I am hoping that at some point in the next year – I’ll get to post something about my first flight in a real Westwind or Astra jet. Instructors make solid contacts here, and there are opportunities that could be molded to fit what I’m looking for. Wouldn’t it be great if I could continue instructing, but also do occasional contract flights to keep it all real. It will be exciting to see where I end up in the next two years.

N833DF: I’ve been 9 months without my airplane now. I’ve missed two family trips, and now I’m driving out to Cincinnati on Monday when I could be flying. Matt has been busy with Panchito and his own relocation, but I’m told that my airplane will get some attention next week. I sure hope that is true.

Matt has been working with a vendor who was supposed to have sent the replacement salvage part I need. It hasn’t come in yet, and there has been no follow-up. I reminded Matt once already to get after them – and will do that again Monday.  This gear box cracking is about to become an AD, I’d expect.

Oshkosh Preparations: Cleaning Panchito tomorrow:  I’m heading down to the beach to help get Panchito – The B25 bomber that I earned an SIC rating in last year – ready for Oshkosh.  The owner, Larry Kelly, has been very good to me since I got to know him, and particularly during my airplanes downtime. I’m going to go play in that awful traffic tomorrow to help get the airplane ready.

Had the FlightSafety opportunity not surfaced – there is no telling what my involvement with the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation might have been. For now though, I’ll remain a good friend of the DAMF and plan to be involved when I can be.

With all that is going on, Oshkosh wouldn’t be a reality for me this year if my airplane was ready just in time.  I’m so rusty in the PA30 that I would not fly it out there without several weeks of practice flying. I look forward to returning to a level of currency I can be proud of in that machine. I’ll get there.

My co-workers at FlightSafety also have proud traditions that include attending Oshkosh. They are a great group of guys that, like Larry Kelly, dropped what they were doing to help me get qualified as an instructor there. I’m the new guy, and because of that, would have already backed away from Oshkosh this time. We all can’t go at once.

Next year I’ll have my airplane back, and we’ll have a new WestWind/Astra instructor on board to share the load. Maybe then I’ll get to go again.

Part 135 Training in Cincinnati, Ohio: FlightSafety is a great company to work for, thus far. In some ways, however, they are like Delmarva Power was back in the 1980’s. Lessons need to be learned all over again.

My case in point is that I have been assigned to take a Part 135 INDOC course with two other Challenger instructors. This three day course will be conducted by ExpressJet out in Cincinnati, Ohio. That’s all good, but FSI thinks it would be a good idea for the three of us to drive a company van out and back. That is about 10+ hours of driving each way, with another hour to get me home after that.

Asking instructors to drive for 20 hours in a van to take a 3 Day course strikes me as not the best use of resources. In my opinion, it’s just silly to ask someone to drive to Ohio. Reminds me of a supervisor I had as a new engineer with Delmarva Power. He thought it would be a good idea to save the company money by booking two engineers to a room on a 5 day multi-state trip. He was actually surprised when everybody backed out. There are limits to what your employees will accept, and respect is a part of that equation.

I will go. I promised myself I’d do the full FlightSafety experience for at least two years. I expect to be able to tell you that this little excursion won’t show up in the WIN column at the end of that time. Had my airplane been ready – I could have avoided all this non-sense and even made the experience a positive one.

Oh well – just one more thing in this busy month.

MOVES are progressing: Our new home appraised well, and the inspection repair items are being complied with by the current owner. All paperwork is up to date, so there is only one thing to do yet – a more detailed termite inspection behind some of the insulation. No sign I should be concerned at all, but I want to be careful here to take all of the prudent steps that I can.

My beach house sold immediately, and that process is progressing. The home inspection just completed, and included two significant plumbing issues that I wasn’t aware of. Darn good thing I decided to sell, since either of these plumbing issues could have led to water damage had they been allowed to progress. Close call. Repairs are already complete, and the home appraisal is next.

Assuming the appraisal goes well and this gentlemen get’s his mortgage, I’ll most likely have to move myself out of that house and into the new home. Apparently – there is a very high demand for moving companies right now, and they need to be scheduled further in advance than I am able.

The Smyrna home is showing well, and we expect to get full price for that one too. Once we get the right offer, I’m hoping the resulting settlement date will allow more time to arrange for professional movers.

I’ll be very happy to get this all done and behind me.  It is a very stressful time.

Fly safe!


By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.