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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Wand Chooses The Wizard

With the arrival on March 30th of 40D, I now have my own private fleet of Beechcraft at McKinney.  The 1983 Sundowner and the 1967 V-tail Bonanza (the 1950's vintage travelair is not mine!)

I started out looking for something that would carry 4 adults with baggage over the mountains or weather at 150kts plus.  My initial thought was to find a late 70's or early 80's A36 Bonanza (the "Truck"), and due to the high price, sell a 50% share.  I didn't plan to start looking for a few more months yet.

My A&P said I should log into Beech Talk, a bulletin board for Beechcraft owners, which I did.  Almost immediately, I saw an advertisement for a 1967 V35 (the "Sports Saloon") in great condition and equipped just as I hoped, located just down the road in Addison TX.  The price was such that I thought I could get it for a very reasonable uplift in cost, if I sold my Sundowner and if the a/c was in the great condition that it claimed.

I went to see the a/c, and what I found blew me away.  It was totally pristine, like new.  Fresh paint inside and out, new interior, low time engine, terrific avionics (3 GPS's, one with XM radar, stormscope, coupled 3 axis autopilot).  It's useful load with full tanks is 900lbs, so it will do the mission I had in mind (I remember several times in the Sundowner wishing I could climb just a bit more), and would cruise at 12 gal/hr (just 1 gall/hr more then 49C), and 165 kts (much more than 49C!)  The owners hobby is to buy older, cheaper aircraft, and over the years, improve them to a like-new condition.  Finished with this one, he was moving up to a Baron.  Perfect!

After a pre-buy inspection which turned up almost no squawks (the A&P, who owns the same model himself, said it was the cleanest a/c he's ever inspected), we agreed on a price and terms.  Delivered a few days later, she's mine.  In Harry Potter, the wand maker Olivander tells Harry that "The Wand Chooses The Wizard, Mr. Potter".  In many ways, I feel like the airplane chose me, rather than the other way round.  She knows I'll take good care of her. 

I noticed a few days later that the posting date was March 13th, my birthday.  Happy Birthday to me!  I have to do 10 hours with a CFI, and then 5 hours solo, before my insurance will let me fly passengers, and the FAA requires that I get a high-performance endorsement from a CFI.  So, I'm a student again!


Gary said...

SWEEEEEEET!!!! What every baby beech owner hopes to fly some day. Wishing you blue skies and many hours of fun flying.

I am so tempted to call Paul at T31and have him start looking, I have a friend thats wants to partner in a Bo. FYI I bought my Sundowner in Texas, out of Palestine - KPSN and had Paul do the pre-buy.

Of course we all want to see some pictures!!

D.B. said...

I didn't use his name, but yes, Paul is my A&P. He keeps my C23 in the air, and will be doing the same for the V35A.

Toriafly said...

Congrats! How exciting!