Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Home

I have been flying. Nothing extraordinary, no special trips, nothing that one might call an adventure. Just nice local area aviating. I've become much more comfortable in the left seat getting my pattern work and landings back where I want them to be, to my own standards. I've played with the avionics with practice ILS and Localizer approaches, some GPS approaches but all in the local area.

The autopilot will not fly a holding pattern. It can get me to the IAF but after that I'm on my own. Unlike a GNS 430, the 696 just doesn't know IFR. No need I suppose as it is a VFR only bird. It handles the final approach course well, just doesn't know a procedure turn or holding patterns.

She is getting ready for another oil change and I have a very small list of gripes to go over with Harry. (The towing ring broke on the nose wheel and I have the part to be installed. etc) I have some cosmetic gripes as well. The "Do Not Step" warnings on the flaps show wear, and a few other blemishes need to be addressed. I'm sure if she were hangared I wouldn't be seeing this kind of wear. All a part of ownership.

Today I took a short flight down to Pottstown Municipal (N47) to keep her for the winter. It extends my drive by about 15 minutes, but puts her on an asphalt pad and prepared taxi ways that can be more easily cleared when the snows begin to fall.  Hopefully it will mean more winter time utilization. N47 also has some good night lighting, so hopefully I'll be able to take advantage of my new lighting package.

As I pulled up to the fuel tanks Joe came out to help. He showed me the on/off switch and how to clear the pump to start fueling. I'll figure on a winter time mix of  50/50 100LL and auto-gas. Ethanol/moisture in the winter has me just a bit concerned about freezing fuel lines.  I haven't sumped any water but DID have water in the fuel sensor line, enough to keep me cautious.

We also got some very nice compliments. Pilots like the lines of a PiperSport and she always gets attention. One pilot stopped by to discuss LSA, it turns out he just bought a Cessna SkyCatcher. It should be a lot of fun to compare notes!

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