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Thread: Update-Rookie takes a trip

  1. #1

    Update-Rookie takes a trip

    Just finished my trip to PFN (Panama City Beach, Fl) from Gallatin, TN (M33). This was my 2nd long trip (337mile). My Sierra got me there in 2:45hrs. Spent the week there. I went up one evening and took some pics of the beach, and our condo. It is VERY buisy airspace with 2 military jet training bases within 60 mile (one on each side) and alot of restricted areas. You have to speek withTyndell Airforce Air control to fligh in the area. It was nice watching alot of fighter jets flighing over the beach training. Flight back was interesting! Went to land for weather and gear was stuck up! Flight following diverted me to Dothan, Ga (have fire department on airport). Several attempts to lower gear didn't work so I climbed to about 4000ft to manual release gear and it worked. I landed and couldn't see anything wrong. So, i flew the rest of the way with the gear down and a 17kt direct head wind! I made 80-85 kts the rest of the trip. I had to stop a Northeastern Alabama and spend the night because of thunder storms in Middle Tn. I now have a total of 94 hrs. Just an update some asked for.

  2. #2
    Orbiting Earth Orbiting Earth sjcote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Springfield, Massachusetts
    Sounds like a great...and interesting...trip.
    Kudos on cool-headedness re the gear. Hope it's an easy fix.

    Rest assured, others will chime in shortly with advice on fixing that.

    Steve Cote
    BAC Founding Member
    Sundowner N-1958L

  3. #3
    I have two comments (I know, that's not news)
    Only try the gear switch once or twice. When mine would not retract the problem was easy to find when on the ground. By the Sparks in the Tailcone!! The thought of a possible in flight fire wasn't seriously considered until then.
    My other comment is also from experience. Occasionally tower facilities will report such things as go-arounds for mechanical issues. And the FAA considers gear that will not retract a known defect. This requires a repair or a ferry permit and A&P sign off before further flight. Be careful what you say if you intend to take off again. In the FAA view, if you climb to altitude, recycle the gear switch and things work, no problem. You can also certainly elect to fly the plane home with the gear down. As long as you believe that the gear system would work. However, if you must use manual gear extension procedure, the plane needs repair before next flight.
    Don't ask how this little tidbit of knowledge came to me.

  4. #4
    Sorry, I do have a third comment.
    Congratulations on electing to land with Fire and Rescue help available. I have sponsored some presentations with my local airport Fire Dept. They insist it is far better for them to know you are inbound with possible problem then to find out when you land. Here they claim 20 sec time to scene if ready and 2+ minutes if not. Huge difference in case of an accident.
    And they tell me they never mind coming out "just in case". It saves them from planning a drill. No Charge. No Paperwork. No FAA.

  5. #5
    Hi Eddie...

    So, i flew the rest of the way with the gear down and a 17kt direct head wind! I made 80-85 kts the rest of the trip.
    LOL - now you know what it's like to fly a Sundowner...

    Glad it all worked out for you - hopefully it's an easy fix...

    Nice write up...


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