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About waltm

  • Rank
    Fly Inverted!
  • Birthday 09/01/1960

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  • Location
    Lavon, TX

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  • I currently fly:
    PA24-250, C172RG, Stinson Voyager 108-1, Phantom X1 and Starduster Too SA300

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577 profile views
  1. Would You Buy A Plane Just For Training?

    That's an interesting amount of hard data that some of you have calculated. It doesn't take into account intangibles, however. Having bought an airplane sorely for the purpose of flight training, let me say that - unless you just get a pig that needs a lot of maintenance - it's cheaper to buy an airplane, get your training and then sell it. This should be true in almost every case. I purchased a Cessna 150 for my now-ex-wife to get her license. I paid $12k for a 1967 model that had abysmal paint but was in good mechanical condition. I spent a couple AU more on radios, intercom and the rudder stop kit (so that it could be legally taken up and done spins). I spent another $5k on a new paint job for it. By the time I was finished, I had about $20-$22k into it. Rachael took two years and 267 odd hours to get her license. That number was high for a number of reasons: 1) she stopped and started a number of times, 2) she owned an airplane and went flying with her CFI as often as she pleased, 3) she stopped and started a number of times (did I mention that she stopped and started a number of times?). When it was all said and done, I sold that plane for $22k after she got her license. The plane and it's upgrades were pretty much a wash. All I paid for was CFI hours, fuel, maintenance and "lodging" for the plane. Even with two years of maintenance, I came out like a bandit. You have no idea how long it's going to take you to get your license. Thinking "40 hours" is nice, but probably isn't realistic. Also, when you own your own plane, NOBODY but you will be flying it. You will always know what kind of shape it's in because you were the last one to fly it. You won't have to spend time getting the airplane set up for the way that you fly. All your stuff will still be where you left it - in the plane. A training airplane (150/152/172/Piper) will sell for, pretty much, what you paid for it if you buy right. Don't get a high-time airplane. Get a mid-time or low-time plane. A couple hundred hours later won't matter at all for the resale value. The 150 I bought had 700 hours on it when I purchased it. It had a little less than 1100 hours when I sold it. The plane was still good for another 900 hours and sold very quickly for the price that I asked. Buying vs. renting is more than just putting some numbers up on two columns of a spreadsheet and calculating a tally. There's a lot more to it. If you can afford it, buy the plane. You will not regret it.
  2. Spot Tracker Anyone?

    It's Alaska. The weather will probably not play along this time of year. :-) Good luck and have fun. Land on a highway somewhere "just because".
  3. Got Hit By A Laser. Never Would Have Believed It.

    Pocket lasers are VERY bright (as you saw) and go a long way. I have a 500mw green laser that I picked up at Oshkosh. I can stand at one end of my runway, shine it towards the trees at the other end and brightly light up a 5 ft. area more than 4000 ft. away! I almost picked up a 1 watt model at last year's OSH. That one was a blue laser that could easily burn through a cardboard box (although it probably ate batteries like candy). I've been lased twice - once from some doofus while I was flying over Royse City (just east of Rockwall) and once more while I was somewhere over Kentucky at night. It definitely gets your attention. As an aside, I flying home late one evening a few summers ago when I heard ATC talking to the police helicopter that caught the dumba## who was shining a light at aircraft in Richardson. You all may remember that he was the first person to be caught and prosecuted for shining lasers at aircraft. The idiot made the mistake of shining his laser on the light of a police chopper that was responding to another call. I listened in while the helicopter directed ground units to the man's location.
  4. The Skycatcher Is No More

    Doesn't really surprise me THAT much. The 162 was expensive and there were a heck of a lot of other aircraft that were better designed and flew better. Sport Pilot was a good idea but, like most of the FAA's ideas, they've managed it into the ground. Cessna Skycatcher is discontinued.
  5. How / Where Do You Clean Your Planes?

    Wow! WalMart really DOES have everything. An aviation section, even...
  6. The Smothers Brothers

    Yeah.... they were cancelled in 1969... I know 'cause I used to watch it also - on a round-tube black-and-white TV. There were three stations - ABC, CBS and NBC. Cartoons were played only on Saturday mornings and Walter Cronkite was my parents' news man of choice. Talk about feeling old...
  7. How / Where Do You Clean Your Planes?

    Ditto what Joe said - I just call the plane wash people. I think it costs me something like $250 to wash my Comanche.
  8. The Tango 14 Thread

    As soon as things dry up a bit, I am going to finally get my runway accessible during any weather conditions. I've been watching how the water runoff flows out here and am finally ready to put in a ramp that will be solid through any type of weather. We'll probably do that sometime in early March. After that, we'll be able to taxi off the runway even during a monsoon. Currently, the center 40 ft. of the runway is usable in just about any weather, but it's impossible to taxi off because of standing water on the sides. This is something that I'm going to fix. We're going to start on some t-hangars, too. My neighbor and friend is about to pull the plug on a 180hp Cherokee. He wants to keep it out here, so I will have to put a bit more effort in hangars. Having four hangars at Rockwall has made me very lax about working on covered parking for my airplanes. I hope to accomplish a lot in time for our big Dog-Days-of-Summer fly-in (always on the first day of Summer - June 19th thru 22nd this year). Everyone make plans to attend. We're going to have a GREAT time!
  9. The Tango 14 Thread

    My current ISP works great! They have as much bandwidth as I want to purchase. Currently, I'm buying 7MB. I can configure it any way I want. Right now, I have it set as 6MB down and 1MB up. It's a bit pricey, but the service has been amazingly outstanding. I've had no downtime. Scott and his crew have down a great job of building a solid network infrastructure. In fact, he came by just last week to ask install a secondary antenna on my tower and beef up the power supply to the transformer. My internet is line-of-sight to a water tower tower about 3 miles away. They got some new clients in the area that don't have sight of the water tower, but they CAN see my tower. I let him add another relay dish to my tower so he could support the new users. As an interesting aside, every now and then I get a call from Scott or one of his techs. They'll need to do some testing of their system and need access to a client site. Instead of driving somewhere, they'll call me and ask me to help out. They tell me that I'm the most "tech savy" customer that they have - lol, so they'll call me to help configure any new network configurations.
  10. The Tango 14 Thread

    Things are starting to move forward out here - but not in the way that I'd planned. When the weather clears up a bit, we're going to start work on another cottage. I also hope to continue working on the events building and FINALLY get more fine-tuning done to the runway. I have some exciting things starting to happen out here...
  11. We Have A Living Legend At Northwest

    I read up on her. Wow! What an interesting life!! I hope that she flies into here one day. I'd like to meet her.
  12. New To The Forum

    Hi Eric. Welcome to the forums!