Latrobe, PA February 8, 2004

Latrobe, PA - LBE and Sussex County, DE - GED

February 8, 2004 by Juergen Nies & John Ely

Sunday February the 8th was a beautiful day for our monthly fly out. Al Guay and I met at 10:30 AM at the airport to pre-flight the Pacer and pre-heat the engine. The temperature was below freezing, but the visibility was exceptionally clear. Talking to the FSS briefer I knew that the flight out would be very slow.

After takeoff we climbed to 6,500 feet and found the air very smooth, but as we had anticipated the ground speed was only between 75 and 82 knots. The heater in the Pacer was able to keep us warm and the ride was comfortable, so we took our time to look at the scenery passing by (slowly). It took us about 40 minutes just to reach Cumberland, MD.

Check out the visibility!

We used a sectional chart to track our progress. The lesson I learned was that it is harder to track landmarks when everything is snow covered. We could not make out any lakes or ponds, since they were all frozen over and just looked like fields.

Still fighting the headwind!

After one hour and twenty minutes we arrived in the pattern at the class D airfield. The surface winds were only at about ten knots and almost exactly down the runway. The restaurant had changed owner, but still serves a good meal. We enjoyed the buffet style lunch while overlooking the airport. Soon it was time to head back to OKV.

Great restaurant view

For the flight home we climbed up to 7,500 feet where the groundspeed now accelerated to a whooping 140+ knots. The visibility was still astonishing and there was not a ripple in the air. We could see the runway in Winchester from almost 40 miles out. We hit a couple of "speed bumps" descending into OKV, but that was about it for the day as far as turbulence. This was another great day to go flying with friends, even though only Al was able to join. Hope to see more of you next month.

Make sure you look at the Upcoming Events schedule on this site for the next fly out.

Juergen Eastward by John Ely Not having an airplane right now, I hadn't planned on flying anywhere last Sunday. But the Mid-Atlantic RV Wing guys demanded that Bob Metcalfe fly me out to attend their 3rd Annual Formation Flying Ground School. So rather than spending a day trying to finish my RV-8, Bob and I headed east while Juergen headed west.

It was very cold at 6:45 am when I opened the hanger door at FRR. And since I had received permission the day before, and knowing that Bob had a longer drive and would probably be a bit later, I pulled out Bob's RV-6 and started the engine to get the oil warmed up prior to his arrival.

While huddled in Bob's cockpit, I received a cell phone call from Craig Moen, an RV-8 driver from Leesburg who had expected to rendezvous with us over Warrenton. He was stuck on the ground due to "black ice" and hefty crosswinds - a bad combination. So it was up to Bob and I to represent the mountain flyers.

We got off on time and played the GPS video game dodging the ADIZ/Class B/TFR business around the south side of DC. Juergen was fighting the headwinds - at 5500 ft we were enjoying 200+ kts groundspeeds with the nice tailwinds. Once across the bay, we aimed for Sussex County (GED) and landed amid 9 or 10 other RV's and many drive-ins - about 25 people in all.

As always, the ground school presentation by our fearless leader Joe "Zack" Czachorowski was very enjoyable and educational. Joe is a high time ex-Air Nat'l Guard fighter jock currently flying professionally with United. His beautiful RV-8 won a1st place award at the last EAA Chapter 186 Fall Flyin.

After the formation program, we were entertained by Bob "Ship" Shippee who happens to be finishing an RV-8, but who also is working with the DeltHawk diesel aircraft engine development team. He brought some castings and forgings to show and gave a very enjoyable presentation about the development progress and capabilities of the engine. It REALLY looks promising and should be in production very soon. Bob has expressed an interest in coming out our way to give our chapter a presentation.

Bob Shippee with the DeltaHawk engine

The fun and comraderie was over too soon and Bob and I buttoned up for the ride back home. This time we stayed down low at 3,500 ft and avoided the worst of the headwinds while putting up with a bit of turbulence. Like Juergen, we noted the absolutely crystal clear visibility. Bob and I spotted the Blue Ridge from 80-90 nm out. The trusty GPS brought us thru the messy airspace safely and we got home early enough for me to head back out to the shop for a little more RV building.

Hope to be able to join the fly-outs soon John Ely

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