Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mission Two, déjà vu

It's been a crazy few days here at the beach. Mary is still up north, in Wilmington, and I am home with the zoo. As noted in my last post Mary is staying with her Brother Mark and his wife Lynn so she can help out when Mark has his back surgery. My bride is also loving on her great nephew Brennan as much as she can before she has to come home.

Speaking of coming home...We decided since I had to fly north for a viewing, and weekend weather is calling for boomers, Mary would come home with me today. Mark is headed directly to rehab upon discharge from the hospital since his back surgery was so complicated. I'm sure we will be returning to help out in any way we can if Lynn needs us.

Thankfully Mary called me this morning and got me out of bed at 7am. After feeding the zoo I had climbed back in bed and just passed out. I wanted to be in the air by 8:30 so my bride could meet me at 9:30 at flyADVANCED.

I had completed a pre-flight on Monday and sumped fuel so 08Romeo was ready to go. When I opened up the hangar I did a quick walk around, loaded the sun screens and made sure my carry on case with a few tools, oil and cleaning supplies was on board. I was ready to go.

Ocean City in the haze
08Romeo came to life on just a blade or two, she was also ready to go. I did a final weather and NOTAM check before I taxied out. The runway of choice today is three-two which pretty much points me on my 357 degree course. It was hazy this morning, yes I got off on time, and the ride was smooth. Once trimmed out I sat with my hands in my lap just enjoying the view. Since I didn't file IFR today I did contact Dover approach for flight following, it's nice to have the extra eyes watching. North of Dover I picked up a target on ADS-B moving towards crossing my path just a few hundred feet below and climbing. Obviously they also had ADS-B since their tail number was painting on my screen.
No radio contact from the Piper PA32R-300 and by the time Dover alerted me I was already starting to climb to avoid any problems. I advised Dover when they called out the traffic that I was climbing for separation. The remainder of the first hop went well and instead of landing on the runway in use (27)n Wilmington gave me a straight in for runway 1.
C&D Canal, looking west towards the Chesapeake Bay
The ramp at FlyAdanced was busy with jets, but they found room for my Sundowner. I ordered fuel to the slots (this will give me a total of forty gallons on board) then headed in to meet Mary. Mary changed into a dress she asked me to bring and I grabbed my sport coat to go with my gray polo and dark tan khakis.

It was a short drive to the funeral home, we actually sat outside for ten minutes or so enjoying the air conditioning before walking in.  My friend and former coworker, Mark, was just 53 years old. It breaks my heart to see his bride and two handsome boys standing by his side. I've lost three friends in the last two years, two younger and one just a few years older, it really makes me think about life and how short our time is here. Mark, you will be missed, your sense of humor and your laugh always made me smile. Good times when we worked together my friend. It was a quiet ride back to the airport.
The FBO tugged 08Romeo out of a hangar where they had parked her. I got Mary's bags loaded and we were soon off for the hold short at the taxiway leaving the ramp. I called Wilmington's tower offering just my tail number. I was scolded and directed to call with full info on call up. The tower guy didn't see me flip him off from inside 08Romeo.
busy ramp at flyADVANCED
I once again contacted him at full speed with full call, advised I was at the Flyadvanced ramp with information victor ready to taxi for departure, VFR to Ocean X-ray Bravo, Ocean City Maryland. The tower responded taxi to runaway one via Alpha, hold short in a monotone voice. When I flipped over to the tower a young lady offered me a wait time for wake turbulence from the departing jet on runway one or immediate departure on runway three-two. I took three-two and was cleared to cross one, cleared for take off three-two.
Fort Delaware
I climbed out pointing south on a 175 degree heading direct to Ocean City. I like to track the DuPont VOR when heading to or from Wilmington, it helps the tracking skills.  The ride was smooth at 3.5 until well south of Dover. I had once again picked up flight following and cancelled once south of Delaware Coastal (KGED). One call out for traffic, a C130 heading north bound passing through our altitude. I never thought of grabbing the camera, it was a perfect view of the 130.
I made my typical calls for Ocean City and after hearing a few calls and some ground chatter I figured out there was a new pilot doing the three rounds of take off and landings. The new pilot did a nice job on the radio and with his landings. I had made a 360 for spacing when I had turned final, number two to land. The maneuver worked out fine and as the Cessna cleared I was on very short final.
08Romeo is tucked in her hangar with clean leading edges and windscreen. Mary and I made a stop at Panera's for lunch and then we headed home. I got to sit and type out my blog and Mary decided to run out to the store for a few things. My Bride has a wicked craving for fettuccini alfredo with chicken...guess what's for dinner?


Jim and Sandie said...

This mission was bittersweet. Jim had to go through two weeks of rehab after his back surgery. Steps were a real challenge. Our daughter-in-law's favorite meal is fettuccine alfredo with chicken. I won't tell her what you're having. Lol

Gary said...

Bittersweet indeed. Marks doctor had him standing and asked if he could take a step...he said yes, but didn't move. This exchange when one more round then he had him sit back down.

The fettuccine was awesome!! My tummy is full.

Chris said...

Sorry to hear about your friend and former coworker, Gary. Best wishes to Mary's brother.

As for the crabby controller at Wilmington, I am reminded of what my first instructor said to me when a tower controller yelled at me on a my first trip into a towered field: "Aw, he's just upset because your call interrupted him eating a sandwich." Probably not true, but he offered this up with such jovial dismissiveness that it made me laugh at the time. I've been to enough places that don't want the whole spiel on initial call-up that it's easier to err on the side you did rather than repeat myself.

Glad to see you getting back into the air more frequently. How's the foot doing these days?

Gary said...

Thanks Chris. I'll pass along your well wishes to Mary and her brother.

I honestly thought that's what I used to do on initial call up, who knows. They say the first thing to go is your memory.

My foot is feeling better each day, thanks for asking. I'm back to using the tow bar for 08Romeo, the tug just seems like more work. I see it going up for sale very soon. I did manage to drop Mary's small suitcase on my foot while unloading the SUV. I doubled over from the pain and caught myself on the car in the garage. For some reason the top of the foot around my toes are still very sensitive. This too shall pass.