Monday, February 19, 2018

Farmingdale NY - KFRG

I have mentioned one of my hangar neighbors in previous posts, Chet K.  Chet has helped me reposition  08Romeo for annual with a ride home from 58M, picking me up on his way from New York. Chet was also my ride to Wilmington (KILG) to pick up my plane from Red Eagle after the IFR cert and audio panel update. Needless to say, he's been a really good friend, hangar neighbor and safety pilot when needed.  It's a welcome change to my flying at Ocean City, someone that actually LIKES TO FLY.
We made plans to retrieve his Cherokee 180 that had some work done at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY. With my work taking up weekdays and the poor weather on the weekends we had to move the flight to today.  I guess if we left early yesterday we could have taken advantage of the sunshine but the rains and winds were coming, so we waited.
 I had 08Romeo detailed by CAVU Aircraft detailing on Friday and Ivan did an excellent job, as usual. Since Saturday was a wait and see I texted the switchbox and turned on the pre-heats for the plane and had the fuel brought to fifty gallons on board. Shortly after taking on fuel and cleaning up the hangar the rains came, good call on waiting until today. 
Chet and I swapped text messages and agreed to meet up at 8am at my hangar. I headed over early making at stop at McD's for some fruit and nut oatmeal for my breakfast. I rolled into the airport and got started on my pre-flight, everything checked out. I did sump more water from my right tank, very little but it took two sumps to come clean. I'm not sure where the water is coming from, maybe condensation. I shut off the pre-heats and tugged the plane out into the sun, we were ready to fly. Since I was early I had a chance to set up my Garmin video camera, electing not to use my Cannon for this flight.

Chet walked up to the hangar, not sure why he doesn't drive in but to each their own. I confirmed our fuel and that the preflight was complete, he was satisfied. We got the fan turning and soon taxied out for runway three-two. I filed IFR today just to get some work in the system and I thought it would be easier to deal with JFK during transit. Once my run-up was complete I contacted Potomac Clearance Delivery and requested my IFR clearance to Republic.

R AF(as filed)
A 3000/expect 7000
F 127.2
T 3605

I wasn't sure I had the frequency correct or the squawk code so after reading back and confirming we were ready to go. One quick change for departure, we were given direct Waterloo (ATR), climb and maintain 5000 which was odd since that was my first fix on the approved as filed route.

Once at cruise it was a smooth flight, headwinds were ranging from 10-18 knots which translates into a longer flight but we had fun. Potomac handed us off to Dover and they in turn handed us off to Atlantic City. It was short ride along with AC and they handed me off to McGuire who dropped me down to five thousand as we approached Sandy Hook. I was handed off to the first of three NY approach sectors and once again dropped to three thousand. I wasn't happy about crossing the water to Breezy Point at the Lower Bay Atlantic ocean mix.
As we crossed Breezy Point, approach turned us to follow the shore line of East Atlantic Beach then cross for Republic. To our right we passed Jones Beach State Park, Oyster Bay, crossed over both Meadowbrook Parkway, and the Wantagh Parkway all while shadowing the Southern State Parkway on an extended left base for runway three-two.
Did I mention how rough the ride was? There was low level wind shear advisories in the ATIS report to go along with gusty winds.  I made a nice landing and taxied for the Echo Ramp where I could not believe how many planes were tied down.
This had to be the most planes I have ever seen on a ramp and there was a constant buzz of planes taking off and landing the whole time I was there.
Chet cleaned the snow off his Cherokee and we each took on fuel for the ride home, hoping the winds would be in our favor. We didn't waste much time, it was cold and windy and my gloves were sitting in my truck warm and toasty, I wish my hands were warm and toasty. With my fuel replenished, I sumped, then climbed aboard to get out the wind and get 08Romeo started. I did take two fuel samples to clear a bit more water from my right tank. 
Chet taxied by and gave a thumbs up and I returned with a thumbs up, we were ready to head home. I heard his call to ground for taxi instructions then I called to pick up my clearance.

Farmingdale five departure, As filed
A  3000/6000
F  125.7
T  xxxx
I had reviewed arrivals and departure procedures last night and when I got up this morning just in case. The Farmingdale five was easy peasy, for runway three-two. An initial climb to 400' then a climbing right turn to 010° maintain 3000 feet thence...vectors to assigned route/fix expect clearance to assigned altitude. Once checked in with approach and identified I was turned on course direct Kennedy, 6000 feet.
Chet at -14 and climbing
I heard Chet check in with approach and he was given 6,500 VFR along the coast through the Bravo airspace. I tracked his location the entire trip south on ADS-B. Once in cruise the ride was smooth and I was handed off to each approach in reverse order of the trip north.
I keep my knee pad notes so I could dial in the frequencies ahead of the hand off. Once McGuire handed me off to Atlantic City I road along for a short time then canceled IFR, diverting to Cape May with flight following.  We were going to make a lunch stop and hopefully Charles from Brandywine Airport was going to meet us.
Chet off the coast +5
I was just inland and Chet was shadowing the coast as we each made our way to the airport. I heard Charles check in and then saw his plane pop up on ADS-B.  What great timing, Charles landed then I followed and Chet right behind me. The winds were really gusting and it made for interesting landings. We quickly found seating at the Flight Deck Diner and ordered. It was nice to relax a bit and enjoy good company. Flying, real estate and home building were the topics of discussion while we enjoyed brunch.
Charles 07Tango, Chet +12
We decided we should all get going and headed out to the ramp. We all said our goodbyes and saddled up for home. I was first to roll out and taxied to runway two-eight for departure. Chet and Charles were right behind me as we all bugged out.

I pointed 08Romeo for the Cape May lighthouse to circle and climb for the Delaware Bay crossing. Chet went feet wet at 2,500 and climbing, Charles pointed north for home. We chatted on 123.45 briefly and then switch to the appropriate ATC to monitor. I followed Chet across the Bay and then down the coastline for Ocean City. I had a plane in tow, a Piper Dakota about six miles behind and closing. I made my call at ten miles out, the Dakota pilot also. I caught a glimpse of Chet up ahead crossing the RT.90 bridge at the five mile out mark, the sun lit up his plane over the water.
Conga line for OXB
The Dakota and I traded position reports and within five miles of OXB he passed on my right side. I fell in behind him for entering the left down wind for runway three-two. Chet was number one for the field and I watched him land as the Dakota was turning final. I waited until the Dakota passed my left wing then I turned base to follow, number three for the field.

Marine Parkway Brg and Floyd Bennett Field
It was a fun day flying and always good to have a mission. I enjoyed flight time with Chet and catching up with Charles. I knocked out another new to me airport, shed some rust off the radio skills in busy airspace and logged 4.3 hours.  Life is good! 


Chris said...

Cool! How did you enjoy the 3rd busiest airport in New York state?

Gary said...

I had fun! I could not believe all the aircraft on the ramp, it was overwhelming. It felt good knowing the radio skills were still there under all that rust and I got to fly a departure procedure that was pretty simple.

Chris said...

It's always good to have a comfortable, confidence-building run like that!

PA FLYER said...

How would you compare the ride of the Cherokee 180 to the Sundowner? I know they're both great airplanes but I'm interested in your thoughts.

Gary said...


I flew an Archer for a few years and the wing loading was 15 lbs/sq.ft. as compared to the Sundowner at 16.7 lbs/sq.ft. The ride seems fairly equal although I will say the Sundowner controls feel more snappy. Hmmm...snappy Sundowner, sort of like a sporty tank. Lets look at a Cirrus I flew a few times, it's wing load is 23.5 lbs/sq.ft., smoother ride less bumps.

The Cherokee 180 is 15 lbs/sq.ft. so I would say the ride is very similar to the Sundowner and Archer, both great rides and on gusty turbulent days we all get beat up some.

I hope that helped.