Fall Flying: A day at the beach


It was another of those beautiful fall days: sunny and crisp. A day made for flying. It was closer to 11:00 am by the time we departed Manassas airport and set off for Ocean City, MD for our monthly flyout with the DC99s.The plan was to meet close to noon, take a ride into town for some $500 eating fun.

The flight out off Manassas was uneventful. A straight out departure to exit the DC ADIZ and stay clear of the Class Bravo airspace before climbing to our final cruise altitude and heading south. The permanent prohibited area surrounding the white house and the monuments, the DC ADIZ area and the numerous restricted areas around the region meant extra flight time to get to any eastern destination. The shortest we could squeeze in was:

HEF.FLUKY.GRUBY.STEIN.JAMIE.OXB

The direct (shortest route from origin to destination) was 115nm, our planned route was 173nm. Sometimes if we are lucky we could cross over the PAX river restricted area instead of circumnavigating it. So much for flight efficiency and NextGen benefits (Not for this GA flight :-))

With some excellent tailwinds averaging almost 143 knots ground speed at times we made it peacefully to Ocean City (OXB) in an hour and half. The others had already arrived and were waiting patiently for our arrival. After registering at the FBO and some discussion on places to eat we decided to try out Captain’s Galley which was one of the recommended restaurants. We got lucky and even got a ride into town. Can’t speak much for the service at Captain’s Galley. Nor would I recommend it if you are a vegetarian like me. I still think my original pick of Shark Restaurant would have been a better choice. Or better yet we should have planned something closer to the boardwalk area.

After a mediocre meal but some decent dessert, we summoned our chauffeur for the day and some of us got dropped off at the boardwalk while the rest drove back to the airport for an early departure. Unlike peak summer when Ocean City is swamped and packed with tourists, it was pretty quiet out on the board walk and on the beach. The Pier Rides was closed for the season as well.

It was glorious day for walking on the beach and hunting shells (which were there in plenty). Linda, Roberta and I strolled on the beach, taking in the afternoon warmth and cool ocean breezes enjoying a warm October fall day before taking a cab ride back to the airport.

The return trip was smooth. With the sun already setting in the western sky, it was a race to get back before night fall which we did. We decided to end the perfect day by having dinner at the nearby Thai restaurant. Definitely a fun day all round.

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