i flew 500 hours for a dealer in two years and logged time in 50 a/c types.
dealer: "I need you to go to dallas and get me a cardinal"
me: "whats a cardinal?"
dealer:" Its like a 172 but looks cooler, no wing struts, and all the v speeds are 5 knots faster."
I'm crawling out of a beech sierra after bringing it to the auction
ramper:" wow man I didnt know you had time in a sierra!"
me:" well, I do now!"
dealer:" you got time in a bonanza?"
dealer:" OK, it flies like an arrow, just a little faster, you got arrow time""
dealer :" the keys are in it"
i once flew a 210 that was imported from germany. It had no owners manual, the fuel guages were in liters, the fuel flow guage was in PSI, and the totalizer was in PPH. oh yeah and the logbooks were in german. go figure.
I picked up a 152 from the paint shop and 1/2 hour after takeoff noticed the inspection panels were all missing from the bottom of the wing. it flew great though.
I landed in Mobile downtown airport with a rough running tomahawk. Turned out the spark plugs were fouled with lead. the shop was busy, so i borrowed a socket and pulled the plugs and cleaned them myself. no torque wrench was available so i tightened the plugs by hand. After takeoff the tower gave me 1500 feet and right turn to 270 out over mobile bay. i was sweating like h*ll hoping those plugs were tight flying low over 10 miles of water!
ferry pilot's creed:
"if it has a primer, it's carburated..a fuel pump then its injected"
"if you can get it started and get the radios working you're halfway home"
"rotate at the bottom of the green arc plus five knots"
"an airplane will fly like it looks like it will fly"
"always park at the edge of the ramp and pay cash"
"always carry a screwdriver, pliers, and a cell phone."
"when your boss asks if you have time in a bonanza, he's not asking if you HAVE time in a bonanza, he's asking if you WANT time in a bonanza!"
it takes 25 hours to take an ercoupe from OKC to florida.
airplanes from mexico have no headet jacks
you always have a 70 knot groundspeed in a tomahawk or 150.
a 152 does not like to be taken above 14,000 feet.
if a switch or knob is not labeled then dont screw with it!
no matter how early you leave you always arrive after dark.
-(this usually occurs without nav, landing, or instrument lights!)
the plane has no NAV radios, and your GPS battery is dead.
mountain flying in a 172 at night sucks!
500 ft overcast and 1 mile is VFR, and you go.
airworthiness is a relative term!
the weather is forecast to be VFR.
the prettier and newer the paint job the worse the airplane.
If its 10 different colors and primered it will fly perfect.
your credit card will be declined 800 miles from home after you just filled up your plane with 150$ worth of avgas.
you have no cash, and the airport restaurant is closed.
famous last words:
"yeah its IFR certified"
"it only burns 10 gallons per hour"
"the FBO you plan to stop at is open until 10 PM"
"fresh annual and no squawks"
"dont worry it has a ferry permit"
"the engines past TBO but it runs great"
"I get 150 KTS , so the trip should be only 5 hours"
"no damage history and complete logs"
seriously, I learned more then and had the most fun ever flying. It was great...
I too worked as a ferry pilot for a couple of years. It is interesting flying. You get to go all over the country and fly a wide variety of aircraft. My boss usually handed me a cashier's check, his credit card, an airline ticket, and a bag with sectionals and manuals and said, "be back in a couple days." There is a lot of responsibility which adds to the excitement.
The downside is the maintenance. Typically, when people are willing to sell an aircraft to a broker, it is their last resort. The planes usually aren't in the best condition so beware. I have had more malfunctions in flight than I care to post, again.
Jetdriven is right. You will learn a lot...sometimes more than you care to.
jetdriven: your stories sound almost identical to some that I had.............
the C-150 at 14,000 over Tuccumcarri....... the lack of fuel near Mobile (24hrs Tampa - Phoenix in a C-172)..... oh yeah, and the vacuum pump failure out of Fairbanks in (cough cough) VFR weather.....and the list goes on. Some of it pretty poor desicion-making, but a vertical learning curve none-the-less.
Thanks for helping me remember the times long since past!
Took a C152 tail dragger to 16,500 to cross the Sierras in the spring, prior to that had to hang on the wing strut in Tonapah as a dust devil was picking the plane off the ground, over the Sierras had to get an IFR clearance in a 172 XP as updrafts were pushing me up though 18,000 with the throttle pulled to idle and 15 degrees nose down, nearly got beat up when I told a dealer that his very badly corroded, torn up 172 that he sold to a overseas customer sight unseen with fresh pencil annual was "a little rough", First tail dragger night landing was in a Piper Pawnee at Tucumcari on a moonless night with a nearly flat battery i.e., very dim landing light, only picked it up that afternoon, cheering and saying "we be jammin now man! when the GPS would read out 100 kts groundspeed, density altitude so bad that could only thermal out of departure airports (good thing I fly hang gliders as well), on & on ad infinitium!
I can't remember exactly, but I know I couldn't have had 500 hours when I did the ferry work. At the time, I happened to be an instructor/dispatcher/janitor/fueler/shop gopher/secretary/etc and the outfit I worked for happened to be the largest Cessna dealer in the southwest (again, at THAT time). So I never really was hired as a ferry pilot, it just came with the job, and for some reason the big boss liked the way I didi things.
Yup, it was a heck of a lot of fun, not to mention that all the gas, hotels (never used one - slept while flying a few times), cigarettes, Copenhagen, coffee, and candy was all paid for with the bosses credit card! By the way, coffee, cigs, Cope and candy can keep a 180lb guy awake for almost 48hrs straight!
P.S. jetdriven - I feel yer pain brother, be'in a former Mesa puke myself.....
This guy call the house and says "YOu got tailwheel time?" to which I reply "of course". He says "pack your bag I'll be there in 30 minutes". I am getting in his truck and ask where are we going. Florida! After about an hour I asked what kind of plane are we picking up and he tells me a Citabria. GPS? No. Loran? No. Vor? No. It's alright, I brought my hand held GP... oh s**t..I forgot to pack my gps. We get to Panama City and spend the night. We go to the airport the next morning and fuel this plane and fired it up. Gas..check. Charts..che...crap..no charts. The airport was out of the only sectional I needed but I got an AFD for frequencies.
Rolling down the runway and i get airborne and i start to breathe again. The next thought that came to mind was Now I have to land this thing!!! Navigation??? The coast!! I followed the coast into Alabama then I saw insterstate 10. I was flying IFR(i follow roads) all the way back to TX.
The first landing was a hard hit but the next 10 were progessively softer. All 10 were my first attempt to land to get gas. I thought to my self, when I get home I have to get some tail wheel training!!!! This is a lot of fun!!!
Anyway, Both me and the airplane made it home and I have to say that was one of the most enjoyable trips i have ever taken.