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Back to the roots ?

 

 

 

“ What the heck are you doing? Crossing over to the dark side?”

Even before Rob asked this question, the look on his face told me what was about to come.

I had just let him in on the imminent purchase of a Cessna 170 and that “confession” left him speechless.

 

 

 

What do you do  when you can’t fly ?

Dream about flying? Think about flying?

I know: a broken record…

But bear with me.

“Why can’t you fly?” you ask?

Well, I’m stuck in Germany and my bird is in the US .

 

Celestial Navigation…

No, I’m not talking about an extended cross country flight in the dark – it’s a metaphoric title, of course.

Yes, I’m talking about an extended operation in the dark, but in the shop – and although it happened under a solid roof, more often than not the gaze turned heavenward for guidance.

What’s Goin’ On?

were usually Greg’s first words when he called me during the intensive phase of our search for my 170 after a hiatus of a couple of days.

Well, the search has been over for a perceived eternity, so that now – what with all that “stuff” happening since – it might be you, the reader, friend, follower, to ask that question.

 

 

What’s Goin’ On?

were usually Greg’s first words when he called me during the intensive phase of our search for my 170 after a hiatus of a couple of days.

Well, the search has been over for a perceived eternity, so that now – what with all that “stuff” happening since – it might be you, the reader, friend, follower, to ask that question.

 

 

Celestial Navigation…

No, I’m not talking about an extended cross country flight in the dark – it’s a metaphoric title, of course.

Yes, I’m talking about an extended operation in the dark, but in the shop – and although it happened under a solid roof, more often than not the gaze turned heavenward for guidance.

This I can not recommend…

A couple more weeks have passed since I wrote this and despite a lot of dedicated effort I still can’t get out of the doldrums.
“Doldrums” you ask, “How come you ended up there?”
Well, after 6 weeks of excitement, of learning and adventuring in headwinds, crosswinds and tailwinds, the quiet after my last landing certainly felt like entering the famous zone of the 

What’s Goin’ On?

were usually Greg’s first words when he called me during the intensive phase of our search for my 170 after a hiatus of a couple of days.

Well, the search has been over for a perceived eternity, so that now – what with all that “stuff” happening since – it might be you, the reader, friend, follower, to ask that question.

 

 

Is This Real ??

 

“Ready for the big adventure ” I wrote at the end of my last post.

Well, kind of…

Lots of last minute purchases, adjustments to take care off and then the wait for the right weather.
When the met-man offered a two day flying window towards Maine I went for it.

Sunday, in the Country 

Well, it turned into a long evening. There were just so many years things, memories to cover.

After we were done with the VIP-style tour of the premises, hangars, shops, club house, Mike proposed to go out for dinner and invited me to spend the night at their condo up near the Windham ski area. 

A Trip to Nostalgia, NY

“ It’s sporty up there! ” he said, laconically

Did I sense a trace of preocupation in Greg’s words when he greeted me that saturday morning? If so, it was probably rooted in unavoidable worries most instructors share when a student of theirs takes on a new solo-challenge.

Dating a 64 year old…

… presents challenges and offers rewards – as I was about to find out!

She – I’m talking about my Cessna, of course – has been around the pattern more than a few times and knows how she wants to do it.
Gotta respect that – and adapt to it.     

 

Blind Date

.. with my bird? Kind of.

The date was set for 7:30 am, the day after I touched down at Boston’s  Logan Airport.
Was I nervous? Naa, not really!
Curious and excited would be the appropriate words to describe my emotions, no wonder after all these days, well, months of searching, and after those two weeks in limbo.

 

Prelude

Santiago…
Two days in bed…
More obstacles on the way to realizing my dream?

No! After those two days I had subdued the flu sufficiently with pills, vitamin C and hot showers that I considered myself airworthy, and Delta 146 took me on the next leg to my classic wings.


I made it, barely…

It was an intense and nerve-racking couple of days!
The closer I got to my departure day the more snow was supposed to come – and it’s timing shifted in unfavorable ways: more days of snow starting sooner

That left me with a dilemma……

Last Minute Trouble ?

Patience is wearing thin, tension is rising, excitement is at an all-time high: when am I finally going to meet my magic carpet?

And now there’s a blizzard to hit just when I’m scheduled to leave

A 16-Months Transition…

What happened to “get the gag off”, you ask?
Details I don’t know, but it roughly went like this:
Another couple of days went by and then a short message popped up on my phone: “I connected with my friend, call him now!” Greg had sent an unexpected, but very much welcomed, alert.

So I called.

All will be good…         

… that’s what I wrote in my last post – relying on hope, or on past experience?

Well, a little bit on both, actually – or better yet: on the hope that past experience would repeat itself.

Which it did – eventually.

Communication Breakdown

 

I thought everything was clear, agreed upon and settled….

But suddenly there was silence, not a word, not even a sound, all clamped down.

 
 
 

A Bad-News Phone Call

When I came to from this Chinese torture (see end of last post) two weeks later, my emotional pendulum was still moving – ever so slowly – towards one of its maximum displacements – the one I labelled “deep frustration” or “paralysing depression”.

The dangling carrot….

…without the stick. “Would there be more chance for success if a motivated seller responding to my ad or letters…” I wrote at the end of my last post.

Possibly. The responses I was hoping for, however, did not come in.
Yes, there were a few, but these were essentially testing how bad my desire to buy a 170 had really gotten.

TAP-dancing and BS-ing…

Yup, suddenly the pace has picked up.
I’ve seen more Cessnas and Pipers enter the used-market during one week than ever before.
So I had to “dance” faster, to step faster through the the pages of “Trade-A-Plane” (TAP), one of the most popular publications in the used aircraft (and -stuff) sector.

Cessna-fishing: catch & release

The more I read the more I realized how little I knew, about planes , the purchasing process, the many different aspects of airplane-ownership.
And another (temporary, as it turned out) lull in the 170-market gave me the chance to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge.

The Chase is on…

..that’s what I thought when I realized how fast (some of) the 170’s were selling.

No more searching – chasing instead!

Well, truth is, I never expected urgency to be the crucial part of the search for my C170.

Didn’t it start in an arts …

Well, yes, kind of…
In fact, since ”it” – aka my dream – got reanimated in the workshop and woke up there, it was to be expected that it would also get up and stagger around in that ambiente with repercussions on my artistic activities.

Impacts – soft and not so soft

 Yes, I had fun, tons of fun, at “airventure 2018” – as the Oshkosh fly-in is called officially – but the “first things first” – stuff still needed to get done.

The #1 first thing: my medical.
I was somewhat apprehensive about it as I mentioned before, but I shouldn’t have been.

Total immersion

Oshkosh!

I had heard so much about it and I always thought that once – at least – I’d have to go and see for myself.

And now that it became practically inevitable I felt somewhere between “yeah, finally!!” and “really? Isn’t it just another airshow?”

 

First things first….

Well yes, the legal issues…
I did a quick search and found – not surprisingly – that I wasn’t the first foreigner wanting to buy and fly a N-registered airplane and that there are indeed ways to deal with this problem.

Good to know and enough for me at that moment.

Dancing with Clouds

“…practically all my aerial adventures during the last decades had been in gliders.” I wrote in my first post.

I put a similar statement in my introductory mail to Juli. Admittedly, that doesn’t say a lot more than that I had been active in the soaring world for quite some time.

I needed help – and I got it.

With the first test passed I went back to my online search, and got overwhelmed again.
I could really use some guidance, not only in aircraft selection, but also in understanding and interpreting the available information.


Beginning the search…               

The first time I hit barnstormers.com, the web-site with the most comprehensive list of used airplanes (and -“stuff”), I was overwhelmed. Sure, in my dream I flew a Cessna 170, but browsing through page after page I was reminded that there were many other classic taildraggers which could possibly fit my mission: