Bill recently pulled the trigger on his first airplane purchase. Congratulations to him, he stayed focused and diligently researched his targeted ship. After reading the Pilot Mall editor’s piece "Airplane Pre-Buy Considerations - What you need to know before you purchase", he thoughtfully considered his available resources and experience level. Then he made a realistic purchase decision.
It was time to let the aviation adventures begin! He decided to head out on a four day trip with his girlfriend Darcy. Bill was ready for some fun.
Two days into the trip at an FBO in Tallahassee, he enjoyed a late afternoon coffee, which he drank from a white styrofoam cup. Gazing across the ramp at his beautiful new skysled, his heart filled with pride. Bill had invested a lot of time and effort getting to this significant milestone in his aviation journey.
Darcy walked outside, looked at him and grinned. Bill returned her warm smile, ready to continue with their excursion. Dressed in a pair of comfortable and stylish Piloti sneakers he stood and raised the handle of his Flight Crew 5 Rollaboard.
Always the perfect gentleman, he relieved Darcy of her heavy and cumbersome shoulder bag, silently thinking that he now knew what her birthday gift would be. As they walked to their plane, they noticed a local man digging at his pitot tube with a paperclip. Bill heard him mutter, “Dang mud daubers,” as they passed.
Fortunately, Bill’s Archer was secured with a Plane Sights pitot tube cover. He silently thanked the aviation gods for bringing the full line of Remove Before Flight Banners on PilotMall.com to his attention. He wouldn’t be having clogged pitot tube issues today.
After a thorough pre-flight and runup, the couple was ready to depart Tallahassee. “Next stop Atlanta,” Bill announced confidently to Darcy as he smoothly rotated off the runway and transitioned into a climb.
Shortly after crossing the Alabama state line, Bill noticed a significant thundercloud buildup above them. The sky was darkening and the air was becoming more turbulent than initially forecasted.
His loved one looked very uncomfortable and was bouncing quite a bit from the chop. With a reassuring grin he reached into the passenger glove box, gently producing a SIC-SAC motion sickness bag.
“Given with love,” he said with a grin, secretly praying that his sweetheart wouldn’t stain his newly cleaned seats.
Bill pressed the nearest button on his GPS, noting they were nearly above a small field in Ozark, Alabama. Entering Blackwell Field as a direct waypoint, he canceled IFR and began his descent. Best to let Darcy get some fresh air and let these boomers pass, he thought.
The hot summer air made for a bumpy ride all the way down and Darcy’s face became greener by the second. On short final, green carcasses began spattering the windshield making it difficult to see. “Lovebugs,” Bill muttered to Darcy.
Despite the bump and limited visibility, he landed on the asphalt runway with only a little bounce. Considering the many distractions, he considered the landing a success and taxied to the self-serve pump beside the county terminal.
He and Darcy exited the plane. The deserted looking airport had neither a lineman, or chocks available to them. Bill walked to the baggage compartment and produced a set of ASA Wheel Chocks his father had purchased him as a “plane warming” gift a week prior.
While Darcy rushed to the restroom, Bill took advantage of the great fuel prices in Ozark and topped off the tanks. He secured the fuel caps and strained the tank with his mess-free ASA Fuel Testing Cup. After cleaning the lovebugs from his windscreen with his handy bottle of Prist Glass Cleaner, he looked up to note that twilight was already upon them.
He spread his IFR sectional across the Archer’s engine cowling and studied it closely. Darkness setting in, he illuminated the map with his Surefire flashlight, closely studying their final flight route into Atlanta.
Darcy walked upon him in the darkness, “I think I’m ready,” she said confidently. The coupled packed up, refiled and resumed their journey.
Two hours later Bill touched down on the runway at Peachtree Dekalb as lightly as a settling feather. They taxied off of the runway and parked. After shut down, Bill dutifully re-installed the fly-away gear that had protected his prized new airplane during their excursion.
Bill’s trip is a true reminder of the many pitfalls and considerations a first-time airplane buyer needs to take into account. It can be easily overwhelming. Luckily, PilotMall has been helping prepare our intrepid aviators since 1998. Our easy to navigate website and great prices will make your next journey just as successful as Bill and Darcy’s recent adventure.
When it was all said and done, Darcy realized she’d actually had the time of her life. Her mind drifted to dreams of piloting her own ship. The aviation bug had bitten her.
Reflecting on his trip, Bill silently thanked PilotMall.com for providing a thoughtful and easily accessible resource to order his airplane care items.
No need for thanks, Bill. We’ll always be here for you, and Darcy too.