A new home, and new life (for Charlie).

The 545am weather check showed major improvement from the day before, so it was time to get up and get on the way for the last leg of the trip to bring Charlie back to her new home, Allegan, Michigan for the next adventures that she would share with us.

The morning found Charlie on a chilly ramp, with the temperature hovering just above freezing. I was expecting a hard start with a cold engine, but I wasn’t expecting it to be an even harder start due to the rookie mistake that I had made when we left Charlie two days earlier.

What was that rookie mistake?

Ugg, I had left the master switch on and we now had a dead battery.

Fortunately, the helpful folks at Byerly Aviation in Peoria were quick to offer assistance of a jump start, and also, fortunately, the battery is in a position that is easy to get at in this old Stinson.

With some extra power, Charlie’s engine again came to life and we were able to head off on our way as the morning sun arose in the east and we headed toward it, inching ever closer to home with every minute. Continue reading

Adopting “Charlie”

I don’t think anyone really gets to own an airplane. Instead, I think you become a caretaker of a machine with a soul. You adopt it, become its protector and promoter and if you do a good job it takes you on adventures. Yesterday we adopted “Charlie”.

Charlie is a 1947 Stinson 108-1, who has had a bunch of upgrades and was originally born in February of 1947 in Wayne, Michigan. She turned 70 years old this year.

She lived most of her life with a couple of owners in Michigan. Beginning in 1977, she sat for many years without use. In 1994 a new caretaker decided it was time for her to be rebuilt.

With an extensive effort, by 1995 she was again ready to fly with new fabric, a bunch of upgrades, and a new engine. She served her new caretaker well from what we can tell from the logbooks but eventually transitioned to new homes. A short stint in Florida, then to her most recent home in Palestine, TX, where we met her most recent caretaker. Brian Rucker.

We arrived in Palestine, TX to find Charlie tucked into the back of Brian’s hangar, ready for a new adventure.

Continue reading

Changes to AC on Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check (AC61-98D) Open for Public Comment

The FAA has proposed changes to AC 61-98D, Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check.

This a good opportunity for the flight training community to review the document and any proposed changes and then provide feedback before any changes to the document become final. Comments are due by November 13, 2017.

The proposed document is now open for public comment and is now available at http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/draft_docs/afs_ac.