Here’s a laundry list of reasons this situation is seriously taxing my karma. I couldn’t have dreamed it any better:
- It’s a beautiful, extremely well-cared-for airplane
- It’s been based at my local airport (Lee-KANP Annapolis, MD) for 13 years
- It’s in a hangar with three other Pitts, all S-2’s, owned by experienced Pitts pilots, who’ve all been extremely generous with their time and experience
- The hangar is .5nm from my house
- The hangar is next to Bill Finagin (in fact Bill owns both hangars and we rent from him)
- Bill is a rare and valuable resource by himself, having 5 other Pitts hangared feet away is amazing
- Karen took excellent care of the airplane and has been very generous with her time and experience in answering questions
- Knowing the previous owner and other pilots who’ve known the airplane for thirteen years, including the mechanic who has done all the work, is extremely comforting and a very rare thing when buying an airplane
- It was factory re-covered and extensively refreshed eighteen months ago
I’m not even ready to fly it yet. I have my tailwheel endorsement (but only 15 hours total tailwheel) and a few more Pitts-transition hours with Bill and I’m almost ready. I’m also dedicating the time and money for Bill’s Spin & Emergency Recovery course. I consider it required training and the best insurance available, not to mention just plain fun.
In the mean time I have a few small projects I can work on.
- Replacing the flat wooden seat pan with an aluminum sling similar to the production builds. I’ll go with a seat-pack chute to get back far enough to get my knees out of the panel and the new seat pan should get me down another inch or so.
- Order a Quiet Technologies Halo in-the-ear headset which will give me a bunch more headroom compared to the Telex Stratus 50D behemoth earcup ANR.
- New vinyl lettering to apply to the cockpit panels.
- It was already in beautiful condition so I’m cleaning, polishing, and waxing now so when I’m ready to fly I can concentrate on the flying for a few months.
It was homebuilt in 1993 and I’m the third real owner, including the builder.
If it’s not clear let me reiterate; I can’t believe my good fortune and I plan to make good use of it. I’m not so much an owner as I am the current custodian. (Please god don’t let me do anything stupid. I don’t underestimate my capacity for stupid.)
|Engine||180 HP Lycoming IO-360|
|Gross Weight||1150 pounds|
|Empty Weight||850 ± pounds|
|Useful Load||300 ± pounds|
|Fuel Capacity||120 pounds (20 US gallons)|
|Oil Capacity||15 pounds (8 quarts)|
|Length||15 feet 6 inches|
|Wing Span||17 feet 4 inches|
|Wing Area||98.5 square feet|
|Top Speed||176 mph|
|Max Cruise||155 mph|
|Stall Speed||62 mph|
|Rate of Climb||2,600 fpm|
|Rate of Rolll||180 deg/sec|
|Range||± 300 miles|