Still Grinning

I had the wonderful opportunity to solo fly Mark’s newly finished Patrol today, N410BP. What a blast. I’m no test pilot and the flight was short, but I was sure left with some good impressions.

With 180hp, a constant speed prop and less than half full tanks, I was off after a very short ground run. With the nose above the horizon, I was climbing at 100mph. The VSI was inop, so I don’t know the rate, but I do know things were changing fast. I leveled off at 2000 AGL and set the engine for 24″ and 2400 rpm. The IAS was showing 140 mph. I didn’t wait for it to accelerate to a steady speed but instead began a few steep turns to get the feel of the control forces. Then I did a little slow flying at 55 mph for comparison. Slowing up from that, the IAS dropped below 40mph before I could detect the onset of the stall. While this was all good, the best part was the landing. I found it quite easy to set up for 60 mph on short final. I must have guessed everything correctly as the flair and 3 point touchdown were almost intuitive. Most of my flying experiences are in my rv-4 (1700 hrs) and my Aeronca Champ (800 hrs). This Patrol is a perfect inbetween plane for me. Good for rough fields and fast enough to get there. I sure wish my Patrol was finished and  flying.

Ivan  #150 …….still grinning….