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John Ellor Builder Visit in NJ

Date: May 17, 2003

Well, I had planned on getting down to the "Fast Glass" fly-in at SFQ this weekend, but the weather did not cooperate. This morning (Saturday), it was marginal VFR from Boston to Delaware, and IFR south of that. By noon it had cleared in MA and was still MVFR in southern NJ, so I decided that instead of just visiting John Ellor at VAY (South Jersey Regional Airport) on the way down to SFQ, I'd just visit him -).

I flew over to 7B2 (Northampton, MA) to pick up John Vance, since he was going to come to the fly-in with me and was primed to fly. After letting his kids sit in the plane and answering a bunch of questions from gawkers, we took off and headed south. I let John fly just about the whole way down. First, we climbed up to 6500 ft. and headed toward NY. The weather was clearing, and we were hoping to go up and over the class B, so we climbed to 8500 ft. to pick up the Trenton, NJ ATIS, which (from about 80 miles away) claimed to be 2200 OVC. Dang. OK, let's descend and head down the VFR corridor on the Hudson River.

As we were descending, I remembered that our terrific TSA (protecting us from terrorists and all) had decided that we needed a TFR around Yankee Stadium when baseball games were played (just being inside the NY Class B apparently wasn't good enough), and this TFR blocked the VFR corridor. Sigh. Out towards Lincoln Park we go, around and under the class B to the west. Still and all, the weather was beautiful until we got almost to Trenton, when the clouds reappeared at about 2200 ft., just as predicted. We descended to 1700 ft. and John flew us the last 20 miles to VAY. I landed, and we met John Ellor there.

We went to get a bite to eat, and then went for a flight. John E. hadn't flown in 10 years, but he was able to fly the COZY from the right seat without any problems. Due to the clouds, we had to stay at about 1500 ft., so I didn't show him and stalls/slow flight, but we cruised around a bit, did a few 360's, and then headed back. John E. took a bunch of pictures, and seemed re-energized to forge ahead with his project.

I checked the weather to the south, just in case, and it still sucked. John V. and I climbed back in and took off to the north to go home. The weather had cleared a bit in the NJ area, so we were able to climb through a large hole in the layer at 2400 ft. and head up to 7500 ft. We turned on the Navaid, programmed the GPS for Northampton, and turned on the Beatles on the stereo. Nothing to do but look at the scenery and avoid the big iron headed into the NY airports (or coming out of them). About 1 1/4 hours later we landed in Northampton and I dropped John off.

Off to FIT and home.........


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