Saturday, July 30, 2005
I took my rags and buckets with me, so that I could wash the plane. I haven't done it yet this summer, and 02P was looking a bit grungy; oil streaks on the belly, dust from the hangar, and the everpresent bug splats. (You'd think that with a plane this slow, the bugs would have plenty of warning, but no...)
After touching down back at Cherry Ridge, I got out the washing gear and hooked up my garden hose. Starting at the tail, I scrubbed the grime and oil off; when I came to the wings, I had to go and find a stepladder. It took me almost two hours all told, with a beverage-break at the cafe in the middle; the day was getting warmer. 02P is a small plane, one of the smallest - but there's lot to wash! Even with the stepladder, I can only reach halfway across the wing, so I had to work my way around both sides. The worst was the last, lying on my back on the wet ramp and scrubbing the oil-streaked belly fabric.
Having gotten the plane all spic and span, I noticed my reflection in the cafe window, and saw where all of the dirt had gone - onto my person. Luckily the airport was lightly attended, so only a few saw the spectacle: unshaven, hair mussed (with the typical lateral headset-dent), wet and grimy. But still, I figured the best way to dry off the plane was to blow-dry it with a short flight, so I flew down to Mount Pocono and back. Two cadets of mine are the line guys there, a pair of brothers, and they told me that I was about the only traffic today; too bad, MPO is a great airport. But the board there has been having trouble keeping an FBO, and without a good fixed-base operator, pilots tend to go elsewhere.