A collection of updates from Derick Gunning:
Our Christmas Party 3rd Dec:
I have booked The King William at Heydon for our Christmas Party. 2000hrs on Friday 3rd Dec and would like to invite club members and clients (and their guests) to join us.
For many years I have subsidised this event and hope to continue to do so but unfortunately I have to pay for reservations regardless and the last couple of years I have had to pay for several 'empty' seats, both frustrating and expensive! This year I propose asking for payment, as usual, in advance but will refund in full anyone who cancels up to 5 working days in advance. I am afraid after that deadline we/you will not be refunded unless we can find someone else to occupy your seat! The venue is well proven and the food has always been excellent. Just make sure you know where it is (...Eddie!).
Regarding the fleet:
We are now approaching Winter and I would ask that aircraft are returned to the hangar after use unless another booking follows your use. Please simply treat the aircraft as if it was your 'own'. If you need assistance let me know in advance or ask someone to demo hangar doors etc. Both towing tractors have been serviced recently and there are towbars available for all our aircraft. We have had a good season with over 600hrs rental which is surprising given the economic situation. There have been several cost increases over the season which I have 'absorbed' including fuel and maintenance issues but I like to think that the aircraft are still presented in good order with few defects. Any that exist I 'jump' on quickly.
It may have seemed a long time waiting for GJACS EGT probe(!) but the 'modified', $750 replacement sensor came eventually - once I agreed to pay $100 AOG charge anyway! GKEMI's auto-pilot 'glich' meant spending a day at Cranfield (thanks IAE) but was worth it even if the new software 'beeps' annoyingly at 250’, 750’ and 1250' QNH to warn clients to disconnect auto-pilot. I say 'annoyingly' because it of course beeps during climb as well(!) - perfectly 'normal' apparently. You will not be surprised to hear that I have 'resisted' having GJACS and GDIXY's autopilots 'upgraded'.
Spare a thought for anyone with Avidyne. They have just been hit with a mandatory software upgrade ($1400)! I remain convinced that 'our' King/Garmin avionics package is more robust and less prone to 'glitches' than 'glass' and since it consists of individual components can carry a defect more safely.
A recent interesting experience was 'beating' a Meridian with a Malibu, both leaving 'X' at the same time. The Meridian filed FL250 and got a 60nm 're-route' enabling me, having filed FL180 to, land at 'Y' (in Belgium) four minutes ahead! Hmmm, one can buy an awful lot of Avgas for the capital purchase differential(!) and of course being a foreign flight I got the duty back which paid for lunch(Hic).
Nose Art: Many of you have commented on Roy's Seneca with Scooby Doo on the nose. Roy has stuff like this everywhere; his car, his house, even his underwear?! I believe it is a reflection of his personality...
Please note that Modern Air has not had AFPEX access since July 2010 and has decided to 'drop' this facility due to the responsibilities it puts upon our limited resources. I continue to encourage individual members to have an AFPEX account and will assist with my personal AFPEX any client who experiences difficulties filing plans.
Happy landings, Derick