Saturday, December 28, 2019

2019 in Review

Airplane Search and Purchase

I started to search for a plane in December but knew perfectly well Mary and I both had to get back in the air to make this all work. With the help of our friend Charles we confirmed we were both ready to fly again.

I found our next plane the end of March, just two weeks after our get back in the air flights. On April 2nd Mary and I drove out to Morgantown WV to meet the owner and the aircraft up close. This saved us driving time meeting halfway and we both appreciated Bill's offer to do this.
The prebuy/annual was scheduled for the third week of April out in Ohio at Bills hangar. I selected an A&P, one of three that Bill had used over the years of his ownership. It was a learning experience and the start of a new process for me and 3 Tango Charlie.
With the inspection process completed Bill and I closed the deal. Unfortunately weather would keep us from bringing the plane to Ocean City. Bill was gracious enough to bring the plane to us the following week. On April 24th 3 Tango Charlie was finally home in Ocean City. 

By The Numbers

ASEL:                1336.1

2019:                  56.0
Complex:               55.5
Cross Country:         33.8
Simulated Instrument:   5.2
PIC:                   56.0

New Airports - 4

KMSV - Sullivan County Airport
KHGR - Hagerstown Regional Airport
KCXO - Conroe-North Houston Regional
T74 -  Taylor Municipal



My first flight, I was finally back in the air. A very special shout out to Charles G at N57, New Garden. Charles kept me mentally in the game, focused, and finally got me back in a plane.
Just one week later Charles returned to Ocean City and took Mary for her return to flight.

April was busy with getting the new to us Commander scheduled for annual and having her delivered to Ocean City. 


What a crazy month!  Trying to get a CFII scheduled that met the insurance company minimums was a PITA. I finally found a CFII and he was nice enough to come to Ocean City for a few days of training. 


The training is underway.  I ended up with eleven plus hours of flight time, four and a half hours of ground instruction and twenty eight landings. Lets not forget a BFR and an IPC.


This was the getting to know her period.  I crawled all over 3 Tango Charlie in an effort to learn everything I could about her systems and avionics. I immersed myself in the Garmin 480 flight simulator to learn every button push and shortcut. I did manage to fly out for breakfast with my hangar neighbor, Chet.  It was a welcome get-away and a chance to fly 3 Tango Charlie to Millville NJ.


More training!  Mike B flew in from Boston to help me learn the Stec autopilot and provide a better hands on opportunity with the Garmin 480. At times it was frustrating, I had lost that natural flow, always being ahead of the plane. I was starting over in the Commander and Mike helped me get over that mental block. He restored my confidence that I can still do this pilot stuff.


It was time to start flying the plane and having some fun. Mary and I made a few short hops and managed to catch up with the Beech Aero Club.  
Sadly, we were not able to attend BACFest this year. So, we still have tickets to use or loose before February 18th.  Maybe a trip to warmer weather over the holidays. 


I did have a few things done to 3 Tango Charlie. I had the Reiff pre-heat system installed for winter ops, and replaced the seat roller bearings.  Our airplane tug got new tires and I rebuilt the switch that makes it go.


What a busy month! I started out with a flight to Millville NJ to meet up with friend and fellow pilot Chris N. I finally got to check out his beautiful V Tail Bonanza.

Mary and I wanted to get away for our anniversary so we planned for Sanibel Island, Florida.  This would have been a perfect first 'travel' flight for us in 3 Tango Charlie.  Unfortunately, we had airline tickets to use or lose from our cancelled Denver trip so that's how we traveled. 
We did manage a few breakfast flights this month and planned to fly into Newport News, Virginia to see Clint Black. Due to the weather the Newport News flight (45 minutes) turned into a three hour ground pound. Not cool. 

Mary and I once again boarded the commercial tube for a Thanksgiving in Austin, Texas.  We had a blast with our friends Candy and Mark. We are very excited that they will be moving to the Blacksburg Virginia area, that's just a short hop for 3 Tango Charlie.


Tis the season! Yes, the season for giving, and that's exactly what we did for 3 Tango Charlie. Mary and I decided to join a few of our friends for breakfast in Ocean City, NJ (26N). We made it home but the plane was grounded due to a mag issue
I did eventually bring 3 Tango Charlie home after making a contribution to the good folks at Aerial Services, Inc., at the Woodbine Airport. Thanks guys for getting us back in the air!

Mary and I are looking forward to 2020 and more travels together. Our friends, Candy and Mark, are moving to Blacksburg, Virginia so we will be making that round trip often, at least until they get tired of seeing us.

We also want to get back to traveling to new destinations and revisiting some of our past favorites. Mary and I hope you continue to read our blog and watch our YouTube videos as we explore together.  

We wish a Happy, and Healthy New Year to all our readers!


Jim and Sandie said...

Love this summary. And I'm so happy you guys are back in the air. 2020 is going to be a fantastic year.

Chris said...

That's a pretty impressive pro-rated number of hours, Gary. Especially considering that 3TC gets places faster than the run-of-the-mill 110 knot airplanes like mine. What a truly momentous year. I hope that 2020 brings you lots of great opportunities to stretch 3TC's legs.

Gary said...

Sandie, We are happy to be flying again! The both of us are looking forward to new adventures.

Gary said...

Chris, Thanks! I don't get there that much faster, unless it's a long leg, and your Warrior is far from run of the mill.

I was impressed by your hours this year, a very nice goal for me to reach. I hope we can catch up, maybe with the North East Flyers on FB. We used to have a large group that flew out at least once a month, it was fun. Best to you and your family in the new year!

Chris said...

Thanks. I was surprised by my hours this year. I keep asking myself, "How did that happen?" A lot of it was propelled by the club. We kept planning cool things to do and I didn't want to be left out.

We keep saying that we need to catch up. Maybe that's the goal for 2020 - less saying, more doing. If you Northeast Flyers guys pick a breakfast destination that is less than 2 hours away from me, I'll be good to go! :-)