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 have owned G-FOZZ now for five and a half years. During that time we have had some wonderful days out, a couple of weekends away and just one week long holiday that we used the plane for. I have used it nothing like as much as I expected or wanted to. There have been several trips cancelled for various reasons, not usually related to the skills of the Bonanza A36 but sometimes related to the skills or lack thereof of the PIC.
During my ownership time the plane has gone from 604 hours on the clock to 1150 hours currently. A seemingly respectably use level but in fact that doesn't tell the full story as I have opened up G-FOZZ to group use. I have 5 other members that use it on a fairly regular basis and between us we have managed to use those hours so in fact roughly 100 hours per year between six of us. I think most people have ambitions and dreams of flying more but very few people get the chance to do it.
For my part my excuse is work and kids. Work during the last five years has provided opportunities to fly but has also provided lots of times where I have been too busy to fly. The last five months being a case in point. Launching a new business has seem me working spectacularly long hours and left me too knackered to fly.
The kids (we have four of them) have a knack of attending one party each weekend between them which means that generally we cant go away so that scuppers my plans for trips.
Anyway this year I (as usual) intend to fly more. I am planning two seperate weeks away in the plane. One to the Isle of Wight and one to France. I also intend to do several weekends away.
Lets see what happens by the end of the year. This is however a practical reflection of the use that my plane gets. I think for the cost of ownership I would be better off chartering a jet, but then it wouldnt be as satisfying would it?
I guess if you are going to buy yourself a plane you should expect that it will not get used anywhere near as much as you expect but I have to say that I wouldnt change it for the world. Owning a Beech Bonanza A36 makes me feel warm inside.
Ridiculous as it sounds, I have just gone over five months without flying my own plane. Time and life conspired against me. Yesterday however despite the weather trying its best to mess up my plans I managed to renew both my Single engine piston rating and (jus as well I had one yesterday) my IMC rating. What a bloody stupid thing it will be if they remove that rating without giving grandfather rights to a suitable replacement. You could hardly ever complete a meaningful trip in the UK without it!
Anyway apart from the flight in the G36 Bonanza I last flew on the 8th August so it was great to be back in the air and flying with John Hunter who is a true gent!