Saturday, July 27, 2019

Working on 'The List'

It was a beautiful day to fly but I really wanted to get a few things finished up on the plane.  After reading Bryan's blog, My Journey With Cherokee N32052,  I was inspired to get busy with 'my list'.

The plan for today was to clean up and refresh the wing walks, both sides. Yes two doors, two wing walks. I asked Ziva if she wanted to go to the airport and play, she dropped what she was playing with and headed for the garage door. I took that as a yes. For todays videos I packed our Cannon SX270HS. We mainly use this camera as our vacation camera, even though we use our phone cameras most of the time.

The first stop was our mail pavilion to check and see if my Zulu's or Mary's Bose have finally arrived, strike out, neither one on this trip. However, a package was in the box and it was from Warren Gregorie & Associates.  The leather yoke covers have arrived! That is immediately added to todays to-do list.
Right Wing
It was warm today, but much nicer then the previous week.  I got started on the right side wing walk, cleaning and prep for the new product. Following the right wing I climbed aboard and tried to remove the double sided tape from the Kool Scoop, no luck. I'll get it off somehow, at least I have fresh double sided tape for when I sell the scoop.
Next I worked on the Warren Gregoire leather yoke covers, they went on fairly easy and I think look great. It took some time to provide a whole for the PTT and the AP disconnect but overall pretty straight forward.
Left Wing
The last item on the list was the left side wing walk. I repeated the same process and once the product was dry I removed all the paper and tape I put in place to prevent overspray. I think both wing walks look very good, and the bedliner product holds its color and texture longer then the regular aviation wing walk products. It's also a heck of a lot easier to apply.

Friday, July 26, 2019

For Sale - Kool Scoop

FOR Aircraft that have a Vent Window on the RH side.

$30 Shipping included

The Kool Scoop is a great cockpit ventilator for pilots of most low wing airplanes. Fits Piper Cherokee, Piper Warrior, Piper Archer, and other models with a window vent including Beeachcraft and Mooney models. The Kool Scoop fits any side window vent that does not have a thick frame.  It's very popular with aircraft owners who need quick, high volume ventilation during ground operations on warm or hot days.

Provides a comfortable air flow while taxiing or waiting for clearance on the ground.   Swings out of the way when not in use and will fit any side window vent that is hinged up, down, or forward (except for thick-framed vents such as those on 1972 and earlier Bonanzas).

Easy installation requires no tools. Molded clear acrylic with stainless fasteners for adjustable hinge tension.  Attaches with adhesive to the right window and swings out the vent opening.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Decals and Updates

I was at the hangar today with Ziva, cleaning up the interior of 3 Tango Charlie.  I gave the leather a scrub and followed with a leather treatment. It smells and looks good.
The leading edges needed some wax to help in keeping the sacrificial bugs from sticking so I used Mothers cleaner wax and got everything coated. Next up I am going to freshen up the wing walk areas like I did on our Sundowner 08Romeo.
I have also ordered new 100 LL decals (pictured above)for the wing fill points and I will be removing what's left the of former fuel quantity decals pictured below.
I have an appointment with the shop to get the oil changed, investigate the MP gauge that's sticking, and set up a date to have the Reiff preheat standard system installed for winter ops. 
Standard System
50 watt band heaters clamp around the cylinders and a 100 watt aluminum HotStrip element epoxies to the oil sump.
I'm also awaiting the arrival of my new leather yoke covers from Warren Gregoire & Associates.  I'll do an install video when I receive shipment.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

KMIV Millville, NJ - For Breakfast

The Plan
I swapped multiple text messages with Chet and we agreed to meet at the hangar around 7:30.  The weather was looking pretty good, everywhere but at Ocean City. 
That low hanging scud blew in and teased us as we could see the blue sky and high cloud layers peaking through.  We sat and waited for conditions to improve.  At least there was a good wind blowing from the north east, helping push this mess out of the area.

METAR KOXB 240753Z AUTO 32006KT 9SM OVC070 19/19 A2986

We sat and waited until just about 9:00. Finally it opened up and we had a clear shot to climb out from runway two and make for the shore line.  Once we launched we saw how clear everything looked ahead and changed the flight plan for Cape May (KWWD) then turn towards Millville (KMIV).
Headwinds were 22 knots just off the nose as we made our way across the Delaware Bay. I started my descent and held around two thousand feet as we now approached MIV.  First the approach flaps are added, ten degrees. As we got a bit closer I dropped the gear then a second notch of flaps.
Video by: Joe Clemente
Chet noticed a truck on the grass between the taxi way and runway, I thought it might be Joe C, the airport manager and friend from my working days at DRBA. Sure enough as I got down to the runway I could see him pointing a camera at us.

We taxied to the ramp across from the Flight Line Restaurant and shut down. Joe pulled up as we were getting out of the plane, it was so nice to see him.  I haven't seen Joe since before our accident, thankfully we have corresponded on FB. It was great to shake his hand and give him a hug. We chatted about the airport, and of course projects, it's in the blood.

Chet and I were quickly seated and our order taken at the restaurant. The food and service was very good and as fast as we were seated we finished our meal. Once headed out to the plane we each checked weather and winds at Millville and at home, in Ocean City.
Runway ten would be the best selection so we started up and taxied across one-four, three-two, following taxiway Juliet to the hold short. Upon completing the run up we launched. I had some gusty cross wind and dipped the right wing, it caught Chet's attention. With a positive rate I retracted the gear and flaps and continued our climb out for the coast.
Showing the Synthetic Vision
As we passed over Cape May I leveled off at four thousand five hundred and enjoyed the tail winds that carried us across the Bay at 150 knots. Once shadowing the Rehoboth Delaware coast I descended to two thousand to enjoy the view.
It was a smooth ride home along the coast, and a beautiful day for the beach. As you can see in the pics, there was plenty of beach activity.

I made my position calls and crossed midfield to enter the left down wind pattern for runway two. GUMPS check completed and turning final, I set up for a nice landing, despite the wind gusts.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Crazedpilot Aviation in-the-ear Headset

For Sale Sold!

We are selling our recent purchase of the Crazed Pilot Headset. I tried it, I can't deal with the over the ear hangar or the in the ear plugs. I'll keep my Lightspeed Zulu's. 

Price $130.00 shipped

The noise reduction for the CRAZEDpilot in-the-ear aviation headset is 22 dB. Simply hook the headset over your ears, insert the in-ear stereo speakers, and press inward to form a tight seal. The outer mold fits snugly inside the outer ear area. Stereo or mono selector switch with adjustable independent left and right volume controls.

We will also be selling the Clarity Aloft set I purchased for Mary.  She does not like the over ear clips and has had a hard time with the ear plugs staying in place.  It's back to her Bose X, when they come back from repair. I may just buy her the Bluetooth Lightspeed Sierra.

New Blog Look

With the recent plane purchase I decided to also freshen up the blog page with a new color combination.  I haven't went full update, I'm not sure if I can get used to some of the new formats offered. While I like reading through the new format on other blogs, I'm just not ready to retrain myself where to find my gadgets that are in plain view and easy access.

I'm not one for change, but, I know eventually I will do the full update to attract readers and keep things current.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Maryland Blue Crab

The Maryland Blue Crab, yummy!
Following our hop to Wilmington yesterday to pick up our friend, Jo Ann, the ladies spent a good portion of the day on the beach. 
I worked on my blog post and videos so I was busy with all that, in the air conditioning. Two hours of raw video cut down to under 20 minutes takes a few solid hours of editing, at times it can be exhausting.
The girls gave me a call as they came off the beach so I could shower and get out of their way. I was clean, smelling good and ready for dinner when they walked in the door. Surprisingly, it didn't take them long to get ready, it must have been the thought of having crabs and beer for dinner.

We decided on a new to us place, yes there are a few places we have not tried in our five years of retirement at the eastern shore. We're working on the list. Tonight we would try Hooper's Crab House located on Route 50.
all gone!
The food and service was excellent! The extra large crabs were tasty and very full, not a bad crab in the bunch. Mary, Jo, and I enjoyed laughs and eats, good friends and good times.
Today was a lazy day start. I was checking wx as Ziva ate her breakfast and the ladies were still in dreamland. I made some bacon and eggs with grits for breakfast and ate by myself.  Mary poked her head out and said no breakfast for her. Jo Ann soon followed from the opposite side of the house, also taking a pass. I'm starting to get a complex, have my cooking skills taken a dive?
The original plan was to head out for the airport around 1pm but we bumped up the time due to the heat and humidity. Mary packed me a wet towel to help keep me cool while getting the plane ready, it really helped. I also stock Gatorade in the mini fridge.
I needed some fuel so we waited on the truck, all of us climbing in the SUV and cool air. We are so spoiled. Finally the truck arrives and fills my order, we're ready to go.
A repeat of yesterday has us taxi out to three-two and climb out for Wilmington. Not my best take off, drifting south of the runway centerline once in the air. The tail cam tells no lies. Density Altitude was two thousand feet, I noticed the difference in 3 TC's climb.
No flight following today but I did monitor Dover. For some reason I lost coms with the tower on my video, our in cockpit audio was fine. I think the isolate button was hit when the ladies climbed in. It takes some time to work out the bugs. I made a nice landing at Wilmington followed by a U-turn on the runway to shorten my taxi time.  We dropped of Jo and took on some fuel, the least I can do for all the support from FLyAdvanced over the years.
Now for the dreaded hot start. I went back to the POH and decided to toss out everyone's helpful remedy. Prop and Throttle full, mixture idle cut off. Turn the key and she stumbles, I quickly move the mixture towards rich and 3 Tango Charlie catches. I turn on the pump and everything runs smooth and solid, pump off and lean for ground ops. 3TC and I are still learning what each other needs to operate and fly, I was very happy, so was my bride.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Wilmington and Home

Today was our first mission. Mary and I made plans with our friend JoAnn in Wilmington to meet up at the airport. We wanted to save her the drive to/from the beach. Two hours each way vs a forty minute plane ride each direction.

We got out of the house close to the planed time and over to the airport to complete the preflight. I was running a little behind schedule as I finished up, but I was happy taking my time and dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's.
3 Tango Charlie was ready to fly. Mary and I climbed aboard and taxied out to runway three two. Our hop north was smooth despite almost twenty knots of headwind. We cruised along at 120 knots, enjoying the view and our breakfast. I did pick up flight following with Dover just nine miles south of the Waterloo VOR and canceled it once north of the Smyrna VOR. Wilmington had me enter a left base for runway two-seven and I ended the flight with a very nice landing. It was a long taxi across the airport to get to FlyAdvanced.
The line guys are always helpful and today was no different.  We got JoAnn's bag loaded and the ladies climbed aboard. I habded up the small step stool for them to secure and then I went around and climbed aboard. The dreaded hot start....I'm still learning what this aircraft likes to get the fan turning.

I followed my hot start procedure and it just wouldn't catch. A stumble here and a sputter there, then nothing. I let the starter cool and my frustration settle. Try number two, A few blades then a stumble, sputter...I add mixture and then try to help it along with fuel pump, nadda.  WTF!  Once again cool the starter and my body temp. With a slight pat on the dash pad I make another attempt. Come on girl, we can do this.  Another hot start attempt with the added fuel pump on this catches! Mixture moved towards rich and pull the throttle back to an idle. Finally!
I'm thinking this cant be good for the plugs. Once purring along at idle I update my flight plan and taxi to the hold short on FlyAdvanced's ramp.  I contact ground with the wx info and I am quickly cleared to taxi to runway two-seven via Alpha, Bravo, hold short.
The tower clears me for take off and 3 Tango Charlie lifts off and climbs out, both of us happy to be back in the air. Another smooth ride, this time at three thousand five hundred. Outside air temps are at 70 degrees but all the air moving in the cabin keep it comfortable.
My Garmin shut off as we approached Ocean City, the first sign the battery was giving up. I switched the camera back on but it did not keep the external mic setting, so the last minute or two is engine noise only. I made an ok landing at Ocean City, and taxied for the hangar to complete our flying day.

We are heading back to Wilmington tomorrow so I hope to have the tail cam set up for both flights. I will also change the video battery once on the ground at ILG.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Together Again

Together again, flying in our Commander.  Wow, it sounds strange but it sure felt right, the both of us flying together for the first time since last June.

I had the plane ready to go after yesterdays flight, I just needed to sump fuel. The sump was good and I tugged 3TC out on the ramp.  Now the fun part, climbing aboard. I have worked my way up to climbing aboard without the use of the step stool, always making progress.  Mary made her first attempt since our initial flight with Bill, the previous owner. That first step up is different from the Sundowner, it's much higher. As Mary climbed aboard she bumped her right shin on the flap edge. Sure enough she scraped some skin but it did not deter my bride from a second try. The second try was perfect, not stepping on the flap and extending up on the wing.

I got the fan turning and with calm winds we taxied for runway three-two. With the run up completed I made my call and rolled for take off. 3 Tango Charlie climbed out, and up to five thousand five hundred, to safely cross the Delaware Bay.
I didn't take any video today, I wanted it to be our time together just me and my bride. The flight was smooth, with cool temps at fifty five hundred hovering around sixty three degrees. We shared the moments, taking in the beautiful view of the coastline and being here together, knowing how far we have come....together.

I circled over near the Cape May lighthouse to loose some altitude then pointed for the left down wind runway two-eight. I extended so a Cirrus could land and clear runway one nine and then I followed with a very nice landing.

We enjoyed breakfast at the Flight Deck Dinner located in the terminal.  The excellent food and service made for a fun experience.

Now the fun began, a hot start. I added the procedure to my checklist and followed the instructions. I guess I didn't have the mixture pulled lean enough and it was a no start. I tried in vain a few more times then let 3 Tango Charlie sit, while she cooled, and I calmed down. Maybe try number four or five I realized the mixture wasn't closed, so I reset and tried another start. Finally, 3TC sputtered, started to run, no struggled to run, as I quickly added mixture. It wasn't quite enough as she stumbled along so I flipped on the pump and she caught. Now purring along we sat and idled as I set up for the flight home.

I taxied out to runway two eight and flowed through the run up, expecting maybe a fouled plug or something from all those attempted starts and added fuel. Instead, the mag drops were crisp and bang on the numbers, smooth at 2000 rpm and then just as smooth at idle.
I made my call for departure and pointed 3 TC into the wind. We were off, with a very slight wind vane effect, and climb out to four thousand five hundred. We crossed the Bay and let down for Ocean City, once again enjoying the coastal view. People littered the beach like ants, they were everywhere. I made my position calls at ten and five out,  setting up for a straight in runway two-zero.

It was a short but fun pair of flights as our intro to once again flying together. I have dearly missed my bride being right seat. We are both very excited to start traveling again.
Thanks everyone for following along on our journey. There will be new chapters in our life and our flying adventures, stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Local Fly Day

Yep, today I headed out fairly early, deciding to get some air time.  The temps here at the beach were in the low 70's and there was NO humidity.

As I drove across the ramp my eye caught a glimpse of a Mouse, a 1966 Super to be exact. This plane was in great shape so I decided to snap a quick picture then get busy with my preflight.
I completed my preflight check and walk around in the hangar then opened the hangar door. It's so much easier checking all lights without having to get up and down the wing to reach into the cockpit. I really get how high the Commander sits, I used to be able to reach in the vent window on the Sundowner to flip any switch.

As I started to tug 3 Tango Charlie out I noticed a man uncovering the Beech Super. I stopped the tug and headed over to meet the owner. Justin is a fellow BAC member and we had a nice conversation about baby beech aircraft, local ATC, and flying.
I needed to get busy and finish getting my plane out on the ramp. I had taken on 14 gallons this morning and that brought me to 48 total, since my JPI was reading 34 remaining. When I stuck the tanks they each read 24 gallons, everything checks out.
I got the fan turning and taxied out behind Justin in his Super, I was number two for departure. A Cessna was doing pattern work so we each worked our way into the flow and launched.
I enjoyed the smooth flight along the Maryland beach, and making my way up to Rehoboth, Delaware and Cape Henlopen. I even made a slight detour over to five points in Lewes to check out the old job. They have really come along way with both buildings well on their way to completion.  I really don't miss a day of that work anymore.
With that sneak peak completed I pointed 3 Tango Charlie for home. Traffic was very light as I made my way to OXB. I was number one for the field as the Cessna, still doing pattern work, was just clearing runway two.

I entered the left down wind, making my calls and eventually rolled 3TC on the runway. A very nice landing, and I was very happy with that. I'm working on controlling my speed and working through the GUMPS call outs to get me back in the flow prior to last June. It's all coming together.  Tomorrow Mary and I are going to do our first flight together since the accident.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Closed For Remodeling

The local forecast called for temps in the 70's and low humidity, a perfect day to fly.  Mary had an appointment at 11AM so she passed on right seat.  I decided to finally get motivated and get over to the hangar.  3 Tango Charlie needed some fuel, she had 4.5 inches in the right tank (24 gal) and just 2.5 inches in the left (19 gal).  I took on 10 gallons in that left tank which brought me to 29, plus the 24 in the right for a total of 53 gallons on board.  I think 53 gallons will get me to breakfast and back with plenty to spare.

With the fuel sump completed I could put my checklist aside and get ready to climb aboard.  Today I decided to try climbing up on the wing without the small step stool, I always like a challenge.  The right leg felt rally good and without much effort I was on the wing and placing my flight bag on the right seat.  I did my backwards slide into the pilots seat and secured the doors.

Today was about my memory and checklists.  This flight is about testing my memory items and verifying on the checklist, I want this to feel as natural as the Sundowner. 3TC started in just a blade or two and I was soon headed to the taxiway. My ramp neighbor was dragging out his helicopter for rides, today should be fun for him and his passengers.

With the weather noted, I completed my run up and departed runway two. I pointed for Cambridge and climbed to maintain just three thousand, which will keep me above Salisbury airspace (2500) and below the R-4006 restricted area floor (3500).

A smooth and easy flight with a straight in for runway three-four has me on the ground and making my way to Kay's. Odd, the ramp is empty and not many cars in the parking lot.  Oh well, I'm here now so lets see what's up.  As I approached the restaurant I could see the place was empty, not good. I walked the last few steps over to the terminal front doors and found a notice, Kay's is closed for remodeling July 1st - 11th. Well, crap!
I headed back out to the plane and saddled up for home. I did not feel like making another stop so I reversed the route on the GNS 480 and attempted a hot start.  Ok checklist....where is the hot start procedure, dang, there is none.  I forgot to print out the additional hot start list and add it to my checklist.  Ok lets test the memory.  Throttle half, mixture half, a few seconds of pump.....crank away, slight stumble and nothing.  I didn't hit the fuel pump fast enough to help it catch.  Ok, try number two. Lean mixture, half throttle, no pump and nadda, nothing but cranking. I'm getting frustrated.

I access online and open up the Commander Owners Group forum and search hot starts, there are plenty of posts on this topic.  Ok, full throttle, mixture lean, a few seconds of pump and crank.  3 Tango Charlie catches,  she stumbles a bit as I quickly move the mixture rich, and hit the pump. She comes to life and I immediately pull the throttle back and breath a sigh of relief.

We sit at idle while I finish setting up the route on my iPad/Foreflight.  It's a simple click on reverse under the flight plan link, that's done. Everything is looking good so I release the brakes and taxi for runway three-four. I ran through my run up and checklist then rolled for a runway three-four departure.  I was climbing out, retracting the gear and flaps while watching my airspeed. I had planned for a departure to the east from the left down wind, it worked out just fine.  There was no traffic today.
I made my position calls for ocean city and pointed for a straight in runway one-four. The local sightseeing biplane, a Waco, was making his way for runway two.  I ended up doing a 360 and then landed on one four as the Waco was on final for two, everyone was communicating. As I cleared, a Cessna rolled on to one four for departure, and the Waco landed on two. I love it when a plan comes together.
So, I did fly, that part was fun.  I didn't get to eat, that was not fun.  After putting 3 TC to bed I headed to the local McD's and then headed home. 

I hope the next flight has Mary and I headed to Wilmington, or  maybe Wilkes-Barre.  If mother nature lets up on the humidity we can get some fly time together.