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Comment: 3 years old. (Score 1) 162

by Nick Driver (#32344382) Attached to: Where Were You When PLATO Was Born?

I was a four-year-old who had taken off the cover of the 26" TV console in the living room to poke around the glowing vacuum tubes.

I'm not very far behind you.

In 1973, I was three years old, my dad was a TV repairman who owned his own TV repair business, and I took apart every gadget I could get a screwdriver to.

However, If I tried to remove the back panel of the living room TV set, I would've got my ass busted in a big way. Twice. First by my mom, then secondly by my dad when he got home at the end of the day from running TV repair service calls.

Yes, back then you could still get TV repair service at home.

Comment: Re:In the Pilot's Seat. (Score 1) 365

by Nick Driver (#32268152) Attached to: I usually fly...

Not suited for instrument flying? Say it ain't so! I take my 140 into the soup all the time (well, okay, not in the winter when there might be icing)

You just answered your own question! Flying simply "in the soup" is only a very small part of the whole realm of instrument flying. I know I sure don't want to think about being in the clouds in the event of a failure of my single vacuum pump or AH, or have an engine failure while on top and have to descend thru a solid layer without the gyros working.

The Cherokee 140 does make a fine instrument trainer however, but when I think of an appropriate instrument weather small plane, I can't help but think of my friend's Beech Twin Bonanza as a suitably-equipped example :-)

Comment: Re:In the Pilot's Seat. (Score 1) 365

by Nick Driver (#32267948) Attached to: I usually fly...

Build the airplane yourself.

Kinda preaching to the choir here... But to build a decent RV costs well north of $60K these days for even a simple one if you're able to find great deals on the expensive components, easily double or more than what my Piper cost me to buy outright ready to fly. I simply don't have the money to do it, nor do I want to spend a few years building and not flying. The cost of building an RV has also skyrocketed over the past half decade, much due to the sharp increase in their popularity.

I've been watching one of the guys on my field build an RV-8 over the past four years and he's now got almost $85K in it, including paint and interior, and it's almost ready for first flight. He did go with a brand new fuel-injected IO-360, CS prop, dual Dynons and a Garmin GNS430 so he's got a fair bit of money tied up in the powerplant and panel. His was the "quick build" kit too, I'd hate to see how long it would take to build the "slow build" version.

Comment: Re:In the Pilot's Seat. (Score 1) 365

by Nick Driver (#32260818) Attached to: I usually fly...

I keep my airplane constantly in a good state of airworthiness and repair, it's much cheaper than waiting for something to break way. One of my good friends is an A&P/IA and he takes care of any repairs and annual inspections with me doing all the dirty grunt-work, and I do all owner-pilot preventive maintenance in accordance with the regs, etc, to help save labor costs. My airplane had a brand new engine on it when I first bought it (Lycoming O-320), and so far the plane has only needed normal regular preventive maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape.

Parts are readily available for both the airframe and the engine. Some parts are still relatively reasonably priced, some are breathtakingly expensive. You just have to keep your fingers crossed that the really expensive ones don't break :-)

Comment: Re:In the Pilot's Seat. (Score 1) 365

by Nick Driver (#32260694) Attached to: I usually fly...

Dang, where is that hangar? I've got a storage unit just big enough for a car, some tools, and a stack of tires for not much less than that.

At a small privately owned airport northwest of Fort Worth TX. My hangar mate has known the airport's owners like forever and I've known them for over a decade, so that definitely influences the rent price ;-)

Comment: Re:In the Pilot's Seat. (Score 4, Interesting) 365

by Nick Driver (#32258604) Attached to: I usually fly...

It costs about $35-40 per hour in fuel. I do not bother with an "engine reserve" account to pay into for each flight hour. I figure when the engine needs overhauled in another ten years, I'll worry about that problem when it comes.

I fly both short local hops, and long distance trips too. Sometimes I just fly around for a half hour for fun, and make a few touch-n-go landings for practice. Sometimes, I fly to a nearby small town where there's a couple restaurants across the street from the airport, and have lunch. Every year I also fly from Texas (D/FW metroplex area) to Oshkosh Wisconsin for the annual AirVenture Fly-In event. I also typically make a few flights a year to southwest Missouri to visit family there.

Comment: In the Pilot's Seat. (Score 4, Interesting) 365

by Nick Driver (#32256466) Attached to: I usually fly...

The only way to fly.

I own my own 1960's Piper single-engine, 4-seat airplane.

It's not really that expensive. About $30K purchase price, $1200-1500 per year maintenance. $700/year insurance, and I split $225/month hangar rent with another airplane owner, two planes fit in there quite nicely with extra room for a couple motorcycles and jetskis in the back corner.

I got my pilot's certificate over ten years ago when that cost about $4.5K, it costs about $7.5-8.5K nowadays.

Live free or die.