Longest range visitor

Sam, a good friend of mine from Califonia, flew all the way here just to hop a ride in N410S.  I had to oblige.  Here’s the before picture.  It was a typical Atlanta day… hot, hazy and humid.  Visibility sucked but we flew up to the foot of the North Georgia mountains.  Landed at Wimpy’s, got gas and did some general RV goofing off on the way back.  It’s a pretty cool approach to Rwy 15 at Lumpkin County (Wimpy’s).  Thought he’d enjoy that and he did.

Sam_in_N410S

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Almost ready for my multi check ride!

Last week I started on a new venture.  My multi add-on rating!  My lovely wife Janet has been pushing to pursue my long time career goals… and now is the time to do it.  Better to go thru life knowing you gave something your best shot than regretting you never tried later.  Long story short… looked into various flight schools but decided to do it locally at KLZU where my RV is based. 

Side note – glad I didn’t blow $50K with the #$%$’s at All ATP’s. 

Today was my third lesson in the mighty Seminole and we’re already talking check ride next week.  Have logged a total of 3.9 hours so far.  The joke is that with your multi training – you never get to fly a twin with both engines working til after your rating.  Here is one of the two Seminoles at The Flight School of Gwinnett.

N61PFN61PF_cockpit

Fixing left wheel pant

Decided to finally tackle the left wheel pant.  Shortly after I got it painted, the lower aft intersection fairing became delaminated.  This was due to the local airflow flowing into the gap between the wheel pant halves.  And what did this cause?  A noticeable reduction in airspeed (drag) and slight yaw.  I’ve been coping with it by the redneck maintenance program – duct tape.  At least it was white duct tape that matched the paint. 

So today I went to town fixing it.  Put some reinforcing glass over the delaminated part and built up the front edge with micro/epoxy.  Tomorrow I am going to apply some glass to the front half of the wheel pant to cover the gap.

left_wheelpant

Plugged firewall hole

When I was fixing the nose gear, I had to enlarge the hole in the firewall for the new bolt.  After I was done fixing it, I covered the hole with some aluminum tape.  Not the ideal solution.  So today I fixed the hole by enlarging it to 7/8″ and putting in a new stainless steel hole plug from Home Depot.  I made a plate out of .032 aluminum to take up some thickness so that the plug would stay seated better.  I also applied a generous coat of red RTV so seal it completely.

firewall_plug

The Spitfire Deli

One of the local hangouts is the Spitfire Deli at KWDR (Winder – Barrow County, Georgia).  A nice lady originally from England runs the place… hence the name Spitfire Grill.  Here’s a shot from the inside.

Unfortunately the airport is trying to kick her out by changing her lease.  Be sure to sign the petition to keep her in her current location at KWDR!

Spitfire_Grill

New Mooney… for Bryan

Bryan, my hangar neighbor and all-around good guy, just picked up his 2005 Mooney Ovation 2 with TKS!  It’s a gorgeous ride – complete with a Garmin G1000 system.  He tells me it trues out at 190 KTAS!  OK, I relinquish the speed title… for now.  Wait til I get a Rocket.

N805PM

Back to LZU

Tried to stress the importance of leaving early before the earth heats up.  But alas I didn’t get airborne til 1:00pm since we got moving late and I gave a ride to my cousin Matt before I launched.  Tried to go direct… only could climb to 4500′ initially due ceilings.  A little light rain in Southern Ohio would set the mood for the rest of the day.  As I approached the bigger rocks I could see some buildups ahead.  Eventually I asked for 5500′ and settled there for a good while… dodging a small cell here and there.  Then I needed to make a decision… fly around the mountains or go through the pass towards KGSP.  Decided to head towards KTYS to make an end-around the mountain range (remember I couldn’t climb higher due to the buildups).  When the controller said there’s Wx up ahead I decided to head for the gap in the mountains… right towards Asheville, NC.   All was going well til the Asheville controller said “N410S, those are level 5 storms up ahead… suggest you alter course”.  To make a long story short, I took a hard left and then landed at Rutherford, NC (KFQD) to have a look at the weather on the ground.

The guy at KFQD was really cool and let me use the computers and hang out for a while.  Deciding that the coast was clear for a straight shot to Atlanta area, I launched.  Debated about filling up at 18A or 19A on the way home (19A being only about 25 nm further).  Settled on 19A… as that’s my usual fuel stop.  Filled up and then headed to KLZU.  Had to get the dog out of the kennel by 7pm!