With Wings As Eagles: Craig P. Steffen's Blog

A first photo album

2013 January 15 21:32

Here are a few photos while I was flying the airplane home.

Not great photos; we were losing our light, but here's a couple of photos of me with the airplane after the first cross-country flight.

I stopped on January 9th to avoid yucky weather in northern Georgia and Tennessee. The general region I stopped in was dictated by the weather and how far I could get and still be in daylight. However, the fact that the international airport code of Athens, Georgia ("KAHN") might have played a very small part in my picking it as my overnight spot.

It was a very pretty day flying between the cloud layers.

This is Wednesday the 10th, looking east over the Great Smoky Mountains.

"Far over the Mistly Mountains cold, to dungeons deep and caverns old..."

One last pic; engine gauges in cruise.

The other half of the story

2013 January 15 20:42

So, as of Thursday, the airplane is home. My former boss, who's a friend and also fellow airplane enthusiast once pointed out that despite the much smaller amount of money involved, buying an airplane is ten times as complex as buying a house. This is my first, and boy was he right.

This blog entry chronicles the process since November 12/13 when the money moved and the plane was mine on paper, but was still in Georgia.

By the way, the big negotiating item was leaking fuel tanks. I decided (on my mechanic's recommendation) to put bladder tanks in.

First, we taxi out, and the brake pedals on the pilot's side are totally uneven, to the point they will distract me. We taxi back, and the mechanics mess with it, bleed the brakes. IT's not perfect, but much better. We fire it up again and taxi out.

We do three of four very successful patterns. WE figure out a few things, but one big (bad) think is that the Garmin 430 resets twice, once on the ground while taxiing, once immediately after takeoff. We taxi back again. The mechanics take cover panels off. We test the charging system, no problems there. We decide to debug in the morning.

Tuesday morning: they mess with connectors on the back of the radios, tighten one. Fiddle with lots of stuff, including cooling hoses. Reseat the radio/GPS in question. Without finding a specific cause, my instructor and I taxi out, do a few more patterns. Radio is fine. We fuel up and head out cross-country south. We stop at X35 for fuel. We then proceed to his secret airport in Florida, and park the airplane for the night.

(By the way, during the last taxi-out before departing the area, I realized one new piece of information. The place where the GPS/radio had reset during taxi was a very very rough part of the taxiway. I realized then that the connection between the two times the GPS reset was when there was lots of vibration. It had probably had a not-quite-solid connection that vibration momentarily broken, resetting it. Tightening connections and re-seating it probably fixed it. It's been perfect since.)

Wednesday morning: I slept badly, so we got going late. We did a couple more approaches, and I'm all signed off. I head north with the airplane and stop in Athens Georiga. Weather up untli then was good, but got yucky farther north, and I wanted to stay in daylight. So I stopped for the night.

Thursday morning, I headed out early-ish, and found a VFR window to set down back at the now-home airport. I taxied in, and then my wife picked me up and brought me back to my car, and so everyone was home.