Published On: Sun, Feb 4th, 2018

Ocean County, KMJX

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Gary’s Flight Journal: Ocean County, KMJX






Ocean County, KMJX

I planned to fly at some point this weekend, and had an extra day, Friday, since work was shut down. With rain showers and strong winds, Friday was a no-go. The one positive, the preheats were on and zero eight romeo is toasty warm. I also posted on Facebook Friday late afternoon if anyone was up for some fly time on Saturday, maybe a lunch run.

I traded text messages with Bob C who was working Saturday in Toms River, NJ.  He and  I decided to meet up and we worked out a good time for each of us. I arrived at Ocean City airport needing to replenish zero eight romeo’s fuel supply.  The total take for this morning, thirty gallons.

With the oil and cylinders sufficiently toasted, I climbed aboard and quickly got the fan turning. I noted the weather and NOTAM’s one last time and announced my departure on runway three-two. The air was cold, ten degrees, and the Sundowner wasn’t making much heat on departure. Once leaned in cruise the heat felt better but I kept my fleece pullover on, along with a scarf and Maui Aviation ball cap. As I approached the Delaware Bay I decided my gloves would serve me better on my hands then keeping the copilot seat warm.

I contacted Atlantic City Approach and checked in at seven thousand five hundred level, and distance from the waterloo (ATR) VOR. Just like that I had  an extra set of eyes watching over me and I always enjoy listening to people’s radio work.

Atlantic city eventually handed me off to McGuire approach for the final few miles of flight through the restricted military ops area. Once clear I let down from five thousand five hundred for the pattern altitude at MJX.  I was still high as I approached the left down wind entry so I circled out to the east and re-entered on a forty-five degree for runway two-four. I turned final and still had to lose altitude, I slipped my way to short final and made a nice landing.

Bob was waiting at the Ocean Aire FBO. The folks at Ocean Aire were really nice to deal with and gave us a recommendation for one of the local diners.

Bob drove us over to the Sand Castle Diner located in Beechwood, NJ. The place was clean, the service excellent and probably one of the best burgers ever. I had a cheeseburger with raw onion and a side of fries.

Bob had the Jersey burger, it included cheese, pork roll and was topped with an egg. We sat and chatted for a bit, needing to digest a most excellent lunch.

It’s always fun to catch up with Bob and today was no different. It’s good to talk some shop with someone that understands our business and of course flying. We headed back to the airport and along the way witnessed a most bizzare incident, ok, strange act by the guy in the car alongside of us.  We were sitting at a traffic light and the guy next to us opens his door to get out. I’m wondering what in the heck is he doing, and he is in a TSA uniform with his jacket covered in official patch and badge. The man kneels down as if looking under his seat and then grabs something and climbs back in the car. I’m watching his hands and he picked up a ring ding cupcake still attached to the white cardboard base from the wrapper. Obviously he had already consumed one and did not want to miss out on the remaining delight of the pair. Sure enough he brings it up to his mouth and blows on it then stuffs it in his pie hole, he goes one step farther and scrapes the chocolate off the cardboard with his teeth. You just cant make this stuff up, and I had a witness. Your TSA, not only ruining your day at the airport but making me want to lose my lunch. As a side note, the car was a mess, I’ll leave it at that.

Finally back at the airport, Bob and I chat with the line guy then head out to the plane. I do a quick fuel check, pull the chocks while Bob pulled the nose plugs. It was time to head home so I climbed aboard and got things squared away. I changed the battery on the VIRB, then proceeded to start zero eight romeo. I picked up the weather, changed up the flight path on Foreflight for the ride home and then taxied out. With my run up complete and engine temps good it was my turn for departure.

I climbed out behind a Cessna and made my turn east to overfly the coast. I thought it would fun to see ‘Old Barney’ from the air after viewing the lighthouse up close during our family visit to Long Beach Island last August.

I continued down the coast line working my way to six thousand five hundred for the bay crossing. I passed between Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Airport and got a good look at the closed Bader Field, unfortunately, I never had the chance to land there.

Atlantic City
Bader Field

I was fighting headwinds on this leg, fourteen to eighteen knots, which extended this legs flight time. My one hour and four minute flight to MJX turned into one hour and eighteen minutes home. The pattern at Ocean City was quiet and I made my way in reporting at the typical ten and five miles out. A straight in was the approach of choice for runway two-zero and I set zero eight romeo down with a nice landing.

It was fun to catch up with Bob for lunch and knock out a new to me airport. I have a scheduled fly in to Oak Island, NC with the Beech Aero Club on February 24th, that should be fun and provide some good video.

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