Saturday, November 18, 2017

Back in black

I love how the tbone has those huge nacelles and when you pop the open the engine just looks so badass. So I've been slowly cleaning up my engine compartments. First, I stopped all the drips with the geebee gaskets, but when I replaced them I was thinking it would be cool to have the rocker covers chromed for some engine bling. As I thought about it though, it seemed like it might look even more bad ass to get them powder coated in black metallic. Back in black baby.  :rock: 

I bought a new set of 6 rocker covers, and got them done so I could do the swap with no downtime, so now I've got an extra set... maybe I'll sell them if someone wants to do the same. Here is the before and after.

Next I'd like to get a high temp coating on those exhausts, and maybe powder coat the intake tubes too, and maybe blue or black for those ignition wires.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

TBone takeoff

Oldie but goodie... earlier this year departing full loaded off KSEZ.  Love that airport!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Twin Bonanza can haul a lot

Today I had 6 in the plane, plus an 85 lb dog. With the fuel load we were as close as I've been to max gross. I was surprised she still climbed out at 1000 fpm. Felt a little different landing but otherwise the ole girl didn't bat an eye. These wonderful old planes can really haul a load.

I've also been flying the Cessna 421 golden eagle.  I really really like the 421.  It's a complicated old pressurized piston twin but man does it run smooth.  The plane comes in faster than the T-bone but has a similar operating modus, since both have geared engines.

If I were to get a pressurized twin this plane would be top of the list for piston.  It's very quiet and powerful, feels more like a turbine than a piston.  Love this airplane. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Small improvements

Other than install the IFD550 and 540, I've done little to the plane other than change the oil a few times.  It takes some time to get to know a plane and figure out what you want to do with it, and so I've gathered a small list of small things to make her better.  First up, SVT and AOA on the Aspen!

AOA still needs the calibration flight and I'm looking forward to doing that and getting it working.  I still need to update the GDL-69A software to get that working with the IFD... but I have no clue how to do it and neither does the avionics shop.  Apparently you're supposed to update it through your GNS-530 and I no longer have one.  I suppose I should have updated before swapping the units, but I didn't know that!  Maybe Avidyne knows..   Another thing to do is wire the JPI-760 to the IFD to use the fuel calculation functions.  Enough of avionics.  On to the engines...

Yuck... cork rocker cover gaskets.  Those won't do...  so I ordered silicon ones from GeeBee.  

The valve covers came off and I used a scotch bright to clean up the metal and remove the stuck bits of cork.  It cleaned off the jug really quick, but cleaning the cover itself was another story.  I had to scrub it for an hour to get it totally clean and cork residue free.

Two down, ten to go!  Took me 2.5 hrs to do two...   makes me wonder if it's worth just dropping some dough on engine bling and going with new chrome plated valve covers.  Hmm..   Also have some plans to clean up the metal exhaust shroud and make that shine.  Otherwise its looking good in there.  

Love working on the T-bone.

Monday, August 21, 2017

La Paz

Had a great little trip down to La Paz Mexico which is just north of Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja pennisula.  We went with two families, and it's 1050NM so I decided to leave the T-bone at home and take the Pilatus.  Tough love!  I was slightly trepidatious about going to La Paz because it's on the US State Dept watch list for drug crime/murder...  but we never felt the slightest bit unsafe.  It's all Mexican families having a good time.  It was dry and hot but an easy flight and they were very accommodating.  Just make sure to file your EAPIS and it's definitely a bit easier to go IFR.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Float mania

I took a family trip up to Alaska.  We did a cruise so I didn't fly us up there, but man was it cool seeing all the float planes.  I really got a bug to do the float rating now!  The video above was from the deck of the ship.  There are so many cool little GA float planes flying around up there it's ridiculous.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Way to go Idaho

Had a great trip to McCall Idaho to attend a big BBQ pig roast my buddy puts on.  The more I go to Idaho, the more I love it there.   We departed out of Concord VFR and headed GPS direct straight to McCall airport KMYL.  You need to cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range so flying high is a good idea.  Winds were smooth and no major bumps at 11.5 so I leveled out there.  Once you cross the big rocks you're over the Nevada desert and we crossed Black Rock desert and noticed it's actually still flooded from all the rains last winter.  There is about a 50 mile stretch where I lost ATC due to radar coverage.  Total flight was 3 hrs exactly with a minor detour to fly over the lake.  My Twin Bonanza does about 165 kts in cruise so the flight would be about the same time in our 182RG.  

So awesome that in less time than it would take to drive to Tahoe I can load up the airplane and be in Idaho.  Not that Tahoe isn't beautiful too, but Idaho is pristine, cheap and reminds me of Tahoe 30 years ago.  Magical!

The flight back brought some big headwinds and continuous moderate turbulence at 12,500 ft.  The return flight added about 30 minutes to the flight time, but 3:30 still isn't bad and we still made it home in time for lunch and faster than we would have on the airlines.