Monday, August 10, 2009

Night Magic

After maintenance finished working on my airplane last week, we took it up for a few turns in the traffic pattern at Williams-Gateway Airport in Mesa. In order to fly with passengers on board at night, pilots need to be "night current," which involves doing three takeoffs and landings at night within the previous ninety days. My night currency had just expired, so we decided to do our post-maintenance flight at night so I could get current once again.

Something incredible happens when the sun goes down. After waiting the necessary one hour after sunset, I performed a very thorough pre-flight (always a good idea in case a mechanic accidentally left a screwdriver somewhere). Terry showed up in time for us to fire up the airplane and do three takeoffs and landings. Everything happens so quickly in a jet, especially when you are compressing three takeoffs and landings in fifteen minutes! It was so much fun. I really love flying!

After our second takeoff, we noticed our right landing light had burnt out. Figures...we just got it out of maintenance! When we completed our final landing and shut down the engines, I went outside to check the light. Now we couldn't get it to retract all the way! Back to maintenance we go!

Changing the right lightbulb the next morning was all the airplane needed. To change the motor that extends the light? $19,000. Owning an airplane isn't easy on a bank account! Luckily, the bulb was just $40 plus some TLC from a few mechanics. It was ready by noon, just in time for Ron to call for a trip at 1:00 PM. Oklahoma, here I come!

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