The days and months are flying by so fast, it’s almost not believable we’re back in that time of year again. What time of year you may ask ? Well, it’s time to pay the bill for the insurance (Good news: it’s still getting lower); it’s time for my medical and it used to be time for the annual.

On the medical: now that I’m nearing middle age, this is the last time I’ll have 3 years between check ups, from here on out it is going to be on a 2 year schedule. I don’t mind, it’s probably a good idea to have a check up every once in a while. It’s also a good deal, I think it’s around $100 for a checkup. The airplane annual is in May, due to the longer previous annual.

Anyway. There were some other things I had to catch up on: Biennial - check; update the GPS to make sure it has it’s current maps - check. In order to getaround the very expensive Classic Card service, I ordered their Skybound card writer and an extra data card. The Skybound writer hooks up to the computer, and through the internet the current navigation data is downloaded. The data card is then plugged into the GPS. This costs substantially less than having pre programmed data cards to be sent to you. I have coverage for the Western US.

One final peace of housekeeping is that the airplane needs a paint job. I flew down to Salinas a couple of weeks ago and put down $250 to reserve a slot at T&P aero refinishers, the same folks who are responsible for the current paint job. I may decide to only pain the wings, the fuselage is still in good shape. This is because the wings and horizontal surfaces have more exposure to the sun and UV then vertical ones. On the other hand, I probably have the whole airplane repainted, as it’s probably looks odd to have ‘new’ wings.

This morning the weather looked marginal VFR. We filed IFR to Salinas. I was hoping for some hard IFR time (i.e. flying in actual instrument conditions) but that didn’t work out. At the assigned altitude we SkyboundWriter.jpgw-usa.jpg
were about 100 - 300 feet below the clouds. On the way back from Salinas we ended up with about 10 seconds of solid IFR, not enough to put in your logbook. One thing I’ll repeat again about the GPS: it really works wonders in a very busy environment and reduces workload by 500%. I plan to make some more IFR flights in the coming weeks, just get really current and comfortable again in the IFR environment. I must say that I often look up to these flights: but doing them is always rewarding and easier than I think.

11/19/04 Mosying

After yet another business trip and some home chores, time to climb in the airplane again. It’s been a beatifull albeit hazy day. Spend a quick hour flying around, to New Jerusalem and back to Palo Alto. At New Jerusalem I practiced an engine out landing. Even though I landed at the runway it wasn’t on the spot where I intended to land. At Palo Alto I tried again and with better results. 60miles over the fence; wheelie and that’s it.