerned. I keep 121.5 dialed in on com 2 to listen if I was being called, nothing. I even tried Patuxent on the Collins, nadda. I looked up the approach frequency for Norfolk that is listed for the Accomack Airport (KMFV) that I was just about ready to overfly. I made a few calls and finally Norfolk acknowledged me. They got my tail number wrong for both sectors despite repeating my 08ROMEO, they kept saying Uniform.
looking across the bay
I cancelled flight following as I crossed the York river and tuned in CTAF for Williamsburg. I had already picked up the weather info and now I just wanted to paint a picture of the in/out bound traffic. I planed to cross mid-field and enter the right down wind for one-three but there was another plane entering on a forty-five so I entered on the crosswind and followed him in.  I turned final and watched the other aircraft clear the runway then added the last notch of flaps at five hundred feet. Smooth, on centerline with good stall horn, I rolled it on.  Mary said, perfect! 

The Flat

No sooner then Mary gave me an atta boy for the landing the crap hit the fan, 08Romeo shook like I was riding over speed bumps, the vibration was really strong, as if crossing the double yellow on a grooved road. I had the yoke buried in my gut as soon as I retracted the flaps and was slowing down. Thankfully, I landed long and was able to limp 08Romeo off the runway, shutting down just past the hold short. I was clear of the runway.
A long walk to the terminal
Ughh...I really didn't want to see what was damaged. I figured a tire and tube but silently said a prayer the rim wasn't damaged. With a quick rub of the rim on both sides there didn't seem to be any damage but the tube was hanging out like a tongue on a big overheated dog and the tire was really caved in.
Ziva and Mary joined me on my walk to the terminal. There was a hangar open and it had multiple planes that looked like they were in for annual, I'm thinking I could get lucky. The lady in the office came out and I explained what I needed and she let us know the mechanic had just left for lunch. No rush, Mary and I were headed over to grab a bite to eat and we'll circle back.
When we finished eating we walked back over to the hangar and the lady working in the office said it was ok for us to bring Ziva in, out of the heat. Linda was very nice and kept Mary and Ziva company while I accompanied Shawn out to survey the damages.

The Fix

We jumped in the golf cart with a few tools and a hydraulic jack then headed out to the plane. 08Romeo looked out of sorts, just sitting there in such a strange place to be shut down. I reset the jack bracket so the 'L' portion could get low enough to get under the gear. While I pumped the jack, Shawn removed the tire. Upon inspection he thought the rim was not damaged, said nice job clearing the runway, more than most would have done.
Back to the shop to inspect the tire and what was left of the tube. The valve stem was gone, nothing but a hole left in the tube and I found a cut that looked like the rim had maybe pinched it as I made a gentle turn off the runway. Shawn had a tire and a tube so at least we would be heading home today. After getting the rim apart and closely inspecting the tire he felt it was in good shape, no black dust or chunks of rubber and the sidewalls looked intact. Shawn did mention that it looked like there was no powder on the original tube and sometimes that can be a problem causing a bind, the powder gives it a little flex that saves the tube from pinching, I learn something everyday.
With the new tube now inflated to 40 psi we load up once again and cart on out to the plane. Shawn does the install and finishes with a new cotter pin and finally reinstalling the wheel cover. I let 08Romeo down and Shawn says she looks good with her feet on the ground. Yes she does. I start up and taxi to the hangar to square up the bill, we are good to go.
I had put a call in to our friend Ryan that hangars here at JGG while I walked to the hangar after the initial shut down at the end of the runway. I was now walking to the hangar after shutting down following the repair and Ryan drove by in his golf cart. Apologizing that he had just got my message he offered assistance, I thanked him and said we're good to go. It was great to catch up and he asked if we would like to get together with his wife Cathy but I advised we had the beast with us. Ryan went to fuel his new to him Malibu and I went in to square up the bill.

I did walk over to Ryan's hangar to see the new plane, it sure was sweet looking. I did peek inside and it looked to be well cared for and very clean. Nice to be able to fly above the weather and enjoy a pressurized plane with a 17 gph burn in cruise with 140 gallon capacity, long legs as Ryan put it. We did make plans on getting together next weekend after we get the ladies on board.

It was time for me to get moving so I headed back to the hangar and let Mary know I was done chatting. We thanked Linda and Shawn for their excellent service and hospitality and then headed to the plane. Once everyone was on board I got the fan turning for some cool air and taxied for runway one-three. This was going to be a VFR flight, I would get a pop up if needed.
Heading Home

08Romeo launched towards the James river and then we turned north east while climbing out over the York river. We were soon over the Chesapeake bay at seven thousand five hundred enjoying fifty-five degree temps. Ziva was out like a light and Mary and I enjoyed the view.
My Bride was very calm through all of this today, always positive and encouraging, making the best out of our unusual lunch date. I'm a lucky guy! I love you Mary!
Thanks to the folks at Williamsburg Flight Center for a job well done. A true example of customer service and home things should be done, these are the folks that make General Aviation great.

Also a shout out to Ocean City Aviation who I placed a call to in case I needed to get Mary and Ziva home. The owner, Mike, had a plane dead heading from north Carolina and if need be I could have got Mary and Ziva on the flight. It's nice to have a charter service based at the home field. I did let Mike know we were ok and 08Romeo was repaired and heading home. Mike was nice enough to call this afternoon and confirm we were home. Again, great customer service and a good friend.

FYI, Lunch was delicious!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

BFR Completed

Finally, decent weather with no threat of thunderstorms until possibly late this evening.  Now if the high temps and humidity would have vacated the area it would have been perfect. Since last Saturday was scrubbed I was following the weather for an early morning launch.  I had already fueled 08Romeo earlier in the week so she was good to go. was hot and sticky just pulling the plane out of the hangar, I'm already soaked.
No flight plan today and no flight following, although I did monitor Dover and Atlantic City approach while crossing the Delaware Bay. At 7:30, density altitude at ocean city was fifteen hundred feet so I got into cruise climb as quick as possible to keep 08Romeo cool.  It was a smooth ride all the way to Cape May until I descended from six point five down to three thousand.  I descended through the scattered layer and the bumpy ride began. I tightened the lap belt and put the shoulder belt back on, just in case.
I switched over to the Millville CTAF, now 123.0 instead of the old 123.65.  No more Millville radio, it was nice.  Although, with the CTAF change came radio traffic from everywhere, you really have to listen for airport specific traffic.  I entered on a left base for runway two-eight and made a nice landing. I taxied in to Big Sky and found a spot out front to secure the plane.
heading south across the bay for my project
I met with Tim C and after a good chat session we got down to business. Tim is familiar with my flying and trips so that helped with the ground portion. We reviewed documents, discussed the air portion and then would follow up with a review.

I do a quick walk around, verify fuel, then we climb aboard. I do nothing different in my normal routine, completing all tasks then verifying on my checklist. We're off to runway two eight for my run up and departure.
The stone is ready for pervious concrete
Tim scared  the heck out of me. On our first take off, after waiting for traffic to land, I make my call departing two-eight and I'm rolling. Runway clear, airspeed is alive, gauges good and I'm just coming to 55 knots when he calls out, ABORT! ABORT! ABORT! I instantly pull the power and get on the he says car crossing the runway. I taxied clear and searched for my seat cushion, no need for lunch today the cushion is now firmly lodged somewhere between my butt and throat. There was no car, it was a simulated event and he wanted to see my reaction. I am now wondering what else he will spring on me.

Off to the practice area for air work, I hate the thought of slow flight. I was honest and told Tim that I do not really practice enough slow flight so we really worked on that aspect of my flying. Turns, climbs and descents along with some climbing and descending turns. Of course while we are hanging on the prop we may as well work on a few stalls. 08Romeo is a sweet soul...stall horn blaring and almost in hover with her nose pointed steeply at the sky, she finally breaks. I make a smooth recovery and Tim is satisfied. We did some simulated IMC foggle work, my other least favorite activity and some unusual attitudes while wearing the blinders, all went fine.
Beach activities!
Tim 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. I had picked a place to put the plane down and was pointing 08Romeo that way. Simulated no restart so I plan on the worst case. I will kill fuel and master on a short final and crack the doors open. Advise ATC or call on 121.5 and squawk 7700. Tim restores my power and we are climbing back for two thousand three hundred.

We finished up with some additional air work then headed back towards Millville. My first landing was a short field, not so fast, simulated plane on the runway go around. Cram, climb, clean, 08Romeo works her way back to pattern altitude. Next loop was a short field, nailed it. Last was a full stop and taxi back.
nice temps at altitude
I was soaked, it was so hot out. We walked into the FBO and went through the log book update and sign off. then reviewed a bit more. I brain farted and missed a few answers.  Can you change a tire on your plane I said no which was incorrect. I honestly haven't read through FAR Part 43, the list of items that can be done by the owner, in ages. I take 08Romeo to Cecil Aero and that won't change, but I should know this stuff. He then asked if I could change oil on 08Romeo, yes.  Could I change the oil on his plane, No. We went through a few other questions and then finished up with a review.

I'm good for another two years!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

BFR Scheduled

It's that time again, flight review !

I usually do my flight reviews with Mike B, but he moved north east to bean town. I will miss his unique torture and flying wisdom, he has made me a better pilot over the years.
I now needed to find someone local to the beach. A former coworker from my Millville airport project days is not only a pilot but a CFI. Tim had worked in Op's but since he retired he does some CFI work with the local FBO. I know he and his wife do travel so I was hoping to catch him in the area. I think the last time we talked he was in South Carolina on his way home from Florida.
Friday I scheduled my BFR  with Tim for Saturday at 9 am.  The weather was looking like it would be a scrub, but I held out waiting until this morning at the airport to make the final call.  Of course it was bright and sunny at the hangar, however, the forecast was calling for thunderstorms for my return time.  Immediately my 4th of July diversion and multiple attempts to get in to OXB made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  I checked the Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) and the Model Output Statistics (MOS) and both looked doable. Thinking back OXB was MVFR over the holiday and the local fog and mist had the airport socked in. I wasn't feeling game for trying that again, at least not today.
I sent Tim a text and we agreed that is wasn't worth working that hard today, we'll give it a go next Saturday. I am Mr. works for me.