Monday, November 21, 2005

My Paramour

On Saturday, the IFR Pilot broke the vow of monogamy to 78S. A client, TC, owns a certified Lancair Columbia 300, N269GB. He's been itching to take the IFR Pilot flying in it since March.

The sun, moons, stars, and the rest of the universe finally aligned, and we met to go flying on an unbelievably beautiful mid-November day in our neck of the woods. The IFR Pilot dragged along one of 78S's co-owners, MS.

We launched out of 1G5, bound for the ever-popular Flying Turtle Cafe at MFD. The IFR Pilot had the right seat, and did the flying, with TC handling throttle, prop, and communications, and adding a little help for the touchdown.

9GB has a side-stick, and this was the IFR Pilot's first experience with one. It seemed fairly natural, and was certainly wonderful to have the panel in front of you clear of a yoke. Having done some flight simming with a joystick helped, although the physical force required to manipulate the stick reminded you that this wasn't just a simluation.

Final approach speed was 90 knots, and unlike in a Cessna, you drive the Lancair all the way to the ground, with a last minute flare. After 500+ landings in the child of Clyde Cessna (and a half dozen in an Arrow), the speed and sight picture were dramatically different.

Speaking of sight pictures, 9GB is equipped with an Apollo GPS driving two MX 20 MFDs. The upper MFD displays VFR Sectionals, while the lower MFD displays IFR en-route charts and Jeppesen approach plates. MS flew the GPS 27 on our return, and it was pretty slick to see the approach being displayed on the MFD as we flew it.

All in all, anytime that TC wants a co-pilot, the IFR Pilot's there. He says he may be selling her in a couple of years, as he's looking to step up to a D-Jet. The IFR Pilot has decided to start saving his pennies. If you want to donate some, I'll take 'em.

MS snapped a couple of photos when we were done, which I hope to post once I hound him to send them!!!

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