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Jerry_Atrick

Uh-oh! The UK (and Europe's) airspace just got a bit more dangerous!

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Posted (edited)

No, it wasn't the arrival of Donald to Ol' Blighty's shores! It is much... much... much worse.. Despite an ex-RAF fast jet pilot, test pilot and fast jet instructor evaluating me, I have been cleared to fly the new syndicate aircraft I have just bought into.. A superb TB20GT. I know that amongst a lot of you who may even be bothered readinf these pages, this is a floppy jalopy (galopy); a go-go-mobile with wings.. and you look at me at disdain with sticking to ICAO CoA types rather than the pure flying of RAA/LAA types. And I know a Vans can go a bit faster (hmmm.. maybe I should rethink this again)..

 

But.... What an aircraft she (or for those of gender fluidity, it) is! 7 Hour endurance will beat my bladder endurance; by as much as 6 hours and 30 minutes! 235HP feels like 235 horses pulling it thorugh the air at a great rate of knots, yet able to carry 5 (well, room enough for four adults and either a model or young child), lots of fuel and some baggage (oi! The partner doesn't fly with me.. she's too smart!)

 

Quite simply, this is a go places aircraft that is built to take the punsishment I can meter out to it. Now, I can hear Jim Davis (Davies?), previously of Aussie Flyer writing fame but now retired in Africa somewhere reaching to dial +61 000, because I don't know much about hydraulics or pumping the backup gear extension system when the thing goes mammaries up (or more accurately, stays wheels up) - and he is sure I am going to drive it into what will become a smoking hole (he may be right). But the beauty is... there is a simple lever one pulls to dump the hydraulic pressure as it is hydraulic pressure that holds ithe wheels up - all the time. Dump the hydraulic pressure and the wheels fall down and lock - simples - no more winding, pumping or pulling (sounds like a swingers party) and losing control of the aircraft as one can't aviate while attempting to get enough pressure on the hyrdraulic line to flop the wheels down.

 

And for the gadget afficiondo (sp?), there is a lot to admire. It has almost everything a moden, quasi-airline piliot wannabe wants.. I am not going to use half of it - for a long time - but that is not why I bought into the group; this is a sleek, stylish and reasonably high performance aircraft that does throw you into the back of your seat a little when you pump the fuel through the injectors. Oddly, I have always had to initially start with left rudder before applying right - not sure if that is gryoscopic forces of the three-bladed Hartzel (I assume) prop kicking in before the helix. And, for going to the French part of the Contintent, it is perfect; I will definitely get priority ATC handling over other British (now vermin as far as the EU is concerned) pilots in lesser (read non-French) marques... And, since my partner doesn't fly with me, it will be "ooh la la" with the local grannies on the incontinent.

 

But, being French, it is designed beautifully, but in some ways impractical. The step onto the wing is narrow due to the wide flap - but lifting those gull wing doors means someone of even my short stature has to step back and I did feel the top skin of the flap press down with my left foot (will never make that mistake again). Retractable undercarriages on a low-wing - yuk! I don't want to have to test the emergrency gear release, so I have to literally lie down on oil-stained concrete to give the gear a good inspection.. The seats are uber luxurious and have a million different settings; and when you're in a syndicate of more than one, adjusting after the last punter can be a chore. The seatbelts across the lap don't adjust easily.. And the starting sequence of that lycosaurus is resplendent of a joining ritual of the freemasons or some such fraternity - lots of arms flaling and hand/finger wriggling. The official POH checklists are plain wrong and have gaps wide enough to drive a truck through (the instructor said they were designed as a guide and for or one to engage one's brain!!). And, while the gull wing doors are elegant and give the air of that 60's or 70's Merc, if one happens to flip on a forced landing or ditching, they will be an absolute pain to open - ours has had the magic mod, which means kicking out the back window is not an easy option as those who have yet to have the magic mod (whatever it is.. something about widening the doors).

 

Yet, these are minor nitpicking things - well except for the one about not being able to get out of an upturned aircraft - and the checklist is devoid of opening the hatches during a foced landing. It has the range in economy cruise to get from the wrong side of London to Paphos (Pafos) in Cyrprus - in still air and economy cruise - minus statutory fuels reserves. It has a very wide cabin - no more rubbing shoulders with your pax; it is extememly well behaved in all practiced stall configurations; As a tourer, it is not as responsive as, say, a Chippie, but one of the syndicate pilots showed me how it can be turned on its wingtip at almost 90 degrees and still hold its height - very impressive (if a somewhat excessive manouvre (sp?)). It also has a nice demonstrated x-wnd component of 20kts and the checkflight was using about 18 - gusting a little higher - of them.

 

My plan... I have it booked out for another hour of circuits to get myself used to it without the right hand seat advising me what to do. Then, I am going to enjoy it VFR and ignore the advanced gadgetry for a while - 23"/2300RPM at about 135kts should keep me happy for a while until I am really happy with myself and have made the move from C172/PA28s to it. Then, as it is N reg and we have a few FAA training schools here, so the FAA/IR (getting the piggy back licence as I write). Then... bank account drained and time for a second job ;-)...

 

Excited! You bet!

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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Posted (edited)

Or in my case

48A653C3-63E3-4662-87B7-584D34AF8FA9.thumb.jpeg.7e06140a37f9cd9de80cff982758eb6e.jpeg

 

The interior looks much the same as the other photos

Edited by Guest
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Never flown the Trinidad, but had a fair bit of time in the Tobago (wheels welded down version and slightly less power) lovely to fly and everyone, back seaters as well can see down past the wing, unlike the Warrior! Always felt a bit like flying in a French brothel with all the purple velvet trim. As for the wheels falling down when it loses hydraulics, Piper introduced that on the Arrow round about 1960, it was supposed to be impossible to land gear up. It was however, possible to kill a mechanic (or nearly!) because when we jacked it up and retracted the undercarriage to inspect doors etc and turned the master off, as had previously been our habit, the wheels dropped with a massive thump, scaring the poop out of the poor mechanic lying underneath! I was the unfortunate apprentice who received the brunt of his anger until he discovered what had happened. Anyway, sorry for the saga, sure you will love flying it but just keep an eye out for corrosion.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, you'd think belly landing the TB20 would be impossible as well.. But that is what happened to the one I bought into - google N20TB and read the AAIB (UK version of ATSB) report. It is the reason why a vacancy in the syndicate came up. Not much damage to the plane, but of course, dug the prop in and the engine had to be rebuilt (zero-timed) thanks to shock loading.

 

Although the AAIB report goes into the main reason why - a failure to double check - the real problem I am told by a reliable source is that because the gear up warning horn sounnds so similar to the stall warner horn, the pilot thought the stall warner was going off and therefore was applying power at the time... Bit of a shame and I feel for the poor buggah.

 

But it is all rebuilt - but not painted. The synidcate has decided to use the insurance money for painting the underside of the plane as part payment of a full bare metal respray - we will have to kick in a few hundred pounds each to make up the shortfall - but as I understand, it includes some anti-corrosion treatment as well.

 

Next flight is scheduled on the 18th; my medical expires today and, although I had an appointment a few weeks ago, I had to bin it because of work and the next available appointment is the 17th. I could have found another AME, but these blokes still do CASA medicals despite the administrative changes. Wx permitting, after an hour of circuits, I will be taking it down to Somerset (where I apparently live) for the night and the 19th I will be taking a colleague who has been bugging me for a joyflight and after that, back down to Somerset.

 

I will be UK bound for a while, waiting for my US piggy back licence to come through, so I am planning a flight up to Liverpool and then another to Unst (believed to be the most northern airfield in the UK... And of course, to the Scilly Isles - to the very south west... Pictures below.

 

Untitled.jpg.761688035510146dec08096c13001770.jpg

 

scillyisles.jpg.a2d371e511c009f998d5099b65cd7e4a.jpg

 

Mr Perry (and anyone else in the UK or coming to the UK) - once I am totally at home flying it, you are most welcome to come along for a flight.

Edited by Guest

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Posted (edited)
@derekliston - I have had a few hours in the TB10 as well - an absolutely fantastic marque. The extra 55 hp in the TB20 are a dream come try.. it is the first GA type I have flown that pushes you into the back of the seat.. I know it is not the only one... I almost bought a TB10 outright, but SWMBO decided the money could have been spent on better things - her! Oh, yeah... The seats are blue leather.. with armrests! With my warped sense of humour, I think I may have preferred purple velvet with a fluffy-dice air freshener.
Edited by Jerry_Atrick

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[quote name='Jerry_Atrick'] @derekliston - I have had a few hours in the TB10 as well - an absolutely fantastic marque. The extra 55 hp in the TB20 are a dream come try.. it is the first GA type I have flown that pushes you into the back of the seat.. I know it is not the only one... I almost bought a TB10 outright, but SWMBO decided the money could have been spent on better things - her! Oh, yeah... The seats are blue leather.. with armrests! With my warped sense of humour, I think I may have preferred purple velvet with a fluffy-dice air freshener. [/QUOTE] The ones I flew were , I think 1989 models. From memory, seats were leather but trim was purple velvet. Memory could be wrong though, last flew one more than 15 yrs ago!

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Tempo grounded about to get its new coat of paint. Have flown it a few times - takes a little getting used to. When it is back in the air, will get my examiner to come up to critique my style 

 

 

509A407E-F0A1-4FA1-9C8F-46EA6FD3AE3A.jpeg 301345E6-3574-4E08-9D89-14D70D035877.jpeg

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Is it based at Jandakot, Northam or somewhere else? Is it more or less tatty or does it look like a major job to get airborne again, or does it look beyind repair? There is an old Seminole at an airfiueld here which is obviously beyond repair and has been for a long time, but someone is still paying the parking..

 

Will visit the a/c tomorrow to retrieve an ipad and take some more photos of my beasty babe,.

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Speaking of abandoned aircraft, it's hard to say if this aircraft is being overgrown, or if there is a strip of uncut crop between the aircraft and the camera.

 

VH-GKY Cessna 337 Skymaster YBSS 20130114.JPG

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6 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

Is it based at Jandakot, Northam or somewhere else? Is it more or less tatty or does it look like a major job to get airborne again, or does it look beyind repair? 

Sitting on a spare lot amongst hangars at Bunbury. Looks serviceable.

Will try and chase up some info...

Anyone with Ozrunways can see it on "camera view". (Might need landscape view)

http://vh-jttvsaustralia.blogspot.com/

 

Edited by Downunder

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