N124CD goes home.

Having just read the messages on delivery and calculus it makes me feel both humble and priveledged to tell you I am the happiest man in Europe. The plane is an absolute delight.

We got to Groningen Sunday afternoon, a friend flew us over. I could see CD on the apron outside General Enterprises from finals and she looked good. On the ground she was prestene, a credit to General Enterprises,she wouldn’t have been better if I had picked her up from Duluth in November. I have had two or three new cars which feels good but nothing like the feeling of a new plane.

Anyway, we didn’t have time to spare so after a quick look round Bill took me up. We left the curcuit did some general handling and some stalls.

She dosen,t really stall just drops, no wing drop really a non event. The side stick is very sensitive in roll, I tend to be heavy handed and had to learn to be more gentle. So very responsive though, so much fun to just play. Then back to the curcuit and the serious business of putting her on the ground.

We did 8 or 9 touch and go,s. They weren,t perfect in fact thats being generous. I think most of us who only fly one plane get complacent and I would say my curcuits(patterns) are untidy but in my Arrow 4 wherever I finished up high or low I could make a half decent landing. This didn,t seem to be working in CM. The first day finished in the usual fashion with a few beers, great elation, but with me having a few doubts, not about the plane but was I up to it.

Next morning up with the lark, well 10am at the airfield, it was more than a few beers.

We went to a small strip in Germany, 30nm away Bill knew the operator so we paid no landing fees.

You can pay between 10 or 30$ in Europe per landing.

Anyway what a transformation, fresh day and fresh pilot,I got the curcuits tidy, the speeds right and the saying ‘good approach good landing’ couldn’t be more true every one was good. I did half a dozen with Bill, he got out and ‘sent me solo’ I did a couple by myself.
On the way back to Groningen we did some work on autopilot, flew the ILS, landed and that was that.

You do have to think ahead to slow down. Flap limiting speed is 100knots and it takes some getting down to. I understand they are going to get it raised to 110knots which will be a big help. We were flying the curcit at 90 then putting full flap on final which would reduce the speed to 80,it was a bit bumpy otherwise 75 is reccomended for full flap.

I found the throttle took a bit of getting used to.

It seems sensitive at the top end and the bottom end but in the middle not much happens. This might have been part of the trouble with my curcuits and landings you like to be able to throttle back fairly automatically without watching the gauge.

We should have gone home in the afternoon but there was a front coming through from England and I certainly wasn’t ready for that sort of test.

I took my friend up before the weather arrived and we checked out the groundspeed by flying a reciprical course. This was at 2000ft and it netted out at 152knots, good for the altitude.

It was an early start the next day airbourne at 0800 some cloud and showers over northern Holland then clearing towards the coast. Hit the coast just below Rotterdam then followed it down over Belgium to Calais, France, across the Channel,past the White Cliffs of Dover and landed in Lydd, Kent, to clear customs,a 2HR trip.

For my first landing in England I was too high and too fast and had to go around, next one was a greaser though. Didn’t delay as the next Atlantic front was moving into the west of England, we took of flew along the South coast to Exeter 1.5hrs.

The trip home was an absolute pleasure,my wife Sylvia was with me and is a total convert. It is a wonderful touring plane, very comfortable, smooth excellent visability. I flew most of the way home on the autopilot which is superb, Sylvia complained when I took it off as I wasn’t as smooth. I used the trip to get used to the avionics. The biggest problem is what to show on all the screens. I had done quite a bit of work with the 430 trainer which was a great help.

We had a strong headwind all the way home so only got about 135knots. Fuel burn was about 10US GAL.

Good as we were about 3000ft.

I would echo what Walt has said ‘give your self plenty of time’ everyone wants to have a look and talk about it,thats what happened when we got back to Exeter,but thats no hardship.

I was a bit dissapointed though, not one controller asked what an SR20 was. I am sure it will take many hours before I can say I am a proficient SR20 pilot but I allready feel comfortable with it and very, very happy.