STEVE-- Congratulations–Arent you from Potomac Md.? Will you base at GAI? Where will you park? thanks
From Gaithersburg actually – haven’t found hangar space yet so I’ll be parked at 5P7 at GAI, ONCE I GET MY PLANE HOME!!!
After a great 3 days of training with Ron Sheibe (Wings Aloft instructor), we were planning to head to Indiana on Saturday (1/27) then from there back to MD on Sunday.
However, on our last training flight, we noticed the CHT gauge was kinda flipping between about 300 degress to 0, back to 300, then down to 0 for a few minutes, etc. This was on a Saturday (i.e. Cirrus customer service was not physically at the factory on the weekends).
So we called the Cirrus helpline and the nice folks there had a mechanic at the factory within an hour or two. He replaced the CHT gauge and Ron and I went up for one circuit in the pattern to take a look, and the gauge seemed fine.
So we headed out toward Indiana, about 3 hours behind schedule, but otherwise extremely happy. About 20 miles away from DLH, soon after we leveled out, the CHT gauge started doing its funny thing again. So we turned around and went back to Duluth. Another phone call, and for the second time on a Saturday, a Cirrus guy went out to the CD hangar and worked on the plane, this time replacing the CHT probe.
By this time though it was after dark and almost 8 pm, so we decided just to stay another day and get a fresh start in the morning.
Sunday came and DLH was 800 OVC. (I wanted to make this flight home VFR since I was “behind the plane” more than I like to be when doing the IFR training with Ron, and I wanted to get some more practice IFR flights with my home base instructor before doing them in actual). So we waited until about 2 pm Sunday before DLH weather improved enough to take off.
It was a BEATIFUL flight. There was a 25-50 mile stretch where were were VFR-over-the-top of a solid cloud deck, with crystal blue skies above. I was really enjoying the flight and everything was going great until we got to about between Madison Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois.
At that point the clouds started coming in and we decended fmro 7,500 to 5,500 then later to 3,500 to stay VFR. This was the huge storm moving in from Missouri/Kansas/Texas area that we were hoping to beat. Flight service had suspected we could beat the system if we had been able to leave Duluth in the early afternoon, so we tried it, but the clouds were rolling in.
I was talking with Chicago approach when we saw the line of where the snow showers started. I could also see that if we could proceed directly on course, we would actually be able to be ahead of the storm – but the Chicago class B was in the way. So I asked for a class b clearance and was denied. We went another couple miles and then I could tell that we would get pinched between the snow and the class B if we went much farther, so I just stopped and landed at Dupage Airport near chicago. (Incredibly nice FBO there by the way!)
Again though the flight was great. The hardest part was remembering to scan for traffic while playing with the Arnav and 430s. The plane flew great, and after the 2.5 hour flight neither my back nor my ears (using the SR20 Lightspeeds) were hurting. I am really looking even more forward to some long cross countries now.
Anyway, we were hoping to be able to get out of Chicago today and on our way back to Gaithersburg but the weather was crap the whole day. Looking at weather channel, etc it looks like most of this week will be shot, at least if are looking for MVFR conditions or better.
I didn’t want to skip that much more work, so we hopped a Southwest Airlines flight back to BWI and left the SR20 hangared at DPA. I have a return ticket on Southwest for this weekend, so I am hoping for some good weather Saturday or Sunday so I can bring my bird back!!
Sorry for the long post but I have enjoyed the stories others have posted here about the deliveries, and I can’t remember one where someone actually came home without their plane, so I thought I’d be the first!