Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Year in Review

By The Numbers:

Total Time     1504.5
ASEL 2022        52.9
Complex          51.3/232.9
Cross Country    44.0/942.6
IMC               1.5/40.5

New Airports: (2)

KLUL - Hessler-Noble Field, Laurel MS
KGYH - Donaldson Field, Greenville SC

Flights of Note:

Mary and I decided we needed some warm temps and quiet beach time so we packed up and headed south to Vero Beach, FL. Loved Vero, great food, no traffic, very quiet and relaxing.  We already made reservations for March of 2023.
Mary and her friend Jen
Mary and I made the short hop to St. Michaels MD to meet with our friends Les and Nahia from the Beech Aero Club. We had a fun time and good eats at Limoncello.
This trip has been on our bucket list.  Finally, on the third attempt we were able to make the flight. Absolutely beautiful weather all week with plenty of exploration and good eats along the way. 
Group shot with Erin's Mom, Karen
Nags Head has been one of our favorite places to visit over the years. Our last get-away was back in 2016. Mary and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and day trip to Manteo and Nags Head. Great flight, and fun time exploring the Roanoke Island Festival Park. 
Mary and I decided we would take in a show at the Ferguson Center in Newport News, VA. It was our 18th wedding anniversary and we just wanted to get-away and enjoy an evening out.  WE had an excellent dinner and the show did not disappoint. I also broke 1500 hours!!

What’s in store for 2023? 

The same as every pilot, dreams of many more hours. The airplane is good, no updates on the horizon.

Mary and I plan on heading back to Vero Beach in March for a week vacation in warmer temps. This trip I hope to catch up with my brother and the ladies are planning a tour of the Historic Tuckahoe Mansion of the Coca-Cola heiress Anne Bates Leach.
A return to Boston is in the works to visit family and friends some time in the Spring. As for the remainder of the year there is nothing solid, yet. We do have some travels in the works but the details still have to be worked out.
It does look like we will attend Oshkosh, although not for Airventure, instead, the Annual BAC Fest. Since we'll be in the area we'll some how make an overnight or two at Mackinac Island and visit our friend Jeff and his family in Michigan. 

Mary and I wish all our readers a safe and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Complete The Mission

A few weeks ago Mary and I decided to drive to Wilmington Delaware so we could visit family for the holidays and add in a side trip to Media Pa for me to complete the Pennsylvania permit process. We ended up driving since we canceled our two night stay at our favorite, the Montchanin Inn. 

The original planned visit was cut short due to our Ziva girl receiving treatments for her doggie version of the human ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease. We did not want the sitter to have to deal with Z in case she took a turn for the worse.  Some have asked why we didn't fly. We saved a rental car fee and Mary's GLC 300 gets 28 MPG, that's way cheaper then flying and renting.

Todays Mission Plan

Fly to Wilmington, KILG, and secure the courtesy car (Van) from FlyAdvanced for another trip to the Media Courthouse and retrieve my plastic 5 year permit. 

We took care of the new pup, Lucy, and the two cats. Everyone was secure (Lucy in a crate) and cats out and about. I had the pre-heats on overnight so 3 Tango Charlie was ready to go. It's been awhile since I started after an overnight preheat so I had to rethink the process. I did a regular cold start and I flooded the engine. After a series of pops and misfires 3 Tango Charlie finally came to life. I had to crank in the shutdown (lean) setting. Mary just looked at me, I figured I would see how the run up goes.

Once the idle was set and mixture now happy 3 TC purred right along. The run-up was perfect and we launched from runway two-zero. It really felt good getting back in the air. 

The flight north was forty minutes and I was directed for a straight in runway one upon arriving at ILG. I did a one eighty on the runway and taxied for FlyAdvanced shutting down in front of the main hangar. Mary secured the courtesy van while I ordered ten gallons of 100LL at $7.93 a gallon. Yikes!

The drive wasn't too bad until we hit the blue route RT 476, then it was a parking lot until our exit. I pulled the van over to the curb on a side street at the Courthouse then Mary and I did the fire drill routine switching seats, but I didn't get back in the van. I walked up to the courthouse, entered, emptied my pockets and still set off the alarms. Who didn't see that coming. I got the body wand and was free to go, not too bad after all. I handed over my letter and receipt to the very nice lady at the window and she went to get my permit. Easy peasy, I'm headed out of the building. 

Mary picked me up on the same corner and we switched seats so I could drive back to KILG. A lady pulled up next to us and said you can’t park there, I said relax, we're switching seats, and she drove off.  When I got in Mary said what is she the meter maid...I love my bride. 

I made a quick stop to top off the courtesy van and my bride grabbed us each a cold drink at Wawa. Once I parked the van (land yacht) we settled up the fuel bill and headed for home. 
When we arrived the house was still intact, Miss Lucy was still in her crate, and the little princess did not leave any "gifts".  Not bad for only ten weeks old.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Saying Goodbye to our Ziva

Sadly, Mary and I had to say goodbye to our baby girl, Ziva Diva. Ziva was 9.5 and was stricken with degenerative myopathy the canine version of ALS in humans.

Thanks to Lisa and Greg who provided her Magna wave treatments that gave her relief for three weeks. Unfortunately this disease has no cure and can advanced rapidly as it did with our girl.

We were overwhelmed with the staff at VCA Vet clinic. The techs that had always made a fuss over our girl all came in and sat with us and Z. One of the techs got a call that we were bringing Z in and came to join us on her day off.

Ziva was finally allowed some Hersey kisses and after playing with the first one determined they did taste good and ate at least three or four. When all the techs gathered Z wagged her tail for the first time today, she was happy.

Hopefully our Roxie girl and Maggie will be there to welcome her, I told her to watch out for her buddies Inky, Jake, and George.

We will miss her, and the house immediately felt empty when we came home with no happy face and tail wagging to great us. Tomorrow will be another day of firsts. I’ll miss that wet nose poking under the covers to let me know it’s time to get her breakfast ready.
Rest easy princess, we love you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

I'm Happy my Garmin 480 Videos Help

I received an email from a fellow pilot and Garmin 480 user early this morning. I was happy to hear the video playlist is helping pilots get a handle on the features of this legacy unit.  The email was very detailed including screenshots to explain the issue with the 480 SIM.  

Of course when I got up to take care of the Ziva princess and those pesky cats, who knocked over the Christmas tree, I cleaned up and then and went straight to the home office. 

I fired up the SIM to recreate the issue presented in the email. The SIM will not execute a new destination from the direct menu.  After a few tries I realized that just starting the SIM without selecting some flight will not simulate the aircraft flying.  Hmmm...ok, I picked the home airport in the email as the origin and destination which immediately gets the sim into flight mode.  Once in flight mode a selection of Destination on the Direct menu and then Database is used to select a new airport. Once the new airport was entered a quick check of the Map screen showed the magenta course line to that airport, perfect! Now to make sure the stars are aligned. I selected Procedure and the new airport was listed and all procedures were available.

I really appreciate the feedback and love working through new issues. Every challenge I get helps me shed the rust and keep me proficient.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Breakfast with the New Garden Crew

Picture by Jon Martin
I received a text from Charles G last night asking if I wanted to meet up for breakfast at Cape May/Wildwood, NJ (KWWD). Initially I said yes, then went and looked at temps for the morning, it was going to be chilly. 

I turned on the preheats overnight around 3 am and settled back in for a few more hours of sleep. At 6:15 I let Ziva out and got her fed then checked NOTAM's and weather for the flight across the Delaware Bay. I almost backed out but I know I need to get in the air.

I taxied out for runway two zero with a ninety degree mild to no crosswind and launched. I decided on five thousand five hundred to cross the Bay and of course I forgot my life vest safely stored in the baggage area. 
I had 30 to 34 knot head winds across the nose for the north leg to Cape May. I was seeing 110 knots and Charles in his Cherokee 140 with the 150 HP upgrade was cruising along at 160 heading south east to WWD. I would have the laugh heading home while the New Garden bunch bucked the headwinds going home. 

Lunch was very good and so was the service at the Flight Deck Diner located in the airport terminal. We finished up dividing the bill then all of us headed out to our planes. I was number five for departure and pointed for the Cape May light house to circle and climb to altitude to cross the bay. 
My new hangar neighbor was headed in and said he would follow me in for runway two. There was a plane holding short waiting to back taxi for two also. Once I landed, the Cessna waiting and I coordinated a plan for him to come out and taxi by so I could exit the runway and be clear. Everything worked out great and my ramp neighbor extended so the Cessna that taxied by me could depart. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

One Approach, Lunch, Then a Show

I posted on Facebook for a potential breakfast flight to Cambridge, KCGE.  I also sent my friend and fellow pilot Charles G a private message.  Charles was in Ocean City for business and flew in the night before.

Photo by Charles Graef - OCMD 
Once I’m driving I don’t do text but will use the hands free phone. Charles texted and was going to meet me at the airport since he was preheating his plane for the ride home, unfortunately I never saw the text.  As I came through the gate and rounded the hangars I saw somebody standing on the ramp at the end of the F hangar building, it was Charles. 

3 Tango Charlie was ready to go since I turned the preheats on at 5am. Once I finished the preflight Charles and I climbed aboard and headed for runway two-zero.  I completed the run up and back taxied for runway two. 

We launched and headed west for Cambridge. I had to check the R4006 restricted area floor and read thirty five hundred feet, unfortunately my brain didn’t engage and I climbed for three point five.  Charles brought it to my attention that I needed to be below 3.5 so I descended back to three thousand and continued with that pilot stuff.

I did put the foggles on and Charles acted as my safety pilot to knock out one approach, the RNAV GPS 34. Traffic was landing on one six so my plan was a low approach then step to the right and enter the left down wind for one six. After the procedure turn and then heading for the final approach fix there was no traffic so I announced landing three four.  I made a nice landing and taxied for the ramp. 

We missed the breakfast cut off time so lunch it was.  Charles and I each had a BLT and a cup of soup. The soup hit the spot on this chilly day. Temps at our cruise altitude was below freezing, -3c if I remember. 

Once lunch was finished we saddled up for the return to ocean city.  At least going east we had the tailwind pushing us along  at 145 plus knots.  I set up for runway two and entered on a left base finishing up the day with another nice landing. 

Before pushing 3 TC in the hangar I took Charles up to the terminal where his plane was plugged in for preheat. I headed back to my hangar, got 3TC tucked in the nest, then headed home.  

The Show

Mary and I had plans to see Bill Engvall's farewell tour at the Ocean City convention center. I got showered and dressed, Mary was just finishing getting dressed when I walked in. My lovely bride made baked ziti for dinner and the house smelled fantastic. We ate, secured the zoo critters, and headed out an hour early for the show. We both wanted good parking, which we aced, and made the leisurely stroll to the check in. The show was really funny, and as Bill Engvall closes in on 65 we could relate to many of the stories he shared about growing up and now getting older. He did finish with his bread and butter “here’s your sign” routine, good stuff.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Veterans Day


History of Veterans Day
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans' service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954.

Thank-you to those who have served and to those who stand watch today. Thank-You for the very freedom you provide me every day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Newport News for our Anniversary

Mary and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary today!  Wow, my bride has put up with me all that time, amazing. I love you Mary.

As noted in my last post I worked through the numbers for our short hop to Newport News, VA. The numbers say drive the GLC300 Benz, the life is short attitude says to fly the plane. Mary and I decided to hell with the rental costs and use the plane to save time and make the trip enjoyable. 

I logged on to Enterprise, the FBO page and secured an intermediate SUV for one day at $103. Our ride will be waiting at Rick Aviation once we arrive.  

The weather is looking perfect for our flights to and from. The front that managed to push its way off the coast should provide smooth rides and a good view over the peninsula.

Departure Time

We’re off around 9:45,VFR, and heading for the first fix on my flight plan.  Upon checking in with Patuxent I asked to pick up my clearance to Newport News, PHF. I was cleared to six thousand direct Snowhill (SWL) then as filed. 
I climbed through a layer and rode along on top with scattered below us for a short distance. The layer closed up and we were plowing along through the IMC until letting down for Newport News. 
Patuxent and Norfolk approach were both excellent today. Eventually Norfolk handed me off to the tower after pointing me direct HASBA and I confirmed I had ATIS Bravo. I was set up for the ILS 25 and would suspend the procedure turn for a straight in.  Approach also cleared me for the visual before switching to the tower. 
I checked in with the tower, visual two five, and was cleared to land. I was pointed right at the airport and could see the light brown patch clearing but not the runway surface through the haze. As the runway view cleared I set up to land. Winds were just off centerline and calm. A made a very nice landing and taxied for Rick Aviation. Mary secured our rental and I supervised our fuel order and arranged for a hangar overnight. 
It was a short drive to the Hampton Inn at Oyster Point, maybe six minutes. I checked us in and then we went out for a very light lunch and a fountain soda for the bride. 
We had some time to relax before getting ready for dinner. Susan came over to our hotel suite and we had fun catching up for a few hours. 

The plan is for dinner at Steak & Tonic. This place has quite the menu, including Japanese Wagyu beef, Prime beef, Elk, Ostrich, Bison, Camel, and Kangaroo. I’ll stick to the good ole US raised prime beef, thank you. FYI this dining experience is on the high end $$$.
Dinner was excellent. We had a group of seven, I was surrounded by five lovely ladies and one beautiful bride. We all had a fun time.
It was a short ride to the Ferguson center, arriving early in time to get to our seats and settle in for the show. Our seats were very good with the only issue being the third and fourth in from the isle. It was a game of musical chairs as everyone filed in with farthest seats in the row the last to arrive as the show started. 
Thankfully it was a short ride back to the hotel after making our way out of the Ferguson Center parking garage. We said our goodbyes to Susan and headed up to our room. Mary and I were both tired after a long day of flying, dining, and the show. 

The Return Home

I filed last night and did my NOTAM and weather follow up this morning. It looks like +20 knot headwinds heading north. At least the winds are forecast straight down the runways at PHF and OXB. I decided on a VFR flight north and got a squawk from Newport ground for flight following. No videos of the flight home, Mary and I just wanted to the enjoy our ride home together.

It was a fun flight home this morning. We had a pair of Grumman E-2 Hawkeyes pass by our right side once we crossed the bay, and then as we passed Wallops a NASA C-130 passed right to left under the nose.  Headwinds the whole way from 29 high to 20 knots steady. It was a  smooth ride until we let down for Ocean City. It wasn’t the worst ride but it was pretty bumpy. I made a really nice landing and taxied for the hangar. We’re home. 

Fun overnight anniversary celebration with good friends, good food, fun entertainment, and the love of my life.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Airport is Open! Flight Planning

Mary and I are anxious to get back in the air now that at least one runway (2-20) is open at Ocean City, KOXB. FYI, runway 14-32 is scheduled to reopen on December 12th.
The plan is to make the short flight to Newport News, Virginia and spend one night at the Hampton Inn. We will meet up with Mary's life long friend Susan for dinner and then a show at the Ferguson Center. Susan is actually coming to our home for a few days later this week.

Costs...Lets do a quick calculation. The Hampton room cost is $136 a night. Tickets for the show $174 for best seating. 3 Tango Charlie is already fueled with 43 gallons still on board after our return from Nags Head and cheap 100LL. 

Rental cars...Always the fun part of any trip.
Hertz Mid-size SUV - @ $107
Enterprise Mid-size SUV - $93

The drive is three hours each way (320 round trip)and Mary's SUV averages around 28 MPG on the highway. The flight time is 48 minutes each way burning about 20 gallons ($125) total at $6.24 /Gal purchased KMQI last month. 

The numbers say drive Mary's Benz. I haven't decided as of today, I'm still watching weather. I'll run all the numbers one more time the make the decision on fly vs ground pound.

The 10 day forecast for the trip presents the following. I'll take a closer look this weekend on all my favorite aviation weather sites and then decide on a go/no-go in case we fly.

About The Show

Inspired by the beloved films, the romantic and adventure-filled new musical ANASTASIA is on a journey to Newport News at last! From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing con man and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love  and family. ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) based on original direction by Tony Award® winner Darko Tresnjak with choreography by Peggy Hickey and tour direction by Sarah Hartmann.