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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sky Manor for Lunch Before the Snowstorm

 We have had weeks of rain and wind here in Pennsylvania. There was a big snowstorm forecast for this Saturday, but we woke up to sunshine. My friend Garret and I decided to take advantage of the clear skies before the storm arrived. We took the Velocity over to one of our favorite lunch stops, Sky Manor Airport restaurant.

The skies were blue but hazy, with windy conditions and lots of bumps. We stayed at 3,500 and 160 knots to avoid getting  bounced around too much. Visibility was good.

Here are some shots from the flight there.

Nice view of blue skies and the incoming system.
View over the canard

Waypoint balloon
...pops when we fly through it.

After landing, we tied down and headed into the restaurant. The wind is getting stronger and we can feel the temperature dropping.
A Saratoga takes off as we tie down on the ramp at Sky Manor

N929X on the ramp.

Garret gives a thumbs up as we park right outside the restaurant.


Sky Manor is a great fly in destination. The restaurant is steps from the ramp, has a great view of the runway and terrific food.

Ready for lunch - great food.
Our waitress, Molly, was the best!
 We had a great meal and checked the Ipad for weather. Freezing precipitation was moving in, so we decided to leave to make sure we could beat it home.


After breakfast, we head back out to the plane to fill up on cheap $4.50 a gallon fuel and head home. 

Heading back to the plane for departure.
The weather starts to go down quickly on the way home.

Murky view of a ski mountain and nuclear plant. Great navigation aid.

View of the screens

There was a ton of traffic on the way home.
Everyone else was racing the weather home too. There was a ton of traffic on the screen which helped us dodge them on the way. Each black box is another airplane. The number is how far above or below us and the white line is their heading.

We got home no problem and had a great time.


By the time I got home, the weather had closed in and it started snowing. I'm really glad we got some flying time in today. 


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Last Minute Flight to Cape Fear

Our friends and former neighbors, Joe and Carol, moved down to Charlotte, North Carolina a couple years ago. We have used the plane to fly down to visit them.

They called us on a Friday night in December to announce that they had just settled on a beachfront condo in Cape Fear. They told my wife we needed to come down to see it and visit with them.

Well, we have a plane. We told them we would be there by 9:30 the next morning. The above picture shows our route on my Ipad. Conveniently, a direct route just misses the Washington D. C. restricted airspace as well as all the other restrictions.


The sun rising behind us makes a long shadow of the plane as we take off from Runway 29 at Chester County Airport near Philadelphia at 7:00.


Here are some shots as we cruise southbound in the early morning light.

Winglet view to the west

...and to the east

Island in the Chesapeake Bay

Crossing the river

Bay Bridge, Maryland

View of the screens. 177 knots indicated.

Winglet reflection

Beautiful clouds and fog in the valleys

Fog lit by the rising sun

Fog over the Potomac

Nancy was all bundled up at first. As the sun rose the cabin got nice and warm- which made her...very...sleepy. This allowed me to get my favorite sleeping wife selfie.


In a little over two hours, Cape Fear came into view. We canceled flight following and started our approach. Here's a video of the landing. 


We taxied up to a tie down next to the skydive school's orange jump plane. It turns out that Joe and Carol's house is only 10 minutes from the airport. Very convenient. They were waiting there to pick us up.
Taxiing to the ramp next to the jump plane

I'm a happy pilot

Joe and Carol's new place is very nice and right on the beach. It was freezing at home, but it is shirtsleeve weather here. We decide to take a walk on the beach. Here are a few pictures.

Joe and Carol at their nice new place

The beach access

Joe and I stroll behind the girls

Joe and Carol in front of their place

Nancy and I

It is nice and warm here. A big change after only a 2 hour flight.

Carol, Joe and Nancy

Me with Joe and Nancy

Pretty shot of sea oats

Best of all, their place is just a short walk from a really great beachfront restaurant. As long as we were walking in that direction....might as well stop in for a drink.

Artsy black and white of the pier

Nancy and Carol

Ahhh, great place with a great view.
The fridge only has the essentials, so time to go out shopping

Helping make critical decisions at Lowe's

Joe and I meet Santa

After shopping, we headed out to dinner at another nice restaurant. We had a really good time catching up and the food was outstanding.

Joe and Carol

Group selfie

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast and headed back to the plane for the trip home. The weather here was great, but there was some marginal weather along the route. The plan was to simply go over the bad stuff, which was forecast to clear by the time we reached the Chesapeake.

Back at the plane

Selfie with Nancy

Climbing over the clouds

VFR on top

Clearing as forecast

Shot of our route home

And all the other screens


We had a nice flight home and were back by lunch time.

The Chesapeake Bay

Downwind leg for landing

Final for home

Turning onto the ramp

We had a great visit. With the speed of the Velocity, we were able to easily make an 800 mile round trip to visit friends on a weekend.  Love my plane. This is exactly what I dreamed of when I was building it.