Claudia & I both earned our private pilots license in 2007 and have been flying a Cessna 182 ever since. We purchased 205JN (a 1967 model 182k shown below) in 2012 and have been getting an education in airplane ownership since then. We were shocked at how inexpensive it was to purchase a used airplane only to be even more shocked that subsequent maintenance costs are the real challenge. Keeping up with mechanical issues and ever changing technical/equipment issues combine to make keeping up an aircraft a real challenge. And, like all recreational pilots, keeping one’s piloting skills current and continuing one’s aviation education, requires a lot of time and effort.
All that said, there’s nothing like spending an afternoon flying over terrain and contemplating earthly problems left behind on the ground below.
The plane is now spending most of the time in Albuquerque, NM and making trips back to MS to visit the farm. It’s just out of annual inspection and ready for an interesting year traveling around in the desert west. I’ve logged 80 hrs of flying time in the last year which is going a long way towards my re-currency after several years during which we couldn’t fly much. Around 100 or more hours logged per year are, I feel, kind of a baseline to feel comfortable and current – mainly when it comes to radio communications. We’re hoping that 2018 will allow us to get that hard earned currency back where it needs to be.
By end of year 2015 we had the engine overhauled and the annual inspection completed for 205JN. Everything is working well as of right now. Next, We’re heading west with the airplane to do some mountain flying courses this fall. Flying in the Rockies requires a level of flight planning that we’ve not had to worry with here in the MS flatlands. Wind, weather & altitude collude to frustrate pilots that visit the mountains and an extra dose of knowledge & caution is warranted. We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re also hoping to make the west coast at some point as well.
My friend Andy sold the Citabria (shown below) so no more tail dragging for the time being. I’ll miss her – but not as much as Andy.
Well, Claudia pushed through this year and gained her IFR certification. What an achievement! She worked super hard and got ‘er done! 205JN also performed well through the entire process – she’s a champ of an aircraft. She got a new (overhauled) prop and VG’s (vortex generators) this year and is flying better than ever.
I’ve cut back a bit on the flying since Claudia was concentrating on the IFR cert but I did get in some Citabria hours this year. I got a basic aerobatic certification last year and got some practice in this year. The Citabria is a kick in the pants – especially for aerobatic maneuvers. I’m keeping it simple and sticking to loops and rolls for now.