Sunday, October 30, 2016

Breakfast with my Bride

It was a lazy Sunday morning and until the Woodbine gang started texting the group I had no clue where to fly.  Woodbine went back and forth about a few different airports, some an hour and a half flight one way, others a short hop.  I asked Mary if she wanted to take a short flight, enjoy the sunshine and nice temps and get breakfast while we are at it. She agreed, so off we went to get 08Romeo out of the hangar.

We tossed around a few locations and finally decided on the forty-five mile trip west to Cambridge, KCGE.  Always good eats! 08Romeo was fueled and ready to go and I had turned on the pre-heats this morning knowing I would fly somewhere today.

There was some activity at Ocean City, mainly the jump plane and it's anxious participants. I had the fan turning and we taxied out to runway three-two for departure. The flight was smooth with a bit of a head wind, but it was enjoyable. As we crossed Salisbury the ADS-B alerted us to traffic off the nose and eleven hundred low, we had visual on a Coast Guard C130. 08Romeo pushed on across the Nanticoke river and soon I was making position calls for CGE. 
I did get a screen full of traffic to our east, I honestly thought it was the group of RV's that frequent Cambridge. I knew they would want to do their landing routine and grand arrival but they eventually worked their way passing behind us. I made a nice landing and taxied clear, making our way to the new ramp. The RV group was already on the ground so the gaggle flying behind us was not them...the new ramp was full. As we walked into the terminal a few more planes landed.

Once inside we had to leave our names for the waiting list, it was twenty-five minutes. Time passed and we were eventually seated by the front windows facing the ramp. One by one the RV's departed followed by a few high wings and other aircraft. Mary and I ordered our breakfast and we were getting hungry. I had eggs and bacon and my Bride had eggs benedict. By the time we finished up we were both stuffed.
We made our way back out to the ramp and noticed a few people checking out our ride, 08Romeo. I looked  at the plane behind us and it was a Sierra, pretty much a Sundowner with retractable gear. Sure enough it was the pilot and passengers from the Sierra checking out the plane. I introduced myself as the Sundowners pilot and we enjoyed a nice chat about both planes. The Sierra had new paint and interior with a nice panel. The owner said he used to belong to the Beech Aero Club but cant seem to log back in. I would pass on his concerns to our president,JP, and he would make contact.
We saddled up for the run across the tiny first state to the Delaware Bay and Lewes Delaware. Great tailwinds pushed us across in a hurry seeing ground speeds of 133 knots. I orbited the work project for a few minutes between 1500 and 2000 feet in order to get a few updated shots of progress on the ground.
From Lewes we pointed direct Ocean City and enjoyed the ride with a beautiful view of the coast. The only traffic in the area was one plane heading north up the coast, opposite direction, and over Ocean City the jump plane was busy. As I crossed midfield to enter the left downwind for three two I heard two minutes until jumpers away.  I would have 08Romeo on the ground and clear in plenty of time. Mary helped me push the plane back in the hangar and I cleaned the sacrificial bugs we collected on todays flight.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kinley Transport

Can anyone help?

Transport occurs Saturday, October 15, 2016.
As soon as all legs are filled, I will send out a final run sheet to all of the drivers with meeting spots and times. Kinley needs a ride to her foster home. Kinley is coming to MAESSR because she has been aggressive toward the other dog at home and growls at children.

I did my normal weather checks and thought there was a good chance I could make this transport for MAESSR and Kinley. Mary has been down with a migraine since Sunday so despite wanting to go on the flight she gave up her seat.

I had posted on Facebook trying to recruit Bob C, another MAESSR pilot but he had already made plans. My next door neighbor from childhood and long time friend said she was willing to go but she's not a pilot...She still makes me laugh. I penciled Susan in but really wanted another pilot. As I went over 08Romeo Friday night I was contacted by Charlie from New Garden Airport (N57) and he said he was available to fly but needed to be back for a 5pm prior engagement. No problem, it's an early flight leaving Wilmington then a quick fuel and return from Louisa, VA (KLKU).
It was a beautiful Saturday morning and a good day to go flying.  As I pulled into the airport I passed an opening in the trees that I always check out for the sunrise, today did not disappoint. I actually stopped, backed up, and then took this pic.  Now if I could pick up the pace I may get a nice shot in the air.
With heaters turned on for the first time and tanks fueled last night, 08Romeo was ready to go. I quickly got the fan turning and taxied out for departure. Potomac was up bright and early to provide my IFR clearance. Not sure what's been going on over there but as of late I have been getting "as filed" often. The typical has been, upon entering controlled space fly heading 270*. I also noticed the control frequency has changed.
I am soon rolling on to runway three-two and am wheels up before the half way point. 08Romeo likes the chill in the air while I reach for the heater control. Patuxent hands me off to Dover and I check in for the ride along. The ride is as smooth as sitting on the living room couch, just beautiful at five thousand. Dover calls me and gives me direct Wilmington, it saves a minute or two. It got kind of quiet once passing over the airbase and I almost believed they forgot about me. Dover broke the squelch and handed me off to Philly. 
I checked in with Philly noting I had the weather and was advised to expect the visual runway one, I acknowledged. I canceled IFR once I had the field then switched to the tower at ILG. Make straight in for runway one, report three miles, directed the tower. Once again I acknowledged and made a nice landing.

As I shut down I saw Charlie just getting out of his car, great timing. I asked the line guys for five gallons a side to bring me back to fifty, they are always great to chat with.  You know you've been going there a while when they know you by name and always shake your hand.
Charlie and I had a chance to catch up since we were waiting on Kinley to arrive. I did give him a heads up that this flight is a surrender and not really a rescue flight. Mary and I have done a few of these and they can be gut wrenching.

I can't say enough for this young couple. Both were service personnel and it seemed recently relocated from being stationed in Alaska. Kinley had been aggressive toward their other small dog and growled at a visiting friends children. With a child of their own on the way, they surrendered Kinley to MAESSR. They did the right thing and I assured them that Debbie will find a great home that meets all her needs. Many hugs were exchanged and I have to tell you I was in tears as I watched them deal with this decision and help us load the kennel in the plane. Honestly, I'm in tears typing this.
Once Kinley was on board I settled my fuel bill and got back to the business at hand, flying. Charles and I taxied out, contacting Wilmington ground for my clearance to Louisa (KLKU). We were cleared via radar vectors to join V29 then as Filed. Today had to be perfect, I wanted Kinley to have a great flight and wanted to make sure she was happy and not stressed, as I promised her owners.
Charlie was eyes out watching for traffic as we chatted about ADS-B and many other aviation topics. I offered controls but it was so smooth that I was pretty much hands off for most of the flight. Today ADS-B would really prove its worth. We had multiple occasions of aircraft passing directly overhead opposite direction or crossing our path with one thousand feet or less of separation. Guess what, with the bright sun today you can't find the target until its to late.
As we made our way south over Patuxent the traffic picked up. It was getting busy and the VFR weather at our destination was now reporting overcast at three thousand. I just might get to shoot an approach today! After turning west at TAPPA the sky still looked great but off in the distance we could see the line of clouds.
We transferred controls so Charlie could fly while I briefed the approach plate. I had preloaded all the plates for our destination last night and looked over each RNAV GPS approach, nine and two-seven. Winds favored runway two-seven so once I had the weather I advised Approach and requested the RNAV GPS RWY 27.
Charlie has been thinking about his instrument rating so as I briefed we went over what I was looking for. I'm not sure I was real clear but generally covered the process and flow of the chart. I like to note the text of the missed and should have pointed out the visual breakout at the bottom that gives you the steps of the process. I was directed by approach to proceed direct JODKA maintain at or above three thousand, I acknowledged. Charlie had seen the Flightstream 210 transfer my flight plan from the iPad to the Garmin 530W and asked if I would load the approach the same way, great question. I load all approaches from the Garmin 530W and then on my iPad select import flight plan. The approach plate on the geo-referenced iPad now comes alive with the active track I'll fly.
Final KLKU
The plan was for a direct entry, turn outbound to a 092* heading for four miles then turn inbound on a 272* heading. We had two step downs and a decision height of 743'. We should break out well before the final approach fix.  As I focused on the procedure turn and pointed 08Romeo inbound, Charlie called the airport in sight. Sure enough the layer had moved south and the destination was clear, even better. I cancelled with approach and we made our way into Lousia. The runway was in great shape, 4300 x 100 feet and the place was quiet. I made a nice landing and we taxied clear.
I contacted Debbie and she let me know her friend April was picking up for her. As she let me know on the Phone Charlie met April on the ramp, it's all about the timing. We worked on getting Kinley out (the crate was a tight fit) and off to a potty break. Her little stub tail was just a wiggling...she listened very well and was ready to play. I took Kinley in the office to inquire about fuel and she was very well behaved. We walked back over to the plane so I could hand off to April while Charlie and I took the crate apart and removed it from the plane. We took a few pictures and said our goodbyes as April loaded up. Kinley showed no signs of stress as she took in all the new faces and surroundings, she seemed willing to please. I quietly wished her well on this new adventure...she is a lucky dog to have a second chance.
PXT over the nose

I started 08Romeo and taxied around the building to the self serve fuel and took on twenty gallons for our ride home. I went back and forth about sending her owners a text, putting myself in their shoes I would want to know that she arrived ok. I left a message on their phone letting Jake and Kandice know she had arrived safe, tail was wagging and doing well. I once again tried to assure them that Debbie will take great care of her and find her that forever home, I wished them well.

Charlie and I decided on a lunch stop at Cambridge airport. We didn't file for this leg, instead, we went VFR with flight following. Once I was in the air we transferred controls and Charlie took over.  It was a welcome break knowing I had to still fly home from Wilmington. Potomac approach had me standby for a short time but eventually gave us a squawk code for flight following. Charlie flew 08Romeo like he's been doing it for years. I'm sure it was different for the trim since his plane has the overhead control and I have the wheel between the seats. I enjoyed the view, took some pictures and worked the radio. Once I cancelled flight following we transferred controls so I could land. I should have let Charlie land since I planted it on the runway and bounced, having to go around for another try. Embarrassing to say the least but on down wind I did confirm there were no parts left on the runway. Second try was much better as I greased one on.
The new ramp at Cambridge looked great! the contractor on my project in Lewes was the same one who did the ramp here at CGE. With 08Romeo secure we walked in for lunch. I wanted breakfast but that ended at noon so it was the lunch menu. Charlie had a crab cake sandwich and I had a reuben. Thanks Charlie for picking up the lunch tab, that was very much appreciated.

We soon were saddled up and ready to head north. Next stop Wilmington. We bounced along at three thousand five hundred, gone was the smooth ride we had enjoyed all day. No flight following but we did monitor Dover as we chatted on the way north. Charlie really seemed to like the Sundowner and his compliments were appreciated. I try and keep my plane up to date and in good order. It always makes my day when another pilot notices.
The winds have changed since this mornings landing at ILG, the runway in use is now one-nine. I made a right down wind and ended with another nice landing. We taxied off for Flyadvanced and shut down in the same parking spot as this morning, right at the gate. Once again great service as I brought the fuel up to forty total for my flight home. Thanks again Charlie for your ride along and taking a leg to give me a break. I look forward to flying with you again, with or without a dog mission.
I was right back in the left seat as I started up 08Romeo. I received my taxi instructions and was soon on the roll runway one-nine climbing out for home. Another bumpy ride at three thousand so I climbed to five thousand five hundred. I did pick up flight following with Dover since I had traffic on ADS-B. I had one plane that was shadowing me to my right and was headed in the same direction. After listening to calls I gathered it was a cardinal heading to my home field. BY the time we both cancelled he had passed me and opened up almost five miles. I closed the gap when I descended from my cruise. I advised the cardinal I would follow him, number two for the field.
The cardinal pilot reported crosswind for one four, which confused me since he was ahead of me and just needed to enter on the left base. I advised I would be entering a left base for one four and immediately inquired of the cardinals position since I didn't hear him call final and didn't see him. Actually ADS-B was showing a target on the cross wind. The cardinal advised on the left down wind, he had crossed the runway and had to reposition. I followed suit with a turning cross wind for one four and immediately said left base...duh. The other pilot laughed and said don't feel bad...we both laughed. The cardinal was off my left wing as I called short final and he turned in behind me. I taxied clear and was headed for  my hangar while I watched a super smooth landing by the cardinal driver, a good end to the mix up.

As a follow up...I received a text message from Jake and Kandice.

Mr. Gary, I just got your voicemail. Thank you so much for the comforting message, it made both of us VERY happy to hear that her tail is still wagging. Your kindness this morning meant the world to us.  THANK YOU!!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Maintenance Plans

fresh air duct system
I have been thinking about some added maintenance for this years annual inspection.  Every year I try to do something to update 08Romeo and this year I am going to replace all the black duct with new duct from Custom Ducts.
Black Duct
Corrosion caused by the black duct
I have read many accounts of torn up hands and plenty of Band-Aids required so I approach this with a bit of caution. I have also read excellent reviews of the Custom Duct product. Each unit pre-cut to length and the attach points doubled for a secure fit.
fresh air vents
Since 08Romeo is going to be open for annual the interior will be stripped for control cable inspections and a general clean up. This duct project will require all interior panels to be removed including the recent headliner update. I'll post plenty of pictures through out the process.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

N/A Triple Arthrodesis

Information provided by Foot Care MD

What is triple arthrodesis?

Triple arthodesis is used to address many types of foot deformity and pain. This procedure fuses three joints in the back of the foot. These joints are the talonavicular (blue arrow), subtalar (red arrow) and calcaneocuboid (green arrow). Surgeons try to avoid fusions, but sometimes pain and deformity are so severe that this procedure offers the best chance of producing a less painful foot with better alignment. Fusions often improve stability and allow for easier standing and walking. The triple arthrodesis is a time-tested, durable procedure. Triple arthrodesis is indicated for severe arthritis, instability or deformity that cannot be controlled with nonsurgical approaches. Other conditions, such as severe flatfoot, abnormal connections between bones, excessively high arches and joint instability due to neuromuscular disease, can also warrant treatment with fusion.

General Details of Procedure

Two incisions are generally required for this procedure. The traditional method involves one incision on each side of the foot. Within each joint cartilage is removed, bony surfaces roughened, and defects filled. Once all three joints have been prepared, they are put into place and hardware is placed to stabilize the reconstruction and promote healthy fusion.

The surgeon confirms proper position of the bones with an X-ray while in the operating room. Then all incisions are closed and covered with bulky dry sterile dressings. To lessen post-operative pain, the nerves around the knee or ankle may be numbed with medication.

The rate of healing is variable and is influenced by many factors. In general, the foot is kept elevated with no weight on it for the first two weeks to minimize swelling and allow healing of the skin. Stitches may be removed two to three weeks after surgery.

Different weight bearing protocols may be used. After signs of healing are noted, progressive weight bearing is allowed until full weight bearing is reached. This typically takes three months. A removable boot may be used rather than a cast.

My Thoughts

I guess walking around on a torn tendon for three plus years wasn't such a good idea after all. The left ankle has started to rotate inwards putting stress on the arch and the outside of my foot. I wear a brace when I plan on a lot of walking, and that helps. The greatest concern is if the tendon lets go or rolls totally down towards the arch.  The damage will not be able to be corrected unless I get a total ankle fusion, I'm not ready for that. So, I'm biting the bullet and having this surgery done to get me back up to speed and correct the alignment. I'll still have up down movement just very limited to no side movement.

I plan to finish my current consulting gig in late November so surgery will be my early December birthday present, yippie. If I heal quickly and can get back to weight bearing the client wants me back for the building construction phase in March. I'm flattered that they will even consider providing a field person to ease the stress on the leg and let me manage the project only. My goal is to once again do both, field inspection and project manage. Let's not forget how hard headed I am.

Of course this leaves me grounded for a few months which opens a whole different can of worms. I'm concerned about letting 08Romeo sit, so, I'm trying to find someone to fly her once every two weeks. An alternate plan is to add in some cam guard and fly it like I stole it before surgery then plug in the battery maintainer and wait. Many topics for discussion at annual this year, which is just around the corner. More info to follow after annual.