Took MC up for lunch…

at her favorite restaurant in Traverse City. (it’s a great place, and one of my favorites too)

Now, to get there from where I live it’s about a 5 and a half hour drive, or a 1 hour flight.

We flew.

Picked her up, went to the airport, pulled the plane from the hangar (it was already preflighted the day before) and filed for 15,000 direct.  Fired up the engines, listened to the ATIS, taxiied to the runway, did the runup (the taxi and runup take less than 5 minutes)…Got the IFR clearance, pulled up to the threshold, got the release and took off. Climbed to 15,000 in a nice steady cruise climb:

and then cruised for a while at 15K. [you can hear the difference in the engines between climb and cruise]


(The 340 is now configured how I want it to be. You may notice, if you pay attention compared to past videos, that the panel has had some instruments moved around, specifically the Garmin GI275 and the vacuum horizon.)

We got the Traverse City in a bit over 48 minutes, takeoff to landing.

ATC didn’t descend us until I asked, and then made us wait for a few minutes before letting us down, so by then we needed about a 900 ft/min descent rate, which did make our ears uncomfortable…. Then over to the Traverse City Tower, who had me do a right downwind entry to rwy18 (would have preferred rwy28, and the wind would have allowed it, but the runway was closed for some unknown incident so 18 it was.)

Landed, taxiied to the FBO, parked, waited for the 100LL fuel truck to get there (for some reason, lots of times the FBO wants to fill the 340 with Jet-A which is a No-No) to make sure they would fill it with the correct fuel, and got a crew car to go to downtown. MC  shopped a bit, then we had a terrific lunch at the Flying Noodle, then did a bit more shopping before heading back.

(I was tempted to buy some of this stuff for a friend, but refrained)

The downtown/Shopping area of Traverse City is really nice, well set up for shopping, eating and just hanging out. Lots of shops, lots of restaurants, bars, and neat places. It’s a great place to visit for a day or so, especially when the weather is mild, as it was then,

Finished shopping, loaded it all into the car, drove back, parked the car, unloaded all the shopping bags (and 2 containers of To-Go Alfredo noodles for my freezer), paid the fuel bill (and the new $8 “Landing Fee” ) and loaded the airplane, preflighted, and closed the door.

Started the engines, listened to the ATIS, called ground and tried to get my clearance…..nope. Again, “no flight plan on file”…even though I had, once again, received both an acknowledgement of the flight plan and a route update….I had the airport folks file a new one for me, got my clearance (CRAFT) and got instructions to taxi to Rwy 28 for departure.

Did the runup, called tower and got permission to take off. Runway heading and 3000 ft.

As we were climbing out,  Tower told to us to go to Departure, who had us climb to our filed altitude of 14,000 and turn on course. The clouds, however, were exactly at 14,000 ft and the temp was just below freezing at altitude (ICE!!), so I asked if I could stop at 10,000, which ATC approved. ( I dislike Icing even though the plane is well equipped (fully FIKI), and the best way to stay out of icing is to stay out of clouds when it is below freezing).

Climbed to 10,000 ft and cruised southish. Played a bit with the engines to find the best mixture, now that they are somewhat broke-in and I don’t need to run them rich. Found that the best mixture is about 33 GPH (16.5 or so a side) at 2400RPM and 30 inches of manifold pressure giving about 196 knots (with reasonable EGT/TIT and cylinder head temps). It’ll go faster at those setting up higher, but not bad for 10K, really.

Here’s a look at Lake Michigan (west shoreline) flying southish more or less over Muskegon, Mi.

South Bend Approach was busy, but they descended us nicely and set us up for the practice RNAV approach back home. The pattern was full of other airplanes, which made for a bit of irritation, as I had to break off the RNAV approach due to traffic (airplanes on final have the right-of-way, if yer on base, you should extend, not turn in and encroach upon the final airplane’s flight path), but we turned away and reentered and landed safely. While legally I had the right of way, discretion was better than a crash…Avoidance is always the better option….It’s part of the fun at an “Uncontrolled”/CTAF airports.

2.3 seat time, 2 landings, and one aborted approach on final.

Plus a great meal and a bit of fun shopping.

This is the reason why I learned to fly and own an airplane ….Not just for the joy of flying, (which is not to be discounted, mind you) but as a Time Machine. A fast aircraft is expensive, both in acquisition and upkeep as well as fuel, but when you can take hours of travel time and turn them into minutes…. Bypass nearly an entire day of travel to have fun and return in a day, or even take a weekend that would be a 3 or 4 day thing, and turn it into a regular 2 day trip with people you care about and whose company you enjoy … so neither of you have to miss work…and you can make someone happy…that is well worth the price.

‘Twas a good day.




(Apparently I am not the only one that has had issues with filing flight plans via ForeFlight. The solution, apparently is to file for a departure at least 10 minutes BEFORE you actually want to pick up the clearance, as otherwise it may or may not show up on the controllers screen. )





10 thoughts on “Took MC up for lunch…

  1. New panel looks good! And I know you’re glad to be back in your own bird! Well done!

    • Dude, SO glad to be back in my plane. I hated the rental market . All crap, poorly maintained, worn out junk


      • Me? I would be flying a rental powered paraglider and hoping the engine would quite misfiring…

  2. First world problems… Having the option to fly rather than drive…in your own plane…puts you firmly in the 1% category. Enjoy it while you can.

    • Sorry yer jealous, there, Dani. I worked hard for that money. 80 hour weeks for 20+ years. Cost me a lot of things over the years to have it now.

      I made a lot of good decisions, and learned from my bad ones. Lived VERY frugally. Still live in the tiny home I bought 29 years ago.

      I’m sorry you aren’t wealthy enough for you.

  3. Long time ago, but used to have a co-worker who had access to the business owner’s Aero Commander 500 (he was the owner’s pilot and had his job in the business so the owner could be guaranteed of a flight when he needed it). We occasionally logged an hour of flight time to go to an interesting restaurant or other destination (always dependent on begging a crew car at the other end).

    I grew up at GA airports, and it’s a terrific life, made even better if the hours aren’t coming out of your own pocket. I let my card expire after my father sold the 182 and I couldn’t push the expenses off on him. Missed it a lot, but not quite enough to endure the poverty and starvation necessitated by buying and maintaining my own.

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