/ aviation

Annual

First annual inspection, done. Airplanes are required to undergo an inspection every twelve calendar months, and “the annual” is often a dreaded ritual where the aircraft owner drops his plane off with his mechanic and waits for the list of expensive things wrong with it. In a good year, the inspection is just that, and things are inspected and nothing it found our of order. Most years, one or more things are found out of order, much to the chagrin of the owner. Some years, the annual presents an opportunity to take care of a few things that have needed doing, and that is what my situation was.

Niner-three-fox is back at home, with all kinds of new shit. Boring shit, like new tires. Semi-cool shit, like a new-old navcom, and a panel-mount intercom. Pleasant shit, like a rigging adjustment that affords me time to leisurely fold a chart without the plane going into a vigorous descending left turn. Lots of other shit too: belly drain STC; autofuel STC; new filler neck seals. Also a new carb, which hopefully will be the expensive-but-confidence-inspiring change it seems to be.

Also, I now have a box of crap sitting in my foyer; an old radio and a loran that in another time were improvements by going in, and are now improvements by coming out.

In short, all the squawks from the last seven months of aircraft ownership have been squashed, and then some. I got me a plane, and flying season has begun!

Best part is, I got to fly today, in fantastic weather, with my good friend John. John is the only reason I own a plane; he makes it possible, and I appreciate it.

Today I was just a guy flying around, and not a guy whose dad is actively dying of cancer. I needed that. Good drug, this.