Friday, January 29, 2021

3 Tango Charlie Taxi Time

This memory came up on Facebook. I can't believe it's been a year since I met up with my Brother-in-law, Dave, over at Hammonton NJ (N81).

Mary and I have a flight planned that should put some hours on our Commander in the next week or two. I'm anxious to get back to traveling on our magic carpet, and provide a video of our trip and destination.  For now I am hoping that the weather works out. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The 441 Conquest Flies!

It’s been a long journey just following the storyline of this Cessna 441 Conquest II, and it’s road to recovery.  

The incident occurred in late July and there she sat at the end of the ramp adjacent to the last hangar building on the north end of the airport. I tried to document the progress of her repairs along the way.

Both engines were pulled, and she was once again standing on all three gear. I could not imagine the cost involved to get this bird back in the air. 

In November the 441 received her two new power plants and new tail feathers.  The gear was gone over and she was almost ready to fly. Mid December saw more activity around the 441 and I stopped by to chat with the guys working on her.  The plane was now ready to fly and they were waiting on the FAA for a ferry permit.  

I flew this past Saturday and she was still on the ramp. When I went to the airport Monday to let Ziva run, and check my plane, I immediately noticed the 441 was gone. I had missed the long awaited departure.  The 441 Conquest II flew home on Sunday.  

Saturday, January 09, 2021

BAC to Williamsburg, KJGG

The Beech Aero Club (BAC) has a scheduled lunch fly-in at the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, KJGG.  The event was posted on our BAC forum and it stirred some interest. Who's interested in lunch?  Count me in!

The initial date was for last Saturday but the winds were really blowing, and it's just not worth getting beat up when flying is supposed to be fun. So, with the event rescheduled I took on fuel early in the week and did a pre-flight. All that remains is a walk around and to sump the fuel.  

I invited my friend Charles G to attend the BAC event.  Charles was scheduled to be in Ocean City for business, if not, I'll head up to Wilmington (KILG) to pick him up, and then we can head south.

I arrived at my hangar and did another walk around, mounted all the video equipment, and sumped fuel. 3 Tango Charlie was ready to fly. As I tugged the plane out Charles pulled up to the hangar. We chatted for a bit then I pulled the cowl plugs and climbed aboard. Runway three-two is open on weekends, NOTAM as closed during the week for ongoing airport work. The run up was good so we made our call and pushed the throttle forward, here we go, we're headed to Williamsburg.

We climbed out and turned south to once again overfly the Delmarva Peninsula. Charles enjoyed the view, taking a pass on stick time, instead enjoying the ride and taking pictures. I contacted Patuxent approach for flight following and we had just one hand off to Norfolk as we crossed the Chesapeake Bay. Norfolk called out one target and with that acknowledged I cancelled flight following and started our descent for Williamsburg. The plan was to cross midfield and enter the left down wind for runway three-one.
I made an ok landing despite on touch down my foot slid up the rudder pedal and slightly pressed the brake, it was an oh crap moment. I quickly recovered with feet on the rudders and taxied in to the ramp. That was a first for me.

Six pilots and one youngster attended. Lunch was good and we had the back dining area all to ourselves. After swapping some flying stories we headed out for the required BAC picture with the Mid-Atlantic banner. The wind had picked up and it was a bit nip on the ramp, I was ready to climb back in 3 Tango Charlie.
L-R:  Rob, Gary, JP, Bob, Harry
For the first time in ages it took multiple tries to hot start, I should have left the cowl plugs out to cool for a cold start. 3 Tango Charlie needed more fuel, so I added a three count of fuel pump then retried. Finally, the fan was turning and we taxied out for departure when the oil temp was good. 

The take off was normal, but with a bit of wind shear to rock the wings. I flew the pattern and departed on the left base for three-two. Charles spotted Busch Gardens and commented how much smaller the property looked from above. The plan was to climb out to seven thousand five hundred but it was smooth at five point five so that's where we leveled off. 
We crossed the Chesapeake Bay and made our way north up the peninsula. Charles got a good view of Wallops Flight Facility and the launch towers. He also snapped a nice picture of Assateague Island Park with the Verrazano bridge on Rt. 611.
From this point it's just a short ride home, setting up to enter the left down wind for runway three-two. We followed a Cessna that turned down wind ahead of us and flew a Bomber size pattern, but all was good. Flowing through the GUMPS check we were set, with another call out for three green on final. Hmmm, the Cessna is still on the runway, so I hold off on the last notch of flaps in case I need to step right and go around. Finally the Cessna makes a call for a touch and go as they are climbing out. I roll it on the runway and do not even bother with braking, instead letting 3 Tango Charlie roll out to the last taxiway. 

It was a fun day of flying with my friend Charles G, and catching up with the BAC family. Today made for a very good first flight of 2021. Thanks Charles for the pics, and JP for the group mouse shot.