Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Interior refresh

I'm in the middle of an interior "light" job on the Beast. As always happens with these things, the project is dragging on unbelievably long and I'm now in week 6 with no end in sight. The job is basically to replace the carpets and spruce up the interior because according to my wife it's a bit "naff". Some repair and repaint of the front window pillars which had some cracks in the old bondo and paint, get rid of my crayola crayon scheme on the sidewalls, super sound proofing and a general spruce up... and leather wrap the yokes.  

Well, the yokes are done and they look great! but sadly the rest still has a long way to go... but it's hard to complain when you see they're doing a great job. Time, cost or quality... pick one.  

good thing my backup plane, when I need to rough it, and go in a spam can instead of riding in style in the bone.. is a pc12ng.  :lol:

thanks to Tom Rosen for spying on them for me.  :D

Friday, February 19, 2021

C50 for sale!

 Disclaimer - I'm not the seller, this is an estate sale from a deceased owner and a friend of the family reached out to me for help in selling this gem. I have no financial interest whatsoever, but I do have an interest in seeing this wonderful TwinBo end up in good hands!  

Asking price is 120k, the plane had continuous great hangared care up until the owners failing health and death in 2019, and it has sat in a hangar since. Come join the cool kids and own the Greenbay Packers TwinBo! 

1955 Beechcraft C-50 Twin Bonanza Al Swearengen modified to S-50
N280B, Serial number CH-308

Total time 5303.2 hours as of last annual inspection Oct 1 2018

Engines: Lycoming GO 480 G2D6 295HP
L/R SMOH - 1103.2 hours
McCauley propellers and spinners installed STC SA00860CH new - Feb 1999
Propeller L/R 394.2 SNEW

Exterior: Tan and Green in Green Bay Packer color scheme, very good condition
Interior: 2 pilot and 4 passenger seats covered in tan sheepskins (max 8 seats)
Brown carpet. Interior condition good.
Overall exterior and interior windshields and windows very good.
Always hangared.

Dual KX 155 Navs and Comms
Dual glide slope displays
Garmin GTX 327 transponder
PS Engineering PMA7000B audio panel
Century IIB autopilot
NSD 360A slaved HSI

Cockpit side windows and D’Shannon one piece windshield
Pilot and Copilot shoulder harnesses 
Cleveland Wheels and Brakes
Swearingen Aviation conversion from C50 to S50 model (gross weight increase, redesigned instrument and switch panel, conventional flight control positions pilot and copilot, conventional power quadrant, conventional seating for pilot and copilot, fully enclosed gear doors, airstair door)

Empty weight 4678 lbs. Gross weight for takeoff 6300 lbs.
Fully enclosed landing gear doors, Swearingen Twin Bonanza airstair door
Ultra range fuel - 230 gallons (w/25 gal aux tanks each wing) 7.6 hours endurance!
Airframe logs prior to 1989 not available

Contact Andrew Damiano, ajdamiano@pipeline.com or feel free to PM me and I can relay and questions. I think this could make a little gem for an aspiring tbone owner.

Saturday, February 13, 2021


It's crab season in NorCal! what better way to get your fresh crab than to fly to the coast and buy them right off the boats. bought about 8 lbs worth from the docs at KHAF. I wasn't so sure about having live crabs in the plane, so paid an extra $20 to have them cooked, cracked and cleaned right there, and then brought them home in a cooler. It's such a beautiful time of year here. 

Monday she goes in for minor update to my 70's interior.  Going for new carpets and sidewalls, leather wrapped yokes and some minor flourishes.  Hopefully not significant downtime. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

No particular place to go

 This covid stuff is getting old...   no particular place to go these days since everything is shut basically. California has turned to a hazy shade of winter... no end to the sunshine but we could sure use some rain and some snow in the mountains would be great. I'm glad we got a few summer trips in when we did. Yesterday I took her out with no particular place to go, just shot a few practice approaches. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Santa Catalina

Since the cruise ships have all gone Tango Uniform now is a great time to go to Santa Catalina. Still lively but not overrun when the motel boatel docks. Not too pricey either I got a deluxo suite right on the water with 3rd night free.  The approach is a bit lively because it really does feel like the "Airport in the Sky" and has some weird visual illusions since it's literally sitting on a small mesa up a 1600 ft cliff.  Good fun!

Monday, August 24, 2020

ATP and CE500 type

 I finally wrapped up my ATP.  I went to Loft in San Diego.  I did the ride as a CE500 type rating because a type rating is to ATP standards and it's basically the same check ride, so I might as well kill two birds with one stone.  

The timing worked out great because my training date coincided with a vicious set of Northern California fires.  My chest was tight, my eyes were itchy and a sore throat from all the ash and smoke in the air.  So I gathered up the family including the dog and headed down to San Diego for a sea breeze and fresh air.  The flight down was straight up gnarly...  spent basically a solid 1.5 hrs in smoke IMC.  I was just shocked at the extent of the fire and even at 11,000 ft it was smokey.  We basically couldn't see anything until VNY.  Unreal.  

The ATP went well.  The training was good and pretty much all focussed on systems.  Then they threw me in the sim and since I'm pretty sharp on instruments all I really needed to focus on was the Primus 1000 and all the various switches and the Citation Ultra panel.  It's a two pilot jet and all my stuff thus far has been single pilot, so that took a little getting used to to.  Basically instead of think-do, it's think-tell-to-do.  All good though.  

The check ride was about 6 hours, 2.5 hour oral and 2 hours flying, plus paperwork.  I had no trouble with the oral portion since I studied a fair bit and it was totally focussed on systems.  Also didn't hurt that I got 98% on the written test.  I think the only question I missed was about one of the air inlets.  The flight portion started with a hung start, followed by a below v1 abort, then a normal takeoff into 100 ft overcast, steep turns, stalls, unusual attitudes, and back for the ILS into JFK.  Setting up for the approach, the flaps failed so it would be a no flap landing, then the autopilot failed so hand fly the ILS down to minimums with a disabled aircraft on the ground so a go-around.  On the climb out got a fire on the right engine.  Run the procedure and come back around for a single engine ILS...  luckily he gave me back the flaps but the auto-pilot was still failed.  So hand flew the ILS single engine to a full stop.  Then another takeoff with a failed engine right after V1, continue the takeoff, climb away at v2 and this time it was not a fire but a flameout so we did an airborne restart.  From there came back for the RNAV but fog came in and we never broke out at minimums, so another go around with the published missed approach to the hold.  One turn in the hold and then the GPS failed and the ILS was out of service, and the disabled aircraft was still stuck on the runway so we'd need to shoot the VOR approach with a circle to land to the other runway.  Got that all set up, flew it and broke out at 1,000 ft and flew the visual maneuver to a full stop.  

Overall my advice for any check ride is to just try to relax and take whatever comes your way...  never get frazzled, what's behind you is done and just take whatever comes next as best you can.. .  just like you would in the real world.  Before I knew it was time for the shutdown checklist and paperwork.  

Examiner said I nailed it and I think I did.  They pair you with different copilots and some of the ones I got during the training portion were hit or miss.  On my check ride I had a really good copilot, so that made it a lot easier.  

So that's done.  Time to shop for a 501SP!  <--  that's a joke.  I've got a Tbone budget for now.  I do think I'll stay in San Diego until the air clears up at home however.  I don't want to fly through that ash again.  

Friday, July 31, 2020

Dynamic balance on geared engines

After flying in Ben's and Aaron's planes, I felt like mine wasn't quite as smooth. Ben's is ridiculously smooth, like turbine smooth. Aaron's is also super smooth. Mine was fairly smooth but not like theirs. At cruise I felt a slight vibration in the yoke. I'd heard mixed things about dynamic balance. Some said it was BS... some said you can't dynamic balance a geared prop, especially if there is any slop.  

I talked to DynaVibe who make the tool. They referred me to a shop just 20 miles from my home base. I called the guy and he said it would work. He hadn't done a TwinBo but had done 421's. Said RPM's are RPM's... well for $400 /side I figured it was worth a shot. It took all day with about 5 runs on each engine. Right side went from .4 IPS to .02. Left side went from .1 IPS to .02. Flight home no more vibration in the yoke.  

I'll have a longer flight on Weds to test. What say you, $800 down the toilet or $ well spent?

no reason for the attached photo other than I took it while waiting around...

Contact info:
Tracy Van Iwarden
Aviation Specialties
(707) 451 2860