Monday, January 30, 2023

Oil Change Prep


I was lazy this past Saturday and just pushed 3 Tango Charlie back in the hangar following my flight. I should have set up to drain the oil like I had planed. So this morning I headed over to the hangar and set up to drain the oil. It's going to need a day or two to drain so I'll head back to finish up later this week. I did manage to find a filter without much searching, unlike many other pilots posting about no filters. The Champion filter was $57 and the shipping $25. Yep, I typed that correctly $25, what a rip.

I hope to video the oil change and I'll show an example of the log book entry I use to document the work.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Katie's Farewell Fly-In

The North East Flyers posted the first event of 2023, a farewell fly-in to Cambridge (KCGE), at Katie's restaurant. Katie's released a statement informing the public that she will be closing the doors as of January 31st.

Mary and I have been going to Kays/Katie's since October of 2007. Over the years I have met up with fellow pilots and friends, along with the Beech Aero Club and the North East Flyers groups. Looking back through my blog Mary and I even took my sister and her husband for breakfast there. 
Photo by Bob Ciotti

I will certainly miss this short hop for good eats and service. On field restaurants are far and few between and the really good ones even more scarce. 

Todays flight was smooth despite 20 knot headwinds going west. My hangar neighbor Chet accepted my invitation via text last night so he road right seat.
When we landed and taxied in and the front line of the ramp was full so I took the third spot on the back line right next to Bob C's Cessna 172. Katie's was crowded as pilots and the locals want to say goodbye and enjoy a last meal. 
We were quickly seated but had a bit of a wait to order. It really didn't matter, the three of us sat and chatted and I soaked up the buzz of the crowd and my surroundings. Yes, another restaurant may come in, but it's not the same as Mary's and my favorite go to. Breakfast did not disappoint and the crowd had picked up as we were walking out.  

Ramp time

Bob, Chet and I spent a good bit of time on the ramp watching all the traffic taking off and landing. We all had a pucker moment when a plane on short final had a CAP Cessna roll out on the runway and takeoff right in front him. Since the plane taxied in and parked just a few spots up from me I had to go ask what happened. The pilot, a young man, flying in from the west side of the Bay, said that the CAP Cessna had asked how far out he was. IMO, obviously he didn't look out the window or if he did he needs glasses. The pilot responded one mile final and with that the CAP plane said I'm taking off and rolled across the hold short line. The CAP plane was wheels up as the plane on final landed. 
Our flight home was smooth as we enjoyed a 14 knot tail wind. I set up to cross midfield and enter the left downwind for runway two-zero. I made a very nice landing and road a wheelie almost a thousand feet. I tucked 3 Tango Charlie in the hangar, taking a pass on draining the oil for a change so I'll go back next week either fly, run up, or use the sump heater before I do the change. 

A few pictures over the years...

Beech Aero Club

Bev, Frank, Jeff, and me

Jeff's Saratoga, a surprise find that day.

Me and Jeff

Saturday, January 07, 2023

First Flight 2023

We all hear about New Year’s resolutions and I typically don’t partake in the ritual so let’s just say I am going to work hard at flying once a week in this new year. 

Todays first flight of the new year is to a favorite breakfast spot, Katie’s at the Airport, located in the Cambridge airport terminal. I posted on the Pilots of America (POA) forum and Allen decided to join me.  Time to meet up, 0900.  The weather was looking good, and I had enough fuel on board for the hop. 

With a new puppy in the house I needed some additional time so that’s the reason for 9am vs the original planned 8am meet time. Mary got up early to help out so I could get dressed and pack my camera bag  before bugging out. 

I got the fan turning on 3 Tango Charlie after an overnight preheat. I learned my lesson and went with no pump and just opened up the mixture to rich, slowly leaning once cranking. Best practice is to have warm oil and I wait until at least 120 degrees before performing a run up. 

Runway three-two was open with new paving, lights, and striping.  The take off roll was smooth, and I was airborne at my usual point. I climbed to three thousand and enjoyed the ride. Cambridge was fairly quiet, landing on three-four and securing 3 Tango Charlie at the third spot from the terminal on the ramp. 

Allen and his friend Eric were already seated so after intros we ordered. Good eats and service were followed by plenty of airplane and retirement talk. When business picked up we surrendered our table and headed out to our rides. I had to square up my fuel bill for 27 gallons and then out to preflight. 

Allen filed for the ride back to Frederick and I planned on a VFR ride home to OCMD. I finished my run up and taxied out, Allen had to wait for his clearance. As I departed on the downwind I watched Allen's Archer climb away from the runway, wishing them a safe flight.

I monitored Patuxent approach just like this mornings flight west, but this trip I enjoyed the tailwind. Traffic was picking up and there were three of us landing at OXB. A Cessna was on final as I entered the left down wind for three-two. The second a Piper flying up the coast continued right in calling final as I watched him below pattern altitude at my one o’clock. What a dip…stick! I kept my mouth shut and made a 360 to let him cross in front of me on “base”. Sometimes it’s best to just be smart and safe. Giving that pilot crap on the radio wouldn’t have done any good and being safe instead of right but dead seemed way more appealing. I’m looking forward to next weeks flight!