Well, we’ve decided to drive to Airventure again this year. I’m fairly disappointed, but we were not able to test fly the airplane this weekend – a thunderstorm kicked up just as I thought we were going to test the new MP sensor line and check the oil cooler heat blankets. While I think the plane is probably ready to go, I’m not certain of it. On top of that are other considerations.
We don’t talk about it much, but Elizabeth still has occasional bouts of PTSD, or post traumatic stress, from our forced landing in 2008. It’s generally something she can get past, but it makes it difficult to enjoy flying the airplane, particularly long distances, and particularly when there’s some issue we’re working. It’s easy for me to say the issues are minor, I’m familiar with every detail of the airplane, and I’m often not in it when they break.
But she has been in the left seat for every niggling issue the plane has ever had. When the GRT reboots she has recollections of the Blue Mountain rolling 60 degrees for no reason, and it shakes her confidence. When the manifold pressure drops away she has flashbacks of loosing all oil pressure and landing on a highway. Overall the plane is performing wonderfully, but I need to build trust back into the Elizabeth-airplane relationship by delivering a few problem-free hours. That’s on me, and I clearly own making it happen, no matter my desire to take the plane to Airventure. I won’t pretend that her hesitation is purely irrational.
In addition there is the practical matter of the plane sitting outside for a week in the weather, which it has never done. It might leak, or might be caught up in a storm such as Sun-n-Fun last year. Our friends have reported trash being discarded in their cowling, and have caught folk’s setting their kids up on their wings. And then there’s the weather there and back, since we’re only VFR rated. Most of those are things I would be willing to live with, but I’m not going to push it and make Elizabeth even more uncomfortable. We will take the plane to Osh Kosh, when we’re both ready. I hope that that will be in 2013.
Posted By: Brett FerrellMonday July 16th, 2012 at 11:03 PM