Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AOPA Podcast Interview

Hey all, the AOPA Podcast interview that was recorded a few weeks ago is up and posted!

If you ever wanted to hear the story of the cherokee in audio book format and have 30 minutes to kill then this link is for you!

Our interview is around the 26 minute mark.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Triple Tree 2016

Triple Tree 2016 is in the books!

One of the goals I had set when we first started the plane restoration was to take the plane to the Triple Tree Fly-in which is held every year at the Triple Tree Aerodrome (SC00) near Woodruff SC.  I had been before on Tinker Belle but had never taken my own plane there or been able to camp out.

There was a bit of a scheduling conflict with one of the crew members on Tinker Belle, so I offered to fly down on Friday with Tinker Belle and then the other crew member (who was a CFI) could fly with Cody on Saturday in 86T.  That worked out for everyone as the plane got down there and everyone could get a chance to enjoy the fly-in.

I arrived early Friday morning on Tinker Belle and the grounds were fantastic.  The guys at Triple Tree work really hard all year to make sure their grounds are pristine.  Every time I've been able to visit it's better than the last.

Friday evening we attended the "Taste of Triple Tree" dinner and there I was able to meet Mark Baker the AOPA President.  He had read the article on our plane and had heard about us which was pretty awesome.

That night I spent sleeping under Tinker Belle, I had never camped out before so this was all new to me.  

The next day Cody arrived early around 8am in 86T which fortunately missed most of the traffic.  People REALLY started packing in Saturday morning and at last count over 645 planes arrived for the day.  

The AOPA was on site with their crew and asked if we would like a picture taken and put up on their instagram page with the plane at Triple Tree. 

Kinda embarrassed to admit but we actually got recognized a few times by people who had seen the article or had seen me on facebook.   Everyone wanted to hear the story and ask questions about the plane, even had a few people come by for a quick tour.

The guys at were onsite selling their 100LL alternative and we picked up a few gallons for the flight home the next day.  

Sunday morning was a beautiful cool morning with clouds around 5000 feet, a front had come through the evening before which made for a smooth as glass flight home.  Total time was 47 minutes back with a little tailwind.

I'll be honest, words do not do Triple Tree justice, if you are even remotely interested in aviation you need to make it a point to come out during the fly-in.  I guarantee it will be an experience you won't soon forget.

Here is a link to my full album of pictures from the many great memories!

Photo Album

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Longest Trip Yet!

Finally after weeks of planning and canceling due to family issues, scheduling and weather we were able to take the little Cherokee on it's first trip to the coast.
We got a late start on Sunday and didn't leave until around 2:30pm which was way later than I wanted to leave. This flight was also my biannual review and I wanted to work on some tower work. Our first stop was to KFLO in Florence SC. There was a big nascar race in town and the airport was pretty hopping. We stopped for a 'bladder break' and went into the FBO. I found a copy of this months AOPA Magazine on the table, about that same time someone recognized the plane N number and asked if this was the same plane from the article. That was a pretty surreal experience.
The plane did really great and I still have a lot to learn about controlled airspace. It's amazing how sanitized the training was for me doing controlled work during training compared to the real world. I realized that during my training we never actually went to a controlled airport, shut down, got out and got back in the plane. I had no idea how to 'get out' of a controlled field.

Here she is on the ramp in KFLO

Hanging with jets...

The guys down at Florence were great and talked with us for about half an hour before we decided to head on to our real goal which was making it to the Myrtle Beach (KCRE) grand strand.
It was pretty bumpy down to KFLO, but the ride to KCRE was very smooth and what a view we had of the coast line. I have done this trip a few times in other planes but there is just something special about flying over the coast line in your own aircraft that just adds to the excitement. It was shockingly quiet despite being a holiday weekend but we made it into CRE just fine. Unfortunately all of the courtesy cars were out so we couldn't make it anywhere to eat, so we just ate a pack of crackers out of the vending machine. But to be honest I really didn't care because just being able to fly down was great.
The view I've been working over a year for... finally made it

Short final for CRE

It was smooth as glass on the way back, however it was VERY dark by the time we reached Monroe and we learned on final that our landing light had gone out at some point. Landing with no landing light is a lot harder than expected, your depth perception is really off and the ground will come up to meet you quicker than you think. All turned out well as my CFI friend gave me a little assist on the landing back to Monroe and we were back safe and sound. Total time was 3.7 for a total of 250nm. By far the longest trip yet in one sitting.

I replaced the landing light on Monday in prep for our trip this weekend to Triple Tree (SC00) if anyone is looking for a great place to come and camp out with your plane I encourage you to check out Triple Tree. The annual fly-in is this weekend you still have plenty of time to plane to visit! 7000ft grass runway, we are bringing Tinker Belle in this weekend along with the Cherokee.