Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm Still Here!

I promise, I'm not dead! And I haven't given up flying! Our flying activities have been somewhat limited over the past few weeks for a variety of reasons. One-- it's typical late summer weather, which means if it's not hazy, then it's probably raining (and lightening)!Two-- our plane has had a few ups and downs.

Besides the usual hundred hour, etc., we had an intermittent problem with the PFD and MFD. Basically, for about 2 weeks, when we started up, we got red x's through all of the engine indicating information on the PFD. Then-- once we started the avionics and got the MFD up, the red x's would disappear. Until one day, when they didn't. Lots of head scratching ensued (including expensive head scratching by the mechanics we were paying to fix the plane!). Through some of this, we were still able to fly the plane--VFR-- but it eventually gave out completely and couldn't fly. So, after 3 and a half weeks of on-again, off-again problems, they *think* they have it figured out-- a bent pin on the back of one of the screens-- where lots of stuff gets plugged into it. That bent pin was preventing everything from getting the right information to the right place. Who knows if we'll ever find out what caused a pin deep in the plane's guts to get bent!

We learned a few lessons from all of this...
1) Ask as many questions as you can. Don't just assume something is being taken care of!
2) Cessna doesn't like to share things like wiring diagrams with mechanics who aren't part of their system (even if the plane is not airworthy-- and can't go to another shop!).

The amazing thing-- even with all the ups and downs (the month also included lots of bad weather and our flight school getting a second, very shiny and new, C-172 with G1000-- which, of course, is going to initially take away some of our customers), we still should pass the cut-off of having enough hours to make it "cheaper" to own our plane than to rent. Of course, once all of those mechanics bills come in, we might feel differently!

Up next-- we're hoping to do a really fun trip this weekend to see my parents! (weather permitting) So-- cross your fingers that the weather holds and we can get down there tomorrow! I'll definitely post something about it as it will be our longest trip to date-- and we'll get pretty close to the Appalachians.


flyaway said...

I was there one a day a while back when you were asking how the work on your plane was going. I toy with the idea of buying a plane because I know a few people in training have gotten older used ones but I can't get myself to make that commitment The fear of an unexpected "big" expense combined with an uncertain economy gives me the willies (so far) but there are a couple of us still talking about it.

Head in the Clouds said...

Yeah... but it is nice to think of it as "your plane". Of course, ours is the only plane I've ever flown... so there are downsides, too. We seem to be evening out now, for the most part.