Monday, June 04, 2018

Solo Requirement Completed

The Debonair came home to Ocean City on Thursday, May 24th.  Since that trip home I only managed a half hour of flight time due to daily fog, rain showers and three hundred foot ceilings. Mother Nature needs to cut me some slack!

With the forecast calling for early morning Low IFR, I flight planned for a 9:30 departure. My flight plan for today has me heading south to Coastal Carolina Airport, KEWN.  Winds aloft look to be providing a few knots of tail wind and once clear of Ocean City's early overcast sky, conditions look great.

Prior to start up I tried to add the toggle switch color caps for added ease of identification, they didn't fit. The gust lock 'remove before flight' streamer arrived so that was added and stowed in the glove box.
It's time to get 45Yankee started and knock out the last 3.7 hours of solo time. I've managed the cold start procedure very well and 45Yankee comes to life, I do love the rumble of the six cylinder continental. Reminder, I still need work on the hot start procedures. I may have jinxed myself.

The airport ASOS just prior to 7am is as follows.

041053Z AUTO 34011KT 10SM OVC007 14/14 A2978

I wait for the oil temps to come up and then taxi for runway three-two. It's now 10:15 and the sky is starting to clear.

SPECI KOXB 041410Z AUTO 34012G19KT 10SM SCT012 17/14 A2979

I picked up my clearance from Potomac once my run up was completed. I'm trying to get used to my new checklist, running it from memory then reviewing. I always use the CRAFT mnemonic. CRAFT stands for Clearance, Route, Altitude, Frequency, Transponder.
C - KEWN, Coastal Carolina, New Bern, VA
R - AF (as filed) on departure fly 270°
A - 3000/expect 8000
F - 127.95 (Patuxent approach)
T - 4604 (Squawk code)
I took off on three-two climbing out at 90 knots until clear of the runway environment then cruise climbed at 104 knots. Patuxent identified me and then gave me climb and maintain eight thousand. That climb was short lived and I was briefly held at six thousand then allowed to continue my climb.
I was handed off to two Norfolk sectors and then Washington Center before the final hand off to Cherry Point approach.

Layer broke up as I approached the south side of the Chesapeake
I went through my checks and lowered the gear below 120kts which slows the plane down to flap speed at 104 kts. I reported the right downwind as directed, was cleared to land and acknowledged, then made a very nice landing. Dave, the previous owner, reminded me to fly the numbers and she will treat me well. I repeat that in my head while in the pattern in between my GUMPS checks.
I climbed out and headed into the FBO at New Bern, Tidewater Air. Quick friendly service and a very clean facility made for a positive experience. I headed back out to 45Yankee and checked fuel, followed by a quick walk around.  I was ready to give the hot start a try. The following is what I remember of the hot start procedure from Dave. They say the memory is the first thing to go.

Throttle HALF
Mixture LEAN - all the way out
Battery/Alternator ON
Auxiliary fuel pump ON for around 30 seconds then...Pump OFF
Start - adding throttle and mixture as needed

W R O N G, nope, nadda, she ain't starting

I texted Dave and he walked me through the CORRECT hot start procedure. Thank God he's a patient man.

Throttle OFF/OUT
Mixture Lean/OUT
Battery/Alternator  ON
Auxiliary Pump ON full 30 seconds then OFF
Throttle full IN
Start - As the plane starts add mixture pull out some throttle and use the Auxiliary pump if she starts to sputter.

DING DING DING We have a winner!

Dave if you're reading this, THANK YOU!

Now if you read through the correct procedure you may figure that you need a third hand or be darn quick if the Aux Pump is needed. This will take practice but I have the secret, now written down, and added to my check list.

Thankfully I didn't have to sit in Virginia, I was able to point north for home. I picked up my clearance with New Bern Ground and taxied for departure.

C - KOXB Ocean City
R - AF, on departure runway heading
A - 2000/7000
F - 119.35 Cherry Point approach
T - 5334
Once switched over to the tower I was cleared to take off runway three-two. 45Yankee was off the ground and climbing out and I was concentrating on my airspeed and setting up my RPM and Manifold Pressure. Hmmm...not climbing as she normally does, check list reveals I forgot to raise the gear. Duh!

Ok, much better and the numbers are good to go. I used the heading mode for a bit then hand flew the rest of the way home. 45Yankee trims out just as sweet as 08Romeo did, set it and forget it.

Norfolk, VA
I was handed off to multiple sectors along my route home as I enjoyed the afternoon ride. This is a sweet plane, I am starting to understand her and her numbers, hopefully she is tolerating me.

I cancelled with Patuxent approach and made my position calls for Ocean City. I was number two behind a school plane and happily made my way to the pattern. As I approach I went through my first GUMPS check, confirming Gas on the fullest tank, Gear down and confirmed, mixture full rich and prop set for go around. I added approach flaps on downwind and the second notch on base. It was a smooth ride on final adding the last notch of flaps and coming over the numbers at 70 knots. I felt the mains roll on as I held off the nose, gently letting it touch the runway as my speed decreased. I didn't use any brakes, instead I rolled to the last taxiway closest to my hangar and turned off.
It was a fun day flying and completing the insurance solo time requirements. Mary and I can now use the plane, together, and have some fun exploring. We are free to move about the country.


Jim and Sandie said...

Wow - that is so exciting. I like that "free to move about the country". Congratulations.

Gary said...

Thanks! We are looking forward to more travels and have a few destinations planned.