Complex and High Performance

Saturday was a planned day for an instrument technician to come to Ava and do transponder, pitot/static inspections.  Our club plane was already there and scheduled for it, and Mike Ennis had agreed to move a friends Comanche 250 up to Ava to get it’s inspections.  Mike, being a good friend, got permission to take me along so I could work on completing the complex and high-performance endorsements that I wanted, and add some time I needed to complete the commercial certificate.

This 1958 Comanche is a beautiful airplane!  Well cared for and equipped.  I had studied the operating handbook prior to the flight, so I was familiar with the systems and operation of this aircraft.  This particular airplane had been equipped with an electronic ignition system replacing one of the magnetos, which added a few steps to the check lists, but nothing particularly difficult.

One other thing about this airplane, was that their were no rudder pedal mounted brakes.  Instead there was a lever under the dash that you would pull up to apply braking.  This gets interesting during taxi operations when you have one hand dedicated to throttle, and the other hand dancing back and forth between controlling the yoke, and awkwardly reaching under the dash to apply any braking when needed.  One positive that I can see, it would be a good training tool to keep someone from riding the brakes during taxi.

We flew the Comanche over to Ava, very quickly, making 150 mph on the 35 nm trip.

Once on the ground in Ava, we had a good time visiting with everyone, working on the club airplane, and giving Larry a hard time.  When the technician got around to doing the Comanche he let us know it would take about 3 hours.  At that point, we had already been there a couple hours, so Larry offered to let us take his airplane out for a ride.  Four of us loaded up and flew over to Springfield, and got some lunch.  By the time we did all of that, we just barely got back within our allotted time.  Larry’s 172 is a really nice airplane, that I enjoyed flying a lot.

Back in Ava, Mike and I finished our ground school discussions for the endorsements, and he went ahead and endorsed my logbook for complex and high-performance aircraft.

We loaded back up in the Comanche and headed back to Willow.  With more favorable winds, we were making nearly 200MPH groundspeed on the way back.