Once again the need for speed has reared it's ugly head. When Mary and I headed south for BAC Fest in Gulf Shores in September 2012 her first statement when we landed at Jack Edwards Airport, Gulf Air Center was, "I'm not sure but I think I left my arse in Georgia". I just looked across the top of 08Romeo and my Bride confirmed, we need more speed. Fast forward through BACFest and now landing back at home and Mary once again reminds me that we need a faster plane. Ok round trip was just over 18 hours and 2000 miles. I thought the flight was perfect.
Our typical mission in the Sundowner is the weekend get-away beach runs to Ocean City MD. 45-50 minutes each way vs 2.5 to 3 hours driving. We do try and schedule a long vacation every year with the plane as our transportation. This past year Key West was so much cheaper by spam can that we left 08Romeo home.
In order to move our motor home around the use of the plane really comes in handy. Mike B will often shuttle us one way and that saves us a road trip. Lately Mike has teased us with a flight in the Cirrus. One can not help but notice how short the trip is with the additional speed. I think one trip he even shuttled us in a Diamond DA40 that he was flying, again noticeable time savings.
Despite not being a pilot this 'time savings' did not go unnoticed by my Bride. On our trip to the beach this past weekend to meet with friends 08Romeo and I were once again confronted with the 'need for speed' comment.
So, once again the search begins, or should I say continues. Last time it was just a few looks at various aircraft online and even a few looks at twins. The pro/con list of maintaining a twin quickly doused the need for speed flames. However, this time around twins are definitely out, faster singles are on the table.
I am looking at an older Cirrus SR20 with the six pack, I don't care for all that glass. The cirrus doesn't haul a big load but it's a modern aircraft with the added safety of a chute and two doors. The few keys to the Cirrus is the repack of the safety chute which is good for ten years, I believe. Annual maintenance will increase and the insurance is killer.
I'm also looking at some Bonanza's despite no real excitement in maintaining retracts and only a single door. I like the Beechcraft quality and it's the next progressive step in aircraft. I'll need a HP and complex endorsement for both "potential" aircraft. I have exchanged emails with Paul McCracken the Beech Bonanza "Guru". If I go Bo he will be the man to check it out and get me pointed in the right direction. Paul did the pre-buy on my Sundowner when he was at AeroMark in Texas (T31), I could not be better represented if and when I need a pre-buy.
More info to follow as things move forward. I am working on a 'for sale' advertisement for 08Romeo if this adventure leads me to that point. God help me!