Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Breakfast Run; Mystery Solved

Saturday morning dawned rather moist in Northeast Ohio. Visibilities at ground level were awful, but the ceilings were reported around 8000.

Hey, sounds like a perfect day to go fly for some breakfast!

We meet at the hangar at 7:30. MS, for once, has prefiled an IFR flight plan. He takes leg #1. Destination: The Flying Turtle, to be found at the end of the ILS 32.

Visibilities are at 3 miles when we blast off. We are later told that we disappeared about 500' AGL, but for the record, we had plenty of visibility!

Here's some pictures of what things looked like shortly after takeoff:

And here's the back of MS's head, just because.

Akron Approach handed us off to Mansfield Approach and we were vectored for the ILS 32. Had the runway from way out:

But they were still kind enough to switch the lights on for us. Kinda like Motel 6, huh?

On taxiing to the ramp, we were immediately concerned. There wasn't another airplane in sight. Was the Flying Turtle closed? We checked in with Tower, who said the Turtle opens at 8:00.

It's 8:10.

Where is everyone?

We trotted up to the door and had a quick conversation with a member of the staff. Seems that there was a gas leak in the restaurant and they were waiting for the gas company to arrive and figure out the problem. She wasn't even supposed to be inside, she just thought it might be a good idea to shut the coffee pot off....

So, stomachs empty, we set off in search of new food choices. We decided to hightail it to Carrol County (KTSO). We'd skip the pie that early in the day -- this time -- but we should still be able to find something to knosh on.

The ground fog/haze wasn't much better heading east:

Eventually, we made it into Carrol County via the GPS 7. We had to dogfight a pair of ultralights for #1 position, but they backed down when we explained about the hardpoints underneath our wing.... OK, just kidding, they willingly surrendered with the comment "It'll take us a week to get to where you are."

Breakfast was ordered and we were cheerfully awaiting the arrival of our artery hardening delights when the hostess brought the phone to us.

"Didn't you just arrive in that Cherokee?"


"Akron Approach wants to talk to you."


Seems we forgot to cancel IFR before landing, even though we had a definite action plan to accomplish this using CRM. We also forgot to call and cancel via telephone, which was our other option.

But, alas, all was taken care of with a few quick apologies. But it made us wonder whether the controllers have a notebook full of phone numbers to call for just such eventualities. Anyone know?

On another note, during our flight, we were able to solve a mystery that had inspired MS to again attempt to spend more of the IFR Pilot's money by justifying changing the GPS to a GNS 430. During his recent flight home from Detroit, MS had been given a series of intersections to which he was supposed to fly, including JUNKR and SPHRE.

When he returned the next day, MS pronounced that he hadn't been able to locate either of them in the GPS. They were, however, prominently displayed on the MX-20. So he simply flew towards them using the MFD.

It turns out that both of these intersections are, in fact, in the GPS. You just have to know where to look.

Unlike the 430, the GX 50 categorizes intersections: E for eastern U.S., W for western U.S., and I for international fixes. So, in order to activate an en route intersection, you have to know to which of these categories the fix belongs.

MS assumed that both were E fixes. But, as it happens, they are both I fixes, as they are located out over the middle of Lake Erie.

Moral of the story: When the first two categories of fixes fail, try the third.

Whose idea was it to categorize the fixes anyway?


Sam said...

When I was flying freight, it was easy to forget to cancel IFR on Leg #8 at 2AM. After doing it several times I started taking my watch off anytime I was on an IFR clearance and not putting it back on until I was cancelled. As often as freight dogs look at their watches, it was effective!

Anonymous said...

yes we have a big book of phone numbers. First airport, second local law for a drive by, third let just say I hate the third call. Just remember you could be the guy hold in the air or on the ground waiting for someone to cancel the IFR.


Anonymous said...

Since JUNKR is in Canada I would be a logical place to look

Anonymous said...

Actually...it wasn't so obvious (at least not to me). It's not apparent that JUNKR is in Canada unless you are already familiar with the intersection and generally where it is. Second, its not obvious that "I" is for international or "E" is East because the GX50 designates it as INT=F(I) or some gobbleygook like that -- not to mention that it was the first time i have had to use the INT function, period.


Anonymous said...