Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cirrus SR20

I went out to Wings to talk to an instructor about the DA20. eh, no. I really don't fit well in a C152 anymore and a smaller cockpit just wouldn't entice my wife to go for that summertime hamburger. I was disappointed.

As I sat discussing my options the two instructors started talking about the rest of their fleet. A price sheet was produced and as I scanned down it was clear that I would be paying more then previously planned. On the other hand, no fees to join or monthly dues to pay. The instructor fees were in line with what I had paid before, and the gas surcharge concept was in effect here just as it was in Georgia. So, it would be roughly $35/Hr more and would include a glass cockpit. For just a bit more I could fly the Cirrus.

I had one of the guys take me out for a tour. There is something exciting about looking at airplanes, especially new ones. Two 2007 SR20s and one Sr22 of the same year sat on the line. It would definitely be a change from the other aircraft I had flown, as well as a challenge to learn the sophisticated systems. I wanted to let this idea 'percolate' a bit. Then he mentions the "deal".

A few more questions and I left to ponder the situation. I talked it over with the CFO and she was pretty positive about it. I spent some time on the web investigating the airplane and downloaded the Avidyne Simulator. OK, this stuff is cool.

Can I do it? Can I climb this mountain again, learn all of the rules and regs, master the new systems and fly a different airplane. Its time to find out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Finding a Home Base

Where to begin? I pulled out my sectional to see what was in my local area.

I want to keep my commute under 1 hour. As much as I love to go flying, more then an hours drive will definitely inhibit how often I get to go. (and that drive out 'just to see what the weather is like' just won't happen.) So I drew a range circle on the map and came up with the airports on the chart above. One by one I made a visit, and one by one I scrubbed them off the list. A few phone calls, web searches followed by trips out to the candidate airports were disappointing. Lack of facilities, or instructors and very little to choose from in selection of rental planes. This was not going to be as easy as the great environment I fell into at KRYY.

Then I read a blog from someone flying out of Wings Field in a DA20. Not a Tiger, but something a bit different from the Cessna 172/Piper Warrior standard issue kind of rental. It won't meet my IFR requirements, but for a sunny day trip for that elusive hamburger it might be fun. The fleet also includes some C172s, an Arher II and even a Cirrus should I get interested. This might just be the place to start again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A cold, dreary Pennsylvania Day.

Light snow had been falling all night but just a dusting remains on the ground. Temperatures have stayed in the low 30s, the sun peaked out just a bit around mid-morning but quickly went back behind the clouds before it could warm us any further. February is a long, hard, cold month up here with little hope of Spring coming anytime soon. Its the 'grind it out' time of year.

There was a ray of hope today. I passed my medical. As we get older this becomes more of a challenge each year, for all the obvious reasons. Weight, blood pressure, eyesight, all seem to be going in the wrong direction, but at least for today this body was good enough.

Time to begin again.