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Topic-icon Flying an Apache

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07 Jul 2021 02:13 #3081

Along with fixing the electrical issues my mechanic was able to make a very much wanted upgrade.. Aztec throttle, prop & mixture knobs. The old original knobs were orange with pilot sweat and oil and were small and slick to hold. The new knobs are much easier to use and of course are color coded and have different shapes. A fairly easy fix but one of my favorite upgrades!

I was also able to try out my new USB ports. I had my Garmin portable GPS Aera 660 and my GDL-50 both plugged in and they stayed fully charged all day and worked great. Another small upgrade!

We averaged about 174 mph going west bound at 8500' and averaged about 158 coming back at 9500'. So with full throttle at those altitudes and 2300 rpm we averaged 166 mph (144 KTAS) both ways. Yup, had a tailwind going WEST. Not bad for a comfortable cruise setting. I burned 16.4 gallons going over to Franklin (I had them top off the mains just to give them a little business). I find that pretty reasonable for flying a twin!

I am really enjoying the S-TEC 50 autopilot with the Garmin G5 displays. They both work so well and make flying much easier. One of my purchase requirement for my plane was to have an autopilot with altitude hold and I'm so glad I got that.

I am going to have to get better headsets! These are cheaper units and just a little too big and clunky. I'm already spoiled by my David Clark Pro headset I use for work so I guess that goes on the "to buy" list. The old headsets will be ok for rear seat pax!

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Last edit: 07 Jul 2021 02:27 by Eric Parks.

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07 Jul 2021 02:02 #3080

More pics from departing Franklin, NC.

You can see the runway in one picture as I circled in my climb out of the valley. Wife took these pics!

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07 Jul 2021 01:58 #3079

I finally got my first "fun" trip done in the Apache. By fun I mean a flight with no other purpose than than to go somewhere for the fun of it.

OK, true confession time. I had another trip planned, a LONG trip from Charlotte, NC to Dallas, TX. It was 3 legs to get there with about 6.5 hours air time. I had everything planned and filed for IFR. Got out to the airport and put all my bags and stuff in the plane and pulled it out of the hangar. Did my walk around and got in to start the engines and the entire electrical system died! Bummer! Found out I had a bad Master Relay. After 65 years it packed up right then (note: I actually found out later that the relay was made in JAN 1965 so it was "only" 56 years old!). I think all the engine runups with lots of cranking finally did it in. So that was the end of that trip.

Fast forward two weeks and a new relay (and brand new battery!) later and we have fixed several other electrical gremlins as well. The engines are cranking fast and starting easy. YEAH!

So Wifey and I flew to a little North Carolina town in the Western NC mountains called Franklin. They have a nice little airport, 1A5 (Macon County). We were treated GREAT. Very nice FBO and we took their courtesy car into town for a little restaurant and shopping time. Flying time was 1.0 going over and 1.1 coming back on the Hobbs meter from Shelby (KEHO). Fun first trip for the wife. She enjoyed her seating position much better in the Apache than she did in the Bonanza we rented a couple years ago. She can see better forward and liked getting in better as well as a more solid ride. So Wifey gives it a thumbs up!

Only glitch was the outside lock for the door handle didn't work properly. So we will dive into that. But everything else was great.

Here are a few pics from the trip.

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Last edit: 13 Jul 2021 01:40 by Eric Parks.

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15 Jun 2021 02:32 #3053

Today was a "work day" on the Apache but now work includes flying! Can you tell I'm excited? We took it out to check out the radios and make sure they are all working. I had not tried an ILS approach or double-checked how that all worked. I'm hoping to do a big (for me) trip next week so this is the final push to get ready in case I need to do IFR. I plan on only "lite IFR" but that can make a huge difference in getting a trip done. I took the plane to 8500' and had AVL approach control check the altitude reporting. Also checked out the autopilot a bit more and everything is looking good there. All good on that so we went to a local uncontrolled airport (KSPA) to shoot an quick ILS in visual conditions to make sure all that that all worked. It was a complete failure. I couldn't get the HSI to respond or work.

We went back to Shelby and started trouble-shooting by finding videos of how to set up the ILS with a Garmin 430 and G5. My friend suddenly gets off the phone and says he checked and the ILS we used at the little airport has been down for months. Oops! Didn't check any NOTAMS since we were just messing around VFR.

I quickly checked the status on another ILS at another uncontrolled airport a bit further away (KUZA). It was OK so off we went. It all worked as advertised and I was VERY happy to see it all working so well.

So at this point I have loaded an ILS approach and flown it and gotten proper indications on both the G5 PFD and HSI. On the way back to home base I let the autopilot track the GPS in NAV and that worked great too.

We are now planning on what other changes we should make to the panel. Cost is important at this point so I'm looking for good "bang for the buck" but also trying to make the panel more attractive as well as functional. We have some nice things planned that I will post as we get them done.

Last edit: 15 Jun 2021 02:36 by Eric Parks.

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05 Jun 2021 19:51 #3028

The Apache hadn't been washed since we got it as we had so much work to do it wasn't worth it. However, since it was initially in a "shade hangar" the first few months it had more than it's fair share of dust and bird droppings besides the greasy handprints. And of course bug guts all over the leading edges from recent flying!

I pulled the plane out of our hangar and used my golf cart tug to take it around to the "wash rack" by the larger hangars. Previous owner had obviously done a nice job of waxing it as the bug guts came off very easily (compared to my expectation). It still took a couple hours to wash, rinse and wipe it down. Suddenly a smaller plane makes more sense! :P

The underneath of the engines and behind the exhaust really needed attention but the plane looked great when I was done. Waxing will be another day!

I'm starting to get the hang of how to use the tug to put the plane back in the hangar. Getting it out easy, getting it back in, not so easy!

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Last edit: 05 Jun 2021 19:54 by Eric Parks.

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28 May 2021 02:30 #2996

Finally! We got to fly the Apache with a family member on board :)
My younger daughter wanted to experience flying in the much talked about Apache. Of course for a long time it was being "re-habbed" but finally it got out of rehab long enough to be flown a bit. My daughter can be a little up tight about flying although she is also very interested in it. So I wanted her to just have a quick, short (and hopefully positive!) experience. This was VERY short! Non-stop from Shelby, NC to Spartanburg, SC. A complete 27 nm distance! But she had an old college friend she wanted to meet. So off we went. The drive was way longer than the flight. It went well and she enjoyed the trip and I think she'll be ready for more soon. Next to get Mom and the older daughter up so they can get used to it before a long trip.
BTW, daughters can take LOTS of pictures. This is just 3 of 106 pics and videos!

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Last edit: 28 May 2021 02:46 by Eric Parks.

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