Print Story I’d like to walk you through a field of wild flowers
By FlightTest (Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:39:14 AM EST) (all tags)
And I’d like to check you for ticks.

17+ Hours of flying, not counting time spent in the back of an Airbus.

This is strictly an airplane diary.

Update [2007-5-24 1:51:21 by FlightTest]: Picture of Apache added


We now own (until 2 June) two airplanes. $Mechanic called me about a week and a half ago and said there’s an old Apache in good condition in Florida for $cheap. So we decided to send a deposit and $mechanic went to check it out. He called me last week and said “send the money!” So I wired the money to the seller, and now the Mrs. and I own a 1956 Piper PA-23-150 Apache.

I took the red-eye to Ft. Lauderdale Friday (18 May) night. $Mechanic met me at the airport, and we drove up to a town called Avon Park (near Sebring). Mechanically, the airplane is sound, and has some nice features. Cosmetically, not so much, but fixing up a few things here and there will help tremendously. The previous owner hadn’t flown much in the past year or so due to illness, so there are a couple items that need fixing, but aside from one issue we fixed Saturday morning, nothing that affects safety of flight.

The issue Saturday was, even though $mechanic and $seller had flown it twice just two days before with no problems, when we went to take off Saturday morning, the right engine wouldn’t develop power. Nothing was obviously wrong, and checking all the obvious things didn’t improve it. We got it narrowed down to a problem with the right magneto on the right engine, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the mag. We did a test to make sure the mag marked as the right mag was indeed the right mag, and it appeared that the left and right mags were shorted together. However, this turned out to be due to a resistor box connected between them to reduce electrical noise from the mags. When we ran the engine again to verify the mags weren’t shorted together, it ran fine. We ran it up several times with no problems, so we launched. Talking about it on the way home, our best guess is, since we removed all the leads, one of them must have managed to work loose, and taking them off and reconnecting them fixed that.

As a result of the delay, we only made Pascagoula, MS, the first day, after 3.5 in the air. On Sunday, we got airborne at 5:15am PDT, and after stops for fuel in Junction, TX, and Wilcox, AZ, arrived at Fullerton at 9pm PDT. Sunday was 13.6 hours of flying, which is really a testament to how comfortable the airplane is to fly. The Mooney is about 6-8 hours per day max, and then you’re seriously hurting through the next day. Other than a headache from wearing a headset all day, and almost total exhaustion, I was physically in good shape after spending more than half of the preceding 36 hours in the airplane. The Apache has a far longer comfort range than the Mooney, despite being about 10 knots slower.

The right engine has noticeably higher fuel consumption than the left. $Mechanic says the float on that side is mal-adjusted, so that’s likely one of the first things to fix. Hopefully at the same time we can repair or replace the fuel totalizer sender on the right side, it’s currently inop. Also to be done is clean the mixture and propeller controls for the right side, they’re very stiff, especially the mixture, it almost takes two hands to move it.

Some of you who have flown light twins may scoff at the Apache, but it’s hard to beat as an economical way to build multi-engine time. This is certainly another interim airplane, we still plan on upgrading to a 310 in the future. However, buying a 310 now would mean much higher insurance premiums, if it could be had at all, and waiting a few years for the 310 should mean we can get a relatively newer and nicer 310 than we could hope to get now. As it is, I have to spend 15 hours with a CFI ($mechanic let his CFI lapse a few years ago) before insurance will cover me in the Apache.

A friend at work is buying the Mooney. It will be his first airplane, and he’ll use it to commute back and forth from Colorado (where he lives – he’s a consultant). It’s sad to sell little bitty, but with our hopefully soon adoption we definitely need a larger airplane, and the Mooney is a perfect fit for him and his intended use. I may even still get to fly it occasionally.

Teh Apache:

PA-23-150 Apache

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I’d like to walk you through a field of wild flowers | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I'd like to see pics by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:53:46 AM EST
of your new plane.

Oh, and a question - can you fly cross-country towing a trailer behind it? ;)

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

I will upload a couple by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed May 23, 2007 at 10:58:23 AM EST
later tonight. The pics I have with me have the N-number clearly visible. While I certainly would have no objection to you, or any of the regulars here seeing the N-number, it's not something I'd like to share with every troll who comes across HuSi.

Sorry, we didn't get the deluxe towing package.

[ Parent ]
floats are tricky by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:58:18 AM EST
I spent a month or so getting the float height on my Kawi just right (by bending the flap that closed the needle valve letting the fuel in).

Now, as far as I know, I have the second oldest running vehicle on husi, unless igirl's boat is older than 1975.

Technically, third oldest by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed May 23, 2007 at 10:45:22 AM EST
Teh Mooney was built in 1963.

When $mechanic said the float was probably mal-adjusted, I immediately thought of your motorcycle saga.

[ Parent ]
I'll take that hunkajunk off your hands by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:12:18 AM EST
I need a cheap plane in FL that I can put on the line and then fly when I need it during the week or two each year I'm over there. PLZPLZPLZPLZPLZKTHX

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

What hunkajunk? by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed May 23, 2007 at 03:08:54 PM EST
The twin? You got a 5 year wait at least! It's MY hunkajunk, you hear? Mine! :)

The Mooney? It's sold, and nowhere near a hunkajunk. It's also not cheap.

[ Parent ]
yay! by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed May 23, 2007 at 01:19:21 PM EST
it is sad to sell little bitty, though my first thought was that now long distance flight is a little more doable. EAA is still awesome. =)
Dance On, Gir!
Definitely more doable by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed May 23, 2007 at 03:26:11 PM EST
And having flown into EAA once, I'm not sure I'd do it again. Maybe leave the plane in Sheboygan and drive to OSH.

But yeah, it would be one long day of flying or two nice days in the Apache. The Mooney we would have both been wrecked even taking 2 days to get there.

Of course, just visiting is nice also.

[ Parent ]
we would love by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu May 24, 2007 at 11:06:39 AM EST
a just visiting.
Dance On, Gir!
[ Parent ]
Woohoo! New plane! by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed May 23, 2007 at 06:29:58 PM EST

Still, I must admit I was a little disappointed you didn't score one of those Longbow Apaches. Still, there's always the future to look forward to!

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
Heh by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:29:24 PM EST
I've probably told this story before, but I was once in Ft. Stockton, TX, and an old guy taxied up with a .30-06 on a swivel mount on the struts. He didn't look too friendly, so we didn't get very close to really check it out.

Also, I don't have a fling-wing license.

[ Parent ]
Colour me jealous by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:56:58 PM EST
sounds like you've found yourself a loverly girl. I'm sure you'll have plenty of good use out of her.

I've been eyeing up ads for used singles, mostly Cessnas around here, but the odd other type. Still a dream at this point though...

[Mostly Harmless]

Thanks by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:06:21 PM EST
I'm sure we'll quite enjoy the Apache. Bonus, I will probably continue to get to fly the Mooney occasionally. I more than meet the open pilot provision of my friends insurance, and he's more than willing to let me fly it occasionally.

[ Parent ]
I’d like to walk you through a field of wild flowers | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback