It is time to pick up the plane!

Friday was crazy busy. Lot’s of running around, appointments, my first time going for my BasicMed doctor’s visit, stopping by HRJ to check on the annual for 54SS, and then finally heading to Siler City to pick up 650 lbs of beef from the processor and putting it away. While all that is on my mind, what is really on my mind is that Sunday I leave for Walhalla to pick up N41RW.

Oh, I forgot to mention before, that’s the tail number that I reserved. I wanted N4RW but that one was taken, of course. The reason for the tail number? My father’s initials, and frankly his name, was RW. That is what he went by. Only my mother or the latest idiot from Deere trying to establish a relationship called him Rufus. My father encouraged me to learn to fly. He was a ball and tail gunner on B17s in WWII. He always respected his pilots and thought it was great if I learned how to fly. Were it not for him, I certainly wouldn’t have made it through, to now be passing a love of aviation onto my children. So this airplane is 4 one RW, my father.

So this was my first foray into the Basic Med world. It took more doing to convince the doctor’s office that the could indeed do the exam than the actual exam took. I can’t think of when I’ve had a full exam. My 20s maybe? Everything checked out fine, the doctor was funny and we laughed through the process. She asked me if I was feeling blue or depressed (standard questions). I’m getting a less intrusive medical and about to go pick up a new airplane? Nope, I’m feeling pretty darn good!

Scott working on N54SS
Scott working on N54SS

Our Lance was due for its first annual since our purchase in May. The first annual is always scary. Sure, you do a pre-buy but you never know what is going to appear as a problem once things start getting taken apart. I had 6-7k as my budget, and that was assuming nothing dramatic was found. With this final check up on the process, we came in a tad over 3k. The last first annual I’d been part of was over 17k so this was way better than I had hoped. We have a clean bill of health, a good running engine, and a nicely upgraded panel. Now we only need to address the autopilot not holding altitude and we are golden.

Now it’s time to head out to Walhalla, SC to be ready to pick up the airplane first thing Monday morning. I have the truck ready to go, the trailer hooked up and ready to ride, snacks, a change of clothes, and some audio books, which I’m going to need. 

It is about five hours, not including stops, to get to Just from my house. I’m actually stopping at a motel just outside of Walhalla, spending the night, then proceeding on the next morning. I’ll load everything, pull an inventory of what I can see, and then head East bound. I won’t be going back home. Instead I’ll be heading to Grantsboro to drop off the plane with Robbie, whom I’ll be building with the first two weeks. That adds a couple of hours to the return trip. 

About seven hours door to door, again not including stops. Then I unload, turn around, and drive the 2.5 hours home. Monday is going to be a LONG day and a LOT of miles. But my phone is loaded with audio books and podcasts, and I have some snacks to keep me from stopping too often.

Hopefully things go off without a hitch and come Tuesday morning I’ll be a kit plane owner.

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