Saturday, November 19, 2011


Nice flight today, good flight with a mix of light IFR and stunning VFR on top.  Had a little Beech flyout planned to visit my buddy Alejandro for lunch at Camarillo.  First I flew over to Gnoss (KDVO) to pickup a friend Tim, but right after takeoff I heard that telltale whistle coming through the door... uh oh, a few seconds later it popped.  Doh, door open in flight is no biggie, but I sure felt dumb.  I circled around and landed and gave it a good slam this time.  Took off and got Tim at Gnoss, got a Bravo clearance and and headed for KCMA skimming a broken layer at 9500 ft... stunning.  I didn't have my camera going today though ;(

We had a great lunch with a super successful, cool and interesting crew.  Here are some photos Ale shot.

Those beautiful Beeches... clearly the finest piston aircraft ever made!

The lunch crew, great food in Camarillo.  My new favorite airport restaurant!

That's my bird behind, blocked by the Boyz

Then I flew IFR to VNY because those clouds were thicker over that way, I'm glad I did because I was in the clouds nearly the whole way, but I suppose I could have scud run it too.  Did my pickup at VNY, and then picked up my IFR clearance back to KCCR.  We popped out on top at 10k and had a nice smooth ride despite the 35kt headwind.  Landed at night in rain and mist 1:45 mins later and tucked the Baron away.  What a great, super capable all weather airplane!  On both legs I got about 185 kts true on 22 gph running LOP with all CHTs in in the 330 range or lower. 

Had an issue with the left alternator though, the warning indicator is flashing intermittently... probably has something to do with the battery issues I had?  Oh well, the JPI showed 28.2 volts and I have two alternators... another advantage of the twin, I would have scrubbed this flight in a single.  But yet another thing to get sorted, also the poster light on the backup AI is burned out.  No biggie...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Battery drain

This morning I went to go meet Jim Gruneiesen, one of the BPPP instructors for some training.  I went to fire her up and the left engine fired up right away, but when I engaged the starter on the right engine the blade basically moved a little bit and then stopped. It was as if the battery was low or dead, but I had the battery tender on and it should have been fine... grrr.  I had been juggling with Jim for weeks and had to cancel. Turns out the batteries had just hit their limit.  This afternoon Chris and Alan from MaintenanceExpress flew over in their 172 from LVK with two new batteries.  They showed me how to change out the batteries and then I fired her up.  She fired up so fast it surprised me. I've never had a plane start so fast, faster than my car.  Back to squawk free for now (knock on wood)!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ice is for cocktails

Had a nice beautiful IFR flight tonight, skimmed the clouds at 8,000 ft right at sunset which was so awesome I didn't even mind the headwinds. :thumbup: 

Started out kind of interesting, I knew I had to get though the wall of cold, mountainous clouds. Good day to own a Baron!