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Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by tonycondon, Jan 13, 2007.
True 'dat, sista!
I smell fear
Hah! My competitive instinct is satisfied by the fact that...
... *I* took that picture.
well *someone* had to fly!
It was fun getting reacquainted with my old friend N3327M (Wisconsin Aviation sold it to Kate's FBO about a year or so ago). I have about 30 hours in that plane now. It may not be fancy, but it has a certain homey feel to it.
It does also prove that airplanes are female. We had some trouble starting the plane on Friday night, so Kate called her boss and I called my CFI who has a couple hundred hours in that bird. We discussed the suggestions, and tried again. It went something like this...
*crank crank crank crank crank...*
Kate: "This piece of junk airplane..."
me (patting the glareshield): "Now now... You have to be NICE to these old airplanes! C'mon old bird, show her what you've got!"
*Crank crank VROOM!!!*
After Chris took me down to Des Moines to retrieve the bird on Sunday, I got it to start in two or three blades all three times I started it that day. Also, on the way back to AMW I went back down the ILS again, VFR, just to see what it'd do. The glideslope worked fine, but the localizer on Nav1 didn't work at all. It wasn't flagged, but the needle stayed centered despite going well off to the side, and there was no to/from flag either. Odd. The KNS 80 has been known to work itself loose, though, and after I did the familiar old drill of pushing it back in on the ground, it seemed to work for the rest of the trip home.
I filed airways to DBQ (food stop) which took us via TNU - CID - DBQ. We had a very nice tailwind, averaging over 180 kts ground speed with a max of 188. For some reason, my airplanes really like coming home from Ames - I had an average GS of 176 last time! I also noticed that I'm very used to flying into MSN... When I saw CID's class C rings on the GPS, I had a sudden urge to descend.
It was beautiful and sunny for a good chunk of the trip, with some clouds closer to DBQ. Temps were still positive though, and no ice encounters. The winds at DBQ were very stiff though - 20G28 at 60 degrees off the runway IIRC. Another "planter" landing, but pretty good, considering.
We saw some very cool sights. Another beautiful airborne sunset, followed by moonrise above the clouds on the way into DBQ. After takeoff for the final leg, I asked for 7,000 to climb above the muck so we could see the full moon on top.
Chi-Center left us pretty high. I was still at 7,000 when I contacted Madison Approach. They let us down to 4,000 and then 3,500, then after we were out of the way of the TV towers down to 2,700 where we broke out and I was able to spot C29 off the left wing. The right main gear light didn't come on but I cycled it and it came back. The light flickered the second time, so one of the finicky switches is probably a bit loose or something. Woke me up anyway.
I also had a pair of funny conversations with ATC:
#1, after missing the approach at AMW and then completing an approach at DSM with the weather coming down fast and lots of turbulence:
DSM Tower: "Arrow 27M, where would you like to park?"
Me: "Um, Ames?"
DSM Tower: "That'd be a long taxi..."
followed by conversation about what was available. I chose Not Signature.
#2, returning home after being handed off from ZAU to MSN TRACON, winds strong out of the west:
MSN TRACON: "Arrow 27M, what runway would you like tonight? 18, 21, 36, 32? Whatever you'd like."
Me: "How about 28 at Morey?"
Unfortunately I can't remember what she said, but I said something about parking at the "far west ramp."
OK, it was a lot funnier when I wasn't the one telling it...
All in all, a very fun trip despite the lack of gliding. 5.4 more hours in the Arrow, 2.9 actual instrument, three approaches, lots of beautiful views and some good challenges too (mostly due to winds/clouds).
With your size and strength, your "patting" probably rattled the magnetos back into place.
Dead needle is a common failure mode with several potential causes, but if reseating the KNS-80 fixed it, a loose connector was probably the one. IIRC you don't ever get a TO or FROM indication on a Localizer.
Yeah it seems to be the consensus that the RNAV is loose in this plane. Wouldn't be such an issue if the #2 nav had glideslope. The only glideslope is on the nav1 indicator, which is hooked to the RNAV, so you have no backup when that KNS-80 decides to act weird.
We have two Arrows, same model, same year. Our other one has a leather interior, GNS430, a working autopilot, glideslope on both navs, new paint, etc. The one Kent and I flew is not nearly as flashy. Rather than fixing its RNAV, the owner is talking about putting in a GNS430, but "not until it starts making some money." Meanwhile guess which one of the two Arrows is making all the money: the other one, due to better equipment -- it's always the first one reserved. Catch 22.
I'll probably end up taking this one to the avionics shop I used to work at on my home field. Maybe they can tell me whether it's just a loose connection or something else. I was just as surprised as Kent when we lost the glideslope.
Disclaimer: This was almost 10:30 at night. I am not responsible for ill will toward airplanes after oh, say, 9 p.m. and three or four failed starting attempts...
http://www.groundspeedrecords.com/records/record light PA28 Arrow II 182kts.htm