07 February 2012

Tailwheel sign-off, Eastern Shore, Gin Gins

Sunday, I received my tailwheel endorsement in the Super Decathlon after sticking the wheel landings, simulating an aborted takeoff, flying a few power-off approaches, and making a couple of short field landings. While I've still got plenty to work on and it'll take many hours of practice before I'll feel comfortable in gnarly, gusty crosswinds, I know what I need to do. Weather permitting, I'll get my first aerobatic lesson next weekend: loops and rolls. I can't wait!

Terminal at KGED
It was astonishing how quickly I could stop the Super D after crossing the threshold at 65 mph. At that speed, there is just enough energy remaining to arrest the descent in the landing flare. I felt the cushion (actually a reduction of induced drag) from ground effect immediately before touchdown. That airplane is so much more fun to fly than a 172; I'm getting spoiled. 

I was walking to my car after the lesson and ran into a fellow glider pilot from the club (my policy is generally not to list names on this blog in order to protect the innocent). He offered to let me ride along in the back seat of his friend's Mooney while they flew a lunch mission to Georgetown, Delaware (KGED) and made a few practice approaches. I had nothing else to do, so I jumped at the opportunity. Fortunately I had my sectionals with me to practice navigation by pilotage. 

The Mooney M20J is impressive: a pretty fast little bird for something with an IO-360. I'd never crossed the Chesapeake Bay in an airplane before, so that was a treat. After wolfing down a medium rare bison burger in the restaurant on field at Georgetown, we were on our way. We flew down the beach from Lewes, on to Rehoboth, Dewey, Bethany, Ocean City, and then shot an approach into Ocean City Municpal Airport (KOXB) before returning home. To me, this is what general aviation is all about. And I am continually surprised at the great people I meet in the flying community.
Leaving Ocean City, MD (KOXB)

On this flight I got my introduction to Gin Gins, a potent ginger hard candy. These are said to settle a queasy stomach. Whether that is true or psychosomatic, I'll definitely stuff a bag of these in my flight bag to hand out to nervous passengers in case of a turbulence encounter.

Returning to KVKX

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