Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lunch Run

The IFR Pilot and MS were tentatively scheduled to go fly on Sunday. A look at the weekend weather forecast showed that Sunday was not going to be as favorable for flying as would Saturday. A brief call ensued, during which the IFR Pilot managed to persuade MS that finishing the drywall in his basement remodeling project could wait; what couldn't wait was some flight time in 78S. Two hours later, we blasted off for the proverbial $100 hamburger lunch run.

Destination: PHD. A quick hop, with a nice little restaurant on field. The IFR Pilot handled the flying duties, including the GPS 14 into PHD. Akron Approach gave us pilot nav, and we had a nice exchange on the air over the proper pronunciation of the fix "EPIBY." You say To-may-do, I say To-Mah-Do...

Landing on runway 14 at PHD is always a little bit ominous. It's never difficult, and there's a PAPI to guide you. What produces that feeling of dread is crossing over the graveyard on short final!

As we were on short final, we heard this call over the CTAF: "New Philly traffic, Stat 8, crossing runway 14, no factor for the landing traffic."

MS and the IFR Pilot quickly debated the wisdom of the last part of that transmission. Should the PIC of the landing flight be making the decision about what's a factor and what's not? Just advise of your location so that the other traffic can make a reasonable decision about whether there is an issue. Turns out there wasn't, we saw the helicopter crossing at the far end of Runway 14, so he really wasn't a factor.

The IFR Pilot managed a greaser of a landing, and we deplaned for an inspection of Stat 8, a medivac helicopter that was adding some fuel. She was only about 4 months old, and a delight to peek into. Dual 430's, a MFD, cyclic and throttles chock full of handswitch buttons. Hmmm, how can I add a remote ident button to the yoke of our beloved 172???

One strange item: The helicopter was clearly placarded for VFR flight only. When the pilot was queried about that, he said, "Oh no, it's an IFR ship." Well, don't let the FAA ramp check you...

Way too much lunch ensued. That's the problem with $.99 burgers and $.99 fries. It was almost gluttonous enough to require that we redo the W&B for the flight home!

The trip back to the home base was in VFR conditions, but with rain and visibility of maybe 5 miles. The winds had shifted a bit, and we were consistently seeing groundspeeds of 130 kts. Even on downwind to the home base, with an airspeed of 80 mph (78S's airspeed indicator is calibrated in both mph and knots, but mph is far more prominent), we were still pushing 100 kts. The pattern was ugly, even with the crab angle that IFR pilot established. We were blown way past the final segment, and had to haul back over to the left to get on the centerline -- being careful to remain coordinated so as not to produce a stall/spin on short final. The landing was a bit firm, but hey, we're replacing the tires this weekend at the annual.

I'd post some pictures, but the batteries once again died. I really need a camera that I can recharge via 12 volt DC in the plane!

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Don't bother trying to find camera that comes with a special charger for 12V DC. Don't even bother trying to find a charger for your current camera. Instead just buy a good inverter and use that in your aircraft. I bought this 300W inverter from Canadian Tire and it's awesome. As a bonus it comes with a 75W micro inverter, which means that I can leave the 300W inverter in the car for road trips and camping and I take the 75W inverter in my flight bag. You should be able to order online or find something similar at a local hardware store. If not, let me know and I'll pick up one for you and ship it down (though the US dollar is down, $39 CAD is still only $35 USD).