Flying, parenting, science, philosophy, dinosaurs, food, some politics and religion - Yes, I probably have ADHD........
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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!