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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lunch Flight to Maryland



We decided to fly to Maryland for lunch with our friends Garret and Kathryn. The Runway Restaurant at Hagerstown (KHGR) is very good and we hadn't been there in a while. The weather was clear but windy. Of course, the forecast was for a 14- 20 knot headwind the whole way.

Here is a shot of our departure from runway 29 at Chester County Airport (KMQS).

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Here are some shots from the trip over. Visibility was very good. There was a headwind as forecast and some light bumps.

View to the north


Crossing the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg

Great visibility on our route of flight. Beautiful.

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The visibility got even better as we proceeded on course. 

View of the screens from the back

Winglet view

View over the canard

Nice sunny lake

Winglet reflection and clear to the horizon

Crossing the ridge near (but not too near) Camp David

Our destination comes into view

We call the tower and set up for a straight in approach
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We pull up to the Ryder Jet Center next to the restaurant, shut down, order fuel and head inside. That's when we discover a flaw in our plan- the restaurant only serves breakfast on Sunday and closes at noon. Darn.

The friendly guys at Ryder offer us a free airport courtesy car and  a recommendation for a local restaurant. I am tickled. This sounds fun. It turns out that they have a fleet of 7 matching red courtesy SUV's. They hand us keys to number 6 and don't even ask for a license or insurance, pointing out that I'm leaving my plane with them, which is security enough for them.

Parked on the ramp

Our gang at the Jet Center
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Sure enough, the restaurant is only a few minutes away.  It is a nice place with good food and even has live music at lunch. Perfect.

Our airport courtesy car from Ryder Jet Center



Selfie at Hoffman's Restaurant in Hagerstown

Me and Nancy
Cathryn with the musicians in the background

Nice menu

Kathryn and Nancy

Garret ready to chow down on his crab omelette

My Maryland crabcake sandwich and sweet potato fries.
Happy pilot
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After lunch, we pile back into our courtesy car and head back to the airport.

Best kind of car - free.

Pulling into Ryder Jet Center
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I have to mention that Ryder has the most luxurious bathrooms I've ever seen in an FBO. Nancy got this shot of Kathryn in the girl's room. The men's room is equally posh.

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Loaded up and ready to go, we call the tower for clearance to depart. 

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Here is a video of our takeoff from Hagerstown. 

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View as we climb out and turn on course after departure from Hagerstown.



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On the way home, the visibility was even better and the air was perfectly smooth so we opened it up a bit and cruised along at 200 knots. We could see Philadelphia from 65 miles away.



We could see forever.

Patchwork quilt of farm fields
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As we were flying along, Nancy noticed that we were making a "sun dog". This is like a bright spot where your shadow would be on the ground. See if you can see it in this video.


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With a tailwind and true airspeeds of between 195-200, the flight home took only 34 minutes.


182 knots indicated and 201 knots over the ground - almost 240 mph.


View as we are on final approach for home.
We taxi to the hangar past a very rich Michigan fan's plane.
It was a fun outing. We had some nice sightseeing, found a new restaurant and got to go really fast. I'm looking forward to the next outing.

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Fall Flying Festival 2017


Fast pass for the crowd from the winglet cam


With this post I will finally have caught up on documenting our flying adventures over the summer. We displayed the plane and flew it at a lot of airshows. One of my favorites is the Fall Flying Festival at my home base, Chester County Airport in Coatesville, PA. On October 7 we had several thousand people show up for it. There was food, music, airplanes, rides and demo flights by yours truly. The weather started out very sketchy with heavy fog, but cleared just in time for the show.

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Some shots of the unpromising weather as we set up.


View down the ramp as we pull the plane into place at 8:45.

We can barely see the terminal a hundred yards away

Garret on our chances of flying



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Our friends Steve and  Susan Cabiroy just finished the restricted test flight period on their newly completed Velocity XL. They took their first trip in the plane to fly up from Virginia and park next to us at our air show.

Cabiroys parked at their first air show in their Velocity

I teased them for the dusty primer finish
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The gates opened at 10:00 and in no time at all there were people everywhere. The weather cleared up nicely for us. 

Garret by the plane

Nancy and Garret
Folks coming into the show

Nancy and Garret with view of the show

Little canardian with winglets

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As always, kids loved the plane. I let at least 100 kids sit in it during the course of the show. 








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At 11:00, I was cleared to takeoff and do passes for the crowd. Since the airport was closed and I was the only one in the air, I was allowed to do "dog bones", meaning I would do a pass in one direction, turn around and come back the other way. This was going to be a lot of fun.

Ready to go
Engine started and heading out.

Taxiing to the departure end

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Here is a video of the first takeoff with a wing waggle for the crowd.



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Here are some still shots of our pass down the runway taken by Garret.


Turning downwind after takeoff
Midfield downwind leg

Lined up for our descent and pass down the runway

Passing by the show on our pass
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Nancy took this video of our first pass.

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Here are some nice still shots of our pass.


Steep turn in for our pass
View from the crowd line
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The Gopro mounted on top of our left winglet got some terrific shots of the pass. 

Turning base over the quarry
Lined up and zooming in for our pass

Here we come


Midfield view
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Here is our pass coming the other way. You will see that I am still rounding our turn when I head back toward the show line, so it looks like the plane is coming right at the camera.







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Here is my first try at a knife edge pass. The idea is to show the top of the plane while flying on edge down the runway.


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After our passes, we came in to land. The announcer said "...and now it's time to rate the landing!" Luckily, we made a nice landing in front of the crowd.

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Here we are pulling back up to the flight line.






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Here are a few shots as we pull back in. 

Nice still shot of our landing

Nancy waiting in our spot as we pull up.
Garret and I push the plane back to the display area.

With my two friends who also did passes in their planes.


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Steve and Susan had a great time showing the plane, answering questions and just hanging out with the plane. This is one of the things you dream about during the years alone in the garage covered with dust and epoxy. I'm so glad that they finally get to enjoy this part. 

Susan explaining the plane. Hand gestures are mandatory.

Standard air show owners spot - folding chair by pilot's door.
Does Steve look satisfied or what?

Steve shows folks his plane

Cabiroy One pulled out and ready to depart. Thanks for joining us.
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Garret helps a little kid get a shot with the Velocity

My little neighbor Makenna gives the Velocity sign with me

The Civil Air Patrol kids love the Velocity.
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By 4:00 we were exhausted, but had a great day. We pushed the plane through the departing crowds back to the hangar. It is a lot of fun sharing our love for aviation and for our Velocity at air shows.

As I write this, I am finally caught up - for now. We are flying down to Maryland for crab cake sandwiches for lunch with another couple, so ...more to come.

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