Monday, April 10, 2006

Chicken Fried Steak

MS and the IFR Pilot took '78S and the 396 out for a test flight last night. Because MS had had possession of the 396 since its arrival on Friday, the IFR Pilot had initial flying duties so MS could run the 396 in-flight. Although we often pray for good weather, with the addition of WX Weather, we wanted some crummy stuff to check out all of the 396's features. Go figure - we had CAVU.

A .5 hour leg from the Home Base saw our arrival on the GPS-A at TSO. The IFR Pilot and MS both had difficulty finding the airport until we were literally on top of it. She always seems to be a bit difficult to find when you're inbound from the northwest. The restaurant was still open, so we gorged ourselves on some tasty Chicken Fried Steak and cornbread, followed by some pie.

The IFR Pilot then forced MS to do the aviating, as I wanted my turn with the 396. The initial plan was to head straight home. That morphed into a trip to BKL -- might as well enjoy the scenery after going to the trouble of taking the plane out of its hangar.

MS made a fine, fine landing at BKL, dutifully following the IFR Pilot's instructions on how to fly over most of downtown Cleveland (the IFR Pilot having received his private at BKL), and the IFR Pilot captured it all on video. (I'll try posting it to Google Video or Flight Levle 350 after I offload it.)

We then talked about trying to land at CLE, and add that coveted Class B airport to MS's logbook, but our time together was drawing close to an end, so we made a beeline for the Home Base, stopping only to add TOWR waypoint to the 396's database. Basically, it's a radio tower that positions you for the 45-degree entry to runway 3 at the Home Base. MS did a nice job on the landing there as well, and that's also on video.

The initial conclusion is clear: The 396 was and is an outstanding piece of machinery, and so here's to having some bad weather in the near future. The IFR Pilot's first possible test of it during cross-country travel will be an Angel Flight from PHL to CAK at the end of this month. Stay tuned for further action reports from the front lines.

1 comment:

John said...

An instrument pilot I fly with every now and then has a 396 and swears by it. When he's not flying, he has it set up at home and monitors the weather from time to time.

If you know there is some bay weather elsewhere in the country, you can put the 396 into simulator mode, position yourself where the action is, and "fly" through the junk. With the west coast being repeatedly hammered by rain, I'd say a virtual trip from Oakland to Santa Barbara would be a good way to check out the weather features.