Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Annual Complete and The Flight Home

The Retrieval Mission

I'm up early, 6am as usual, to take care of Ziva and then gather my flight bag items for the return flight home from annual. The check is made out and signed, a few video cameras are packed, along with my updated Jeppesen data card and iPad mini 5. It's just a short hop home, ten minutes, and if I can't find my way I shouldn't even be in the air. 

Mary will drive me to the airport, about thirty-five minutes, and I'll load my log books in her SUV so she can get back on the road. Georgetown in Sussex county is the highest infected area in the state of Delaware despite the northern county of New Castle having three times the population. I don't want Mary to even get out of the SUV. I will disinfect the log books and back pack I carry them in before putting them in her SUV. I can't believe I even am typing this, let alone having to take such precautions. 

3 Tango Charlie was in another Commander owners T Hangar while his aircraft took my place in the shop.  Thanks to Bill H for giving my plane a place to hide from all the nesting birds, much appreciated. 

The items on my squawk list were addressed along with a few other items noted in the final invoice and log book entry. Compressions were very good and everything firewall forward looked very good.

My List
  • Replaced Adel clamp for starter wire, aft of alternator.
  • Replace blast tube for alternator
  • Install new LED landing light
  • Repair stall horn/lift detector
  • Correct parking brake wire clamp,pivot arm
  • Install Fire extinguisher behind the center console on floor between rear seats

Additional Items
  • Replace wire support/clip left main gear
  • Replace O-ring RH brake caliper
  • Replace left main gear down limit switch
  • Stop drill crack left flap gap seal
  • Secure Nav relay CB in fuse panel
  • troubleshoot gear actuator issues & repair

With the check handed over and my log books in hand we walked over to the hangar and tugged 3 Tango Charlie out onto the ramp. I did an in depth pre-flight getting hands on everything. I also did a fuel sump since the plane had sat on the ramp, in the rain, the first weekend at the shop. 

I broke out the Clorox wipes to clean everything that could have been touched outside as well as in the cockpit. With the outside good to go I climbed aboard and went through everything on my pre-start check list and checked some obvious things like seat track lock pins, glare shield secured, seat belts and rear seat attach points. Everything looked as it should be. 

I got the fan turning and let the engine and oil warm up. All gauges were good and the fresh oil initial pressure was a bit high until I dialed back the RPM's after start. I went through systems since I was waiting for temps and set up my video camera. I will say the shop left the plane just as clean as when I dropped her off. Actually a bit cleaner, they found 4 pens under the seats wedged against the carpet tuck, and a quarter. They left the newly found treasures on the glare shield. I had a good laugh. Yes, I put the quarter in my pocket and the pens went into the center console.

I taxied out to runway four and completed my run up, cycling the prop three times and really giving the gauges an extended look. I released the brakes and taxied for the hold short.  It felt good great to be in the left seat again. I made my departure call and climbed out, making good power and tucking the gear away along with that first notch of flaps. 
There was traffic today as I approached Ocean City. Winds favored three-two so I entered on a extended left down wind, number two behind a Cessna. I made an ok landing and let 3 Tango Charlie roll out for the last taxiway. The inbound aircraft was just turning down wind as I was clearing the runway.

It's good to have the plane back in the hangar. We are ready to get back in the air and travel...well, once the country opens back up for business.  Stay safe, practice social distancing and soon life will be back to normal. 

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