Saturday, June 29, 2024

Flight to the Valley

I know for many years it was an annual event but lately It's been hit or miss.  Today was too beautiful a day not to fly, so we loaded up some gardening tools and headed north. 

We were at the airport early and headed out to runway two around 8am. I typically go through my emergency brief but with Mary on board decided to keep some of it with the inside voice, only because the thought hit me too late. 
The run up was good to go and after waiting for a school cessna and a transient Mooney we were ready to go. I powered up and started my roll, but 3 Tango Charlie felt off, then a slight vibration from the right side. Abort Abort!! I went immediately on the brakes and taxied off. I returned to the hangar and shut down wanting to give everything a look. I could smell brakes on the right/co-pilot side and the new rotor looked like it got hot. Looked as in I saw a slight discoloration on the rotor compared to the right side. I took a bottle of water and poured it over the right side, it was hot. When the steam stopped I did the same to the left side, it was fine. 

I decided to do a high speed taxi and give it a test. Everything felt normal and I had good brakes. We agreed to give the take off another go. I was ready to abort if necessary but 3 Tango Charlie made great power and no vibration. The airspeed also looked great. We were in the air!
The flight north was smooth but I had to climb to remain clear of clouds as we made our way north. I climbed to 8.5 and rode along on top until Philly wanted to hand me off. I was VFR decided not to open the IFR flight plan. My choice was New York approach or Allentown but I would have to descend for the Allentown switch. 
I took Allentown and descended to 4.5, now not a cloud in the sky. Allentown handed me off to Wilkes Barre Approach and then in turn over to the tower and vectors for runway four. I made a nice landing and taxied for the FBO, Aviation Technologies, Inc. 
Mary secured the courtesy car/SUV and I monitored the fueling. The plan was to take the cross valley over to Forty Fort and take care of my parents cemetery plot. We could not find mulch anywhere so I used the remaining soil from the flowers since it was dark and had the fertilizer beads mixed in. Thankfully we remembered water, two gallons, and gave all the flowers a good drink, along with both aunt and uncles buried on either side of my parents.

The cemetery was a mess, branches down and grass topping my knees. Mary met a lady that had hired a husband and wife crew to cut the grass around all her family plots. I got a price and paid the couple to do the three graves that we attended to. I said hello to the lady that had mentioned to MAry she knew my cousin Dom, his parents are buried alongside my parents. I overheard her talking on her phone and she mentioned Louis, so I asked, are you Barbra?  These two were sisters that lived just down the road from my cousin and they used to baby sit him.  She could not believe it was me nor I her. When we left I gave her a hug and said how good it felt to meet someone from my past, it was heartwarming for sure. We traded numbers and then headed back to the airport.
I filed and opened my flight plan for the ride home. The flight was a bit bumpy until south of Allentown but CAVU all the way. When Allentown handed me off to Philly I got "vectors for traffic" which translated to bug smasher keep clear of my busy Bravo. I made a nice landing back home at Ocean City and tucked 3 Tango Charlie into the hangar. 


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