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The Frequent Flyer – February 2021

News

“Pull early, pull often” is the secret battle cry for all Cirrus pilots – and always the right response when being challenged by a fellow Bonanza driver who might disagree about the usefulness of the “Special Purpose Equipment” as the POH refers to CAPS. There are without a doubt two sides to the argument: Does CAPS lead people to abandon the plane too early? Are the situations in which CAPS is being used avoidable – through more careful flight planning? Does CAPS encourage pilots to make close calls and fly into marginal conditions they wouldn’t dare to fly into without it? Or is it just the type of life insurance that is absolutely worth having when the engine quits on a night flight, let’s say at the JLI VOR? Kidding and controversy aside, the numbers speak for themselves. I came across the attached photos in another message board. There were probably more interesting pieces in the presentation that weren’t part of the (leaked?) screenshots, but I couldn’t find a full publication from Cirrus will release this at some point. I’ll keep my eyes open for it.


That Elusive $100 🍔

Having trouble finding that $100 hamburger with covid shutting everything down?  Take heart, there are still some local options available… including French Valley, Hemet, and Riverside Muni, to mention a few.  Yesterday we flew 3CD up to Riverside (KRAL) in about 40 minutes to fight off some of that covid fatigue.  It’s a great airport with a friendly tower, an ILS option if you want to get in some practice, and a challenging ODP if you’re really looking to exercise those IFR skills.  

Not surprisingly the on-airport café is called the Riverside Airport Café, open daily 6:30 am to 2 pm.  Friendly and prompt service, both inside and outside eating options, and a wide variety of menu items will put a smile on your face.  We each had one of the Senior Pilot specials…. guaranteed to get you closer to that max gross take off limit on your return home.  When you drop in, say hi to Caitlyn for us. 

Stay safe… and fly safe,
Ken & Gerard 

Tell us about your favorite lunch spots! Send us your recommendations and stories (food pictures included!) to info@n173cd.com and we will publish them here as inspiration for others.


Maintenance update

Recently completed:

  • 50hr inspection, including oil change & analysis
  • LH magneto overhaul and exchange (500hr IRAN)
  • Fixed the lower wing root fairing delamination
  • Replaced battery

Friendly reminder

Please familiarize yourself with the noise abatement procedures and restrictions when departing early or coming back late in the day. We’ve received a “Noise Violation Notice” from the MYF airport manager. 3CD clocked in at 72.7dB during a early morning departure before 0630am. Future violations will come with a fine up to $250.00 that will be the responsibility of the pilot in command.


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today! Thanks for flying N173CD!

Happy Landings!
Phillip

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The Frequent Flyer – January 2021

Happy Ney Year! 🥳

With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, not everything is back to the ‘old’ normal yet, but a ‘new’ normal is on the horizon. Where 2020 went worse from month-to-month, I think a lot points towards 2021 being the year of the rebound – and things getting better on a month-to-month basis. I am certainly looking forward to taking trips again, either for lunch or for weekend get-aways. N173CD is a fantastic platform for your cross-country trips to Hemet, Palm Springs or Santa Barbara (1-2 hours), Las Vegas, Grand Canyon or Sedona (2-3 hours) or to the Bay Area, Napa or Sonoma (3-4 hours). And it is especially, if you want to avoid crowded airport terminals and middle seats.

If you fly N173CD for at least 15 hours in any 90 day period, you are eligible for a refund of $50 per hours (hobbs). There is no signup or upfront fee required and also no limit on how much refunds you can earn. The only thing you need to do is fly – and ask for the refund to be processed. With this discount, your effective $/nm will be 25% more affordable than other comparable club planes – allowing you to take more trips, be more proficient or work on a new rating and be a better pilot.


$100 🍔

Tell us about your favorite lunch spots! Send us your recommendations and stories (food pictures included!) to info@n173cd.com and we will publish them here as inspiration for others.


Things you didn’t know

After more than 2 years of ownership, I still find things about the plane that I didn’t know before. Some things can be really useful to your mission, so I thought I share them here.

Did you know that the back seats fold over and allow for transporting bulkier cargo, e.g. bikes for your trip to Catalina or golf clubs for your trip to Palm Springs?

The procedure to fold over the seats is quick and simple. From the baggage compartment, locate and remove the detent pins that secure the backrest and push the seats forward. Also make sure that the bolts are installed after you return from your trip. And always make sure the bolts are installed during your pre-flight if you carry passengers in the back seats, in case a previous pilot forgot to reinstall the bolts. This is not a maintenance task, so any PIC can perform the removal/installation of the bolts. Here are some pictures for illustration:

CAUTION: Detent pins must be installed when occupants are seated in the passenger seats.

Please exercise maximum caution when loading bulkier items through the passenger door and don’t scratch the inside or outside of the plane when loading/unloading.


Friendly reminder

..to not walk outside the wing walk area – and to never step on the flaps. It’s called “wing walk” for a reason. Thanks!


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today! Thanks for flying N173CD!

Happy Landings!
Phillip

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The Frequent Flyer – December 2020

News

We are truly thankful for the support that 3CD has already picked up after moving to MYF only a few weeks back. We hope this trend continues throughout this month and into 2021. It will help us to afford some rather significant unplanned and unfunded damage repair expenses we incurred earlier this year, which did not get (fully) reimbursed by the club’s IDP program. It will also allow us to continue to invest into making 3CD your most economical and comfortable choice for IFR training and cross country flights.

Here are the most recent upgrades and improvements.

MFD is back from the shop and received a CMAX (geo-referenced charts) upgrade. With the charts cycle not being in sync with the navdata cycle, we will try our best to keep them current. For IFR missions, make sure you bring your own set of current plates – just in case.

We are happy to announce that the carpet mats have reached their designed useful life. They will be replaced on 12/5 with these beauties. The team at SCS Interiors has done fantastic work and impressed us with the attention to detail and consulting about colors and scheme options.


Charity

Over the last couple of days, a very generous member of PlusOne has chosen 3CD to perform charitable flights for Angel Flight West. Angel Flight West is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs.

We want to do our part to incentivize and increase use of 3CD to donate to this cause and have adjusted the terms for our loyalty offer (see below) to give special terms for members conducting charitable missions.


New loyalty offer

We try to reward loyalty and encourage proficiency. This is why we are offering a new discount to any member flying 3CD for at least 15 hours over any 90 day period. No signups, no annual fee. Just fly and email info@n173cd.com when you have reached the minimum and we will process the refund check.

Terms and conditions (updated):

  • ScheduleMaster can only handle one rate. Since we have no crystal ball, everyone needs to pay standard rate and request a refund if eligible
  • Refunds processed within 30 days after request
  • Offer subject to change at any time with or without notice. The best way of keeping it valid is to make a lot of use of this offer.
  • Members conducting charitable flight missions (e.g. Angel Flight West) in 3CD will receive 2.0 hours credit towards the 15 hour minimum requirement for every hour they fly a qualifying charitable mission.
  • CFI’s instructing in 3CD will receive 0.5 hour credit towards the 15 hour minimum for every hour they instruct in 3CD. CFI’s need to reach out to us to get that credit.
  • Both, the special terms for charity and CFI flights, will require the member/CFI to reach out and request the credit. There will be no automatic credit.

Maintenance update

FAQ: Why is there no (reserve) oil in the plane?

Answer: Because people tend to overfill the engine if we make it (too) readily available.

The IO-360-ES requires, according to the POH, at least 6 quarts of oil for proper operation. The filler cap indicates the sump capacity of max. 8 quarts. Unfortunately, the lid doesn’t say “max. 8 qts” but just “8 qts”. Due to the (some Lycoming owners will say “poor”) design, any oil in excess of 7 quarts will simply blow out the overflow tube during initial climb (Vx) or other maneuvers that result in high pitch attitude. This is the long way of saying that any oil added beyond 7 quarts on the dipstick will be drained from the engine during the first 5 minutes of the next flight. Some of it can be found on the underside of the fuselage, as the drain tube is located in the front, just next to the fuel drain underneath the engine. We have found our “oil bill” coming down significantly since we stopped keeping oil the back.

Even though our guidance is to keep the oil “above 6 quarts and below 7 quarts”, we encourage you to make your own decisions about oil levels during your pre-flight. If that includes adding oil beyond 7 quarts, that’s fine. You can get a quart of 20W50 either through the FBO or from the ‘stuff box’ that will be located on the tie down. Please make a record in the oil log if you use some from our box. It will help us to track the consumption accurately.


Happy holidays


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today! Thanks for flying N173CD!

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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Newsletter

The Frequent Flyer – November 2020

News

Goodbye KCRQ, hello KMYF.

The move to Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego, CA is complete. N173CD is now ready for your IFR flight training or cross country trips and parked in tie down #162.


New loyalty offer

We try to reward loyalty and encourage proficiency. This is why we are offering a new discount to any member flying 3CD for at least 15 hours over any 90 day period. No signups, no annual fee. Just fly and email info@n173cd.com when you have reached the minimum and we will process the refund check.

Examples:

  • Member takes 3CD on a long XC trip and returns with 16.1 hobbs. Member sends email and receives $805 refund check
  • Member takes 3CD for lunch trips to Santa Barbara every other week. Each rental is 2.5 hobbs. After three months, member sends email and receives $750 refund check
  • Member takes 3CD on a XC trip to Santa Rosa, CA. Round trip is 8.0 hobbs. Six weeks later, same member takes 3CD on another XC trip, this time the total hobbs is 10.0. After requesting the refund, member receives a $900 check

Terms and conditions:

  • ScheduleMaster can only handle one rate. Since we have no crystal ball, everyone needs to pay standard rate and request a refund if eligible
  • Refunds processed within 30 days after request
  • Offer subject to change at any time with or without notice. The best way of keeping it valid is to make a lot of use of this offer.

Maintenance update

The MFD is expected back from shop repair on 11/15/20.


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today! Thanks for flying N173CD!

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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The Frequent Flyer – October 2020

News

With temperatures still picking up here and there and hot weather still ahead, at least for a couple of days, please keep in mind the CHT and oil temperature limitations.

I myself follow this procedure in hot weather conditions to get the best balance between climb performance and engine cooling:

  • taking off with 50% flaps and climbing at Vx (85kts) to CAPS altitude (500AGL)
  • retracting flaps and pitching for Vy (95kts) to pattern altitude
  • pitching for 105kts for further (step) climbs and leveling off to ensure operation below 420F on the hottest cylinder

Also, keep an eye on the oil temperature. Extended operation on the ground may result in high oil temps.


New operating base (KMYF)

After completing the annual inspection, the aircraft will be moving to Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego, CA. It will be located on the Gibbs Flying Service ramp and parked in tie-down spot #162.

If you have an existing schedule, it will remain valid on ScheduleMaster, but the location of the plane will now be KMYF. If you don’t plan on flying out of the new location, please cancel your schedules to make the plane available to other pilots and avoid the no-show penalties.

There are no special badge access requirements for the ramp in KMYF.


Maintenance update

We had a bit of a rough stretch again. It’s not clear if a single pilot or a group of them are to blame for the requirement of nose landing gear (NLG) replacement. We found severe structural landing gear damage that required replacement of the entire NLG strut assembly. So that’s a repair neither I or the IDP program were planning (or keeping a budget) for. I don’t know what else to say other than:

  • Please own your mistakes
  • Please conduct thorough pre-/post-flight inspections and either open a squawk or notify me with discrepancies
  • There is no penalty for finding damage that you didn’t cause
  • The hourly rate is not provisioned for any repairs resulting from hard landings or other operation outside of the OEM’s limitations

The MFD has gone ‘garbled’ on some recent flights. It has been removed and will undergo shop inspection and repair. I expect it back in the first half of November. The MFD is not required for VFR/IFR day/night flights and all other avionics are performing well.


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today! Thanks for flying N173CD!

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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Newsletter

The Frequent Flyer – September 2020

News

With temperatures picking up and hot weather ahead for the next month, please keep in mind the CHT and oil temperature limitations. Keep CHTs below 400F by considering climbs at 100-105IAS and/or step climbs. Also, keep an eye on the oil temperature. Extended operation on the ground may result in high oil temps.

Trip reports

With this edition of the newsletter, I am also starting a new section with trip reports. You are welcome to share your pictures, stories, FBO recommendations etc. from trips that you have done in N173CD. I’m also happy to publish them, even if they are already a few weeks/months ago. Just send the material to info@n173cd.com.

KCRQ – KSTS

We took N173CD up north for a week of wine tasting in Sonoma County. Parked at Sonoma Jet Center in KSTS. They took very good care of us and only charged $10/night for parking. Rental car and ice cold water was ready for us when we arrived. We stayed at the Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg, CA. It’s a small B&B that is in walking distance of the town square, where you find restaurants and bars.

VFR routing: KCRQ-OCN-FERMY-LAX-GMN-AVE-PXN-MOVDD-RBLEW-SGD-KSTS (Timelapse)

Maintenance update

Left magneto has been replaced with a SureFly electronic magneto. The engine runs a lot smoother on the ground and in flight. If you notice a short interruption during the mag check when switching from RIGHT to BOTH, this is perfectly normal.

A RAM mount has been installed below the instrument panel on the pilot side. You can mount your iPad using a (few) extension arms and iPad holder.


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today!

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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Newsletter

The Frequent Flyer – August 2020

News

The plane has been busy (good thing)! It performed some really great cross-country trips last month. Hat-tip to one father-son pilot team that flew it all the way to Coeur D’Alene (KCOE) and set a new endurance record of more than 4 hours on a single leg.

Maintenance update

Over the last weeks, we didn’t have to do much other than adding fuel and some oil here and there.

One cylinder showed a temperature anomaly that was traced back to a partially clogged injector, leading to a lean condition. The injector was cleaned and the cylinder temperature is back to normal and within tolerances.

The oil cap gasket was replaced to ensure a tight fit and good seal of cap and filler tube.

We adjusted the fuel system to the upper end of manufacturers spec to provide for better cooling of the engine, especially for the hot weather operation in SoCal summer days. Please continue to manage CHT temps to stay below 400F in any phase of your flight. Consider step climbs if you can’t stay below that threshold.

We installed new strobe/nav lights this week. See below:


Here is your reminder to always book a standby schedule, even if your plans are not firm yet and may change. Lots of schedules get cancelled or rebooked. The odds are always in your favor.

Book your schedule today!

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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Newsletter

N173CD is back online!

Maintenance update

The Cirrus Service Center called this morning and reported completion of the CAPS repack and advised that the aircraft is ready for pickup. I picked the plane up this afternoon, took it for a test flight (no findings) and put it back on the schedule.

Here is a quick summary of the work that was performed during this shop visit:

  • CAPS repack including upgrade to electronic ignition
  • Installation of additional oil temperature probe and RPM sensor, both connected to JPI EDM-711
  • Dynamic propeller balancing (found within limits)
  • Oil change and heat exchange muffler inspection (no findings)

PremiumPlus membership extension

Current PremiumPlus members will receive an automatic extension of two months, added to their current expiration date of the membership, to account for the lower dispatch availability due to the extended downtime for the CAPS repack.

New memberships are available. The terms are unchanged:

  • $2,000 annual pre-payment (365 days) for $80/hour discount off the regular rate (no caps)

Checkout/Currency promotion

Since most of the recipients of this newsletter probably have lapsed their currency requirement to solo in SR20, I am offering an incentive for CFI-checkouts/currency flights for a limited time.

Any new checkout or currency checkout performed with an approved PlusOne Cirrus instructor before 7/31/20 will be eligible for a $100.00 discount.

Since ScheduleMaster doesn’t allow for promotions and discounts, you will have to pay your rental in full at the regular amount and I will reimburse you via check or PayPal within 10 business days following the end of the month of your flight (batch processing to keep the accounting work reasonable).


5-hour promotion

For those of you who are current – or become current again through the above promotion – I am offering an offer to reward your commitment for a limited time.

I will reimburse you $100.00 for every 5 hours you have flown the aircraft in a rolling 30 day window, starting on 7/1/20 ending 9/30/20.

Since ScheduleMaster doesn’t allow for promotions and discounts, you will have to pay your rental in full at the regular amount and I will reimburse you via check or PayPal within 10 business days following the end of the month in which you completed the ‘5-in-30’ (batch processing to keep the accounting work reasonable).


Scheduling

Book your schedule today!

When in doubt, put in a standby schedule.

I will monitor the demand for the aircraft based on scheduling. If you want to keep her in the club, show me when you would have flown it – even if it didn’t happen because someone else had it.

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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The Frequent Flyer – June 2020

Maintenance update

The plane is currently with a Cirrus Service Center for the mandatory repack of the CAPS system. The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain and parts are very hard to obtain. Cirrus is no longer making predictions for shipping dates and the last I heard from them was “you’ll get the parts when you get them”. Not very encouraging, but really not a situation that offers any alternatives. I trust that the Service Center staff has prepared the plane as far as they can, meaning that everything has been removed and prepared. So as soon as the parts show up, the installation should complete in a matter of days and the plane should be returned to service.

We are using the downtime to also do a couple of other maintenance actions. A 50-hour oil change with oil analysis has been ordered and we are evaluating the feasibility to add two additional sensors to the JPI EDM-711. The oil temperature sensor would monitor (and log) oil temperature and give a more granular indication compared to the original analog instrument. This may be helpful especially in hot weather operation, especially when on the ground. We are also planning to add the RPM sensor. That will allow for better monitoring of cruise power settings throughout the flights. We have also ordered a dynamic propeller balancing to minimize vibration at certain power settings.


Rental rate

As of June 2020, the rental rate will increase to $235.00 per hour (hobbs). This increase is to account for the increased operating cost, primarily insurance premiums.

The rate discount plan will remain valid for all current members.

Unfortunately, this step is necessary to ensure the viability of N173CD as a club airplane. The rental revenue over the last 3 months has decreased by 70%. At the same time, we have invested closer to $60,000 into the aircraft over the last 12 months. By my estimate, most SR20 pilots have lapsed make/model currency. We need to adjust our forecast for the rest of 2020 and make the necessary adjustments. The intention is for this rate increase to be temporary and to lower the rate as soon as the financials allow for it.


Outlook

We are currently working on deploying a customized cleaning/sanitization kit that will include products and chemicals that do the job without harming the surfaces and displays. The kit will be stored in the baggage compartment. Always let us know if you run out of supplies – and please don’t use your own chemicals.

With completing the CAPS repack, we are also wrapping up a fairly extensive upgrade/restoration cycle. Over the last two years, we have also installed new avionics (TAA), cockpit connectivity, ADS-B in/out, GPSS steering and much more. Outside of annual inspections, there shouldn’t be any extensive downtime for the next 3-5 years.

Looking ahead, I am pretty confident that N173CD will have high dispatch availability and be a reliable and economical option for you and your families. I think it’s a great option for everyone who doesn’t want to drive 9 hours to Lake Tahoe but isn’t ready to get on a commercial plane yet either.

Book your schedule today!

Happy Landings!
Phillip


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The Frequent Flyer – May 2020

I hope that all of you, your families and friends are safe, healthy and not directly affected by the pandemic and the resulting layoffs, furloughs or other economic headwinds.

I really have not much to report for this month’s edition of the newsletter. Bookings were non-existent (0.0 hours on the hobbs) in April. The only upside of that was the low fuel bill. All other costs are coming in as usual, including the (expensive) PlusOne insurance and other expenses for tie-down, etc.

April was also the month in which the current CAPS rocket / parachute celebrated their 10-year anniversary. So it was time to bring the plane to a carefully selected Cirrus Service Center for replacing all components. Unfortunately, the parts are mostly coming out of China and the lockdown disrupted the supply chain which has resulted in parts shortages at Cirrus. It’s not clear when the parts will be available, and it’s possible that the plane will be down for the entire month of May. I will keep ScheduleMaster updated to the best of my knowledge.

I hope that once the plane is back, the worst of the pandemic is over and we can transition into a new normal. I am looking forward to seeing your names on the schedule to help keeping this plane in the club.

Happy Landings!
Phillip