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.
I managed to fly just once more in 2005 and it was a lovely trip to Birmingham for a meeting. Now thats not far in a Bonanza A36. Its about 30 minutes into Birmingham airport and 20 more in a taxi to
the city centre. Apart from the landing, handling and parking fee of £67 including VAT it is a great place to land if you need to go into Birmingham. Thankfully my work pay for the landing fees as I was there on business.
During 2005 I only managed a miserly 56 hours and that included doing a good part of the IMC rating leaving me with about 196 hours in my logbook. I am determined in 2006 to do more than 100 hours. I have no particular need to get to 300 hours but it just seems a good number.
I was due to start my night rating tonight so I can use the Bonanza in the evening after work or so I dont have to be back from meetings at 4.30pm during the winter but my instructor called to say that the forecast was looking a bit ropey (tafs with gusty winds and rubbish vis) and now I am sat at home writing this blog and having just walked to the chppy were there didnt seem to be a hint of wind. I cant vouch for the vis as it is a bit dark!
Isn't weather so frustrating. I never used to think about weather until I did my PPL. No I consider every day even when I am not going flying.
A couple of weeks ago after passing my IMC test I passed my log book to the flight school to get each part signed off so I could send it to the CAA but to my horror when I went back a couple of days later they told me that the hours I had said I had done to make up the 15 hours for the IMC test actually only added up to 11 hours so I needed to do 4 more hours and my IMC test again. Two people there had checked it and confirmed this I checked the log book myself and sure enough I seemed to have added my hours up wrong because I only came to 11 hours. In fact I checked it twice because I didn't want to do the test again if I could help it. You can imagine my disappointment when my IMC time still only added up to 11 hours.
I took a training flight to the Channel Islands and back including a serious ILS into Jersey because of poor weather which the Bonanza A36 managed to do there and back in a total of 3 hours 30 minutes and I was able to use the time from my previous IMC test to make up the four hours. I then took my IMC test again last Friday. I passed so this time I got the form from the examiner and went off very happy.
In fact because I did the extra hours I also did a couple of other enjoyable approaches where I learned some new stuff so actually it was good fun.
Now today I decided to send off the form and you have to write on the hours you are claiming so I thought it best that I checked them again and low and behold I now had 19 hours fifteen minutes towards the IMC test and 17 hours 25 under the hood. I was sure I had got it wrong so I asked my secretary to add it up again for me and sure enough the times were correct. I now had 4 more hours than I needed. I checked again myself and they were definitely there.
I cannot explain the case of the mysterious disappearing hours (or is it the case of the mysterious appearing hours) but as it happens I am glad I did the extra hours because I really enjoyed them and got a little bit more practice.
Lets hope the CAA agree with my hours calculation.