Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ricmond, VA - Columbia Shopping

I wish I could write this post with a straight face and tell you all "I" am Columbia shopping, sorry, no can do.  My friend Mike is looking at planes and he really likes the Columbia.  Now Mike was a cirrus guy but I think I may have talked him off that cliff and turned him on to the Columbia.

I won't go into all the particulars of cirrus vs Columbia or all the investigations of our day. I will say it was sweet to get an education on the aircraft and to finally get the up close inspection I had always hoped for.

I bagged a day of work and met Mike at 08Romeo by 8am. I had pre-ordered fuel and sure enough she was topped off as directed. I did my pre-flight and sumped as Mike walked across the ramp. I was right seat for this flight working the radios and navigating.
Mike had filed for KILG DQO ENO PXT TAPPA KRIC.  The wx was so nice we decided on a VFR flight south. When I picked up my taxi instructions the controller didn't ask if I wanted to pick up my clearance and instead just rattled them off. I had to break the news we were not going to pick up the clearance and instead choose to enjoy a VFR flight.
Our flight went smooth and we eventually worked our way into the pattern at Richmond sandwiched in between jets taking off and one up our six. Mike made a nice landing and with airport taxi diagram in hand and the Garmin 496 taxi screen up we made our way to Richmond Jet.
We got a nice tour of the shop and Mike met Russ who showed us the Columbia 300 that is for sale.  The shop was packed with Columbia aircraft, the drool factor was very high and I had to work to control my stupid. A nice plane for sale and Mike took plenty of photos and notes.
We finished up and headed back out to 08Romeo so we could make a short hop north, all of ten minutes, to Hanover, KOFP.  There was a Columbia 350 listed for sale and Mike figured he would check it out since we were pretty much next door.
After an extensive walk around and photo session Mike made some notes and went through the log books to make sure they matched what he was sent electronically. Stop two was complete and it was time to head home. I still wanted to fly to the beach tonight and I didn't want to contend with rush hour traffic.
We made the flight home VFR but once north of the Virginia state line we would need a pop up to get through north of Dover. I took over the flying while Mike got us the pop up and off we went.  Of course Dover 'always' requests a descent to four then three thousand and this trip would be no different. I guess I added .2 to my IMC totals and it felt different but fun flying from the right seat and bugging new headings.
We got back to ILG and I headed home to pick up my Bride.  Mike cleaned the windscreen and left 08Romeo uncovered but secured for our quick departure. A fun day flying with Mike and drooling over planes, it sure beats working!

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