All indications are Sun ‘n Fun – only three weeks away at the time of this writing – is going to happen in 2021. I can’t wait – I will be there, and I will give forum presentations again this year, on two topics:
I. Making Sense of Lean of Peak and Mixture Management:
Yesterday I went to Airplanes and Coffee for the first time, a once-a-month event where everyone is invited to join for a cup of coffee and to drool over airplanes – trainers, warbirds, and in this case a beautiful L-39 owned by Chris L. who had his stunning jet on the ramp at Sulphur Springs, TX (KSLR). Chris created a fantastic video of his transition training for the L-39, which you can see here.
This month I completed the online training for the ABS Flight Instructor Academy, which is a first step towards accreditation in the BPPP program (Beechcraft Pilot Proficency Program), which I hope to achieve later this year.
I have flown over 1,000 hours in my A36 Bonanza, and I look forward to helping other Bonanza owners feel comfortable and safe in their aircraft.
Just before the end of the year, N70TB was due for its annual inspection. As usual, I took the plane to Iowa Wing & Rotor in Vinton, IA (KVTI) where Mike Zenisek took good care of it, as usual.
There were no issues with the engine and propeller, as you would expect from the brand-new setup which I had just installed in the spring of 2020. A couple of minor things were corrected, and I swapped out the old LED landing light for a newer, brighter one.
Now we just need some nice flying weather – Iowa so far has had an unusually gray and icy winter.
2020 couldn’t be over soon enough – but not all was bad in 2020. A look back at some of the highlights shows 2020 was far from a normal year, which put the spotlight on a different things. Fewer cross countries meant more time for flight training, culminating in my flight instructor certificate. At the end of 2021, I am a CFI/CFII and I thoroughly enjoy training students at the Executive Aero Flight Club in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Just before the end of the year, I accomplished a training and learning goal by adding an instrument rating to my flight instructor certificate. Commonly known as CFII, this allows me to prepare students for their instrument rating. I have been very passionate about instrument flying since I obtained my own instrument rating (as a Private Pilot Certificate add-on) in 1998, and I am excited to share what I have learned with others from here on.
I finished work on a new page today with the goal of helping students become familiar with ATC radios communications. The information covers the typical dialog at towered airport with (Class C) and without (Class D) approach control, as well as the use of the CTAF Common Traffic Advisory Frequency at non-towered airports, and a few other things useful to know.
After several flights, ground instruction and computer-based training on the Cirrus Approach website, I completed my transition training to the Entegra-equipped SR20. We wrapped it up this morning with a two-hour flight with Matt Gunderson, flight instructor extraordinaire and also a CSIP (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot).
It has been fun to get to know an airplane which in some ways is similar to my Bonanza, and in others quite different. The spacious cockpit of the Cirrus is very comfortable, and the avionics – even in this older G2 model I’ve been flying is superb – with the Avidyne PFD, MFD and the phenomenal DFC-90 autopilot. The GNS430 GPS/NAV/COMs are a step back from the IFDs in my Bonanza, and while I am no stranger to the Garmin GNS units, my muscle memory has deteriorated in the 18 months since I upgraded to Avidyne IFDs in the Bonanza.
The side stick – sorry, the control yoke, as the Cirrus POH calls is – was a concern for me, but it shouldn’t have been. It feels very natural. The stereotype is that Cirrus pilots fly on autopilot 99% of the time, but from what I have seen the airplane is quite pleasant to hand-fly. Not as pleasant as my Bonanza, but a lot more pleasant than the Arrow I was flying during the spring and summer for my CFI training. And the modern digital autopilot is a thing of beauty – more stable and much smarter than my old Century III in the Bonanza. Performance isn’t on par with my A36, which has 50% more power than the SR20, but 135 KTAS at 8 GPH (LOP) isn’t too shabby, and pretty darn efficient. You can go faster, but then the range goes down.
If you live in the Cedar Rapids, IA area and are interested in flying this Cirrus, Executive Aero Flight Club is always looking for new members.
This coming Wednesday, November 4th 2020, I’ll be the guest on Ryan Dembroski’s weekly show “SuperAero LIVE”. The show begins at 8:30 PM US Central time (Chicago). You can not just watch live on YouTube, but participate through comments and questions in the live chat.
Exciting news – the new studio setup is up and running. (I was going to say complete instead of up and running, but then I realize that these projects are never complete and final.)
If all goes to plan, you will see it in use for the first time this upcoming Wednesday, November 4, 2020. I am going to be the guest on SuperAero’s live show that night, which starts at 8:30 PM US Central time (Chicago). Here is the channel’s LIVE playlist, and when the time comes (i.e. on Wednesday evening), you will see the link to the show posted there.
I will also use the studio for my own live events (Talk to Martin) in the future, and to record on-camera narration for my videos.