Sunday, February 25, 2007

Knockin' Off The Rust

We convened at the hangar at the appointed time, two junkies ready for their fix. Recalling the last time they defied the law of gravity and took to the sky, this time they resolved to avoid all supercooled large droplets and the pandemonia they brought down on your protagonists.

The new Aero-Therm heater was doing its job quite nicely, and the engine, while not quite warm to the touch, didn't evidence outside temperatures that we still well below OoC. The snow drifts on either side of the hangar apron, however, still needed tending to, so we got our work out there.

After loading 40 gallons of 100LL, we blasted off with MS in the left seat and a brand new pair of $25 Foggles ready for the torture that was to come his way. Being a masochist, we not only wanted all of the flying duties, he wanted the radio duties as well. That left the IFR Pilot to practice his nascent CFI-in-training skills (otherwise known as "harass your partner to no end").

Snow still everywhere, but great visibility:

MS performed suitably well on the ILS 1 at CAK, though his decision to eschew slowing down in favor of flying the approach at 120 knots provided suitable fodder for harassment. Especially when he had trouble staying on the localizer. It's a bit easier when you're moving 30% slower, cappy.

Second time around was a charmer, and we made a touch and go of it. Both passes gave us a nice view of Reverend Ernest Angely's B-747 that is stored on an unused taxiiway at CAK. Rumors to the contrary, televangalism apparently still has its perqs.

Crummy picture to prove we really did see the jet:

(Better picture here.)

Anyway, after the ILS's, it was off to AKR for the GPS 25. We're still pounding out the nuances of GPS approaches on the GX-50, which mostly consists of MS swearing at it and demanding that we rip it out mid-flight and print enough money in the basement shop to afford the replacement 430, coupled to the STEC 55 autopilot, of course.

Then, it was time to swap seats and let the IFR Pilot do the aviating. Being lazy, I offloaded communications to MS and just concentrated on the flying. Three approaches were in order: GPS 19 at 3G4, with the full procedure turn; ILS 32 at MFD; and GPS 10 to BJJ, full stop. The only item of note was to make sure that we made our takeoff from AKR before The Blimp turned final, as it looked like it was headed home. (Sorry, none of those pictures turned out worth a darn, even with the trusty new Olympus EVOLT 550 DSLR.)

Then, it was a quick trip home. Now, the IFR Pilot is ready for Tuesday's anticipated trip to Delaware. Tomorrow, we'll see if we can negotiate landing rights at Dover Air Force Base. Supposedly, there's a civil air terminal there. We shall see, we shall see.

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