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N777KB Adventures

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Dec 1, 2022
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So now that the month of December has rolled around I've officially owned this airplane for (about) 1 year.

Throughout the year I have owned the airplane I've noticed more paint cracking, oil streaks, rust, ect. Florida really is hard on anything metal, that's for sure. I need to find a way to seal the paint cracks on the airplane to prevent paint flakes from coming off the body, I need to clean up and rust proof the flying wire connectors. I disassembled the tail wheel and cleaned/regreased it and it works perfectly again. No real maintenance issues so far, I asked my A&P if this airplane was going to be a money pit in a few years and he said no. I need to replace the bungees eventually (Dave replaced them like 14 years ago but they are in good shape somehow). Part of the rudder cable assembly that connects to the firewall of the airplane snapped, I looked through the drawing sheets trying to find out how much cable I need to replace the segment but it literally doesn't exist in the drawings and I cant see much purpose for the firewall connector so maybe this was an after-market design. It simply shows the front-passenger rudder pedals connected to the frame/firewall VIA spring which does exist. Other than metal pieces rusting everything seems to be going fine and the silly engine/starting problems I mentioned before have completely gone away. I guess Marvel Mystery Oil or Camguard really do- do something

I'm on track to reach 100 hours by the end of the month, I was hoping to do 120 but since I decided to knock out my instrument and commercial ratings as fast as possible I kind of left the little biplane at the sidelines for awhile. My little biplane has given me many opportunities and connections I never would of had; simply because people think the airplane is really cool. Everywhere I go I become a local star which I find humorous, I also do not see many biplanes so I find it very exciting when i stumble upon another one. Because I bought a biplane I was able to build tail wheel time which has got me another opportunity to meet interesting people, now that I have 100 hours tail wheel time and my commercial I am towing sailplanes/gliders for the neighboring airpark in a Piper Pawnee. A man showed up at my repair station/work one day because some kid smashed up the wing of his conquest with a citation, well of course I had to talk to him and ask him what he had going on. Turns out he runs a 135 and I asked if he was looking for SICs and he said he would be relatively soon, once I told him I had a Starduster he immediately got very interested because he is someone who genuinely enjoys small flying machines and does not really like corporate flying. He loves tail wheel airplanes apparently and was immediately gloating to the guy who dropped him off in an Arrow that I fly "a real airplane". I am not a tail wheel supremacist but I'm glad he likes the fact that I have a tail wheel airplane lol

He took me for a ride in his helicopter which is the first time I had ever been in one, extremely awesome and I would love to get my rotor license. Once I started towing gliders for the neighboring airpark I told him about it and he thought it was great and said he's going to have to have me show his ninny boys up. He gave me a general timeline of the beginning of the new year as he needs to get his new airplanes on his certificate but has assured me I have a spot. I really hope this works out because I am extremely poor and I hate my office job!

Oh and I've officially moved from the "Those who will ground loop" to "Those who have ground looped" club. I ground looped the Pawnee last weekend coming in to land in a quartering tail wind with faulty brakes, no damage was done to the airplane; only my confidence. I was along for the ride, I can't blame the airplane despite the brake issues, it did not behave the way I expected it too but I should of had better reaction time or went around. It's just difficult when you are already coming in hot with a tail wind and dragging a 200ft rope behind you. It's just the way the club likes to operate because it saves some gas money but this weekend I decided to land the opposite way anyways and just taxi back so I wouldnt have to deal with the 10kt+ tailwind. Very strange experience though, I've landed with tailwinds in the Starduster before and it has always behaved the way I expected it too. The Pawnee is more like flying a semi truck in comparrison with extremely heavy controls but also gets blown around quite a bit with very effective ailerons. I landed the Starduster today after the glider in a 14 kt quartering tailwind and got on the brakes pretty fast and the airplane behaved exactly how i expected it too. I'm trying to not overthink the ground loop scenario but it still bothers me, I can't believe I lost control of an airplane...

The more airplanes I fly the more I appreciate the Starduster, I've flown about 20 different types of airplanes so far and nothing is as enjoyable to fly. The controls are light and responsive and there is something really cool about sitting behind the airplane looking at the wings infront of you with the wind on your face. It's kind of like having a little 300cc sport bike; a little sporty but very underpowered but hard to get in trouble with. So many models of airplanes I've flown have had very heavy controls and that has to be the thing about the Starduster I appreciate most is the light touch needed to fly it. I hate having to muscle an airplane around, by the end of a weekend flying the Pawnee a lot my arms and legs are sore from fighting those heavy springs. Flying the Pawnee feels more like flying the Cherokee 235 than a taildragger but it was nice to get back in the tow plane today though and have a completely uneventful day. Last weekend one of the CFI-G's said he was going to kite me to show me how it felt and then release after. Boy that scared me shitless, I've done loops, rolls, spins in my airplane and that was the closest I've ever been to a roller coaster ride in an airplane. I hope that never happens again but someday it might and I better hope I have fast enough reaction time to drop the glider before I die lol


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