This is the story of owning and operating a 1993 Beech Bonanza A36 in the UK and some of its adventures and flights. I have owned this plane for nearly six years now.
Today I took the Bonanza for a quick ride before I go away on holiday. I am looking forward to my trip to Tenerife but I always miss flying so I thought a quick ride around will keep me going for the 10 days were are going to be away.
This morning was beautiful and sunny in Morecambe so I set off for Blackpool and on the way went through a bank of fog on the motorway. A quick call to ATIS at Blackpool confirmed that the whether should be Ok when I got there.
The Bonanza A36 was lined up on the ramp, full of fuel and waiting for me courtesy of Pool Aviation and I eagerly did my checks and climbed aboard only to here everyone else being told that the airfield was becoming fog bound.
A 15 minute wait and a cup of coffee later and the fog had cleared and I was able to climb aboard and go for a wonderful 45 minute flight around Morecambe Bay and the Lake District.
A couple of photos are here.
The first one shows Lake Windermere with a bank of fog over it and the mountains in the distance and the Bonanza A36 showing 170 knots straight and level at medium cruise power.
And the next one shows me circling Helvelyn with Lake Windermere in the distance.
What a wondeful day to take my Bonanza out. I wish I could take it with me to Tenerife tomorrow.
Well today I got my first "normal" servicing bill for the Bonanza for normal use. This was for a 50 hour check.
My previous bill for the first work and my introduction to Beech Bonanza ownership was over £20,000. That was for an annual inspection, 6 year prop overhaul and the engine fault that had reared its ugly head.
Today I got a bill for a Bonanza A36 50 hour check and it was a more reasonable £438 plus VAT.
There was the fixed cost of the 50 hour check for £320 and then £80 in parts. This bill also included fixing a problem which had developed on the Bonanza recently that made the nosewheel shimmy at about 65 knots on take off and landing. Apparently this was tracked down to low tyre pressure and so the tyre was pumped up!
Also the landing light bulb was replaced again. Apparently Bonanza A-36's are known for blowing these bulbs and mine is no exception having blown 3 in the 18 months I have owned it and having spent most of that time with one of the three blown bulbs in it. Lets see if this one does any better. Lets hope so as they cost over £20 each plus labour to fit them.