Tuesday, July 11, 2017

San Juan 421 Flight

 Hello folks, as mentioned in my last blog post I have started flying a Cessna 421 for our company. The market was right for the Cirrus sale and we owned this Cessna for a few years and finally started using it as our primary aircraft. This is excellent pilot experience and I am quite happy with my new ride!
The plane was purchased down in San Juan Puerto Rico and me and a flight instructor flew down to pick it up. The mechanics were finishing the annual inspection and we arrived June 18, just as they were getting everything ready for test flights. We stayed down there 3 days, the first day was on the ground going through everything and we only got one flight in due to rain. My first 421 takeoff and landing was in the night time with rain. Fabulous! We flew two test flights the next day and had a few small squawks ironed out and were then satisfied with everything. We headed north early Wednesday morning for Turks and Caicos. After an easy customs and fuel stop at Providenciales airport we headed west to Ft Lauderdale Executive airport, enjoying the incredible Carribean island scenery along the way. Customs here was a bit more involved there but still easy. We grabbed a bite to eat and topped off the tanks and took a bit of a rest. By now it was around 3 pm and so we decided to do one more flight to get as far north as possible. I selected Charlotte Monroe Executive airport in North Carolina as our overnight stop. We arrived there around 8 pm and were exhausted after being in the cockpit over 9 hours.
The next morning we slept in and then took off mid-morning for Allegheny County, PA. We arrived here after a good trip. Then with some time on our hands I decided to call up my uncle Mike who lives near Lancaster airport which was just an hour flight away. This was a highlight and we all enjoyed a great meal at the airport restaurant. From there we headed for Ontario.
The next morning we had a trip to do down to Dallas Texas. We headed down there in good time and used Saint Louis Missouri as our fuel stop and I actually got a glimpse of the St Louis Arch. I was in the arch many years ago when our family went there on a family trip. We arrived in Dallas early evening and here is where me and the flight instructor parted ways. We bid farewell and I was on my own. We enjoyed our time together a lot.
The next morning I headed east out of Dallas for a short flight over to Shreveport Louisiana. This is where my oldest brother now lives as he works as a resident doctor, having just graduated from medical school. It worked out perfect to stay here over the weekend and be with him here at his new city. He was busy studying for a major test but I enjoyed driving around a checking out the sights and sounds of Shreveport Louisana. After staying here 2 days I took off for home and after an enjoyable flight was happy to be back home. The whole trip consisted of 35 hours spread over 7 days. Lot's of incredible sights and great experience. Enjoy the pictures below.

First setting foot in the San Juan airport. First time I ever saw slot machines at the airline gates!

After checking into my hotel I walked down the street to an open air restaurant. This reminded me so much of these style of restaurants in Haiti and Guatemala that I was at. The culture in general was very similar as you would expect. 

Tasty pineapple drink

I even got a chance to walk down to the beach which was a just down the street from our hotel. 

First glimpse of my new wings!

Watching as the mechanics replace a leaking manifold gasket after one of our test flights which was causing a loss of manifold pressure. 

Third and final test flight over the US and British Virgin Islands. 

A unique Mexican appetizer we ordered. Apple chips with a flammable dip. 

Wednesday morning me and Ed said goodbye to the mechanics here and headed north. 

Cruising past Dominican Republic

Our first sighting of the beautiful Carribean Islands

Descending to land at Providenciales Airport, Turks and Caicos

Topping off our fuel tanks at Turks and Caicos.

Taking off out of Turks and Caicos. Notice how the shallow turqoise water changes abruptly to very deep, dark blue water. 

Beautiful Bahamas

Fast foward and here is a few pics of our lunch "appointment" at Lancaster Airport. This was great.

'Somewhere' in the USA

Parked beside a hot-rod TBM 850 in St Louis Missouri 

Dallas Texas

Putting my bird to bed at Shreveport downtown airport.

With my brother Dr. Ryan Burkholder M.D. in Shreveport for the weekend. This was a trip highlight.

Shreveport Louisiana. Interesting city. 

College student party with Ryan. Since he was only in Shreveport for a week before I visited, he was just getting acquainted with his new classmates and it was great meeting them myself too.

That's it folks. Hope you enjoyed it and until next time, God bless, be safe and take care. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Multi-Engine Rating, Cessna 421 and Aircraft Purchase!

Hello Everyone.
Well, it`s been August since I have done any update on this blog. Life has been extremely busy starting from October and going steady up until this point. I have been doing some flying of course although not as much as last year since I am at a lull right now in between planes. Unfortunately the beloved Cirrus has been sold but the good news is I am going to start flying a twin engine Cessna 421! I am incredibly excited and more then happy to move up into this next step of aviation. I did my multi-engine rating in April and then the end of May I went down to Orlando for the 1 week initial 421 training course at SimCom. I enjoyed this training so much and would recommend SimCom in a heartbeat. Sooo much learned and so eager to put this training into real life experience.

Another highlight that happened recently is my purchase of our own aircraft! An elderly gentleman owned a Cessna 150 at our local Bancroft Airport and was flying less and less. Knowing the plane was available, I called him up and we made a deal. My two brothers and I partnered in the deal and they just started their private pilot training in it, so that is exciting as well. Take care and enjoy the pictures. I will have an update at the start of my Cessna 421 flying.

First day of multi-engine training. I did this training at DCT Aviation at Pontiac Airport in Michigan. I highly recommend this school. 


Practicing single engine procedures in the Seneca I. The instructor let me take a break to take this picture.

Checkride! Taking the usual photo shoot after the successful completion of the checkride. I did the rating in about 8 hours of flying. 

Here is our cute little Cessna 150!

All of us posed for a picture after signing the papers!

Out on the first flight. The weather was crappy that day but still managed to log 2.5 hours.

Waiting for clouds to lift while drinking Tim Hortons hot drinks!

Went for a scenic trip about half hour flight east of Bancroft. This is Mazinaw lake at Bon Echo Park. A friend of mine was flying beside us in a Cessna 172 and his passenger managed to get a few pictures of us with their phone. 

All tied up at Peterborough airport where my brothers are doing their training. 

The rest of the pictures below are of my C-421 training at Simcom.

Take care everyone and be safe!