I flew from Indianapolis to Duluth yesterday, took about 6hrs door to door. I figure about 3 1/2hrs on the trip home, with an additional benefit of NO SCREAMING BABIES!
ACAR car rental will pick you up in front of the terminal and you can leave your car at Cirrus when you take the plane home. $29/day Cirrus rate if you don’t mind a Cavalier, but great service.
Stopped by Cirrus at about 6pm to try to get a glimpse of N84PD. No luck, but there was at least 20 Cirrus on the ramp, I’m guessing. What a sight. Proceeded on down to the shores of Lake Superior, very impressive vistas as you make your way down to the Canal Park area. Checked into Hawthorn Suites with a 1 bedroom suite, CAT5 internet connection included, with the Cirrus rate of $80 per nite. Pretty nice place, very close to a lot of good eating establishments and some sightseeing.
Arrived this morning at Cirrus, greeted by 2 F-16s taking off on Rwy 27 as I was getting out of my car. Very cool.
After the cheerful greeting by Michelle Faucett and the front desk crew, I was introduced to Shane, my instructor. Top notch guy with a lot of experience, who is between airline jobs at the moment because of the recent cutbacks. I arrived probably 45 minutes early, so I watched as N84PD’s cleaning was being completed on the ramp, while finishing up on one of the work sheets from the training manual.
A couple of minutes later a downpour pretty much un-did all of the exterior cleaning that had just been completed. Shawn had the wet plane pulled in and proceded to dry the entire plane himself, while I got started on the inspection checklists. The plane was better than my expectations, less than a handful of paint imperfections, and some very minor details, except that the carpet was wet in the baggage compartment. Looked to me like the baggage door not sealing. Oh well, at least I found out about it while I was here.
Shane then took me on the acceptance flight which consisted of a departure on 27 with extended vectors to ILS 9 and a circle to land on 27. Auto pilot coupling to ILS and Glideslope is fantastic. And the Avidyne was very impressive, I should say the entire plane was impressive. More vibration than the 182 and Archers that I have been flying, but in the short amount of time that we were in the air, it felt pretty good.
We got back and documented the squawks, and Michelle informed me that the check that was wired had not made it to Cirrus, no check no fly. Oh well, time for ground school.
At about 4:30pm, the check cleared and Shane and I were off to the ramp to start my flight training. It felt great being in the left seat of MY PLANE. Preflight, boarding, engine start, everything going well until…
Avidyne shut off, Garmin #2 shut off, engine gauges quit, chattering noise, clock shut off, faint burning smell, ALT 1 light on. Switched off BAT1 and ALT1 and chattering quit, but still pretty much everything that wasn’t on the Essential Bus powered down.
Shut the engine down and squawked it to Customer service and went back to the training room for weight and balance calcs and more ground school.
Shane and I called it quits about 6pm, and as we were leaving Steve (head of custmer service) stopped us and said preliminary troubleshooting was pointing to a bad BAT1. He told us he would try to have it ready for us tomorrow morning to fly.