Sunday, May 31, 2020

Beach Flight, Food, and Refreshments

It was too nice a day to pass up flight time so we decided to get in the air.  3 Tango Charlie was fueled yesterday and the pre-flight was completed. Today's task was another quick once over and sump the fuel tanks. Everything looked perfect so I tugged the plane on to the ramp ready for boarding. Mary decided she wanted to go with me today which always makes the flight fun for me. We went back and forth on where to go, and after checking what was open we decided to just fly the beach all the way to the Delaware Bay and back.

I taxied out for runway two, second in a line of five planes. It was busy today with school planes and transient aircraft. When the Cessna rolled for takeoff I announced lining up to wait on runway two. I watched the Cessna battle the gusting winds, 030°14/G22.  I think it was worse as he climbed out over the trees.  With the Cessna upwind I was rolling, it was a wild ride.  I had full aileron deflection in, and I was riding the right rudder for all it could do. I still pushed across the runway as I broke free of the pavement and snapped into position like a wind vane, now into a solid crab.  Of course today I left the videos in the hangar, this was time for me and my bride only. 

I positioned the plane just over the Bay so Mary could view the beach and buildings along the way north. Here are a few pictures she took as we pressed on for Rehoboth Delaware and the Cape Henlopen State Park. 
OC Inlet and parking area

OC Marina

OCMD, Condo Row

The Parke at Ocean Pines, where we live.

Bethany Beach approaching Indian River Inlet Bridge

Cape May Lewes Ferry, departing Lewes DE

RT1 and 1A Split to Rehoboth Beach
I turned around, pointing for home, after we took a few pictures of the Ferry departing Lewes DE for Cape May NJ. The ride wasn't much smoother, but, not as bad as coming north.  We were also enjoying the twenty-one knot tailwinds out of the north instead of fighting them.
I made my position calls at ten and five out then entering an extended downwind for runway two.  I had one plane on its way in behind us.  I turned my base a bit early  but knew the headwinds would put the brakes on to my good ground speed. The gear was down and locked with two notches of flaps.  It was gusty and I tweaked the power setting just right as I made a sweet landing, confirmed by my brides "good job". 

Together we decided on lunch at one of our local favorites, The Sunset Grille.  Good food and service made for a memorable start to summer. 

Crab Dip Appetizer
Lump crabmeat, cream cheese, roasted garlic, scallions, old bay, aged white cheddar, amish soft pretzels.
Crab Cake Sandwich
House Specialty. 5 oz. Jumbo lump crab cake served on a soft potato roll.
Refreshments, Ruby Red Crushes
Smirnoff sourced ruby red grapefruit vodka, Triple Sec, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, lemon-lime soda.

Enjoying 'refreshments' at Sunset Grille

Saturday, May 30, 2020

A Mouse in the House

Bob and his 1967 A23
I headed over to the airport around noonish to check on 3 Tango Charlie, order fuel, and do a pre-flight.  I will have to sump fuel tomorrow, I like to let it sit overnight when possible.  It was good to see some of the line guys back at work, the part timers have been off since October.

With 3 Tango Charlie ready to go I closed up the hangar and headed towards the gate. As I drove along the parallel taxiway I saw a Mouse land.  I didn't make out the tail number at first so I figured I would wait and see where they shut down. I sat near the self serve fuel pumps and the Mouse taxied to a tie down just a short distance away. I saw the tail number and I knew the plane but it just didn't click.  I cheated and looked up the tail number and it was our BAC member Bob P and a neighbor that sat right seat.

Bob made the trip so he could present the scholarship for an EAA member. The EAA recipient had moved to Ocean City and he will be starting his flight training at Ocean Aviation. 

With my plane ready to go tomorrow I decided to head back to the house for some lunch with my bride.  A short but fun day at the airport, meeting up with a fellow BAC member was a bonus.  

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Remember, Respect, Honor

We all enjoy the freedoms our soldiers paid the price for. Let us all remember the families left behind, the lives left unfinished, the future left wanting, those bright minds, and loving hearts that answered the call.
Decoration Day    
On May 5, 1862, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Many Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.
Memorial Day
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.
Confidential Support Is a Call Away
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, anonymous, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Accident Video, in Photos

As I had noted in a previous post, the FAA returned my video and camera back on December 20th 2019.  Of course, I sat and watched it multiple times and even made a video I thought about releasing on YouTube. Like I said, I made the video but then stored it away along with the SD Ram card for safe keeping.  

I was contacted by another YouTube creator about joining him, in studio, to be on his video channel to discuss the accident. I gave it some thought and called back declining the invite, but, open to a possible collaboration in the future. I have been working on adding video to my Garmin 480 legacy GPS unit how-to posts found under my Favorite Links. It has been fun, and as usual, I shoot with no script just winging it. I have been known to wander off on a tangent a time or two. If you read this blog, you understand. 
The house was quiet. I locked Ziva out of the office so there was no background noise. Mary was busy with feeding the birds and mixing up a batch of sugar water for the hummingbird feeders.  I had my face buried in the computer with the how-to videos and opened the accident folder looking for another set of screenshots. Naturally, I had to watch the initial footage and then my video.  I was ready to make the video public but struggled with the graphic nature and having to deal with people’s comments.  Mary and I discussed putting it out there, it being the elephant in the room since June 2018. Together we said let’s do it. The only thing we both wanted was something way less graphic and not having to hear the audio portion of that day again.

The compromise was a select number of photos that we would share along with the first video I recorded after we watched it back in December 2019.  My emotions were raw, it was not easy then, the wounds were still fresh, at least in my mind. Today I felt different, maybe because of all that is going on around us and maybe because time has provided the necessary scaring to move forward but not forget. Somehow, we were ready, and today, with additional editing and even a short voice over, we uploaded the Accident in Photos video. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Local Flight to Accomack

Really it should read local flight to Melfa Virginia. KMFV is Accomack County Airport and it is situated in the middle of the peninsula. 
The main goal this morning was to get the recent Camguard product that I added, mixed in with the fresh oil change. Camguard is designed to reduce wear, curb deposit formation and more importantly protect engines against rust and corrosion. It contains multiple corrosion inhibitors for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

The weather was beautiful. I did wish I had the blower fan unit like my Sundowner had, it would have been a welcome add on for today. Once the prop was turning I had air moving through the vent window,so that did help cool things off.

I taxied out to runway three two and held for traffic. First a Cessna, then a Cirrus, and finally a monster helicopter (Sikorsky Seaguard) in faded coast guard colors.  I finally launched and pointed to the south west to clear the area.  I entered a flight plan from KOXB to KMFV and on the go added the waypoint SWL, the Snowhill VOR.  The VOR will keep me west of the R-6604 Restricted area surrounding NASA Wallops Flight Facility. 
Despite the temps the ride was smooth. There was plenty of traffic out flying today, what a change compared to my last flights. Accomack Terminal was closed but the self serve pumps were open. I passed on a landing and instead made a u-turn and headed for home. I was only interested in a short flight, just an hour, to heat up the oil and mix the additive. 

I made my way north east for home, once again adding in the SWL VOR to keep clear of Wallops. I was watching the clouds start to develop to the north and moving towards the beach. I'm glad I stuck with the south flight instead of heading north to Wilmington.
I swapped Patuxent approach for Ocean City CTAF and listened to the traffic in the pattern.  I worked my way in, number two for the field, turning base as the aircraft on fianl passed by my left wing. I had a plane on my six, in the pattern, also wanting to land. It worked out well, everybody was talking on the radio. We landed one two three, each crossing the numbers as the previous plane called clear. It was a fun day flying and I'm looking forward to some real travel time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Updating "How To" Blog Posts

I decided since I have so much time to kill I would update the blog posts on the GNS 480 "how to" series.  I will add in the disclaimer that I am NOT a CFI/CFII and I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn. 

On my blog I will still offer both versions, text, and now video.  Yes, I'm bored, and need to find things to do. Mary has even suggested we fly off somewhere and do take out, each pulling up a chair to enjoy the weather.  She didn't have to twist my arm.

Eventually I'll go back and add video to the Garmin 530/430 series. 

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Setting Up The Fuel Qty - JPI EDM 711

I decided to finally document and learn the "adding" or "subtracting" of fuel on the JPI EDM 711 I have in the Commander. It's a ritual that I stick the tanks everytime I fuel, and that has been good enough for me. However, since I have the equipment on board, and it does the fuel calculations based on my ground speed, I should really start taking advantage of what I have available. Here is what the 711 features provide. My options are highlighted.
As I spend more time in the air, burning fuel, I will concentrate on keeping the JPI info up to date. It will benefit my travel flights, and provide a cross check to my manual calculations. Yes, I'm always best in Old School mode. 

Friday, May 08, 2020

Rosen Visors Have Arrived

ROSEN Visors
Can you tell how bored I am?  I am actually going to do an unboxing and install video on my Rosen visors.
I wish I would have aimed the camera a bit higher but you get the general idea. Everything seemed simple enough, and the instructions were clear. The visors were shipped with the STC to add to my log book.

Off to the hangar...

I set up the visor box, video cameras, and any tools I might need for the install. Off course once I settled in the left seat I forgot the first tool required, a phillips screwdriver, to remove the existing visor. I climbed back out on the wing and then over to the tool box for the screw driver and a rag to clean up after the grease is applied to the pivot arm.
Existing attachment
Rosen attachment
I carefully removed the plastic bags with the parts and laid out one set for the pilot side. I fiddled with the supplied bracket but it didn't seem right, the visor would set to low. So just for kicks I screwed in the pivot stud threaded end into the existing hole and it fit perfectly. Time to investigate what exactly was holding everything secure on the back side. When I removed the two trim screws and pulled the trim back I saw a bracket and a nut already in place. Thankfully it wasnt a nut plate. 
I made the decision to assemble and install with just the pivot stud (part #13). With everything in place I could not get the pivot stud to stay tight with all the new motion of the Rosen bracket arm. I would need a lock washer and some locktite to prevent any movement. 
Once again I climb out of the plane, close up the hangar and make a hardware store run. I returned with everything I needed and got back to the install, this time grabbing an adjustable wrench to tighten the stud in place. First was the larger original washer followed by the lock washer then a thin coat of Permatex Blue, same as the Locktite Blue.
The MEDIUM STRENGTH threadlocker that can be disassembled with normal hand tools.

  • For Use Where Disassembly is Common
  • Keeps Threaded Fasteners From Vibration Loosening
  • Ideal for 1/4" to 3/4" Fasteners (6 to 20mm)
  • Removable with Hand Tools

I repeated the steps for the copilot side and then cleaned up. The finished product looks great! The Rosens are 2.5-3" taller then the stock Commander set. With the new visors down it covers the total view from top of windscreen to the dash pad, and can swing to the side window for some additional shade. I like it. 

Monday, May 04, 2020

Why Blog and Video

STEC 60-2
On my last flight I had an issue with the autopilot, honestly it was the operator of the autopilot. Yes, yours truly had a brain fart. I haven't shot an approach with the STEC since I reset my currency back on February 16th. 

Now I could read the manual, which I did, and realized it was my set up. Rewind back to my training video with Mike B back in August 2019 and it clearly shows I had the same issue. Here is the note I typed on the video, it about covers it. 
People often ask me, why do you blog and video your flights.  This is one of the reasons. By reading, watching, and listening to myself I can easily see what I need to work on, and there is ALWAYS room for improvement. In this case I answered my own question.  

Train hard, stay safe!

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Local Flight, Two Approaches

First flight post annual

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Ocean City. With the annual check out flight completed when I brought the plane home, I was ready for a real flight. After taking care of Ziva girl, and making breakfast, I decided to go fly.
I had 3 Tango Charlie fueled on Friday in preparation for today's flight.  I like to let the fuel settle and sump the following day. I think it provides the best chance for water to gather, if it's present at all. Hopefully not. 
My plan for the day is to stay local and shoot a couple of approaches to knock off the autopilot rust. First up is a short hop to Delaware Coastal (KGED)for the RNAV GPS RWY 4 approach. It took me two tries to execute direct to the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) ZARVI, obviously I need more buttonology time. 
With the fix loaded I was on my way. Better late then never, I get squared away and pointed towards the IAF and settled in for the short direct route. As I approached the fix everything was correct and a parallel entry was displayed. However, as I crossed the fix (red circle) 3 Tango Charlie turned right instead of turning slight left to fly the entry. If we fly with these systems we MUST monitor and be ahead of the plane. I immediately disconnect with the button on my yoke and turned out for another try at direct ZARVI. 
This time I used the Heading and Altitude holds on the STEC 60-2 and flew with no problem. I really like flying the approach in this setup, I feel more in the game and I trust me more then any box. 

I swapped calls with a King Air that was headed to the runway for departure. I was configured for landing with flaps and gear, trying to keep this as real as I could for the practice. Since you can't sit and enjoy lunch at the restaurant I advised I would step right and break off my approach so they could depart. The pilot was nice enough to thank me and off we both went. 

Next I turned for Ocean City.  Runway two was active and quite busy today. I wanted to shoot another approach, giving the AP another try, really my knowledge of the system another try. Having shed some rust on the first set up this time it was much smoother. I chugged and plugged the RNAV GPS RWY 2 into the box.
Once again I was ready for anything that didn't fit the approach model. Obviously I still had missed the correct button selection and when arriving at CIRAN the plane started a left turn. Hmmm...nope, thats not going to work. I disconnected and immediately selected heading (HDG) on the Stec and altitude (ALT) to correct the turn and perform the procedure turn (PT). I continously set the HDG bug to help keep me in the game and ahead of the plane, knowing where I am and where I need to go. 3 Tango Charlie flies a nice PT and I'm soon on course for final.
Verrazano Bridge - RT 611 - Connecting Assateague to the mainland
I am following the TBM that was in my post from Monday the 27th, 6 Charlie Bravo. I make a two mile call and at five hundred feet add the last notch of flaps. The landing was looking good but I floated just before touching down. I ended up making an ok landing to end the day.