Friday, November 20, 2009

Nice and Easy...--November 19, 2009

Woke up at 7:30.  Ate breakfast, then headed out to the airport.  Matt and I both went.  I grabbed an A/FD from the office, as one of our other pilots told me that the FAA was out in full force doing ramp checks on them!  They had already had two in just the first two weeks of the season!!!  I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed.

Since Matt's plane was down for maintenance, we both went up in mine.  The flight lasted all of about 30 minutes.  We went up, then hit clouds at 3000 feet...a good 2500 feet below our necessary altitude!  So we turned it around and came back in.  That was a pretty quick day.

I went to the FBO and made up a Weight and Balance sheet for my airplane.  If I was going to be ramp-checked, I wanted to make sure I had it all together!  We stayed at the airport for a bit...not in any hurry at all, then headed out for lunch.  We grabbed some Schlotsky's.  We went back to the hotel after that and just chilled.

Around 1:45 we headed back to the airport.  I was needing to head to Dallas Love Field to pick up our mechanic who was flying in to do my 100-hour inspection.  I headed out around 2:00...I flew at 3500 feet on the way there, direct Dallas Executive, then direct Dallas Love.  The clouds were juuuust above me...right around 4000 feet.  The flight in was pretty simple...I was doing a solid 120-130 knots across the ground.  Nice!

I was cleared to land on Runway 13L.  But as I was on my right base, Tower quickly changed my runway for 13R.  Southwest had a jet taking off, and there wasn't going to be enough time for wake turbulence clearance (I guess).  So I threw on an extra set of flaps, slipped the plane a little bit, and lined up for 13R...with a Southwest jet waiting on me!  Perfect!

I had a smooth landing...and a nice, easy taxi over to Business Jet Center.  This place is crazy...literally millions of dollars worth of jets coming in and out.  A very high-class jet center...kind of crazy, really.  But it's pretty sweet to see all of the corporate traffic.  I was the only piston airplane I could see when I taxied up!  I recognized the place, though, as I had come here last year on a flight from Kansas while in flight training.  Not much had changed!  I follow a guy who has me taken away from the the back where no one can see us!  ha!

When I get out, I'm greeted by three of the other imaging pilots who are based out of Dallas Love.  I hadn't seen them since we left Daytona Beach a few weeks was nice to chat with them for a bit.  They told me all about their FAA experience, being ramp-checked, blah blah blah...I shared stories of my couple of weeks so far, how the new guy is working out, blah blah blah.  Pretty fun, though.  We had some pretty nice laughs.

Bill and I went to pick up our mechanic from the terminal building on the other side of the field.  Once loaded, we headed back to my airplane, loaded up his stuff, and we were off!  Nothing fancy at was about a 40-mile flight back to Cleburne.  I actually goofed on the clearance...I had talked to clearance and he had said "I got your clearance."  Not thinking clearly, I switched over to ground...and said I had the clearance.  It went something like this...

"Nxxxx, at Business Jet Center, Information Oscar, ready for taxi."

"Nxxxx, do you have your clearance"?

"Nxxxx, affirmative."

"Nxxxx, you have your clearnance"?

"Nxxxx, we have our clearance, affirmative."

"Nxxxx, what is your squawk code"?

"Nxxxx, I'll get back with you."

"Um, yeah."

Oops!  Agh, I hate making those mistakes.  But once I heard the clearance say he had it, I just assumed I had it.  Not at all the case!  Totally my mistake.  I switched back over to Clearance, grabbed the info, then went back with ground.  No worries.  Taxied out to Runway 13L and took off with downtown Dallas right in front of us.  So picturesque.

We had a nice but slow flight back to Cleburne (around 80 knots).  Landed on Runway 15, taxied to the hangar, and started right away on the 100-hour inspection.  I took off panels while the mechanic started checking out the engine.

Around 6:00, we decided to call it a night.  Went out to eat, then back to the hotel.

I had a "date" with some people from Cleburne...I was invited to play volleyball by our waitress last I obliged.  The games themselves were kind of simple...pretty low-key score-keeping, not a lot of competition...but it was good to at least experience some form of "play!"  The girls invited me over to their house afterwards, and we had some small talk, but I was pretty tired.  I had one take me back to the hotel around 11:40 P.M.

Looks like rain and low overcast tomorrow.  Going to be a long day of 100-hour inspections!  Mine is up first (already half-way done), Jeff flew in from 3 hours away, and two of the guys from Dallas are due sometime in the next couple of days.  Oh, and while in the hangar tonight, our mechanic received a phone call...

It turns out the FAA is sending down an inspector to check out the mechanic's work.  How about that.  If the inspector couldn't get us in Dallas, well, why not make the drive down to Cleburne to find us.  ha!  This should be interesting...

Went to bed a little after midnight...

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