Monday, February 18, 2008

For Sale...

No, no, no, we are not selling 2MH. Breath easy, the flying adventures will continue. In fact, in the works is a story about Saturday's flight to have the Garmin 430 WAAS installation completed.

Meantime, the 430 WAAS installation requires a 16MB data card. You get one with your unit, so we're covered there. For ease of updates, however, we use a second data card, and swap them out during following each update cycle.

The non-WAAS 430 uses a 4MB card. You can see the issue, right?

So, today, the IFR Pilot got on the phone and ordered the 430 WAAS data subscription and an additional 16MB card. That leaves us with a spare 4MB card. It's now available for your purchase.

The 4MB card retails new for $129. Ours is about 18 months old, meaning its been used maybe 10 times or so. It's got a relatively current database in it, which I think expired in January 2008. Rather than list it on eBay and get paid via PayPal, in the process paying way too much in service fees, I thought I'd see if any of the faithful readers of My Flying Blog would be interested. First $80 gets it, shipping included. That's a bargain compared to Jeppesen!!!

E-mail me at ifrblogger at gmail dot com if you are interested. There's a direct link in the upper right-hand corner of the site, as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Hangar Art

From a top secret web site disposing of surplus government property, the IFR Pilot and MS just acquired some new "art" for the hangar. Behold:

Best part - total cost was $45. Can't beat that with a stick. Next task will be to install some lights and put it on a base. Then, it's time for a party at the hangar. Well, at least it will be when temperatures get above the freezing point!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

WAAS Upgrade, Part I

As previously reported, Mike Hotel is undergoing an upgrade on its Garmin 430 to make it WAAS-enabled.

Today, I needed to deliver the 430 to the shop that's performing the work, so they can box it up and ship it out to Garmin for delivery by February 7. Should have been an easy flight from the Home Base to PHD, .3 on the tach. Done it a million times. OK, maybe not a million, but according to my electronic logbook at least 14 times, including a visit on my student pilot long-cross country.

The outlook briefing I received last night predicted MVFR conditions due primarily to low ceilings. Good visibility, and so long as there was a couple thousand feet below the clouds, the flight was certainly doable given the relatively flat terrain that needed to be traversed.

Fast forward 12 hours and peek out the window. Uh oh, that doesn't look so good. Fire up the computer and get a full briefing. Ceilings are around 1400 overcast, and there's an AIRMET for icing from surface to 5000 feet. After hemming and hawing for a bit, and debating whether to sit tight and see if the flight could be done later in the afternoon, I made the decision to drive, in no small part because I knew the boss was expecting to see my face in the office for at least a little while today.

This turned out to be very, very wise, because as I screamed east on Interstate 76, I espied the 1074-foot tall transmission towers here:

What I couldn't see, however, was the top of the tallest one. That, of course, means that the ceilings were more like 900 to 950 foot, and that's far too dicey to be out scud running. There's already been one aviation tragedy this weekend, I won't be contributing to it!

So, what should have been a couple hour adventure turned into 5+ hours of driving. First, drive to the Home Base, track down the mechanic, and have him pull the radio. Then, get on the road and head south. Get off one exit too soon, drive too far west, get hopeful when I see an airport sign, then come to find out it's not the right airport. (2D7 looks pretty interesting though, with a nice grass runway having VASIs at both ends, a couple sets of T-hangars that seemed full, and a beat-up DC-3 parked nearby.)

Retrieve laptop and cell modem from back seat, fire 'em up, and get more directions. Get back on highway, go south one more exit, drive a few more miles, and -- voila -- there's PHD. Drop off the 430 and eat a dozen chicken wings at Perfect Landing. Get back in car, drive home.

For the record, I enjoy visiting New Philadelphia more by air the flight much more than the drive, even with satellite radio in the PT Cruiser...