Monday, April 8, 2019

Shedding monkeys and a bit of self indulgence

   Had my MRI last Thursday morning . I was told not to expect the results for a few days . But it seems the thing got read right away and I got the call that evening . They found NO cancer . Nothing remarkable about the confounded organ other than "moderate enlargement". Yea , I am getting a bit long in the tooth and have a lot of miles on the odometer . 
   So summing it up the Medieval Torture Biopsy / Easter Egg Hunt from last Halloween showed nothing , yet the doc felt there was still a 20% chance there might be something there , and now in theory this glorified microwave radar job clears up all doubt . I has been one heck of a terrifying ride since last July when this whole nightmare started with the bladder stone . It is a relief to finally have that monkey off my back , though I can't say I'll be completely at ease after this experience .
   The one aspect that has become glaringly evident how fleeting my own existence is . Time is ticking by , and for various justifiable reasons , for way too long , I have been holding back on the things I really wanted to do . Flying was once a big part of it all but somehow I let life get in the way . I'd sure hate to get to the point where I could not physically do it anymore and wish that I had . I want to get current again . Need to renew my medical certificate and find a place to rent an aircraft on a frequent basis to keep my feet in the game .
So as Saturday turned out to be a nice day , and I got the invite to do some instrument practice , we engaged in some unrestrained self indulgence  . . .
N67799 out of the hangar and topped off with 80 gallons of 100LL
First game plan for the afternoon .
While awaiting our departure clearance for RWY 18 we do our mag check and cycle the prop .
The plan is to simulate a panel failure and use the steam gauges to do the instrument approach into Brunswick instead of the G500 display .
Take off from RWY 18 KPWM
Passing over Portland headlight which is actually in Cape Elizabeth
Left turn on course to the BAILI fix
Passing Halfway Rock
Popham Beach on the nose
Entering the holding pattern at BAILI with the primary display dimmed all the way down to simulate a panel failure .
Going around the racetrack
The pink wedge depicts us in real time on the approach plate in the I-Pad. Outbound leg one minute , and then a one minute turn at standard rate , 3 degrees per second , takes us 180 degrees around for the inbound one minute leg . Four minutes around the hold . Shake and rinse three times .
Making the turn in the hold with Popham off the right wing about twelve miles out .
BAILI inbound
Down to 1700 feet before the CARMR fix and intercept the glideslope
Down to minimums at 263 ft, we retract the landing gear , add power and execute the missed approach as we pass over the solar panel array .
 The 01 approach in from the BAILI fix
Fly past Merrymeeting airport where I learned to fly thirty odd years ago
Over Pleasant Pond still iced in , we do the teardrop to reverse course and execute the approach to RWY 19 to a full stop .
After helping a couple Civil Air Patrol guys chase down an errant signal from an inadvertently activated emergency locator transmitter that's been going off for a couple days , we back the Bonanza into the hangar .
With this nifty rig made out of a Milwaukee Sawsall motor to power the nose-wheel
And took advantage of a smooth floor to crawl under the plane and clean the oil off the belly .
Back out in the afternoon sun
We taxi out past some big iron , a fifty million $ Gulfstream business jet . . .
. . .  and take off from rwy 19
And head back to Portland for a practice GPS RNAV approach to RWY 18
Controller brings us over the TOBKE fix
Then inside JANOB and requests we keep the speed up for traffic behind us so we come down the glideslope doing about 150 kts
Zooming in on the short north-south runway at Portland
This is what it looks like from the drivers seat


  1. I'm glad for the good news; thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thank you for putting in the word with the man upstairs for me Gorges, It is much appreciated.

  2. Good news for once. Congratulations! Our clocks are running. You had your scare. I had mine. Really inspires once to get one's act together. Glad you got some air time.

    1. We dodged the bullet this time, but the odometer has ticked past the 350K mile mark and the manufacturer warranty has long run out.

  3. Deb, thanks for your prayers, it is much appreciated. Your comment was to garbled and disjointed I can't quite make sense of it with all the missing and run-on script. But I am grateful for your well wishes. Thanks

  4. That is great news M. And thanks for the ride-along.

    Reminds me - I gotta go check out OyTube and visit Terry - wonder if he has his Affordaplane flying yet?

    1. Not familiar a Terry building an Affordaplane yet. Point us in the right direction. The Affordaplane is a bit on the "skinny" side for my taste. I'm terrified of heights and my feeble brain needs the psychological reassurance of a shell around me even if it is only .20 thousands thick. Got conned in to ridding in a powered parachute once enough to know I don't want to experience that again.

  5. It's good to hear that you got a clean bill of health. The stress on you has been well over the maximum level on the gauge. Now you can afford to relax. Nothing is ever certain in life but it sounds to me like the doctors think you will be ok .

    I really enjoyed your flying and aircraft photos, and looked at them several times. I was still flying the CAP Cessna 172 (T-141) out of here until I lost my medical certificate in 1995. Couldn't pass the depth perception part of it any longer. I miss flying and I still hang out at the FBO and drink a cup of coffee or a coke while I watch the aircraft. I try hard not to be one of those old farts that bug the guys coming in, but I do enjoy the atmosphere of a small air field.

    1. Yea, I have been out of the active flying scene for too long. I get to go up once in a while with my buddy in his Bonanza but its not the same as going whenever you feel like it. Getting my ducks in an order to get back in. One good option these days is that of Light Sport Aircraft for those of us getting long in the tooth as you don't need even a 3rd class medical. So long as you gave never been denied a medical you can just transition to the LSA category and keep flying. You are limited to 1320 lbs gross, no night time and only one passanger. The only issue is that around here there is only one LSA available for rent and that is the local Bald Eagles club that requires a buy in plus a monthly fee.

  6. That's such good news, I'm really pleased. Also glad you're going to get back in the air more, we should all try to do what we love more in life I think.

    1. Hi Kev. It has been a frightening ride since last July. Glad to have this one off my back for now. Though we will need to keep a close eye on it from here on out. You and I are used to mending things. And when we fail we try again. This one was particularly unsettling as there is nothing at all we can do about it ourselves and have to trust someone else for the solution. And in this sort of situation it is never a pleasant compromise. It certainly has put things in perspective. Having faith is one thing I need to work on. Because of my experience a friend got checked and they did find advanced cancer. Now he is playing whack-a-mole with hormone treatment and radiation. The rational part of me thinks; yea glad the caught it now and not have it go a couple more years before it got so bad they can't do anything about it. The emotional part of me feels like shit cause I put the crap sandwich on his plate.

  7. That used to be my plane, a long time ago

    Thomas Hertel Crozier
    President IAt the time)
    R. L. Hertel Constructors

    1. Hi Tom: I forget exactly when he bought N67799, but Clint Davies has owned the plane for, if I am not mistaken, about fifteen years now. As you can see he has made some upgrades with the Garmin panel and the weeping wing de-ice.