I have been on withdrawal, trying to get a chance to fly anything at all.  My own Twin Comanche has been down all of January and most of February with a cracked left main landing gear. It is now back on line, and yesterday was when the stars finally lined up in winter. I was available, the weather was warm enough to start the engines without pre-heat, and conditions were day VFR for the post maintenance flight.

Click for inflight video

I have learned my lesson from reading, and from experience, to treat the first post maintenance flight like a test flight. That includes oil changes and routine maintenance at times,but in this case – the major gear work definitely should be taken seriously. This looked good from my inspection, but I did take note of a second crack in the windscreen, scheduled to be replaced at annual.

Flight up to Wilmington was performed under an IFR flight plan, so you can see that on Flightaware. Arriving at Wilmington, Mike and I did a stop-drill repair on the windscreen to match what the mechanics had done for me on the first one.  We drove over to get silicon at Home Depot, and I installed that roughly the first time.  No matter, because it didn’t set before we took off, and was promptly sucked out and smeared above the hole.

I suspect this windscreen cracking is due to an improper installation; either the initial or the re-installation when the interior was redone. I know that the other windows were found to be installed improperly by the last owner, and have all been reset and sealed since. No matter – Georgetown Aero will get it right, and install a new one piece windscreen with added UV protection to boot at my annual.

While Mike and I were on the ramp, two of his friends arrived in the Cirrus Mike flies.  He introduced me, and the subject of my upcoming BE200 initial came up.  One thing lead to another, and there is a good chance I might get some right seat King Air time next month – down to Orlando and back.  Nice!!   I’m excited and up early studying this morning.

Note to self – keep your 5 minute elevator speech ready.  Carry more business cards.

When I eventually flew home – the winds were generating some rather spirited turbulence.  It was light as they rate it, but steady.  I landed; fillled all the tanks at the hangar; and cleaned up my silicone repair mess.  For the second attempt, I used a toothpick coated in fresh silicone.  Running that in and out of the newly drilled hole seems to have completely filled (and not over-filled) the hole.  I’ll know in the morning after it has dried and I probe it.

The next day (Sunday) is now on tap to be in the mid-60’s.  I’m flying in either a PA30 or a Cirrus this morning, but I am flying.  Maybe both of them.  Full speed ahead.





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.