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Charles Gray


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Last year (2002) I looked at a short wing Piper after having engine failure on take-off in my newly purchased Motor Glider. It was just before Sun ‘n Fun, when I put the Motor Glider into the trees at Tucson, Arizona. It was a total right off. I purchased another Motor Glider and after selling it, I set my sights on a Tri-Pacer or Colt. I found a Piper in Topeka, Kansas, on the internet, PA-22-150.

I flew out to Kansas on United (my daughter is a flight attendant). After looking and flying I got into N-2640P and headed home to Florida. This was my first time in a Piper Short wing. The engine ran very well except for an oil leak that kept the right side of the windscreen covered after only 20 minutes. I made my first stop at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. I was really proud of my first landing in the SWP it was a squeaker. Anyone in the area of Walnut Ridge should plan to make it a stop. Everyone there was first class. Their help getting me to and from the motel was above and beyond. Give them a try.

Flying cross-country in my SWP was very interesting. I totaled 11:24 with NO radio, no transponder, no compass, and no nav. instruments of any kind. Only a hand held radio that worked about 5 miles out and a handheld GPS that saved the day. While over the Memphis airport and talking to tower, I was instructed to call approach control. After telling him I had nothing on board, he asked what type aircraft. I received an immediate ALL-RIGTH you’re cleared after I told him 1995 Piper Tri-pacer.

I was able to fly three hours and thirty minute legs with only a one quart oil loss. Now it’s time to get to work and fix the oil leak, the fuel leak in right tank and some fabric repair. And adding radios! I’ve built many experimental aircraft over the years but all were fiberglass. Now I have to learn how to but bed sheets on an airplane. Looking forward to flying my new baby and meeting new friends with Short Wing Pipers. If you are in the central Florida area please give me a call and let’s have a cup of coffee. My phone is 321-449-9551. I work most of the time at the Merritt Island airport on experimental airplanes.

Blue Sky’s Cheers ---- Charlie 4-29-2003.

I now have some radios, new rudder pedals with toe brakes and old wheels with
disc brakes from a newer Piper. Lots of stuff to do.
Charlie 5-4-2003

Click on photo to enlarge.

I now have some radios, new rudder pedals with toe brakes and old wheels with disc brakes from a newer Piper. Lots of stuff to do.
Charlie 5-4-03