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About CTSW Bob

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    Master Crew Member

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    NW Georgia
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  1. Great shot. Wow, looks like some Dynon HDX displays possibly? Many fun times ahead. Enjoy.
  2. I highly recommend switching to the LED. I bought mine on Amazon or eBay because I wanted the brightest and purest white light I could find compared to what I could find locally. The best is stated above, I can keep it on while in the pattern and not have the low voltage alarm start going off on final. It pulls a fraction of an amp versus the stock bulbs 6-8 amps (?). That is huge when I believe our alternators are only capable of 18 amps.
  3. My insurance several years ago on my 07 CTSW was $1200/yr. it has just now gone up to $1850/yr for a hull value of $75k. Never a claim, VFR rated, and still in the factory certified category. Starting to get a little pricey, but not carrying insurance is still a bit risky in my eyes. Self insuring would hurt a lot if I had a big loss, and my city owned hangar requires insurance with them listed on the policy. Insurance is only expensive until you use it. Now, if it were in the $5000 range I would either switch planes or just drop coverage to ground only to make the city happy. Wonder if a higher deductible would lower costs for some of the older pilots?
  4. Yes, inquiring minds want to know! Great video!!!
  5. I had an older 496 in my plane when I bought it several years ago. It was slow and I kept wanting to press the screen for changes. I couldn’t wait to rip it out. I installed an Aera 660 with the panel dock. Wiring was simple, and the auto pilot (CT Pilot) is driven with just one wire. I did use a remote gps antenna which I placed forward on the dash. Very economical upgrade. Yours is even better!
  6. Looks like a lot of fun. With the right person, good communication, and a good plan, formation flying can be a blast.
  7. Care to share? I know our planes have a greater gross weight in their homeland, but are reduced to come in under the LSA rules. I imagine that would stay the same as it is under the experimental LSA category. 1. Any way to take it to the experimental category without any LSA limitations? 2. What mods? I can imagine a constant speed prop, fuel injection, maybe a big bore kit, reflex the flaps to -12, raise the redline and the arbitrary 120 knot limit for starters. Could make a heck of a capable plane, say 140 knot cruiser? Just some thoughts.
  8. Cool. I think most CT owners will tell you they love their planes. I’d share some experiences with you as I’ve documented some of my journeys on the Cessna 172 forum. I’ll see what I can put together for you. Hopefully a few more members here will also chime in. Bob
  9. I had to laugh at “pee practice proficiency!” I suppose we should all do a “dry run” in the hangar before we need to do an actual emergency pee procedure in air. In the 182, I turned to the side facing my door and straightened out (my whole body) like a stick. That allowed a drip free experience. I envision the same technique in the CT, but have not done any field testing.
  10. Oh yeah, and a good noise canceling head set makes all the difference. If you don’t have a set I highly recommend you treat yourself and your passenger to a set. My Zulu 3’s allow blue tooth for music or phone calls, but I’ve never used it. My son did music and Netflix through his on part of our trip.
  11. Great ideas on the seat. As I age, I had to sell the Prius we owned because it hurt my back on long drives. Never used to do that and we did some long trips as a family in that car. Any other car you could plan your bathroom or food breaks around gas stops, but in a Prius you’d starve and wet yourself before you burned through a tank of gas. So far, I have found my CTSW very comfortable and haven’t had to modify the seat. I did make an in flight bathroom break once in the 182. Without a good auto pilot and my wife taking the controls it was interesting to say the least... she kept telling me to hurry up while we were in a slight bank and losing altitude. I had a hard time relaxing... I was even called out by the controller for the erratic flying. I said I was finishing up some business and would return to straight and level soon. They were laughing in the background. 😀 I still carry an empty Gatorade bottle in the floor storage if the need shall arise again. With a good auto pilot and the already relaxed position it should be much easier to turn to the side and accomplish the mission!
  12. I use the smallest CTEK chargers on all my toys, from planes to cars to the riding mower. They are great. I don’t use them to charge big car batteries, but to simply keep them topped off. If you follow high end cars, many of the high end vehicles (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche) use the CTEK chargers with their own badging and charge big bucks for them. I’ve seen it as high as $1500! Crazy when you can get the small ones shipped for roughly $50.
  13. Just got back a week or so ago from a nice XC with my son in my 2007 CTSW. We flew from KDNN to KFYM (Fayetteville, AR) with a stop for bladders and leg stretching in Covington, TN (M04). Until this trip, my longest XC was about a 2 hour and 20 minute flight to the beach and back with my wife. I just wanted to report to anyone trying to learn more about these, that the Flight Designs are very capable planes. Since my son is a good 230 pounds of all muscle, weight was going to be the number one factor in my planning. I am light, so I still opted for 24 gallons of fuel, even though each leg would burn no more than 12 gallons. This gave me a more than comfortable 2+ hours of reserve fuel. Being guys, we packed light and brought our own lunches for the mid-way stop. On the way there, it was get up to cruising altitude, trim the plane, and set the GPS driven autopilot. Coming from a 182P, but with only a crappy antique "wing-leveler," the advancements in these Flight Designs are so far ahead of the dinosaur Cessnas it's not even funny. The safety of full-digital engine monitoring and situational awareness of the primary display, along with my Garmin Aera 660 looking ahead for obstacles and terrain is unparallel. It really takes the stress out of the gauge scan, because as soon as a parameter is out of range, an immediate visual and audio alert is sent compared to looking over at an old analog gauge and wondering "how long has that been reading zero?" Coupled with the AP flying the plane, this frees your focus to OUTSIDE the plane where I could focus on my surroundings, looking for traffic, and places to land in the advent of an engine failure. The parachute just ads to the wide margin of safety I feel when flying my CTSW compared to my previous planes. The trip was non-eventful both ways, but I was concerned about high temperatures, my weight, and the density altitude at our Covington stop on the way out there. Even at near max gross weight, 93 degree temps, and a higher density altitude, it was no problem for my little CT. My altitude shot up to 8500' to clear clouds and as low as 1400' on the way back. I used flight following as much as I could and knocked out a very long trip in comfort, economy, and speed. It was roughly 4.5 hours out there and less than 4 hours back with a nice tail-wind. In fact, my first leg back had a ground speed of 142 knots with a wicked tailwind. That's the fastest my little plane had flown. The ride was stable, and I even knocked off a XC landing of gusts up to 15-17 as a non-event. I know our CTSW's have a reputation of being "sporty," but it really is just a matter of getting used to it. Coming from an extremely sluggish and heavy 182P into an LSA only magnified the differences, but I MUCH prefer the CT any day. Also, the more you load up these CT's the more stable they are. If I were to go on a flight with heavy forecasted winds, I would get as close to max weight as I could, as it really does make a difference. On calm days, if I'm solo and light on fuel, these planes are a blast. I can usually get up to pattern altitude (1000' agl) by the end of my runway. So, if you are contemplating the CT series, rest assured they are not only great fun for burning holes in the sky, but also quite capable cross-country machines. Flight Design really did do a great job of making such a great small plane. Here we are, my son waited about 15 minutes before he requested the inflight snack service. Co-pilot napping from the smooth ride @ 8500'. Parked in Fayetteville, AR. The covers worked great! Ground-speed greatly enhanced by a pretty wicked storm off my left wing about 25 miles away. Putting down the power (*for an LSA...) to get ahead of this storm. Bob
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