February 28th, 2008


Timely fortune cookie

From the Mongolian barbecue place I hit for lunch yesterday:

You shouldn't overspend at the moment. Frugality is important.

Considering I was going back and forth with the Zodiac sales representative with the quote for my airplane, which is coming in a bit above $130K, that was amusing.

For that $130K, I'm getting an extremely well equipped aircraft that's about as capable as a light single can get...
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    amused amused

Picked a plane

I just realized that I posted that last entry without explaining what was going on.

When I last wrote, I'd flown the Sierra but not the Zodiac. I corrected that deficiency this past Monday and Tuesday. I got 3 hours in it, and a freshly signed off biennial flight review, and a real humbling. Unlike the Sierra, the Zodiac's controls are very light and responsive, so much so that it demands a different way of flying. The first flight was terrible, all the way around; I made 4 arrivals (I won't dignify them by calling them landings) that were all dropped in from a few feet up, and was never really in control of the aircraft. The second flight was different because, instead of using my hand and arm to fly as I did the first day (and as I've always done on other aircraft), I planted the side of my hand firmly on my thigh and used just the forefinger and thumb to fly. That made all the difference in the world.

Based on that, I'm convinced that I'll be able to fly the Zodiac well, with enough practice. I've been working with a sales rep to put together a specification sheet and list of options, and that process is about done. At that point, I'll have a firm price quote that I can take to lenders and insurance companies, and when I put down a deposit, I'll have formally ordered the aircraft. I'm currently being quoted a delivery date of May 10. That means I'll probably fly to the Dayton Hamvention from the factory, after getting several hours of instruction in my airplane, then down to Texas to show it off to friends and family, then over to Huntsville for RCFM, then home. Whee. This assumes the weather cooperates, something not at all assured.

I've got a general paint design in mind that will leave no doubt it's the Tron Guy's airplane, and an N-number already reserved for it: N55ZC, after my ham radio callsign K5ZC. (N5ZC was already taken.)

It's going to be a new adventure for me. I'm really looking forward to it.
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    pleased pleased