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Fly High and Fast – Vol. II Chapter 15 Flying Weather Part III

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JJ Meehan
The Meehan Family

Flying weather is always a challenge.  One winter, we decided to make a marketing blitz of the eastern half of Iowa and also try to get current customers to support our effort by giving endorsements and/or even allowing us to bring prospective customers into their bank for a demonstration.

We had just installed one of the largest real time software products for banks.  This effort had not only cost a lot of money but had been a huge effort as far as getting the product operational.  When installed it allowed the bank to have a Central Information File on all customers and real time posting of transactions at the teller windows.  After training and installation, the bank stood to safe a lot of money in operational cost and also employee cost.

In the winter of 1987, we decided to start with the First National Bank in Moline, IL USA since they were one of our new customers.  We would then visit the Rock Island Bank, Central State in Muscatine,, First National Bank in Burlington, Fort Madison Bank and Trust, Keokuk Savings Bank, The Keosauqua Bank, Union Bank in Ottumwa and First Iowa State Bank in Albia, Iowa.  We were planning this trip in the middle of winter and most of the smaller airports had snow on the runway.  The following Map will give you an idea of our route.

As I mentioned all of the airports and snow and ice but the larger airports had plowed the runways and you only had to worry about ice on the runway.  Ice on the runway is not a big problem and even 6 inches of snow on the runway is normally not a big problem.  I would be flying N8682Q which was a Bonanza S-35.  It was one of the fastest Bonanza’s built but it and many of the other Bonanza’s and Barons had one unique problem.   When you used the brakes the brake lining would get real hot.  I mean real hot.  In a short amount of time the snow would melt inside the wheel well and the brake lining would freeze.    Our meetings went better than we had anticipated and we arrived in Albia around 5:00 pm.  Bob Kaldenberg was an old friend and flying buddy and we had planned dinner at a local restaurant.  Dinner and meeting went very well and we were back at the airport around 7:00 pm.

I noticed on take off that there appeared to be more drag than normal but we were air bourn about 2/3’s of the way down the runway.  It was a short 20 minute flight back to Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA and we landed just about 7:45 pm.  Our boring flight became very exciting in a short period of time.  Both wheels had frozen tight and when they touched the runway at 65 KTS there was a few tense minutes.   The plane pulled to the right and then to left.  With in a few short seconds both frozen wheels managed to break free from the grip of ice.  Both main tires had to be replaced but neither blow.  I had not known about the icing problem but believe me I learned from this experience and I always gave the tires a few extra seconds to get rid of snow on take-off in the future.  In addition, I would always tap the brakes just before I pulled the landing gear handle to retract the gear.  This would help get rid of any extra snow.  We could have easily flipped on landing or gone off the runway but we did not.  I believe this was another one of my nine Cat Lives.

Please visit my WEB site on Flying at “FLY HIGH AND FAST”.


Written by jjmeehan13

January 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Flying

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