Sep 8, 2019 – N833DF, PA30 Training, and the G280 Re-check

The N833DF Engine Overhaul¬†project is well underway. I’ve been told that the camshafts and crank cases are in good shape and can be used again. That avoids about 9k$ in potential cost over-runs, so Paul ordered the electronic ignition option for both engines as we had agreed. GAMI injectors are under consideration, but the EDI 760 with fuel flow option has been ordered. I’ll be writing a few checks when I get home, and stopping in to see how things are looking down there.

PA30 Training / Instruction: If you are at all involved with Comanches, you know that the owner’s group is in disarray. While staying out of the politics myself, I have thrown in my lot with the NorthEast Tribe. I am currently having discussions with them regarding my providing instruction to Comanche owners; particularly twin drivers. I look forward to working with some of the particularly good instructors who are also involved in this insurance driven effort, and hope to really improve my personal flying and instruction techniques in the process. This should be good, and no – I won’t be using my own airplane to provide any instruction unless you are a close personal friend.

Grousing about FlightSafety isn’t terribly productive nor healthy. In the last post I was bitching about the process they put me through during my last visit. I wouldn’t have been bitching if I didn’t drag a wing tip on my check-ride. That made me come back early for a re-check. I completed that recheck successfully on September 9th.

I flew very well on the re-check, as I had on the initial. With only a few things left to complete, I was through the process in a very short time. I was even more irritated seeing how close I was to being done.  I have to get past that, however. The hard part is over and most of the rest is gravy.

New people everywhere. I haven’t been happy with this experience, but the truth is that they (FSI) treats me pretty well overall. I signed up for this run, after all, so this complaining only serves to give the reader some insights into how I’m managing this process of failing my first check-ride ever. I can see more clearly where my weaknesses are, and I’m learning to take this with a grain of salt. FSI is not a bad place to work, although Wilmington is a more productive and hospitable place, in my opinion.

Regarding my latest career choice, I have gotten somewhat used to the extra income at this point. I wanted to avoid relying on that income, but recently decided to go all out on N833DF and get the engines overhauled firewall forward. Spending heavily to secure our airplane for the rest of our flying lives is what I’ve committed to do. God bless Beverly Dorrin for putting up with me and understanding what I’ve invested in this machine.

I think at this point I’ll continue working until at least the end of 2020. The guy I am working for seems to understand the balance I’m trying to achieve in my life, and is giving me some room to figure it out on my own. I really like working with the Wilmington Team, and would miss having something like this to do. For my part, I need to get a bit more self motivated and push myself to continuously improve. I want to have a good time too, so that means doing contract flying when I can.

Recurrent Training began after the recheck was completed, and my progress in learning the airplane continued. My instructor/examiner was my boss. In one event, he set the wind at a 25 knot crosswind for a landing. The landing went very well, so we lined up to takeoff again. I assumed that the maximum crosswind was removed, and didn’t have my headset on to hear otherwise. When doing simulator sessions, always check the winds before you takeoff. It is very easy to get out of sync with the session. The resulting takeoff was exciting. We did that one again once I knew about the wind, and it went just fine.

Observing Initial Simulator Sessions is my next requirement. I’m doing that now and learning snippets here and there from the clients in the session. These guys are experts who have been flying similar and larger equipment for many years. The both of them are clearly experienced, and watching them teaches me quite a bit. Sitting back and watching instead of doing can be boring at times, however, and that makes these sessions difficult. Going back to the hotel and having nothing to do at night doesn’t help either. It’s Sunday and I’m counting the days until I go home Friday. I cannot wait to see my wife.

Fly Safe!

Frank