Saturday, October 28, 2017

Crossing the Delaware Bay

The plan today was to get up early and fly for breakfast.  Mary is still down with a migraine so today would be a solo flight.  Once the zoo was taken care of and my bride comfortable I headed to the airport. 08Romeo needed some fuel and took on 14 gallons to bring the total back to 50.
The restaurant at Millville was closed so I headed to Cape May.  The Flight Deck was packed with customers which is always a good sign. I didn't bump into anyone I knew so I enjoyed breakfast at a window table and got on my way as soon as I finished.

Here are todays videos and pictures, just keeping the write up short so I can get ready for Penn State football.
Great tail winds! 100 knots indicated, 141 Ground Speed
A fun hop today for some breakfast eats. We have bad weather coming in this evening through Sunday with 50mph winds. I'm relieved to have 08Romeo safe in her hangar. Now on to Penn State Football!

Friday, October 27, 2017

08Romeo, The Hangar Life

landing at KMIV 4 years ago (photo by Joe Clemente)

I received an email from the airport manager that hangar buildings F and G taxiway is reopened and we can return to our hangars. Yea!

I finished work in Lewes and hauled butt home making a brief stop at the house to pick up my gate access card and airplane keys.  I told Mary I would pick up dinner on the way home, be back soon, and out the door I ran. OK. Walked fast.

Indeed the barricades were all gone and there was a base line stripe leading the way home....follow the yellow stripe home....follow the yellow stripe home. Follow Follow.....the tune is now stuck in my head. I removed the sun shades and literally threw them in the baggage compartment. Nose plugs were out, pitot tube cover still attached and I taped over the top cowl vents and vac air intake ports on each side, 08Romeo was getting a bath.

With several shots of primer misting in the cylinders 08Romeo started right up. I taxied to the closest hangar that still had a hose attached to the water bib handle/spout and shut down. Scrub a dub dub, 08Romeo is in the tub. I had my long handle brush and Meguiars car wash liquid gold, there were suds and water everywhere.  The wind didn't help matters but I could care less, my plane was going to be clean again.


With the excavation for the pile caps completed yesterday there was no work scheduled for today. I had thoughts of flight time but I really wanted to do a quick detail to put some shine on 08Romeo and get the interior dressed up.

I used a combo of super fine polishing compound followed by a coat of Meguiars cleaner then another coat of Meguiars wax.  The two months of ramp oxidation melted away and I could once again see 08Romeo's red stripes sparkle. The poor tail fin and beacon looked like they were on some abandoned plane they looked so bad.  I got the colors to pop back to life and looked like the loved airplane birthday girl she is.  Yes, 08Romeo turns 37 today.

Here are a few pics after the bath and detailing.

The interior clean up required door panel removal followed by fresh paint and leather cleaning.

First I had to empty the door pockets...yikes!

I have scheduled a spa day with CAVU Aircraft Detailing for the first week in November. Ivan will get the white to pop and make 08Romeo really shine, he does an excellent job. I'm ready for some flight time this weekend, tomorrow we FLY!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

'Vest'ed in Safety

Today I decided it was time to bring our airplane travel safety standards up a notch. During this years BACFest our maintenance seminar discussed many topics, one of them safety. This year we were given a signal kit as part of the goody bag for attending. Our Safety Director, Paul W went on to discuss some additional signaling items we can carry to make ourselves more visible.  Smoke emitting flare, flares, florescent dye and strobe lights to name a few items.

I've given thought to all the water surrounding my flying, crossing the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, Saturdays Pamilco Sound and others. It's cheap insurance to have a vest and signal devices to increase the safety factor on board 08Romeo. Here is what I purchased to add to my survival kit and signal kit already on hand. West Marine Inshore Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jacket

Both vest auto inflate which I need to change, and its a simple fix.  I also purchased fluorescent green dye to mark out location in the water. Lets take a look at each item.

First, I want to make the switch from auto to manual inflation. I don't want to get stuck in the plane if the vest goes off on impact on the water.

Open up the side pocket and locate the yellow manual canister.
Remove the yellow manual canister and set aside. Next open up the other pocket (Velcro) to expose the auto canister.

Unscrew the clear auto canister and then screw on the yellow manual canister. Easy peasy!  Just above the canister location is the CO2 cartridge location, don't forget to install that. Carefully tuck the actual yellow vest inside the pocket and reattach the Velcro.
I will attach an Orion dye container in the now empty pocket where the manual canister was located.  I am also going to purchase a set of small flares to fit in the signal kit and one orange smoke flare for the survival kit.
Total spent today for the three items $257.55 but the extra safety factor is well worth that.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ocracoke, NC - BAC Fly-In

These last few days I've been logging some flight time, it sure feels good. Today's mission is a flight to Ocracoke, North Carolina to meet up with fellow Beech Aero Club (BAC) members. This is the first Mid-Atlantic event that I scheduled and also the first in a quest to reach out to a location in each state in the region. Setting up and attending these events will allow Mary and I to make new friends, visit with friends we've made since joining BAC and log some flight time.
My bride hasn't been feeling that great but she was excited about heading south to some warmer weather. We were both up by 7am, I got up earlier to feed the zoo then climbed back in bed. Once the critters were good to go we packed a bag with water, munchies and fruit for the flight. We rolled into OXB and I began my pre-flight. Upon returning from Cape May yesterday I ordered the tanks to be topped off, specifically saying not my normal fuel request but actually topping off both tanks, the response, "got it". Hmmm...they didn't "get it", 08Romeo was fueled exactly where I typically request, slots plus five, which brings me to fifty gallons. The fuel truck came out and topped off the tanks, taking a total of nine gallons. The lineman said, "good thing you checked." I responded, I always check, I wouldn't trust anyone but me to check the tanks.
 Eventually we were ready to get the fan turning and did so once belted in.  08Romeo was at idle warming oil and I was updating my flight plan and getting it cross filled to the Garmin 530W. With the weather noted I taxied for runway three-two and performed my run up before calling Potomac Clearance and Delivery.
I was cleared to W95 as filed, upon entering controlled airspace direct Snowhill VOR (SWL). Altitude 3000 expect 6000 in ten minutes. Approach frequency 127.95 and squawk 43something.  That was easy and it's great to have the remote frequency for C&D back online.

!OXB 04/010 OXB COM REMOTE TRANS/REC 121.750 CHANGED TO 127.250 1704201630-PERM

Fishermans Island Wildlife Refuge and Inlet
Virginia Beach and Oceana NAS
I made my departure call and launched, with full fuel the take off roll increased a few hundred feet and we were soon climbing out. It felt good working in the system even though it was a perfectly clear day. We cruised along enjoying the view as we made our way down the peninsula. Patuxent handed me off to Norfolk who offered me direct Ocracoke. Easy peasy, I thought, and accepted the change. This would mean more flight time over open water as we now crossed the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. I managed a few pictures and made gentle rudder corrections to keep us on course. The flight conditions were smooth and little control was required.

I crossed through all the Restricted areas along the route, R6606 off Virginia Beach and R5314 located southwest of Manteo, Dare County KMQI. Norfolk handed me off to another sector and they passed me on to Cherry Point Approach.
First Flight traffic
Cherry Point gave me a descend at pilots discretion to 4000. I started a descent then thought better of letting down to soon since my route would now have me crossing twenty-six miles of the Pamilico Sound.
Once I had Ocracoke made, I started a descent for the pattern altitude. I made an ok landing and taxied to the ramp, everything has been updated since Mary and I last visited back in October 2008.

One by one the remaining three aircraft arrived. Mike K in his beautiful Sundowner, Jeff B in his gorgeous Sierra and Don in his freshly painted beautiful 63' Musketeer. Four mice on the ramp, looking good. Well, from a distance 08Romeo looked good but she was still sporting construction dirt and grime and was pretty gross.

Jeff's Sierra

Mike's Sundowner

Don's Musketeer
I made a call to Howards Pub and they sent out a golf cart limo to pick us up and transport us to the restaurant. We dined inside enjoying good conversation and good food. Mary and I had met Mike at BACFest but Jeff and Don were new to us and the common interest in the club and aircraft quickly made everyone feel at home. I think everyone is excited about next years BACFest scheduled for Louisville, Kentucky...we might see a few new faces.

We finished up lunch and posed out front for a group shot then made plans for the afternoon.  Jeff was heading back to the airport via Howards golf cart limo and the rest of the group decided on renting a cart to tour the town. Ocracoke golf carts said there would be a fifteen minute wait to pick us up so we hung out chatting in the parking lot.

Flight plan for home
Mary was starting to fade since it was her first real day up and out after being sick. She took cover on the deck, resting on a bench while the men waited in the lot. My bride came over to me and I knew, she was cooked, I apologized to Mike and Don and said we were going to head back to the plane. Don decided to walk into town, he is a frequent flyer to W95 and loves the place. I was looking forward to the tour he was going to provide, maybe the next time. Mike headed back to the airport with us and then walked over to the beach.
Mary climbed aboard and buckled in while I finished the pre-flight. All things looked in order so we started up and back taxied on runway six for departure. Of course I forgot to turn on the video, duh, I'm adding a post it note on the panel. As we climbed out I turned the camera on and captured what I could. Mary arranged her neck pillow and unplugged her headset then settled in for a nap. I didn't file for the trip home, instead, I picked up flight following with approach in the reverse order of our flight south.
Oregon Inlet
I enjoyed a nice tail wind and enjoyed the view. There didn't seem to be much traffic today, not even the typical call out for commercial flights. Unfortunately I didn't get treated to any fighter jets that are usually in the area. The jets are hard to capture on video but the visual is always welcome as our nations finest do what they do better than anyone else on the planet.

RT64 into Nags Head
My fuel burn was looking good and I should arrive in Ocean City with fifteen gallons remaining. Switching tanks every thirty minutes would leave roughly seven or eight a side and I like as much as possible. Since we were ahead of our original planed return time I decided to divert to Accomack (KMFV)and top back off, taking ten more gallons in each tank. Accomack was a gas and go, the man working there helped the Cessna in front of me fuel and helped me too. Ok, he chatted while I pumped the fuel. Nice man, very friendly and alerted us to the new after hours passcode to access the terminal bathrooms and flight planning station. They also have a courtesy car available.
First Flight
I climbed back aboard 08Romeo and taxied out for runway three. When announcing my departure I said runway six then quickly corrected myself adding that it would be a neat trick departing on six...mixed in with me laughing at my self. I was getting tired. It's a short hop home and with no traffic in the pattern I make a straight in for runway one-four. It's good to be home after a fun day of flying and breaking bread with fellow club members.
Chic's beach - south entrance to Bay Bridge
I hope to try and get 08Romeo a bath sometime this week and fingers crossed, our hangar will be open for return.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sing It Till You Learn It...

♬...On the way to Cape May....♬

I sang that song every Friday when they played it on Oldies 98 as I drove to my airport project in Cape May. It's a catchy little ditty. Now..."sing it till you learn it!"
Cape Henlopen
Ferry leaving Lewes
This mornings flight to Cape May was going to be the start of a full flying day. After meeting up with friends Dave and Bob, Mary and I were going to fly to Wilmington. Mary didn't feel well so I made the solo breakfast run across the Delaware Bay.
Cape May Light House
 Winds were favoring runway three-two so off I taxied for my run-up. All checklists complete I launched for New Jersey. A smooth climb out with 08Romeo just galloping along at times wanting to climb at 1,100 fpm. I reined her back in and enjoyed the cruise climb to 5,500 feet. The crossing was smooth and the view spectacular, God I love flying along the beach.
Dave's Piper

I started to let down for the coast and aligned myself for a straight in runway one. As I dropped below 2,000 somebody put a quarter in the bumpy airplane ride machine. It was a pain bumping along but short lived as I crossed the fence and settled below the tree line.  With some rudder correction I made a nice landing and taxied clear.
 Dave and Bob weren't to far behind and it's a good thing, parking was filling up fast. We sat in line for a short time then we were seated inside. The outside tables in the lobby were full of people too. We each had breakfast and enjoyed conversations of flying, work and millennial's. 
Cape May Ferry Terminal
We finished up and headed back out to the ramp, it was starting to thin out. We each said our goodbyes, I thanked Bob for treating and did a quick walk around 08Romeo.  
I taxied out number two for departure. When it was my turn to shine 08Romeo once again climbed out, enjoying the cool air. I pointed 08Romeo for the Cape May ferry terminal and built up some altitude. I crossed while topping out my climb at six thousand then nosed over and made for the Delaware shore line in Lewes. I headed over to my job site and snapped a few shots to document the work phases then turned 08Romeo for home. 
Lewes Park and Ride
Rehoboth Beach
Indian River Inlet Bridge
Another smooth trip, this time at just 2,500 feet. I had some company flanking each side that showed up on ADS-B, I never saw either aircraft. I made my typical position calls and traded info with a flight of two Blackhawks just departing Ocean City.
Both birds passed left to right across the nose heading north as I continued west to cross for a midfield entry to three-two. I was high on approach but pulled the power and settled in for a decent landing.
I secured 08Romeo and topped off the tanks for the flight to Ocracoke North Carolina tomorrow morning. I am once again feeling proficient at flight, instrument flight is another story.