Planning – Training

Posted: March 10, 2014 in Adventure

The day started at 4:00 AM when I got up and got ready to depart Indianapolis for South Carolina to get a real education talking with and then flying with John Collins.  I have been using the Garmin GNS530W for over five years and did not know some features that John showed me.  In pre-flighting the plane, he pointed out several items I need to attend to right away, including a fuel leak at the Number 4 Injector…… then we went flying.  I got more education about how to configure and set up my plane to fly stabilized approaches….About 2:30 I departed Rock Hill Airport in South Carolina for Columbia, South Carolina, some 65 miles away.

As soon as I parked my plane on the ramp at Owens downtown airport in Columbia, South Carolina, I saw Rick Ott walking out to the ramp towards my plane.  After the pleasantries, Rick dove into my plane with both hands and feet.  More education…..he showed me how to pre-flight a turbo normalized plane, what to watch out for and how to look for problem areas.  Then we went to Rick’s hangar and saw how he had set the problematic things up to fix the issues.  Next, we went flying and there again, Rick gave me a real education.  We tried out a few maneuvers, LOP operation and then headed back to the Owen’s downtown airport.  Rick is a truly awesome person….he allowed me to take pictures of issues he had fixed and also exposed me to some things that I am sure will help me for years to come…. Rick also tutored and instructed me in the finer points of take off at Gross Weight and how to be careful and what to watch out for…..Thank you Rick !  I will bug him again in the future to learn more…..

I flew a total of 8 hours today and was it grueling as ever.  Due to the hectic pace, I could not get anything to eat all day.  By the time I landed in Birmingham, Alabama….I was dead beat….but all in all, it was a very successful and satisfying day….I learned a lot and I am sure all of this education will be of significant help when we fly around the world…..


  1. Kenneth Silva says:

    Good Morning
    Can you please elaborate on… “tutored and instructed me in the finer points of take off at Gross Weight and how to be careful and what to watch out for”….. I am flying a 1961 Debonair with an IO550 and have not yet flown with 4 people….I just keep adding weight to see how it performs. I have tip tanks for a total of 94 gals….I would be interested in what to look out for and how to take off if at gross weight..

    • bsuleman says:

      Ken, are you a member of beechtalk. This topic has been discussed at great length there. Several things play into takeoff at gross weight. Based on the temperature, one can calculate the take off distance and then when one actually does the take off, let the speed build up with slight back pressure on the yoke and let it fly off the runway by itself. No abrubt pull backs on the yoke, just a shallow climb. Retract the gear and slowly climb. One does need longer runways with more weight….. on trips like mine, FAA does allow 10% overgross condition, but then the pilot needs to be extra careful due to extra wing loading and g-effects it can get ugly in a hurry.

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