211 – A Cold Flight in an Aerostar!


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I had an opportunity to fly in an Aerostar the other day… it was going to be a fairly long trip to the destination, with one fuel stop along the way.

As we climbed out of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia toward the mountains to the West, we discovered the combustion heater for keeping the cabin warm was not working. After a brief conversation about what to do, we decided to keep going. Our two passengers seemed willing to tolerate the cold if they could still get to their destination. Thankfully, it was not as cold as it could have been for a January day.

We arrived at the destination on schedule and although we were at a small town airport, there was a small general aviation maintenance shop there, and one of the guys agreed to take a look at our heater.

As he removed the spark plug from the heater, the ignition lead came apart and a piece of it stayed down in the spark plug. Amazingly, he had the necessary part to fix the ignition lead, and the heater lit right up, no problem.

The trip home was wonderfully smooth and uneventful… and the heater worked!

Although we don’t hope to repeat that experience any time soon, we certainly made a memory that day.

I wish I had the freedom to tell you about the town we were at… it’s a cool name, and the AvGas price was great ($5.00 per gallon!)

Also in this episode, I talked about our recent trip to Greensboro NC for a service center update to our avionics system. Since the weather cleared up quicker than I expected, I managed to snag a few photos of the King Air the morning we dropped it off.

Have a great week… see you next time!

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