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Lancaster PA. to Islip MacArthur hard IFR

Discussion in 'Trip Experiences' started by Richard Wyeroski, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I thought I’d write about a business trip back in the mid seventies. I owned a sweet little Cessna 150 that was equipped with two radios, marker beacons, an ILS system and a automatic direction finder ADF.

    I used the 150 to fly around the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic states. The company allowed me to use the plane to save time and paid me by the mile. Yep 21 cents a mile. The plane averaged 90 miles an hour and I billed the company $19 dollars an hour. Big bucks and I did not have to drive. I had to prove to the bean counter that I could make a sales call and be back in town the same day and no hotel room or food expenses. He like that and I was happy building my flight time.

    On a return flight from Lancaster Pennsylvania to Long Island MacArthur airport was suppose to to be a easy soft instrument flight rules IFR flight and become visual flight rules VFR at my destination. Lancaster was IFR but improving weather was forecasted ahead. I was in Lancaster working with one of my company distributors on a big order for equipment and Jim their sales rep was a great guy and loved the idea I flew in with my own plane. Jim was an Air Force vet and loved anything aviation.

    With big order in hand I said good buy to Jim, filed IFR and took off. From that point on the easy soft IFR flight went bad! To start the tail wing I had turned into a head wind. My destination KISP was IFR. The flight was 150 nautical miles so at 90 knots minus the head wind the little 150 was doing only 70 knots over the ground. I should have checked weather a little closer then I did as fog was in the forecast and my flight time went up to a little over two hours! I started to worry now as I got closer to Long Island the weather was getting worse and I passed the point of no return. The weather in the range of the 150 went down and as I approached my destination the controller called me. “say 012, just to let you know MacArthur has gone below minimums.” Now I really stated to worry since the 150 would have about an hour of usable fuel when I got to my destination. The controllers were getting busy as I approached NY and I was getting clearance changes and possibly a hold ahead. Over NYC at 7000’ feet the controller asked my intentions, as I was going to MacArthur airport. I said landing MacArthur! He said aircraft are missing the approach at MacArthur. Yikes I thought! I have an hour of fuel left and airliners are missing the approach!! At this point I told the controller I was fuel critical at destination. He said don’t worry we are not working anyone but you now, since the weather at MacArthur is now 100’ obscured 1/4 mile. At this point I was glad I did not have a parachute as I would be tempted to bail out!

    Now the famous words that some pilots hear once and a while in their careers.....”ARE YOU DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

    I declared an emergency and I knew I could do the approach a few times and hopefully I could land okay. I asked the controller for a 5 mile turn on which would give me a lot of time to get organized and established on the localizer. The tower was ready for me and was helpful and said the weather was pretty much 00 in fog. The good thing was the wind died and it was calm. As I hit the final approach fix FAF, the blue light on the marker beacon went off and the ADF needle swung around and did a 180 degree turn. The Glide Slope needle was alive and started down. I reported FAF inbound to the tower. They replied roger cleared to land and good luck 012. I shot the most accurate approach I ever did in my life and landed with a little power like sea planes do on glassy water and touch down literally 00 in visibility. I rolled out not letting the directional gyro to move........and came to a stop in fog.

    Cheez.....the most hairiest approach I ever did.

    I when I contacted the tower they were happy I was down in one piece and of course asked me to call them when I could.

    Now being in 00 in fog I had to try and find someplace to park the aircraft. I informed the tower I was on the runway and trying to find a taxi way. They said take your time 012 there are no aircraft landing and they did not roll the emergency vehicles since no one could see where they were going........

    Lessons learned! never trust a weather forecast that is going down since in this case it went down to the ground in fog.

    I was a flight instructor and taught instrument flying and this was one hell of a lesson for me.

    BTW declaring an emergency is a big deal at a towered airport and the tower had to get the FAA involved. As it turned out the forecast went bad and everyone in the air had problems that day. The FAA closed my little investigation with good job and be careful!

    I just love when the weather man screws up...........
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  2. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    BTW if anyone ever has a hairy situation like this it is recommended to change the subject and think of something else

    I believe this would remove the stress!!!

    The actress that played “Pussy Galore in the James Bond movie!!
    D6EE7532-D182-4457-B4AE-9F722A0FFB20.png
     
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  3. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I think LL likes Ms Pussy Galore?
     
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  4. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Goldfinger
     
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  5. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    She liked me too! :D
     
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  6. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Looking back in my log books, I saw this entry back in the seventies. I remember those days flying the 150 around traveling for business and giving flight instruction. I could look at the names of the students I flew with and remember the good times. I was about 30 years old It’s amazing what one could do at that age.

    It’s funny I could also remember that day in the movie theatre in the early 60’s when the movie Goldfinger came out and when bond asks the women holding a gun on him......”What’s your name.”

    “Pussy Galore” and the theatre went wild full of teenagers jumping up and down!
     
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  7. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Ditto In Canada toooo eh. Odeon Theatre, downtown Oakville. 1964
     
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  8. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Valley Stream Long Island NY 1964......I was 17!
     
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  9. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Goldfinger girl!!!
    88CF584C-89A5-429B-98A6-557E1427E769.jpeg 70416350-FA44-4009-BE89-D6CF92C474EC.jpeg
     
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  10. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    I was 9 turned 10 in Dec 1964, and I remember gettin this for Christmas. Had pop out machine guns, a pop up bullet proof shield and a lil blue plastic Korean bastid that flipped out of the ejection seat through a pop up flap in the roof! I actually got 2 of em, one from my parents and one from my grand parents, lol

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  11. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Yipe
    I’ll have a martini shaken not stirred
     
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  12. Biggles

    Biggles Hangar Bronze Member IV

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  13. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    My Dad explained to me that she died of skin suffocation. I went Huh?, lol
     
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  14. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I remember reading that! They were suppose to leave a clean area so the skin could breath? It was as crew up?

    Anyway. It still would take anyone’s mind of a hairy approach.

    I flew 012 for a while longer and it was a great low cost instrument trainer. Anyone who flew Cessna 150’s know how light they are on the controls. IMO it develops a smooth touch for students to fly approaches and become better instrument pilots!

    As time went one I wanted to fly more higher performance aircraft and eventually sold 012 and purchased a Viking Bellanca 17-30A.

    This ship was as a sharp 280 hp retractable wood and fabric ship that could do almost.......twice the speed of the 150!

    Sweet plane it was!
     
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  15. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    BTW here is a picture of a Bellanca Viking. (file photo)
    C735FB00-F914-48C8-AA2B-104231C0921B.jpeg
     
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  16. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I have some good stories flying the Viking around......

    The Viking had a wood wing and a steel fuselage covered with a fiberglass fabric. The engine was a Continental 280 hp engine with a three bladed constant speed propeller......It was a special bird well built and one hell of an aircraft to fly!!!


    So look for stories on the Viking.
     
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  17. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    BTW here is a page from my pilot log book in 1974. It shows the flight to Lancaster PA and back to Islip MacArthur Airport in the 150 Cessna. Hard to believe that that was 46 years ago.

    Back in 1974 weather reporting was not like it is today. No cell phones or I-pads with foreflight!
    Flying IFR in single engine small aircraft with 100 hp engines and no auto pilot was work in bad weather. So One engine, One vacuum running the primary instruments and one alternator to charge the battery for power running the radios. What could go wrong? A 1600 pound aircraft in turbulence with a little more then 22 gallons of fuel.

    C7FED1DC-1CA5-4CE4-83D4-A73303B94BD8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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