Thursday, June 24, 2021

Flight Review Time

I was scheduled for my flight review last Thursday but my knee was giving me some trouble.  The best choice was to reschedule and let my knee calm down. Everything worked out and I wore an Ace neoprene brace for the added support and to make sure I had no issues.

I headed to the plane around 9:30am, only needing to tug 3 Tango Charlie out since I did my pre-flight and fuel sump yesterday afternoon. A quick walk around confirmed all looked good to go and with that positioned the pane on the ramp and locked up the hangar.  It was a beautiful day even though it was a bit windy.

The runway of choice was runway two and I took my time to taxi out letting the oil come up to temp. As I turned towards the wind for my run up I heard the jump plane heading my way. Timing was good as I completed just as he pulled up. One Cessna landed and I positioned and held. Once the Cessna was clear I launched for Millville, KMIV.

Today I was going to try oxygen. Why Oxygen just crossing the bay? Well I noticed when I climb around seven thousand my right leg, with all its metal parts, will really ache once on the ground and done for the day. Some have said lack of O2 or pressurization.  I can eliminate one of those issues and use the Oxygen system I had previously purchased.

I gave the system a try yesterday and it didn't seem to hard to get hooked up. As I climbed for the Bay crossing I hooked up the O2 and gave it a try. It didn't go as smooth as it did on the ground yesterday, but I worked through it and let the autopilot and vertical speed climb keep me pointed on course and climbing to my target altitude. 

I did a test with the pulse Ox and it was reading 91, with the bottle hooked up and nose cannula in place I was reading a steady 96. I had the bottle set for ten thousand the lowest setting. I should note I also wore a compression sock on my right leg.

I let down for Millville and made a nice landing on runway ten, the first leg is complete. I taxied to Big Sky and shut down then headed inside to catch up with my CFII Tim. 

The Flight Review

Tim and I discussed the plan then headed out to the plane. Following my taxi out and run up we launched. Let the fun begin.  Instructions were on departure fly heading three zero zero and two thousand five hundred. I made my calls and followed on course, to altitude, locked in. We reviewed V speeds and then I set up for slow flight. Power reduced and two notches of flaps added for my left and right 360’s. Tim advised that despite all the wiz bang tools he likes a clearing turn, noted, I obliged.

I flew in slow flight and actually chased my altitude, it wasn’t pretty.  I did multiple turns and straight and level until it was respectable and we were both satisfied with my performance.

Next up an ILS approach by hand. Despite setting up for vectors the change was to fly direct LADIE. I briefed the plate and since this was ‘vectors’ I advised no procedure turn and instead turned left on the final approach course at altitude. I needed to be on altitude and turn to course since I was now inbound at the FAF. I had added a notch of flaps and dropped the gear as I approached LADIE. Once crossing I started to let down for the DH of 347. At two miles out I started my missed to clear the airport environment. Tim wanted to go at five hundred. I regrouped, recovered, and back on glideslope. Going missed I asked where to and he said what if I was going to fly the published missed. I hit the suspend button and the flight path came alive. I’m now wondering if I briefed the miss out loud. With that we headed out for additional much needed air work.

On my return to the airport we had talked about using the last notch of flaps and that it makes going around exciting. I was right on the money landing and added that last notch of flaps.  Perfect serve, Tim wanted a go around. Cram, climb, clean, and cool was my call and I flowed along. As I started the climb I immediately took out that last notch of flaps, then gear, and then the last two notches as I confirmed a good positive rate. I had the cowl flaps open for landing so cool was taken care of. 

One more lap in the pattern, a nice landing and then taxi back to Big Sky.  We sat and chatted a bit more then switched to former employer airport updates. I enjoyed my flight time and catching up with Tim. I need to keep up on the slow flight and air work a bit more often.

I launched for home and enjoyed the flight at 6.5 back across the Delaware Bay. I flew along the coast, eventually entering a left base for runway one-four. My flight review is in the log and I’m good to go for two more years. Next up my medical in September.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Sneak Peek, OC Airshow from KOXB


I made a slow, really long drive to the airport today.  I did not even think about beach seasonal traffic coming into town or the airshow traffic. What typically takes me ten minutes took just shy of forty minutes. What was I thinking?

When I did arrive the ramp was full of GA planes and the tie down row parallel to the main taxiway was also full. The main ramp area at the terminal was blocked off for show aircraft, six Geico SNJ-2's, two UH-72A Lakota's and refueling for the L39 jet. I passed the Lucas Oil Pitts in the hangar just a few up from me and a P51 Mustang in front of hangar row D.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Breakfast with Charles at Cape May NJ

On the way to Cape May...

Since I didn't get out on Saturday for the BAC Fly-In to Sussex NJ I really wanted to get some fly time today.  Charles and I texted back and forth planning to meet up with our brides in Cape May NJ for breakfast at the Flight Deck Diner. 

Mary has been battling a sinus headache for two days and woke up feeling a little better but decided not to fly. I think that's a good call since I was needing a bit higher altitude having to cross the Delaware Bay. After swapping text messages, Charles’s bride also backed out. It was the boys day to fly!

I was in the air by 9:15ish and made a beeline for Cape Henlopen. I crossed the Bay at seven thousand three hundred feet and let down for Cape May about half way across the 11 mile salt water span. I did overfly two Ferry's crossing closer to the NJ side. I passed over the Cape May light house and followed the coast a short distance north before turning for a long left down wind for runway one-nine. I still needed to loose some altitude.
I made a nice landing and taxied for the ramp at the restaurant, adjacent to the operations building. Once shut down I managed to shoot a short video of Charles and his Piper Warrior 160 pulling up and shutting down. 

The restaurant was packed, every seat in the lobby filled with a body...maybe Cambridge was a better call.  Our wait wasn’t too bad, and we got a table instead of the counter seats we had asked for, thinking it would speed things up. 

Charles and I each had an omelette with toast and I added bacon. There has to be a meat with breakfast. Once finished we settled up the bill and headed out to the ramp. Traffic was picking up and we enjoyed hanging out at the planes and chatting with a few of the pilots. 

We each climbed aboard our rides and got the fans turning. The two pilots we were chatting with were first to taxi out, Charles followed and then I fell in line.  The young pilot that was farther down the flight line taxied out behind me.  The conga line made its way to runway one-nine and one by one we turned at an angle and each did our run up. Since I had to cross the Bay I circled over the Cape May ferry terminal prior to going feet wet.

Once at altitude I made the crossing and eventually let down for home.  The jump plane was making calls counting down to dropping the meat bombs as the airport activity was picking up. 
I extended my down wind and a Cessna circled south of the airport. A Bonanza was entering the down wind and a Cirrus was heading in from the north. I turned base and final and watched the first chute circle down towards midfield. Once the first jumper was down I called about a two mile final and landed long. There was a second chute that jumped well after the first and they were circling over the midfield infield area. I didn’t want to taxi off the runway where they were landing so I taxied full length before clearing.  The conga line of planes made their way in behind me. It was busy!

Monday, June 07, 2021

Return Visit to the Shop

I got a call from the shop on Friday asking if I could bring 3 Tango Charlie back in for a quick check with regard to the fuel pump.  Apparently while cleaning the screen and replacing the O ring on Bill's Super Commander the guys noticed another O ring in the same container. The concern was they may have placed a similar O ring in my plane but not the correct one. There were no leaks from my pump in either of my last two flights and there was no leak during the run up leak test to complete the annual.  Making the trip to confirm the O ring part is correct is a no brainer.

I was at the airport at 8am and mounted cameras and following my detailed pre-flight got the fan turning around 8:30.  It's just a short hop back to KGED, Delaware Coastal and fifteen minutes after launch I was shutting down in front of the shop hangar door. 

As I noted the hop was quick but not without some concern as I was reporting short final. I had been making my calls at ten, five, down wind, base and final. On short final I heard a call for a plane landing on two-eight. I asked for its position multiple times with no response. I did not have any traffic on ADS-B. LAHSO is now in full on mode.  I had to erase the land long thoughts and exiting on the last taxiway in front of the shop for getting stopped, and now clear prior to run way two eight. I pulled the remaining power early and made a nice landing, exiting at the first taxiway across from the restaurant at the terminal.  Op's said they thought that plane may have been at Millville, KMIV, landing on their R/W 28.

Op's was correct.  After watching and listening to the video I clearly heard the aircraft give the airport landing as Millville, at least three times. Talk about a brain fart. I was busy getting configured to land and it just didn't register.
I shut down at the hangar and the guys quickly removed the top and bottom cowls and got right to work. With the O removed it was checked and confirmed it was the correct part. Another new O ring was installed and 3 Tango Charlie was buttoned up with a clean bill of health.

Let's get home

I taxied out for runway two-two and launched for home.  Power pulled back and cruising along at fifteen hundred feet, still warm but at 75 degrees it was better then 90 on the ground. I landed on runway one-four with a seven knot crosswind and taxied clear.

I have two flights coming up, both for the Beech Aero Club. On June 12th we are meeting up at KFWN, Sussex NJ and on the 19th we are meeting up at N81, Hammonton, NJ. It's good to be back flying!

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Quick Flight, and Approach (VFR)


A quick flight this morning to check systems and reacquaint myself with my Stec 60-2 autopilot. I launched from Ocean City, Runway two-zero, and climbed to the west. With some button pushing I set up for the RNAV GPS 14 approach, direct PFAIR, back into KOXB. 

It's been six weeks since I last flew, not counting the short hop home from annual. It felt good to chug and plug on the Garmin 480 and get a bit of autopilot buttonology while still aviating. 3 Tango Charlie is ready to go and Mary and I are looking forward to our next adventure.