Monday, October 28, 2013

Flights Like Night and Day

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." Steve Martin
Saturday afternoon, Bob, Turbo, my sister in law, Dana, and I packed up the company Cessna 172 for a flight to Doylestown, PA (KDYL) to visit Bob's side of the family for the weekend. The 172 shot into the sky, loving the cool air. The sun was shining very brightly and there was not a single cloud in the sky, the constant heating of the earth created gusty winds and turbulence for our flight. With the help of a 15 knot tailwind, we made it to our destination in exactly an hour.
Peak gusts were at 25 knots as the in-laws watched me come in for landing. I could almost hear them praying for our safety. It was bumpy and the Cessna was tossed about on final. Luckily the wind was just 10 degrees off the runway, so not much crosswind correction was needed. Maintaining airspeed and a level attitude was my concern. I got slow as we crossed the numbers and the airplane literally hovered for a few seconds before I landed and stopped the aircraft within 20 feet. It wasn't as smooth as it could be, but considering the bumps on final and that we landed before reaching the first taxiway, I was satisfied.
Saturday was for relaxing. Turbo got spoiled by his grandma while we enjoyed many good eats, reading by the fire and a movie. On Sunday we brought Turbo to the Montgomery County Bark Park in North Whales, just 15 minutes from KDYL. It was a nicely shaded bark park and Turbo enjoyed playing with six other dogs and smelling and exploring the perimeter of the fence. The day ended with a fun filled monthly meal with Bob's mother's side of the family.
The flight home Sunday evening was like night and day compared to Saturday's arrival. Well, that's because it was night and day! The sunshine was replaced with darkness, the sun was done heating the earth and the air stood still. We had a headwind and reached a top groundspeed of only 95 knots as we passed well lit highways and airliners from PHL and BWI. I was high on final, using up half the runway in my descent ending with a smooth landing. I love how both flights this weekend were completely different, keeping me on my toes in an aircraft I hadn't flown since May. I left with smiles as usual...and the urge to pee!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

REIL Remarks #21

It's time for another segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!
"Rwy 15 is noise sensitive." PNE, Pennsylvania

Shhh! The runway is trying to sleep!

Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!

Monday, October 21, 2013

$100 Hamburger - Kay's Country Kitchen

As we had dinner plans in DC, Bob and I decided on a shorter $100 hamburger hop Sunday because we could not pass up the beautiful weather we were having. On the way to Cambridge-Dorchester Airport (CGE) we enjoyed clear views showing off the cities of Baltimore and DC. Later, the water below us on the Chespapeake Bay sparkled like diamonds. We burned only 5 gallons on the flight through the SFRA and into CGE for a meal at Kay's Country Kitchen.

As you can read in my Yelp review, you can tell when a restaurant is popular by the wait. Especially an airport restaurant as they are usually pretty mellow. After about a fifteen minute wait we were seated and enjoyed a large and delicious meal and dessert. We watched airplanes come and go, and made fun of the pilots who insisted on showing off by bringing their kneeboards into the restaurant with them.

It was a quick flight, about a half hour each way. I was happy to get in the air again at least for a little bit. I flew the leg back to FDK, however, had to pass over the reigns to Bob to land. I had hurt my shoulder earlier in the weekend and just lifting my arm to reach the throttle was painful. Hopefully I'll heal quickly as we will be taking a Cessna for a short trip soon! Once again, we're always thinking about the next chance to defy gravity. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Busy, Busy Airport!

Yesterday was a busy day full of friends and fun. It started with bringing Turbo (in his airplane costume!) to Howl-o-Wine at a local winery. After an afternoon full of dressed up dogs, we joined some good friends for an amazing (and big!) Turkish dinner downtown.

Usually on lazy nights we decide on watching TV or a movie, but that night we decided on one of my favorite past times...board games! We heated up some mulled cider, added some rum, turned on the fireplace and sat down to play a game Bob's sister got him for Christmas - Busy, Busy Airport!

Busy, Busy Airport is a board game for ages three and up, so I think we were qualified to play it ;) The box of the game is actually the board and you set up the control tower where you toss the dice through. "Locations" for your passengers to fly to are set up around the room so the kids actually have to get up and move around to "fly" their airplanes. Ok, we were lazy. We just placed them near us!

When you roll a 1 or a 2 in the game, it will also have a picture of a passenger or an airplane. Depending on what you roll, you can fly the a passenger to 1 or 2 places, or pick up 1 or 2 passengers. When a passenger is dropped off at a location, a souvenir is picked up. At the end of the game, the points are totaled on the back of the souvenir cards and the person with the most points wins.

It's a great game for kids to play, it doesn't take much strategy as the points a player gains is simply by chance. It is a fun game for you children, they just may need some assistance with assembly. The souvenir pieces are pretty flimsy, but the rest of the items are made out of rugged cardboard. I really liked that there are slots in the planes to put your passengers in and it's set up so they look like they are looking out the window. The plane I chose had a broken cargo door and a bandage on the wing-uhoh!

Oh, in case you were wondering, I won :o)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Flying The Ford Tri Motor and Landing On Roads

Episode 58 is here for your listening pleasure and the usual group of aviation trainees were in the house; Len, Carl, Victoria, and Rick. Sean tried to dial in from the one of those iconic red phone booths while on vacation in England but we couldn’t keep the connection, so the show went on.
Today, Victoria shares her story of a recent flight in the Ford Tri Motor around Frederick, MD while accompanyied by Turbo the Flying Dog. We understand it was quite a thrilling experience and we talk about all things Tri Motor as a result including how you too can catch a ride in this historical flying machine. Following that, Len talks quickly about a recent forced landing on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago after an airplane made an emergency landing in the city.
Also check out the announcements and Picks of the Week for this episode. Now let’s get down and dirty!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Girls will be Girls!

Yeah!!! The biggest aviation girl party on the planet is coming soon. Get ready. March 3-9, 2014

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Flight Rocked

A not so lovely cold front decided to ruin our plans to fly to upper Michigan to visit my grandmother for a long weekend. We were looking forward to visiting family and for a fun flight and since the front wouldn't be hitting out East for a few days, so we decided to fulfill our flying plans for the weekend, albeit a different location. So, we decided to hike and camp in the Poconos and check out a bunch of rocks. Yes, rocks.

Our destination airport was Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (KAVP). The just under an hour flight was peaceful and offered a delightful sunset. Upon calling Wilkes-Barre Approach we had some trouble spotting the airport, as we got closer all we could really see was the tower and beacon, and soon the runway that was not in use. Eventually we were lined up with runway 22, the lights were very omni-directional which made it a bit of an extra challenge while landing at night at an unfamiliar airport. We also saw lightening in the distance, approach said it was just 15 miles to the north, heavy rain and moving south. Upon landing we were greeted by very friendly lineman at the FBO. While Bob picked up the rental car (only $17 at the terminal!) I unpacked and covered up the plane. Well, attempted to. The storm was coming in quick and I found myself caught within the cover more than I had the cover on the plane due to the wind.

As we drove into Scranton, the rain began to fall but teetered out by the time we checked into the hotel and got some pizza. While parking, we were pleasantly surprised by an excellent fireworks show set off by the courthouse. We enjoyed the show before taking our pizza back to the hotel. I was really surprised how well Turbo did with the fireworks! If you're looking for a place to stay in the area that is dog friendly, the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center was great.

We awoke in the morning ready for a day of hiking and a night of camping. Hickory Run State Park is just under a 45 minute drive from KAVP and has camping available. Bob had camped and hiked there when he was in Scouts, so I was exited to join Bob in reliving some memories. 

Our first hike of the day was the 2 mile Shades of Death Trail, one of the most strenuous in the park. Interesting name, right? That was the sole reason I clicked on this trail while doing research on what to hike at the park. The hike got its name from the early settlers in the area but is actually full of beauty to include a stream and several waterfalls (natural and man-made). If you are a frequent hiker, you'll have no problem with this hike. It's more rugged then strenuous in my opinion.

Next up was the hike Bob did as a kid, Boulder Field. It's a four mile drive down the road from the park office. The park also labels this as a more difficult hike, but it's pretty easy and level all the way through. It's a total of 7 miles there and back. It starts through a beautiful field and the rest is through a wide and wooded forest. 3.5 miles into the hike, the woods suddenly stop. We were greeted by Boulder Field. 

1,800 feet long and 400 feet wide, Boulder Field is exactly what it sounds like, a field of boulders and rocks...10 feet deep! During the ice age, the area was solid bedrock and a glacier nearby came close to it but did not push it all away. The nearby glacier caused a freeze/thaw disturbance in the bedrock that eventually caused it to crack. Over time, it deteriorated and shifted down an incline, creating Boulder Field.

It was quite an experience walking across this "pile of rocks" and required quite a bit of balance. Turbo was wiggly as well at first, but soon mastered it and did better than us with four legs! Despite a secluded hike, many people were walking about the rocks, most with arms out and "oooo" and "ahhh"s could be heard accompanied by giggles as they started to lose balance. There is a parking lot across from where we exited on our hike for those who come to just see the field without the hike.

After 9 miles of hiking in a rare October heat, we set up camp and started a fire to cook our hot dogs and beans and to roast marshmallows. The stars eventually became covered by clouds and once inside the tent, we drifted to a much earned sleep with rain gently falling outside. In the morning we'd be flying back from a weekend of our favorite things, flying, fireworks, hiking, camping and time together. Oh, and rocks!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let's Put on the Girls!

I'm sure Jane would be happy to see how much Women Of Aviation Week has grown! Let's put on the girls! Only 5 months to go!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Turbo the Flying Dog Logged 26.6 Hours

Turbo got his very own doggy logbook or "dogbook" in the mail yesterday that Bob purchased from Powder Puff pilot. I got his flight times all entered and he had logged 26.6 hours of flight so far! Do you think he's ready to solo? Should we prepare for a shirt cutting? :)

She started an airshow pilot career at age 50!

When she turned 50, she launch her professional airshow pilot career. She has now more than 300 airshow performances under her belt. Meet her (and me!) at the College Park Aviation Museum or online on March 3.

Women Of Aviation Keynote Speakers

MARCH 3, 2014
Jacquie B Warda – Aerobatic Pilot
United States, English

Jacquie Warda, Aerobatic Pilot
Jacquie Warda – Aerobatic pilot
Many people tend to relax and settle into neutral while coasting toward retirement when they turn 50. When Jacquie B turned 50, she launched her solo aerobatic career with her one-of-a-kind Pitts Special biplane. She finally quit the humdrum of a white collar profession and realized her dream as an air show performer, becoming the first female pilot to enter the business at the age of 50.
With over 2,500 flight hours and more than 300 air show performances across the United States behind her, Jacquie B has proven that she has the talent, stamina, discipline, and guts to reach beyond the limits placed on her by naysayers.
Jacquie currently flies an Extra 300 monoplane. She holds sea and land Commercial Airplane Pilot Certificates and a Level 1 ACE card, which allows her to perform down to the surface.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SMAC057 – Bird Strikes, Flying Turtles, & Flight Simulators

This show is chock full of useful goodies, starting first with a flying story from Victoria about a bird strike on landing. We discuss many areas of this topic from national statistics to reporting bird strikes to the FAA. Then Carl share his recent experience flying the Redbird FMX full motion general aviation flight simulator. So let’s jump right into it.