We’re flying N280MM to Pendleton, OR.  She’s heading to All Terrain Aircraft at KPDT so we can comply with the new Airworthiness Directive AD-2018-02-01 that came out a few weeks ago.  We’ll have another blog post soon with pictures of the hangar and a detailed explanation of the upgrades she’s getting.  The short version is that blade spindles need to be replaced via a conversion to torsion tension (TT) straps.  The short, short version is that we’re spending $20,000 this week we weren’t planning to!

Flying South over Eastern Washington

Loving the new Enstrom

I flew a morning tour and then Steve and I topped off both fuel tanks and headed south for KPDT in Pendleton, OR.  We’ve had a cold snap here in Spokane and it was clear and 17 deg when we left Felts Field.  We requested flight following, got our squawk code and departed south.  After a hand off to Spokane Departure Control we were off.

Steve did most of the flying so I could play with the Aspen 1000 Pro that’s installed in the panel.  I’m comfortable using it for primary flight data (altitude, airspeed, VSI, slip/skid, etc) but hadn’t had a chance to play with all the features in flight.  It was nice to have another pilot at the controls so I could go through the manual under real flight conditions.  I’ll do a separate write up on the Aspen.  I’m impressed and think it’s going to make instrument ratings much easier for my students than I had it during training.

N280MM flew beautifully.  We leaned the mixture to just under 1600 deg on the TIT gauge and she gave us 100 mph at 29 inches of manifold pressure.  With a bit of a tail wind we made 105 mph burning less than 90 lbs of fuel per hour.  Sweet!

One neat feature of the Aspen is that it will calculate speed and direction of wind while in flight. We saw cross winds of up to 35 mph.  The Enstrom handled it with ease and I was never worried about mast bumping or low g conditions like I would be in a certain other helicopter with two blades.

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