Update and Socata

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by spiderweb, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    You may have read about my mostly positive experience with this recent cross-country which, nevertheless, found me returning a day earlier. In this case, the thing which would have helped would have been weather in the cockpit. The school where I rent has a few birds with that. After yesterday, though, my wife asked if we could possibly fly something faster for these trips. The C182 I fly is faster, but alas has no weather. The solution was suggested to me by one of our POA members--get checked out in the TB-20.

    I called the school to discuss this, and found that I easily met their minimum requirements which were PPL, IR, 100 TT, and 10 retract. I discussed the bird with one of the CFIs there who flies it frequently. He loves it. He said it really will do 160 KTAS at cruise, if you are willing to go to 75% power. At a quieter 65% power, it will still do 150 KTAS or better. Right there, I have a hidden card up my sleeve. My wife and I like to stop after two hours to take a rest. That means, in the trip I just did (2.6 hours), the total flight time became 4 hours with the one-hour stop. But with the Trinidad, the trip would have taken about 2.1 hours; thus, we wouldn't need to stop and the actual trip time would be cut in half. The other MAJOR benefit is that the plane has a stormscope and is very comfortable.

    I asked about a checkout--and this part is to update Joe--and he said that most typical IFR checkouts are just one flight of 1.5 hours including VFR airwork, three approaches and three landings. Additionally, as long as I am really up on the POH, I would just need to take the aircraft's written test, and allow 1.5 hours of ground with the CFI.

    I showed the actual airplane to my wife yesterday, and she was very excited about the prospect of renting it. So, now it is off with me to buy a POH and study up for a checkout in a week or so!
     
  2. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    That sounds cool Ben, what is the rental rate? Goign faster usually cost more/hr but you actually less hours from point a to b and end up saving money.
     
  3. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are comfortable airplanes. You should enjoy it.
     
  4. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    sound fun ben. have never flown one, they look pretty sweet though
     
  5. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    They are very nice airplanes, and you'll love flying it. It's a fine IFR platform, the gear system is dead simple in emergencies, and the stormscope is a nice too. They are comfy for long flights and they usually have a good autoflight system installed. Do NOT use the famous cessna "pull the power on short final" technique though - the Trinidad will drop like a rock. Keep some power in until you start your flare, and then reduce the throttle slowly to idle and the trailing-link gear will make your landing beautiful.

    I do want to make a recommendation for folks who rent airplanes and fly longer trips, however - go buy a Garmin 396 for the XM WX and Terrain info. Consider the $2500 plus $600 per year for the XM subscription as a safety investment, and I'll bet it increases the number of trips you make successfully. With the sytem costing less than renting 20 hours in a Trinidad, it's a pretty good deal, and it will move from airplane to airplane when you do.
     
  6. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    The stormscope is useful, but it has its limitations. Learn the theory behind why it works and understand when it will mislead you.

    What model of stormscope is it?
     
  7. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    TB-20/21 are nice planes. They are every bit as comfortable as my Commander - in fact, that was the plane that I seriously considered as an alternative. Great IFR platform.

    Ben, the weather avoidance gear will do nothing about turbulance (which, if I heard you right in your earlier post, was a major concern). Stormscopes are good, but have their limitations - even so, I flew quite successfully behind one for several years before XM was on the market. Now I use XM Weather and the stormscope in conjunction with each other. IOW, make sure you understand the limitations.
     
  8. Len Lanetti

    Len Lanetti Cleared for Takeoff

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    I was able to download a .PDF version of the manuals for my stormscope.

    Len
     
  9. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Beautiful airplanes - really eye-catching on the ramps. I've heard they're fuel hogs, but I guess that's factored into the wet rental rate. Looks like a comfy way to fly. Enjoy!
     
  10. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    BFG WX-500 Stormscope

    I think this is the same one we have in the Saratoga. I would be even happier with this AND Nexrad, but just having the stormscope helps a lot more. I have several flights' experience dodging thunderstorms, but either I was maintaining visual contact, or if I was in IMC, I had some type of weather tools in the cockpit. I just don't want to try to fly around thunderstorms when they are embedded. (Today they weren't, but my wife has an aversion to the turbulence FSS were predicting.)
     
  11. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Thanks, Bill. And as you say, even with weather avoidance, I probably wouldn't have flown back today due to the turb.

    Next time, I will rent for a four-day period.
     
  12. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I think you are right. I don't want to tell you how much that rate is!
     
  13. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    BTW, part of the reason I got a turbocharged plane was to get above a lot of the low-level summer turbulance.
     
  14. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Very smart. My one complaint on the Tiger is its book 13,800 ft. service ceiling.