Sunday, December 27, 2020

Delmarva Peninsula Flight - Getting the Oil Pumping

It was a chilly morning but a crystal clear day for flying here at the beach.  Unfortunately, there is nowhere to go with everything closed up due to Covid. 
As an airplane owner I still need to keep the oil circulating in order to prevent rust.  Yes,  I use Camguard and have the oil changed as recommended by Lycoming. The best way to keep the powerplant fresh is to run it, and so I did. I asked my bride if she wanted to go for a ride this morning and I got 'the look'.  No, not the you did something bone-headed look, instead, it was the are you nuts look. Hmmm...I'll take that as a no. 
Friend and fellow pilot Chris N sent me a text at 9am asking where I was headed this morning, since he was at Millville (KMIV) and the restaurant was closed. I responded that I was trying to get motivated and get over to the airport but had no clue where to go for eats. Chris decided to head back home and I decided to fly south over the Delmarva Peninsula.

METAR KOXB 271353Z AUTO 36007KT 10SM CLR 01/M07 A3034

As I pulled out of the garage I noted the temp display on my dash, 47°.  By the time I was out of our community and on the main road it was showing 35°, thankfully I had 3 Tango Charlie's pre-heats on overnight. 
I went through a detailed pre-flight and also lubricated all locations, as noted in the maintenance manual, with LPS2. I like to make sure there is fresh lube after a wash and wax. 
The Coyote lives!
The 441 is still on the ramp
Winds were 360° at 7 knots so I decided on runway three-two for departure.  There was a plane doing pattern work and the young lady did a nice job landing and on her radio work. When I was ready to go I advised holding short for the landing traffic. The Piper touched down and then retracted flaps and climbed back out for another round. I positioned and took off, climbing out and departing the area on the crosswind. 
It was quiet on the radio so I switched over to Patuxent approach on 127.95 and also monitored guard. Most of the traffic call outs were well south or east of me and ADS-B was painting everything in my area. Guard provided little entertainment this morning. 
Accomack KMFV
I headed south to Accomack County Airport, making a left turn towards the Atlantic and then heading north for home. Once turned for home I side stepped right to provide clearance for traffic heading south at my 12 o'clock as they descended for landing at MFV.
The remaining ride home was smooth and I let down for the airport at ten miles out, also making my advisory calls. There was a Cessna Amphibian inbound from the north and another Cessna from the west.  I continued in and made a nice landing, letting 3 TC roll out full length and not using any brakes. I called clear and taxied for the hangar. 

Once the plane was secured I noticed aircraft making low passes over the field. I closed up the hangar door and went out to see what was up. To my surprise the Amphib was still on the runway, or so I thought. I jumped in my SUV and headed for the gate, slowing down to take a look at the trucks gathered around the aircraft. I'm not sure what happened but the plane was just off the runway on the grass, maybe a flat, I have no clue. 
The airport manager drove by in a rush, heading to his hangar, I followed but at a slower pace. When Jamie came out of his hangar he had a couple of wrenches in hand. I asked if I could help with anything and he said no but thanks for asking. With that I went about my business, ordering lunch from the Southside Deli for me and my bride as I passed through the airport gate.  I made a stop at the Deli to pick up my order, subs and chips, then enjoyed lunch at home with my bride.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

3 Tango Charlie, Spa Day

It wasn’t the best day for a spa treatment but if the rain held off Ivan could get 3TC washed and dried. I was at the airport at 8am and Ivan was waiting, in his truck, for me to open the hangar. 
I quickly opened the hangar and got to  uncovering, and unplugging the preheat set up. In my rush I forgot to disconnect the battery minder. Thankfully, Ivan reminded me just as I was powering up the tug to pull the plane on to the ramp.  With Ivan ready to get started, I headed out to run a few errands and make a stop at the house. The oil sample taken at Sussex Aero needed to be transferred to a Blackstone kit and sent off in the mail. With the sample secure I headed back to the hangar to grab a sample kit from my tool box, knowing I would have to gather the info back at the house to complete the process. I needed to review my log book for engine serial number, time since overhaul and the time on the oil sample.

While I was back at the hangar I helped dry off the plane using my synthetic chamois. The synthetic chamois is the best for drying your car, cleaning water spots off windows, and yes, drying the plane too. It was good exercise and it made me appreciate all the work Ivan puts into detailing an aircraft.

For me it was time to get out of Ivan's way and let him perform his magic. I headed back to the house and filled out the info and prepared the oil sample to ship.

I wanted to post a few pictures after checking out the finished job on 3 Tango Charlie. Mary and I headed over to the airport this morning to let Ziva run and have a look at the plane. I thought Ivan did a beautiful job, and Mary was even impressed with the shine. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

2020 Year In Review

By The Numbers

Total Time   1391.1
ASEL 2020      54.9
Complex        54.9/122
Cross Country  24.7/852
Sim Instrument  5.7/130
Instrument      0/36.5
PIC            54.9

New Airports - 4

N81Hammonton Municipal Airport in Hammonton, New Jersey
KMTVBlue Ridge Airport in Martinsville, Virginia
KMTN- Martin State in Baltimore, Maryland
N30 - Cherry Ridge Airport in Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Flights of Note

Mary and I welcomed summer to OCMD with a fun local flight followed by lunch and refreshments at the Sunset Grille.
I decided to meet up with the Beech Aero Club for their lunch fly-in into Martinsburg, WV. 
BAC Beef
It was a North East Flyers breakfast meet up and I had the chance to meet up with my friend Jeff (Frey Family)from Michigan who was in the area visiting family.
Another Northeast Flyers meet up, and a new airport at Cherry Ridge in Honesdale, PA. It was great to catch up with fellow pilot and blogger Chris H (Photographic Logbook). Chris and I have been talking about catching up and we finally did it, now we need to get Steve to meet up. Maybe a new goal for 2021.

I also had the pleasure of flying with Vince G. If you follow my blog you know Vince and I flew many hours together in my Sundowner, Zero Eight Romeo. It was really fun logging time with Vince, I have missed our weekend flights.
L-R - Gary, Rob, Bob, Bret, Lori, Dale, Chris, Vince
Thanksgiving is upon us and Mary and I hosted our friends Mark and Candy. We had a great time, sharing good food, friendship, watching our dogs interact, and the men went flying. Mark and I knocked out multiple approaches to each extend our instrument currency
I was happy to fly with my friend and fellow pilot Charles G.  Charles was in town on business, and he set aside some time to fly.  We headed over to Delaware Coastal and had lunch after he shot the GPS 22 approach by hand.
I decided to torture myself and run the numbers on a cost per hour for my flight time this year. Here is the spreadsheet of shame.
I am looking forward to more fly time in 2021. Mary and I have plans to head west and get back to our typical travels, meeting new people, and exploring new destinations.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Flight For Service

I made a call to Sussex Aero located at the Delaware Coastal airport (KGED) to set up a service time for 3 Tango Charlie. Rob said he had time available on Friday at 9am,I said pencil me in, I'll be there. With the forecast temps calling for mid thirties, I thought it best to turn on the preheats around 3pm Thursday afternoon, providing sixteen hours to get toasty. 

This Morning...
I arrived at the hangar just after 7am and took my time with a sump, even though I didn't take on fuel, and a fuel quantity check. The fuel stick was showing three inches each side and that makes for a total of 42 gallons, plenty for my 10 minute hop out and back. I set up only one camera and then tugged the plane out on the ramp. On start up my oil temp was showing 106 degrees.  I sat for a bit to build more temp as I noted the weather for my departure.
The 441 had some activity
I taxied for runway three-two and after completing my run-up launched for Georgetown. The ride was smooth despite a 29 knot head wind. I kept it pretty low today, holding altitude to fifteen hundred. There was traffic departing, at least that's what I thought he said  as I caught runway two two.  Initially I didn't have any ADS-B targets so I assumed he was taking off. 
I did have a visual as the jet was rolling and watched them climb away turning out to the north. I crossed midfield and entered the pattern for runway four. I made a smooth landing and taxied for Sussex Aero, let the fun begin. 
Steve helped me push 3 Tango Charlie into the shop as we tucked in close to a Cessna. I have a mid-tail so we will be close when we get into position. With 3 TC safe and secure the shop bifold door closed and we got busy. Steve went under to locate the quick drain, and after aligning a bucket and slightly turning the nose gear a steady stream of used oil was unobstructed to the bucket. I forgot my test kit but thankfully Steve had a spare container that was clean.  We grabbed a sample midstream and I was good to go for my oil analysis. 
Steve managed to remove the filter will little spillage, and install the new filter. Once the oil was completely drained the quick drain was closed and I added seven quarts of Phillips XC 20W50 and one bottle of Camguard.
Once the oil change was completed we moved on to the Shimmy Damper. I have had an on and off shimmy when landing and it was time to get the issue addressed.
Since I didn't order an O-ring kit we decided on a service only. Once removed the damper had a small set screw that could be removed and hydraulic fluid added. It wasn't as simple as squirting it on the small hole, instead Steve created a reservoir and manipulated the damper shaft to force air out. 
There was a dead spot that you could feel when you moved the damper shaft. As you began to compress it there was a blank space that moved quickly and then the pressure provided resistance once again. Steve compressed the shaft multiple times until the bubbles finally stopped, the dead spot was gone.

With everything buttoned up I took 3 Tango Charlie out for a run-up/leak test. Out to the run-up area just before runway four and let the oil warm up. The run-up was good to go, pressure and temps checked out, and I returned to the ramp at the shop. 

After squaring up the bill I climbed back aboard and headed out for home. A short hop of maybe ten minutes and I was on the ground at Ocean City. With 3 Tango Charlie tucked away in her nest, I headed to the house.  A fun day with only two short hops, but it felt good to get in the air. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Beach Flight & 441 Update

Early this morning, around 3am, I decided to turn on my pre-heats for a morning flight.  May as well take a nature break and text the Switchbox. I headed to the hangar around ten and chatted with Ivan (CAVU) who was working his magic on another aircraft at Ocean City.

The plan was to fly up the beach from Ocean City Maryland to Rehoboth Beach and Cape Henlopen, the view never gets old.  If I needed more time I planned on turning towards Delaware Coastal for one full stop landing then home.  There was little traffic today as I climbed away from Ocean City. 

The best route was departing on the base for runway three-two and then heading north over the Isle of Wight Bay, and the Assawoman Bay to get me to the Delaware State Line. Once into Delaware it's the Little Assawoman Bay, Indian River Bay, and the Rehoboth Bay.  Plenty of water, not many boats today.

I ended up just making the out and back to Cape Henlopen on the mouth of the Delaware Bay.  On the return trip I took a picture of a section of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal.  The canal ends up in the Rohoboth Bay. 
Traffic was nonexistent for the flight and I had one aircraft to contend with on the return to Ocean City.  A Beech C90 King Air, 5 Kilo November.  The King air made their calls and I ended up passing over midfield and once south circled back for the runway.  I had still planned on runway three-two, instead I switched up for a straight in one-four.  The winds were variable and about seventy degrees off the nose from the right.  I crabbed in and made a nice landing, happy to have logged some flight time on a beautiful day

Cessna 441 Update
When I arrived at the airport I saw activity around the 441.  So me being nosy, I had to stop and ask when she’ll be ready to fly.  The crew said possibly today if not hopefully tomorrow, they are waiting on a ferry permit. I wished them well and I hope I get to see her climb back in the air. 

Thursday, December 03, 2020

EATS! Breakfast at Cambridge, KCGE

Last night I turned on 3 Tango Charlies pre-heats and planned for an early flight for breakfast.  My bride had a zoom meeting and I thought it best to bug out of the home office and get some fly time.  Initial plan was to fly to Easton,  KESN, then I made a change in flight for Cambridge since they had cheaper fuel, if I decided to top off.  

I tugged the plane out and climbed aboard to get the fan turning, which would help bring my oil temps all the way into the green range. The runway of choice was three-two which gave me a chance to check on the coyote status.  I think the birds are wise to him and have dive bombed him a time or two.  Poor coyote was playing possum.  

Traffic was pretty much non-existent this morning, but for one Cessna doing pattern work.  I climbed out a bit quicker then normal this flight with a lighter crew and fuel load.  I was heading out with thirty-four gallons on board, and todays round trip would be about an hour, so I was good to go.  The flight was smooth and relaxing.  The weather was perfect, clear, and visibility unlimited 'CAVU'.  
The little bit of traffic I heard was from other airports sharing the same frequency as Cambridge. I made my calls and set up to land on runway three-four since winds were calm. I rolled it on and taxied for the terminal, there was not another plane on the ramp. I pulled up to the terminal and I did see a citation all buttoned up as if it was there for a spell, sitting just outside the terminal doors. 
I secured my ride and headed for the restaurant. As I walked up to the terminal I could smell breakfast cooking. I already knew what I wanted, eggs and scrapple.  When the waitress took my drink order, sweet tea in the mason jar, I added my breakfast order at the same time. The service was excellent, I was the only one there. 
With a full tummy I headed for the ramp and to give my ride a once over.  Hot starts have not been a problem since I had the mag replaced and 3 Tango Charlie fired up on a few blades. I forgot to turn on the main camera until in cruise but its all about flying the plane first. I had one aircraft cross my path, 12 o'clock high, I always wanted to use that line. 
I did get a screen shot but the A10 Warthog was already past. The rest of the ride was quiet and I let down for Ocean City with a slow and steady pace. My flight path had me fall right into the left down wind for runway three-two.  I got some nice footage of Assateague Island with the wing camera as I continued in for final. I made the first taxiway and called clear to end my morning flight. 3 Tango Charlie is back in her nest, plugged in and covered with her moving blankets, awaiting the next mission.