Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Some New Airports and a New Purchase

I got to do a couple fun back-to-back flights in April, shortly after I got back from Sun N Fun. While I certainly don't mind buzzing around the local area and sightseeing, it's always nice to have a specific 'mission' for a flight!

 The first flight was with Dave in his C210. We could have taken my plane, but we had to go a bit further away so the extra speed was nice. At the time there was a 2000 acre forest fire in Shenandoah National Park. You could see the smoke from miles away.

You couldn't see it from Roanoke, though! We were dropping off some Women Can Fly brochures at a few of the other participating airports and ROA was our first stop. I had never been there before, so it was cool to add a new airport to my list.

The view is really pretty from the ramp; the airport is surrounded by hills and smaller mountains. The people at the FBO were really nice, I got my stamp for my VA airport passport, we dropped off the brochures, and we were back in the air.

Bye, ROA!

Our next stop was Lynchburg. I don't think I took any pictures there; the tower couldn't seem to understand that we wanted to go to the ramp where the Liberty planes were and not the ramp where the FBO was, and after numerous conflicting taxi instructions, we were finally able to shut down, drop off their brochures, and get back out of there. It was one of the more frustrating ATC exchanges I've had in a while, so I was happy to get back in the air and away from the nonsense.

Our final stop was Shenandoah. You could see the forest fire from inside the FBO, and several of the line guys were trading off binoculars to check it out. We dropped off their brochures, chatted with their event organizer for a bit, then hopped back in the plane to head back to HWY.

We made sure to give the fire a wide berth; there were helicopters somewhere over there trying to help put it out. It was about 2000 acres in this pictures, but within a week had ballooned to nearly 10,000 acres, which is just nuts. At any rate, we had an uneventful flight back and knocked another thing off the event planning to-do list.

The next day I got to do another fun flight, this time in my plane.

Mark and I had plans to meet someone at Trenton-Robbinsville Airport (N87) in NJ. With all of the airspace around DC and Philly it made the most sense to get there by flying through PA. There sure are a lot of fields in eastern PA.   :)

The ramp at N87. The people there were fantastic...if you ever need a fuel stop in central NJ, I'd highly recommend these guys!

And the reason for the trip...

...the 1966 Mustang we bought!   :)  
(If you're wondering, it's a straight-6 automatic. And it's dark green, not black.)

Mark found it on Craigslist and we'd been eyeing it up for a while. I've wanted a classic Mustang for years, and this one looked like it was in pretty good shape. Mark found a few down by us but I kept coming back to this one, so we flew up, test drove it, and bought it. We knew going in it would need a bit of work, but it was in decent shape and seemed to run well. We eventually got things sorted out with the seller, and Mark left to drop him off, wrap up the final paperwork, and drive back to VA (in rush hour at night in a new-to-us car...oops). I double-checked the weather, filed an SFRA flight plan, and launched to fly back to VA solo.

I think this was somewhere near Bay Bridge...I'm honestly not sure. It made the most sense to fly south through NJ and come home the way I normally do when I visit my parents, so I figured I might as well do my normal circle-over-the-house-until-Mom-comes-outside-and-waves trick. I would have stopped for a visit, but the dogs had been home alone since the morning and I didn't want them to eat the house, so I just had to settle for waving and wing-waggling. (And little did I know, I'd be seeing them a lot sooner than I expected, anyway.)

Lucky Mark, he wound up getting stuck in rush hour traffic. In a Mustang with mushy steering and drum brakes. He at least stopped at a rest stop for a little while, but it took him a ridiculous amount of time to get home. (I think I got home around 5pm; he didn't get home until 9!) I felt bad, and if he had his pilot's license I would have sent him home with the plane and driven the car back myself, but that wasn't exactly an option. At any rate, there was a shiny Mustang in the driveway, and now I could have fun trying to keep a classic car in mostly working condition, too! (Mark has a 1973 Datsun that seems to find fun new ways to break and I teased him that we wound up with the Mustang because misery loves company.)

Mark named it Buddy...he said because he sweet talked the car the whole way back and kept calling it Buddy. 'We can make it, Buddy!'

We weren't able to drive it for a while because we needed to get some stuff fixed (and the shop countered our repair list with their own, including fixing the part of the engine that was held together with a C-clamp...nice). The first time I drove it after we got it back from the shop I wound up with a flat tire, but once we wrapped up the repairs, got a full new set of tires, and Mark tightened up the steering a bit, it's turned into a really fun car to drive. (A bit smelly, but hey, nobody's perfect.) I'm looking forward to some fun driving with this!   :)

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