Friday, September 21, 2012

good news bad news

Bad news first?  My plane won't be ready until next Wednesday, making it exactly 1 month since I brought her in.  I'm a little shocked by it really since the primary issues seem to be engine and landing gear related and I just spent 125k last year on a complete firewall forward job and just six months before I had the shop go through the landing gear.  The cost is obviously painful but the worst part is I've missed an insanely beautiful month for flying.  I had to rent a plane to fly to the Reno air races.

Speaking of... that was freakin awesome!  I went with Dave Lawlor a fellow Baron owner from back east.  I had originally planned to take him in my plane until this annual from hell.  We had a ridiculous time though... spent the day in the shaded VIP Breitling tent with an incredible front row view, a scattered group of french dudes and their super model girlfriends, flat screen TV showing football, full open bar (I was flying though), full spread of amazing food including fresh hand made omelet's for breakfast and through the afternoon seared ahi, grilled halibut, steak, pasta, heirloom tomato salad, pelegrino's and bottles of water, full cappuccino bar, and the full pit crew from Precious Metal and other assorted awesomeness. All that on comfy chairs in front of the awesome races... pretty much the pinnacle of airshow/race experiences for me in my lifetime I'm sure...  here was the view from our comfy perch, literally there was no better place to be.

I'd also forgotten how much more pucker factor there is flying over the mountains in a single.  The trip back was at night too, made me really appreciate my plane, if I can just get her back.

In other news Pilotica mobile was approved and is now in the app store.  If you need an online pilot logbook app check it out,  I'd love to get more feedback.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Electronic pilot logbook now for iPhone

I just submitted a mobile version of the Pilotica free pilot logbook to Apple for review so the iOS version will be available any day.  I've been using it myself as I've noodled it along and it works really well, simple and so nice to have all my flights in my pocket.  I also added the ability to quickly keep track of the engine and airframe times and upload images to flights and airplanes from the phone.  Some screenshots...  should be available in the app store in a few days, free of course.  Can't wait to update it for iOS 6, looks awesome.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Squawk list

Got the squawk list from MxExpress for the annual, some engine stuff from the new engines settling in, the left engine has a leak on the left alternator drive seal, which I'm hoping will be under TCM warranty since we're just under 1 year, but that's 6 hours of labor to replace alone.  There is a long list of discretionary items, some things that are just worn out, and a broken floor board which apparently was putting pressure on one of the ribs and when someone stepped on it it bent the rib.  All in about 20 hours of general airframe labor, 20 hours of landing gear labor and 15 hours of engine labor.  Not too bad but of course at $95 an hour it all ads up quick!

Looks like I'm looking at about 9 grand if I decide to do everything, including the inspection and some rigging to get the controls balanced perfectly... maybe I'll pick up a few extra knots.  Probably 4k if I just did the airworthiness items... but I know myself and will probably just fix everything... Ouch! Note that nearly all of it is labor... If I had the time and inclination to do an owner assisted I could sure save some dough, but unfortunately I don't have the time and in truth my free time is probably better spent on things I'm good at.  Those Baron guys that are claiming $1500 annuals sure aren't tossing the keys to the mechanic and saying "fix it again Tony and send me the bill when it's done".  No one said this was a cheap endeavor, the flying part sure is cool though.