Mar 22, 2018 N833DF Progress?

I had gotten busy since the end of March, and never published this post. After review, I’ll put this one out there.  Several more posts will be coming to announce the come back date for my airplane – very exciting!! – as well as to document the Westwind Jet Flying I was privileged to do.

Last months delayed post…..

Lots of flying updates going on. I’ll update you on my airplane, where I am with FlightSafety and jets, and a little bit on life’s other activities that will explain why the updates are less frequent than they have been.

N833DF GETS MOVED! It looks like progress, though I’ve been hopeful before when it hasn’t panned out. If I could just get my airplane back, my options would open up like the rising sun. Lots to do when you have a fast airplane and a few days available.

This picture came from Matt as I was down in Texas getting ready to launch in a jet for the first time. More on that in the next post. You can see N833DF on it’s feet and out of Larry’s B-25 hangar. It is being moved down to a hangar Matt uses, where hopefully uninterrupted time can be invested in it’s return to me. I really want my airplane back, and this is a positive sign that it will happen.

Family Commitments: Winter 2017/2018 hasn’t been fun for Beverly and I. We have been blessed with good health, but her parents have seriously been struggling since just before Christmas. Two hospitalizations and countless doctor interventions have them living with us in our new home now. We feel blessed to be in a position to do this, and it is giving us some insights into the priorities we need to apply to what is left of our our individual lives.

On the practical side, we are quite literally up every 1-2 hours all night – every night. This has been going on for weeks now, and has only abated here over the last few nights. Thank God we are in good enough shape to be able to deal with this. Paying back to the folks that helped us get where we are is what we need to do. Hoping that spring will bring a more normal schedule and enhanced mobility to everyone, so we can enjoy the sun!

Winter blues: I don’t enjoy many cold winter activities myself, so I pretty much try to keep busy with hobbies or other distractions indoors until February is behind me. February, with it’s short days and bitter cold weather, seems to have historically been my least favorite time of the year. I typically hold my breath, read a few books, go to work, and keep my airplane and motorcycle tucked away until it’s over.

This year the winter seems to have begun early and stayed late, so I’ve been definitely feeling trapped inside with the winter blues. I should have joined a gym, but found a dozen excuses not to. Since my airplane is still out of service and I can’t fly to someplace warm, working on the new house and instructing at FlightSafety became the focus. We are almost there.

Loving the new place: As I write this, a large car carrier is cruising the canal and heading east from Baltimore toward Philly. Quietly slipping by my living room window as the sun comes up. I completed the installation of security cameras around the property, which was a fun project with practical uses.

Deck Project is moving forward! Surprise!! I heard from the town, and they have only reasonable requests to insert in regards to adding decks to the rear of my home. I really expected months of delays and the need to hire an attorney, but instead have gotten only positive feedback and specific attention. What a wonderful surprise.

We’ll be installing one ‘upstairs’ for her parents, allowing them to walk out of the back door and not have any steps to deal with during their day. Her dad can carve his ducks out there and watch the boats go by, and Mom can join him when it gets hot enough to make her feel warm. I can envision us eating dinner out there all summer.

The other deck will be on the ‘downstairs’ segment of the house, coming off of our patio door in the living room. We’ll have a nice large deck that will accommodate a good number of folks on two levels for social events, allowing a nice outside view of the canal traffic and the exercise path. I can’t wait to have my coffee out there this summer.  Later this week I’ll get the town’s paperwork and run over to the county to start that process. Very good news for all of us!

FlightSafety Career Progress (Astra Qualifications): So this winter I jumped into getting my qualifications completed to teach in the Astra, as I’ve been doing in the Westwind since last June. The experienced instructors that have been there need a break, and this is a normal progression path forward anyway. I meet all of obligations and began taking the supervised instruction last steps for the final sign-off.

Progress has been going well, but I did have a client setback recently. One client who was here for his SIC (second in command training) and heard from me that I was relatively new to the Astra. He demanded a more experienced instructor, and I suddenly had the entire week off. No one likes to fail, and couldn’t avoid taking this personally. I’ll be more careful in my discussions with new clients.

At the same time, I researched and built my own version of a TCE (Training Center Evaluator) Manual that I’d use to evaluate clients. Becoming a TCE comes with a raise, and is like a light version of DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner). Very light version, I’m guessing, since most of the DPEs have significantly more experience and depth than I do.

Coming up!  Flying the Westwind and  N833DF has a return date!

About fdorrin

Experienced single and multi-engine instrument flight instructor in the PA30, Cirrus, Piper, Cessna, Diamond and others. Own an Elite simulator and use that effectively for single and multi-engine work. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; DHC-8 / Dash-8 typed. Retired Manager of Control Systems and Network Operations for PEPCO Holdings, Inc.
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