Monday, December 03, 2007

Mmmmm, Breakfast

Saturday, the IFR Pilot dragged his lazy butt out of bed early enough to justify taking Mike Hotel out to play. The weather gurus were predicting lovely weather here in Northeast Ohio until about 6:00 p.m., after which Old Man Winter was going to make his first appearance of the season, in the form of freezing rain, sleet, ice, and maybe even some snow. That was plenty enough reason to take the plane out while the taking was good.

Fortunately, after last weekend's touch and go session, I had installed the AeroTherm heater, so the engine was ready to go upon arrival. Not so much so for the Garmin 430 display, which doesn't like to cold weather too much. It takes a loooooooooooong time to warm up, so if you're the betting kind, don't be surprised that when the 430 goes in for its WAAS upgrade in February, Garmin tells us we need a new display as well. (MS, you've been warned!)

After filling the tanks, it was time to blast off. Man, the airplane leaps off the runway in winter! Briefly holding 70 KIAS in the climb, the VSI was showing probably 1000 FPM. Quickly dropping the nose to effect 80 KIAS, the VSI still showed a nice, healthy rate of climb, which is always nice when you're using Runway 3 at the Home Base -- lots of tall trees immediately beyond the end of the runway.

Destination was KMFD, which the "Flying Turtle" has changed hands and morphed into "Flyboys Cafe." Vectored for a visual to 32, ATC then switched the active to runway 5. Already established on a left base for 32, Tower offered the option of 5 or 32. The IFR Pilot elected to remain inbound for 32. Might as well get a cross-wind landing in the book.

All went well, and before you know it, Mike Hotel was properly secured and the IFR Pilot was eating the biggest ham steak in the history of mankind. Of course, I'm sure that it sent my sodium content through the roof, but hey, what's the point of eating a "healthy" $100 breakfast???

After laying waste to the eggs, homefries, and toast that accompanied the ham steak, it was time to head home. Remember, stay awake even though your tummy is quite full.....

Holding #2 for takeoff on runway 5 behind a Twin Comanche, the IFR Pilot's ire got the best of him. With a Decathlon just exiting the runway and a Cirrus on a 2 mile final, the TwinCo pilot requested a takeoff clearance. "We can expedite if it will help."

Tower did the proper thing and denied the clearance due to traffic on final. The TwinCo pilot's response was unbelievable:

"Well, if we're going to have to hold much longer here, I'll have to shut down an engine."

Amazing. You want to shoehorn a takeoff in front of a aircraft on final, probably doing 85 to 90 knots, just so that you can save about 3 minutes of fuel in your one engine? Brother, if that's the case, go back to flying a Single Engine Comanche!!! You just aren't that important to jeopardize safety so you can save $5 or so in avgas!!!

OK, rant over. After the TwinCo departed, the IFR Pilot got cleared for takeoff with an immediate right turn towards the Home Base. Rocketing up to 3500 feet, Yours Truly settled in for a leisurely flight back home. The landing was pretty much a non-event, except for the bottom dropping out on final and a bit of extra throttle having to be applied to salvage the landing.

And that was that. By 7:00 p.m., it was snowing. Today, it's Lake Effect Snow Warnings, with some areas expected to get 15" or so. Who knows when there will be another beautiful CAVU winter day.

(Forgot the camera. Again. Doggone it.)


Zach said...

How do you like flying a Twin Comanche? My g-friends father has one and we frequently fly and I personally think the ride is really smooth. People have told me though its a killer to fly if an engine goes out. Hopefully no one will ever have to experience that to find out. Love to see some pics of her! Love your blog! zach - Behind the Yoke

evanandersen said...

Evan Andersen

I have not yet taken out a Twin Comanche but when people ask me, hey Evan Andersen, why do you fly by the of your pants, I look them square in the eye and say, I am Evan Andersen

Evan Andersen

Anonymous said...

audrey wright

my god, the twin comanche is unbelievable. i am trying to get a few cessna's right now and i am so excited. evan andersen, flying by the seat of your pants can be fun but dangerous. i would tell you evan andersen to buckle up instead of looking them straight in the eye and saying, i am evan andersen.
that is all for now.