Thursday, August 24, 2023

Showing the Commander

I have been swapping text messages with a pilot located in New Jersey who is interested in the Commander Aircraft. Lester currently owns a Mooney but is looking for a bit more comfort now flying in retirement. I should note he recently had a total hip replacement and by recent I mean in the last two months. I have to say he gets around really well and I'm sure him not waiting forever to have it done helped his recovery. Of course my "dislike" for hospitals and having to be at the point of unable to walk didn't help my muscle mass. I am who I am...and have paid the price for my hard headed ways.
Lester and his son Joseph met me at Hammonton NJ, N81. It was a smooth flight across the Delaware Bay at five thousand five hundred passing just west of the Atlantic City Class Charlie. I floated a bit on landing but held off a nice wheelie, although not as long as my landings of late.
The three of us sat and enjoyed breakfast, talking airplanes and work history. Once we finished up Lester and I headed out to fly so he could test the fit and feel of the Commander 112A. I brought along a step stool that Mary and I use and it helped him climb aboard. My only complaint about the Commander is how high the step is to get in.
I taxied back out to runway three and completed my run-up then launched for a short flight. We left Hammonton and pointed towards Millville (KMIV) then to the practice area north west of Union lake. Les commented that the plane trimmed out nice, and handled very well. I said but the Mooney has a lot more snap to it, he agreed. We knocked out some steep turns and then made our way back to Hammonton. The mid-day heat was now starting to make for a bumpy ride.
Once I landed we sat and chatted a bit more then I headed for home. I knew once I had to put the plane away I was going to be soaked in sweat and tired. We have dinner plans tonight so a quick shower and some R&R before we have to leave should recharge me. 
The flight home was smooth cruising along at six thousand five hundred and 145 knots. Once midway across the Delaware Bay I made a slow and steady descent to fly just west of the local beaches. People were out worshiping the sun, it looked like ants at a picnic. 
I let down for two thousand and swapped calls with an inbound King Air. This King Air is based at OXB and the pilot is a really nice guy. I advised I would point to the beach and re-enter on the forty-five for the left down wind runway one-four. As we passed on my extended down wind I turned base and advised number two for the field. The Waco that gives rides fell in line number three and everyone played nice, as it should be.

As I figured, it was hot and I was drenched after cleaning off the bugs and placing all the covers on. I'll come back tomorrow to clean the wind screen, I was cooked. Time to head home.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Garmin 480 - VOR Test Log

I did a quick video on how to access the VOR test log info so you can update your Garmin 480. Since I did it in the hangar it had a bit of glare so I'm taking a few screen shots of the simulation even though it does not let me access the "Test Log" info.

First click on the VOR button 

Next, click on the MENU/ENTER  button

Click on the TEST LOG button

Click on the EDIT button then push the CURSOR knob and rotate the outer and inner knob to fill the the test log fields.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Rubber Ducky

CRISFIELD, Md. - The Worlds largest rubber duck will soon be waddling its way to Crisfield. The town is expecting thousands to come out for the three day visit and the duck is already the talk of the town. At 6 story's tall and around 15 tons, the inflatable rubber duck surpasses the height from peoples condo balconies. The duck is expected to bring residents and tourists from all over.

Mary and I decided we would fly out of Ocean City and cut across the peninsula to the town of Crisfield so we could get a few pictures of the rubber duck. I set up my new camera that shoots in 4k on the tail tie down, and set up my usual over the shoulder cockpit view.

Ocean City was very busy with school planes and jet traffic with all the hoity-toities leaving after the fishing tournament. I guess that's not a fair statement at all so lets push that label to some of the jet pilot crews trying to dictate departures. People are people and if I had the $$ I would be departing the same way.

Once I had the fan turning we taxied out for runway two-zero, the favored runway for the winds at the time. I could have used one-four and had a crosswind component, but I wanted to stay clear of the jets. I was number one for two-zero and had to taxi around from the hold short to pick up clearance delivery and a super secret squawk code thanks to Biden being in town. Once I had the code secure I switched back to CTAF and made my call for departing two zero. One of the jet crew pilots let me know she was trying contact me then let me know they were all trying to contact me and being on with clearance delivery was not an excuse. Hey, I was number one and jets have no priority over bug smashers, this is an uncontrolled field. My response to the pilot giving me crap was, good for you. 

I launched for Crisfield and on climb out contacted Patuxent Approach for flight following. More on the departing jets when we return home.

We came up empty over Crisfield, rubber ducky was a big flat puddle in the parking lot. Well that sucked. I made my turn for Accomack and cut across the bay. I cancelled the flight following with Pax and let down for Accomack. After crossing midfield I entered the left down wind for runway two-one and greased one on.


I secured 3 Tango Charlie and headed in for a courtesy car. I advised I'll take fuel when we get back from breakfast. The courtesy car was a Cadillac Escalade. The ride was nice and in seven miles we were pulling up to Janet's General Store and Café.

Today there was no pretty awnings or comfy benches to rest upon, instead the windows were covered and the place was permanently closed. We were so disappointed. I turned the SUV around and headed back to main street to try and find another place to eat. I'll admit I found a good parking place and from there we saw the Bizzotto's Gallery Café'. We crossed the street and gave it a shot.

Gallery café'? Okay, lets give it a try. The place was very nicely laid out and I like that they kept the original tin ceiling tiles, I just like the old school look.
We were the first in for lunch and of course the service was excellent. Mary ordered veal parmigiana and I ordered the chicken parm. I drank ice tea, have to do the pilot stuff, and Mary had a Pino Noir. Typically Mary doesn't care for a red wine but she really enjoyed this wine with lunch.

My Chicken Parm

Mary's Veal Parm
I'm not a big sauce guy, ate it my whole life, and I forgot to ask for light sauce. I was pleasantly surprised when I ate the pasta, the sauce was very good, perfect taste.  We were both too full for dessert and with that settled the check.  Mary did ask the two ladies sitting close to us if they were locals and they said yes. She asked what happened to Janet's Café. They both spoke up telling Mary that Janet retired and nobody wanted to continue with the business. At least she went out on her terms, we both wish her well in retirement.

The Gallery 

Heading Home

We retraced our steps back across the street but we saw a bakery. Don't be ridiculous, of course we stopped. I went to start the SUV and get the AC on and my bride came back with a half dozen donuts, atta girl.

It's just a seven mile hop back to the airport with a stop to top off the vehicle. Mary and I had a nice time chatting with the line guys, both men were very nice. The one gentleman said "you found the bakery" as we walked in. Yes we did and a new to us restaurant.

I got the fan turning for the short taxi to the pumps for some $6.03 a gallon 100LL. Once I took on my twenty-two gallons Mary climbed aboard and we taxied clear for a Cessna that just came for fuel. 

I launched for home having to pick up flight following and the special code to get back into the outter ring of the TFR.  A quick uneventful hop and we're home. Just pushed the plane in the hangar, she'll get the debug, covers, and battery hook up tomorrow morning.

The Rest of the Story

Back to the Jet crew lady that gave me a hard time. Once I shut down a friend came over to meet us. He had been monitoring the radio when we left and agreed I was number one and the jet pilot was a bit over the top. The line guys had to deal with the mess all morning and at one time they had eleven planes lined up. Guess who was complaining, yep the jet crews. The best part was the jet pilot that was giving me crap had left her phone on the wing of her plane and it fell off and may have been runover by another aircraft leaving the ramp, it was destroyed. Karma's a bitch. I wish I could have been there to take her call looking for the phone. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Lunch Date St. Michaels, MD.

My last flight time was June 19th. Yikes! It's been a minute. With some vacation trips coming up Mary and I thought we should get some air time. I could use the flight time to knock off a bit of rust and Mary wanted to do lunch.

With the Cambridge restaurant closed and Easton's café' temporarily closed we figured on lunch in St. Michaels. We both like Limoncello so I'll surprise my bride with Italian for lunch.

Weather is looking great for our flights so we will be in the air around 11am and make the thirty-five minute hop to Easton (KESN). I'll either grab a courtesy car or a rental to make our way into St. Michaels.

The Flight

It’s a busy morning at OXB with school planes and White Marlin Open traffic. Jets and King Airs are starting to fill up the ramp along with drop and go missions for each of the above mentioned.

I taxied out for three two, completed my run up and launched for Easton. Temps on the ground hovered just over eighty and at three thousand sat at sixty-five. The Easton ATIS called out runway three-three so that would be a straight in. I made a nice landing and taxied to Maryland Air to secure the plane. Courtesy car was first come first serve so we had to do a rental to get into town. It was 8.7 miles each direction to downtown and our place of choice for lunch.


We did not have a reservation at Lemoncello but there were tables open. Mary ordered lobster ravioli and I had risotto with shrimp. The food was very good, and filling. We finished up and decided to check out a few shops then head back to the airport. I returned the rental to the tune of $45 and headed out to the ramp. 

Return Flight Home

We climbed aboard and got the fan turning, it was getting warm. Thankfully we did have a good breeze today that made it somewhat comfortable on the ramp and in the plane prior to start up. I picked up the current ATIS and called for my taxi clearance. Easton ground and tower were busy, and did a great job dealing with school Cessna's and jets.

I was cleared for takeoff and launched for home, making a left turnout for a downwind departure. The ride was smooth and the Patuxent Approach frequency was busy. I saw Mary nod off and quickly ask about traffic call outs. What amazes me is that she can wake up and call out the traffic immediately. 

I made my call at ten miles with intentions to join the left downwind for three-two like all the school planes and Marlin Open jets and twins. As we made our way in I heard a Sundowner call with his intentions, shooting the RNAV GPS 14 approach. I swapped calls as did others to try and let this guy know the active was three-two. I know, it's an uncontrolled field Boo-Hoo, get in line with the others, it's VFR for Gods sake and it's busy. What made it worse he was calling out fixes on the approach, no miles out, no time out, or direction, and nothing on how the approach would terminate. For all I knew he had every intention of landing. Maybe we all should have just turned south, fly away, then re-enter once the Sundowner sorted it all out. Why would anyone shoot approaches at such a busy place and the opposite direction of traffic, clueless. 

I was happy to get the plane on the ground. I will debug tomorrow, plug in the battery minder and secure the covers. 1.1 in the book and a great day with my bride getting us out of the house for the afternoon along with an excellent lunch. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

I’m IFR current once again! I took advantage of the Ocean Aviation sim, and had a very good CFII, Ryan, for todays session.  

I flew three RNAV GPS approaches here at KOXB, an ILS at KSBY, and two RNAV GPS approaches at KLRO Mt. Pleasant South Carolina, in prep for our Charleston vacation.  

I flew the Cessna with the G1000 avionics set up for some extra pressure, too many bells and whistles for me. 😉 I hand flew all six approaches and the sim is still good for the next pilot up.