Teaching Moments

This latest Cirrus SR22 ferry turned into a unique opportunity to help another pilot build some Cirrus time and get exposed to Mountain flying! With about 20 minutes notice, we talked Josh (a local CFI who want’s to get involved Cirrus ferry flying) into coming along for the adventure. It was a quick 11+ hours flown in just over a day but an awesome way to knock out some time; and I appreciated the company. While I’m not a CFI, it was great to share my experience in the SR22, talk over mountain flying techniques and demonstrate some aircraft performance techniques while operating from a high altitude airport!

3I7 – K1K1 – KAEG – KGEU

Day 1

Arriving at Steel Aviation, I was able to preflight the airplane and paperwork while the finishing touches were being completed. While I was going over the books and talking with The Team, Josh Strader – one of the local instructors with Steel’s Check6Air – was getting his day started. Josh has been looking to build Cirrus time to start ferry flying and instructing in the Cirrus fleet so it took us a matter of 3 seconds to talk him into coming along for the ride and flying home commercial the next day. After pre-flighting the plane again with Josh to show him some of the Cirrus specific items,

After topping off the plane in Phillipsburg, we jumped in and battled some annoying headwinds for a LONG first 600+ NM leg to Wichita for a quick plane and people food stop at the Stearman Field Bar and Grill. We pushed the plane, our patience and bladders on this flight pushing a block time near 5 hours…

After shutting down, I tasked Josh with topping the plane off while I went in to order lunch (to go) and get that going so we didn’t waste any time hanging around on the ground. Over the summers, this would be much harder to do because Stearman Field is HOPPING when it’s nice out. But it was cold, mid afternoon and offseason so easy to be in and out quick… can’t wait to get back for a beer when the band is playing and we’re done flying for the day!

Flight # 2 was somewhat shorter being just under 500NM but we still had headwinds and still sat in the plane longer than we wanted. The best part was that after this long day we were rewarded with sunset views over the mountains arriving into Albuquerque. We talked over the affects of landing at this higher altitude and then saw it in action with a higher landing airspeed and longer rollout.

The FBO was great and hangered us while letting us borrow the crew car overnight. With a tight timeline and early start, we headed straight for the hotel (and a quick dinner).

Day 2

The 5:15am wakeup came VERY early as we needed to get the ball rolling early. I had a 9:50 flight to catch out of Phoenix and there was a 1:45 flight ahead of us. We were wheels up on plan at about 6:15 to arrive at the Chandler airport right at 8am to deliver the plane!

Josh was able to gain some more experience seeing pre-leaning the engine for takeoff in practice for the first time and dealing with the un-comfort of mountainous fling at night. This un-comfort was rewarded with a wonderful sunrise over the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and a smooth flight into Phoenix.

After delivery and spending ~30 minutes with the new owner, I was reluctant to turn down the offer for breakfast at the local airport café (obviously a favorite goal) but needed to sprint to the Phoenix airport and catch a flight to the next adventure.

Josh was a great companion on the trip and snuck in some hiking in the Phoenix area before flying home later that night. Since this trip, he has flown a similar route for another aircraft pickup and soloed the Cirrus home. So stoked for him to keep this going!

AIRCRAFT: 2006 Cirrus SR22



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