My last adventure into the wild blue was back on September 12th, nineteen days ago. I need to pick up the pace or I'll never even get a sniff of fifty hours for the year. I should mention that this will be my worst year for flight hours.
Today I just wanted to get the engine warm, and oil circulating through 3 Tango Charlies veins. Honestly, I also needed to keep the rust off yours truly. The plan was to maybe meet up for lunch but I had no takers on my FB post. I also sent my friend Chet a text but he never answered. I thought Chet could safety pilot and I would buy the eats, it didn't materialize. Instead, I decided to just stay local and work on some approaches by myself.
The weather was looking great, and the little bit of wind there was favored three-two for departure. I taxied out and did my run up, with not a single plane in the pattern or moving on the ramp. I had to check my Com volume just to be sure. Speaking of ramp, the place was a ghost town this morning with only the nose gear collapse twin Cessna in a tie down spot.
I'm not sure who was more ready to go, me or 3 Tango Charlie. I was off by the three thousand remaining marker and climbing out with good gauges and steady climb. It feels amazing every time I take off, I love it.
I roughly pointed to Delaware Coastal and set up for the RNAV GPS 22 approach, direct HUVOX. This procedure turn takes you over the Delaware Bay, just four miles or so. I was flying above the altitude on the approach plate(2000). Instead of waiting to switch to NAV once turning inbound, I decided to disconnect the autopilot to cancel the Altitude hold, then rearm. I lost something in the approach tracking. No problem, this makes for an excellent what if scenario. I decided to hand fly the procedure turn and approach. It went well and for me it's more fun then just monitoring.
I will need to see why the AP did what it did and why it didn't rearm. I'm sure it was an operator error. Either way I am always comfortable hand flying. I made my calls and flew a low approach only then bugged out for Ocean City.
I could have done a better job briefing each approach but since I was VFR and no safety pilot I thought it best to glance it over and just have some fun flying. I can hear my father saying "you play exactly like you practice, sloppy practice turns out sloppy play on the field when it counts." Yes...I hear you Dad.
I set up direct PFAIR for the RNAV GPS 14 approach and continued on. This one is going to be hand flying too, may as well shed all the rust I can. I settled in after the procedure turn at PFAIR and continued in for the runway, the decision height is seven hundred feet. Just a dot above the glideslope I dropped the gear and went through my GUMPS check. Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Pump, Prop, and Switches. I also do the gear check at five hundred feet, better to be safe.
I made a nice landing and taxied clear up near the terminal ramp. There was a school plane departing runway two-zero and he made his call. As I taxied in I passed a plane at the fuel pump, Ocean City was beginning to come to life. I'm sure this place will be crazy busy this weekend with another excellent forecast being advertised. Mary and I are planning to make the hop over to Martin State now that her rib injury is feeling better. It will be fun catching up with our friends Les and Nahia from the Beech Aero Club.