This is the story of owning and operating a 1993 Beech Bonanza A36 in the UK and some of its adventures and flights. I have owned this plane for over six years now.
Well this blog entry isn't strictly about flying my Beech Bonanza A36 and it isn't strictly about me flying either but I cant help but log it because it is about flying.
My Bonanza is due to be inspected by the FAA on Friday to be given an export CofA so when I needed to go to Inverness on Monday for three days the maintenance facility weren't overjoyed as they wanted to take it to bits ready for the inspection so they found me a willing pilot and plane who would take me there and then collect me on Wednesday for the price of a drink. Actually no price at all, I just paid the fuel and landings.
The beauty of this was that the pilot was the proud holder of a full IR and the weather wasn't looking good at all when we arrived at Blackpool on Monday morning. In fact after climbing out to 1500ft we went into the cloud and didn't see anything out of the windows again until we arrived at Inverness. I am mighty impressed with flying in the airways which helped us get above the bumpy weather and to our destination without any fuss other than battling a 40knot headwind. Surely though we would have a tailwind on the way home.
On Wednesday the weather wasn't much better and thankfully the IR stepped in to make sure we completed the journey again. As you can see the rain at Inverness was an indicator that we wouldn't be seeing much of the ground on the way home either. Unfortunately the wind seemed to think we had enjoyed the 40knot headwind so had turned round to offer us more of the same.
For all of you that have heard the football results, "Inverness Caledonian Thistle - one etc etc, here is a picture of their ground)
I have always found it amazing that once you get high up (only 8000ft) you often find yourself in glorious sunshine but it is ages since I have been on top in a light plane and I really enjoyed basking in the sun while everyone below on the ground was getting wet. I find that one of the best parts of flying.
The flight was completed and we arrived back at Blackpool in well under two hours and saved my usual 7 hour drive I have to do each year to Inverness so it not always true to say "time to spare, go by air" as this time it is one up for the plane ownership model I try so hard to justify (even if it wasn't my plane).
Interestingly the Cessna 206 Turbo Millennium model used 20 gallons per hour for 152 knots air speed at 8000ft. My Beech Bonanza A36 would manage 168 knots for 15.5 gallons so it shows it helps to be able to fold your wheels away :)
Back in the hangar I was not surprised to see that they had not even started my Bonanza after all so it had sat there unused for no reason whatsoever. Typical!