Thursday, December 07, 2017

Zero Eight Romeo, Back in Her Nest

It's been a few days since I last saw Zero Eight Romeo in the hangar, twenty-four days to be exact. Annual went smoothly, without a hitch. The shop (Cecil Aero) performed some additional inspections with a borescope that saved money and time, not to mention cutting new inspection panels in Zero Eight Romeo. After annual I did reposition the plane to Red Eagle Avionics at the Wilmington Airport, KILG.  I needed to have the IFR certification done and I really wanted to replace the old Collins audio panel.

When I lost the Garmin 530 I had to work with Com 2 and it just didn't sound as loud and clear as the Garmin. Old radio, I know, but it was more than that. As previously posted I went with the PMA 7000M BT, great price, excellent functionality.  OK, with that backstory in mind here is todays flights to get my girl home.
I swapped text messages with fellow hangar neighbor, Chet, about availability for a lift to Wilmington. Chet and I have been going back and forth keeping updated on my annual and my avionics upgrade. We were trying to plan the flights and today it all worked out.
Chet at the controls
We decided to meet at his hangar at 8am and head north to ILG. I got to the airport early because I left my spare headset at home, but, walked out with fresh batteries for it...duh.  Instead I grabbed Mary's Bose set and used that for todays flight north. Chet flies a Piper Cherokee 180, very clean plane, and seems so much quieter than Zero Eight Romeo.
8BW panel
We launched for Wilmington off runway three-two and climbed out. Chet pointed us right at his house, seriously, descending right at his house.  There we saw his wife and gave her a wing waggle as she waved at us from the back patio, I hope she saw me waving back. By the way, Chet's home has a beautiful view of the bay and sits just on the shore line, awesome.

Chet handled the flying and I did the radio work.  We picked up flight following with Dover and then as we approached the canal they turned us loose. I switched over to Wilmington and noted the ATIS then made a call ten miles out to advise of our position and that we had information Lima. The tower asked us to keep our speed up for a Baron, number two to land. Chet did a great job and made the first taxiway on Mike.
Delaware Memorial Bridges as we fly the left base for 27
I introduced Chet to Dale and they seemed to hit it off. We talked avionics, planes, my old wiring and the updated changes.  Of course Dale being Dale wanted to show me the old stuff he pulled out, it was ugly and not shielded. Things are squared away now. I did my pre-flight in the hangar and then was tugged out front. Chet was scheduling an appointment to get his Garmin 396 mounted on a gizmo dock while I got ready to fly.  We decided on lunch at Cambridge, yes, Kays, yummy!
The ride was brutal, up and down side to side, got my butt kicked the whole way at three thousand.  The flight of two, that's how I checked in, fought headwinds most of the way with our airspeeds bouncing between 95 and 115 knots. We crossed midfield and entered the left down wind for runway three four.  I landed a bit long to speed up clearing for Chet right behind me. 
On the ramp at Kays
We just missed breakfast.  Instead we had to order lunch, that's ok too, everything at Kays is very good.  I had my mason jar sweet tea, Chet had coffee.  I had a most perfect ruben and Chet had a chicken salad sandwich.  The conversation was great and the food was pretty darn good too. We finished up and headed back to our planes, we were ready to fly. Once again the flight of two climbed out and pointed east for Ocean City.  The ride was a bit smoother and the tailwinds were now giving us some appreciated ground speeds.  I topped at 135 and was all smiles, it was a quick 45 mile hop home. We formed up and took a few pictures then fell in line as we made our way into the pattern. Chet sent me ahead to land first and I once again flew down the runway, just a few feet off the ground, landing long to give him room and use the taxiway close to my hangar. Chet nailed another and easily made the first turn of near the terminal ramp.
A tight formation heading home. Traffic!
A fun day flying and getting to spend it with a new friend/pilot at the home airport. Chet and I are close in age, both love flying and he wants to safety pilot for me. Finally someone that flys out of Ocean City!   Thanks Chet for the lift north, you're a good pilot, I felt safe flying right seat and look forward to safety pilot time.
8BW moving into position
When I got home I immediately called Ivan at CAVU to reschedule my spa day for Zero Eight Romeo. I left a message that I found my missing plane and she is once again home in the hangar awaiting his special treatment.
I should mention that I love the new audio panel. The sound is really clean, the voice operated relay (VOX) is really neat and there is no clipping when you first start to speak. I have to learn about the Bluetooth but I know the music works and I figured out how to shut it off. When Dale offered to walk me through it I told him I'll figure it out. I think Mary will like the Bluetooth for her movies and music. I'll do a more in depth review once I get some time flying with the new panel and get things figured out.

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