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Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Year Later

An update from the path of life - subtitled "At Least I Blog Once A Year"

May is about to wilt and wither from the Texas heat and become June.  Time to update my few but loyal followers!!  ;)

First, what happened to the Cessna 150?  Who knows?  The insurance company took it, and the registration hasn't been renewed.  My guess is that it was parted out and is no more.

The Bonanza got better, and my wallet got thinner.  I had almost all the old radios taken out, and some are as I write, on eBay being sold so that they can grace another airplane.  I bought a used Garmin GNS 530W to supplement the existing 430W, and replaced the old Garmin transponder with a new GTX 345 to add ADS-B in and out and become 2020 compliant.  While I was in there I had the Garmin 496 moved from it's wobbly mount to a Gizmo panel mount, and coupled to the other GPS.  So now I have weather and traffic on 3 displays if I use my iPAD with Foreflight, which seems to be enough duplication.

I finally finished the Commercial multiengine add-on.  An MEI friend owns a Cessna 310R, and I started to train with him at no cost to me, because I'd helped him out a few years ago while he was getting his initial CFI license.  But life and maintenance intervened, and I went to a small flight school north of Ft Worth which has a Piper Aztec available at a reasonable price.  So in April I took and passed the test in the Aztec, in my opinion flying the worst I had ever flown.  I knew I could do everything, but on the actual test nothing went as well as it should have - nerves, I suppose.

But I passed.  Now I'm flying the 310R again and getting ready to do the MEI add on:

I stretched the legs of the Bonanza on my last trip to Upstate NY.  I flew my wife "Sally" and Thing 1 from Dallas to Walnut Ridge (KARG), a 2.3 hr flight, then another leg of similar length to Dayton Wright Brothers (KMGY) where we spent the night.  The next morning, another 2.5 hr leg took us to Penn Yann NY (KPEO) where I rented a car, and we drove to Thing 2's college in Geneva NY.

By early the next morning I had the Bonanza loaded up with all the "stuff" from her room, including a bicycle and fridge.  Sally and both Things together started off to drive the little red car back to Texas, and I flew the whole way in 2 legs of just under 4 hours each.  Good job my panel upgrade also included a Bluetooth link so I could play music over the headset, and make phone calls.

Weather was moving in over Indiana and Kentucky, so I diverted my IFR flight to Monroe County  (KTZV) in Southern Kentucky, a totally deserted field with cheap fuel and an clean but unmanned FBO.  After taking on nearly 60 gallons, I blasted off again to dodge light rain showers near Memphis (which showed up nicely on my ADS-B WX display), and landed in North Dallas around 4pm after another quick refueling stop in Sherman (KSWI).

Probably I was the only person in the Universe amused by the fact that I had to make use of the portable "Travel John" right as I was flying over Hot Springs at 11,000ft.

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