|Posted on April 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
Well, it's been six weeks since I last wrote about my personal saga of aircraft ownership. Time for an update. Basically the experience for me so far can be broken down into four categories:
1) Fixing her up.
2) Looking for a hangar
3) Planning on spending money
4) Spending money (aka "Flying")
Let's look at them one by one.
Fixing her up. Since we last spoke, I have done a few small things. First, I got a carpeted floor mat that covers most of the carpet in front of the seats. It is blue, so goes nicely with the exterior, and has "Cessna" embroidered dead center. It brightens up the interior and hides the worst of the ugly brown/orange/yellow carpet. About 80 bucks delivered. Next came switch labels. Most were worn or otherwise unreadable. I took a white paint stick and re-colored all the labels. Many look good as new, and all look better. Next, I touched up the radio knobs and trim, so they look better and point more clearly. Next, my hardware to fix the pilot side window arrived so I installed in seconds with the help of Paul Rotenberry of GTO Aviation. The window now works as Cessna intended. On the same day, I installed the missing hubcap. Finally, I added some weather stripping in key spots around the pilot's door and window to create a better seal and reduce some noise.
Looking for a hangar. My plane is essentially homeless. It has moved around from the community hangar to the maintenance hangar to various tie-downs. It has been moved more often than the federal debt ceiling. I have heard I should have a permanent home by the end of May. I sure hope so, because I am seriously considering moving the plane to Portland until something opens up in Gallatin. There are two really lousy things about keeping a plane outside. First is when it rains hard, the tail fills with water and the cabin leaks from somewhere soaking the carpet. So, the plane needs to be drained and dried to lessen the possibility of rust. Second is birds. Birds love airports. Birds especially love my airport. Birds ESPECIALLY love whatever spot on the airport my plane is parked on. I have dug enough nesting material out of my engine compartment to build a multi-level bird mansion. And yes, I have cowl plugs. They enter the engine compartment from below. I used to love birds. Now I know how my bird-hating cat feels...
Planning on spending money. The list of "must haves" continues to grow. In addition to an aviation GPS and another radio, I may need a new tire, I definitely need an annual inspection next month, the prop needs to be "dressed and painted," the wheel pants need to be installed, the entire plane needs to be washed and then refinished, and of course the interior needs more work. Throw in a hand-held radio.
Spending money. This is the best part. I get to go flying. I fly locally around town, I fly little Cessna 150-sized cross countries, and I fly in the pattern trying to improve my mediocre landing skills. I do this when I want. No need to schedule or plan for a rental. No need to beg a ride with a friend. Now they ask ME for rides!! I have plans to fly to a Cessna fly in, local events, and even for business. The best part about owning an airplane is FLYING AN AIRPLANE.
Until next time!
|Posted on March 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
Well, if you have not been around the airport and you have been deleting my emails, ignoring my Facebook posts and otherwise avoiding contact with yours truly, you probably don't "THE BIG NEWS." Yes, I finally did it. I took the plunge, emptied my bank account and
Yeah. I'm am that crazy. You know what they say: What's an airplane? A hole in the sky you throw money into. Yeah, but like I said: Crazy Person.
Despite the insanity, I am giddy with joy over my ownership of N704AE. Now, to be sure, the call sign should be "7 Achey Echo" or "7 Aged Echo," since my new pride and joy aint exactly a spring chicken. No, 'ol 7AE is a 1976 Cessna 150. Oh yeah, it's the "M" model -just about the newest and most high-tech Cessna 150 you can get. It even has CIRCUIT BREAKERS instead of fuses straight out of the 19th century.
And it sure is decked out. I mean it has a DIGITAL CLOCK in it! (Full disclosure: I bought the clock for 6 bucks at Wally World and stuck it on the right door pillar.) What else? Well it has an ADF! It even kinda-sorta works. You see, I have never touched with my own hands a working ADF. Oh yeah, I've seen them in lots of planes, but never one that actually worked. Mine works half-way. The receiver will pick up any AM station in the area no problem, but the DF needle won't be bothered to actually POINT at the station. Nope, it just kinda sits there. Oh well, the VOR receiver works just fine and keeping the needle centered will get you to or from the station just fine thank you very much. What else? Well, it has an OAT guage in the left door window with a probe so long you can't open the window all the way. That's ok, the window prop rod pin is missing, so the window won't stay open anyway.
What about that interior you ask? Well, you should see it! I mean, it is right out of 1976. All original. Classic. Check out the yellow/orange color for the carpet. They invented this color in 1976 and decided it was the wrong thing to do and the only place on Earth you can still see it is on the floor of my airplane. Seats? Plush velor in gold tones. Classic 1970's hideous. Plastic? Not bad, if all the screws were still in place, it might even stay on the frame. Panel? Held on by velcro and all the switch labels are worn away.
Impressive? Not really. But it is mine. All mine. Not the bank's, not the FBO's, not Cessna's, but mine. The first plane I have ever owned and maybe the last. But it is mine, and I love it. (And from a quick look at the exterior the other day, the birds love it too!)
My pride in ownership has conspired with my Internet connection to help me craft a list a mile long of things I want to do to this 1600lbs of metal, paint, and gas. Here is a sample:
A new radio with memory or at least a flip-flop frequency switch.
New carpet. Quickly.
One hubcap and 4 screws (3 for the one hubcap and one for the other one held on by just two.
Hardware to mount the wheel pants. (The only airplane in the world that came with wheel pants in the luggage area standard!)
A handheld radio since the King in the panel is older than most of my readers.
A hangar to keep it in. (See bird comment above.)
A pin, washer and cotter pin to keep the window open. (Total cost, including shipping: $3.50.)
Touch up paint. (In the garage already -the paint guy got the color to match PERFECTLY!)
An annual inspection. Kinda have to do this one.
Well, stay tuned as I begin my journey as the owner of an actual airplane. I love 7AE, and I hope to keep on loving her. You see, the engine is strong and it is well-maintained. She may not be the sexiest plane on the ramp, but she will keep me safe and keep me airborne. All for 6 gallons an hour. Not bad really.
|Posted on February 5, 2012 at 6:50 PM||comments (0)|
Gallatin, TN (M33)
February 4, 2012
EAA 1343 Website Improvements
Our chapter website has been improved. Please check us out at www.1343.eaachapter.org/.
We now have photos, videos, links and more. I will add more as I have time. Please send me any suggestions and feedback. I'd like to have the best chapter website around, but I am still learning.
EAA 1165 (BWG) to Host Continental Seminar
Please see attached for information on an upcoming seminar by Continental Motors hosted by EAA 1165 in Bowling Green.
We meet on Thursday February 16 at 630pm. Potluck Dinner. Bring a dish! The Gallatin Fire Department will be speaking to us on fire safety at the airport.
Thank you for your support of EAA 1343. See you at the airport!
|Posted on February 4, 2012 at 11:20 PM|
The Volunteer Flyer will be the official blog of EAA 1343. Here you will find stories about aviation and our community.
EAA was founded to help promote experimental aviation and assist builders of experimental aircraft. Over the years, EAA has embraced all forms of sport aviation and today has thousands of chapters around the world. Chapter 1343, the Volunteer Flyers, is based at Sumner County Regional Airport in Gallatin, TN.
We hope our passion for aviation is passed along to those who read these pages. Welcome!