Yooper Rocketman

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Yooper Rocketman last won the day on December 28 2017

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About Yooper Rocketman

  • Rank
    Won't Leave!
  • Birthday 12/18/1955

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    KIMT, Iron Mountain, MI
  • Interests
    Building Lancair IVPT, should be flying in 2016. Active pilot with Northwoods Airlifeline, flying mercy flights for almost 25 years. Built a custom log home, several solar collectors and restored a 1940's wind turbine. Also love 60's muscle cars.
    www.upsolarsolutions.com
    www.uptruckcenter.com
  • Reg #
    N1017L
  • Model
    M20K Rocket

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  1. Alex's M20D (continuous thread)

    Be careful Anthony. You may get sent to "The Pit of Misery"!! DILLY DILLY !!
  2. Between two Fs

    My Hangar partner with the E model (has owned it a REALLY long time) taught me on my "F' to thumb nail check the top of the handle in the bracket. If you can get your nail between the top of the handle and the bracket it's not locked all the way up. Or......maybe it was MORE than your thumb nail? Dang it's been 17 years since I bought my Rocket but when I flew his E a year and a half ago, I still did it by memory; didn't think about it at all. Tom
  3. Between two Fs

    And no $1,000 "no back spring" that should be replaced that the only known failure has been a new one. Tom
  4. State Registration

    Michigan charges a penny a pound based on the gross weight of the airplane. $32 for the Rocket, $42 for the Lancair. The money is used to run the State aviation department and for airport improvements. Most airport improvement projects are 90% Federal Grant, 5% State Grant and 5% local match. Can't say I have a problem with it. I've had twice in the last 10 years I missed the cut-off date, which adds a 50% penalty. A call to the state office both times got the penalty dropped, so pretty good people in the office. Tom
  5. RETIREMENT AND AIRPLANE OWNERSHIP

    First off, the guy making the comment was not "born in some third world poverty stricken village ...............Egypt" either, and the comment was "his perspective". My recently passed "mentor" WAS born nearly as you present, and died last December with 4 airplanes, a helicopter, an airpark home on Heavens Landing, (and established a scholarship fund for the less financially fortunate that want to become a pilot). I'm sure he was "lucky" too, as it clearly had nothing to do with perseverance and hard work. Our lives, absent our birth place, were remarkably similar (including writing an aviation scholarship) and I think that's why we got along so well. I was born with extreme poverty in my family, the oldest of 6 kids, watching my parents do everything they could to NOT accept government help. No college and rarely working less than 100 hour weeks for 30+ years, putting every asset I owned, including the house I lived in, to finance my business, yah, I guess I was lucky too. Tom
  6. florida destinations

    I'm usually posting something when I will be at Spruce Creek (about half the time during the winter). Open invitation to anyone while I'm there. Just need to check with me before planning. Tom
  7. N201XG comes home

    Tell us those pictures where at your delivery airport or in route. There is no way you are seeing clear skies in the Seattle area in the winter!! I was stationed at Fort Lewis back in the 70's (god, was it really that long go?).. My Rocket was maintained by Galvin and was based on Boeing Field when I purchased it in 2001. I know full well the likelihood of that kind of weather in the winter out there. :>) Tom
  8. Mooney and TBM History

    There's one that flies out of lower Wisconsin into Spruce Creek. My wife and I were golf carting the park during our last trip down and he taxied up and blocked us from getting out (not a problem, taxiways are for airplanes first, then golf carts). It was a really nice plane. He got out with one passenger and I watched them move it in the hangar as I talked with his friends/neighbors. When I got home I looked up his filed speed on Flight Aware and he has 15 knots on me, for just south of $4 Million (about 8-10 times what I will have in mine). Out of my league. Tom
  9. Young Eagles

    I did my 25 + this year and passed 300 flights since I started doing YE Flights (they just sent me a nice jacket too). I posted a story this last summer about an airport event I attended in Houghton MI. My local EAA Chapter works with two adjacent chapters sharing resources (Snoopy simulator and pedal planes). When I mentioned I was coming up, I asked them if they wanted me to bring my Mooney (so I could do YE Flights) or the Lancair, as an attraction. They said bring them both! So my hangar partner, Steve, flew the Mooney up and I flew up in the Lancair. Well, after he and I alternated flying YE's all day in the Mooney and were pretty tired, we were about to leave and I saw a group of girls sitting on the ramp waiting for their ride. All the pilots had left except two local ones, each flying 2 seaters. It was obvious these girls were going to wait a long time, or possible be sent home. Steve was just landing with the "last flight" of kids, and was planning to go to the fuel farm to fuel. I called him on the radio and told him 8 girls were waiting for a ride, would he do ONE more. I would take three of them in the prop-jet and the last two could go in the last two single seat planes still flying. He said yes and those girls were obviously happy after we got done. And.........like Alex says, they really take on to the YOUNG pilots. The young man in the photo bought his own plane, got his license, and has been accepted into the Air Force Academy. He had one year of high school left when this picture was taken! My Lancair can be seen behind the Ercoupe. Tom
  10. I think I've reached the end of my rope.

    My wife doesn't hate it but she doesn't LIKE it either. She sees the plane as a useful mode of transportation to get from point to point quick. When I had the turbo failure a few years ago and the first long trip after the repair came up, a trip to Spruce Creek to look at a recent listing (I had a couple 1 hour flights completed), she asked if we could do airline this trip and hold off on the Mooney until I had some more hours on it. Not wanting to push her, I said "sure". That trip took 10 hours down and well over 12 hours back (my Mooney does it in 6 with a fuel stop). So, the next property comes up in June (the eventual one we bought), and she pulls the same thing, "I've checked airfare and we can do it for $xxx". I paused, looking at her behind her desk at work (we work together in my dealership) and then told her I was having second thoughts about this whole deal. She said she was too, as the price looked awful reasonable. I said it wasn't the specific property I was having second thoughts about, it was buying ANY property in Florida and doing airline to get there. Flying was half the reason I had finally come to HER side on the prospect of having a winter home where it is warm. Then I walked out of her office and let that sink in. When I got home that night she had all her stuff packed......in Mooney luggage. Check Mate. I have a favorite story I tell sometimes, and have made sure it's been told in front of her a time or two as well. Back in the 90's Flying Magazine had a GA Mooney pilot as one of their popular writers, Gordon Baxter. In one of his articles back then he wrote about speaking at some sort of convention and opening the floor up for some Q&A after his talk. One young gal stood up and told Gordon; "My fiance loves flying. It's all he talks about and seems to be his biggest passion in life. I really don't have any interest in flying. What would you suggest?" Gordon looks at her for a few seconds, then responds; "That's how my FIRST wife felt too". The pilot audience reacted as you would suspect. I love to fly. You will have to pry my cold, dead hands from the yoke or stick of my airplane when I go!! My next project is a PA-16, Piper Clipper. I need something to fly in my old age when Lancairs and Mooneys are too fast for this old fart. Tom
  11. I think I've reached the end of my rope.

    I have to agree with you. I'm on the Lancair Talk Forum and I find this forum much more enjoyable. Even crusty guys like you are ok! Anyway, that looks a lot like the bearing failure I had on my Rocket on the way to see my dad on his death bed a couple years ago. That one was a "Main Turbo" overhaul and when I looked at my logs, I thought it should have lasted longer the way I fly. I elected to go another route on the new overhaul and when we sent mine back, it wasn't cost effective to OH. They sent me a brand new one with the Garrett Data tag removed (and left in the box) and their rebuild tag on it (I think it was Midwest Turbos). Hang in there peevee Tom
  12. RETIREMENT AND AIRPLANE OWNERSHIP

    I was talking with the father-in-law of my sales manager after church a month ago and he had just heard my wife and I bought a Florida winter home. He asked if I was getting any flack from employees or friends and I said not really. He said anytime someone gives him flack about his Arizona home, telling him how "lucky" he is, he says "Yep, I'm lucky. The harder I worked, the luckier I got". Tom
  13. Mechanics upcharge for parts?

    I just want to clarify a few items on my last post. First, I mentioned "reasonable" mark-up. Aaron's situation is not what I would consider "reasonable mark-up". I was responding more to some that think there should be no mark-up. Secondly, there is a huge difference between an A&P and/or an IA working independently and a licensed shop. I've used both and clearly the overhead is much different. Many independents would rather NOT deal with getting the parts. A licensed shop must deal with a ton more things that bleed off profit, either in time or money, that the independent guy does not. A few things come into play on how customers are treated, and whether they will come back. That "reasonable mark-up" will most times never be questioned by a customer that has a good trusting relationship with their shop. When a shop treats on "out of towner" differently than a regular customer, at some point word will get out and that treatment will likely affect "some" future business. Taking care of the customer fairly will lead to more business, and likely that customer sending new business to you as well. No amount of TV ads and other advertising will bring you more business than a good reputation and satisfied customers. In the end, most of us can figure out who we want to spend money with. We've had enough feedback over the years it's easy to see who will treat you right when you grace their doors. No one in business is perfect, but if they are honest and make a serious attempt to treat you right, that's 90% of the business relationship. Some mentioned in this thread are clearly in that category, and some are not. Just don't through them all into the same basket. Tom
  14. Mechanics upcharge for parts?

    I had a waste gate fail on the Rocket, was busy with the Lancair, so had my local FBO check it (was an excessive oil leak out one of the vent tubes, so not diagnosed by me). They removed the waste gate and it was sent out for overhaul. I have no idea if they marked up the overhauled part, but they should have. I flew one flight and it was sticking so they had to work on it again under warranty. It wasn't their problem, but they sold it to me and installed it so had responsibility to get it fixed (and did). In my dealership we buy most our parts from the factory PDC (parts distribution center), so our wholesale pricing is pretty decent. We DO have to buy parts regularly from other sources, including a few local auto supply stores. We mark up the parts a reasonable amount for many reasons. We did the work finding and often picking up the part. We're not a non-profit, so if it runs through our books, there's going to be some profit on it. If the part fails and causes an accident, my company WILL be in the litigation chain. And finally, if the part fails and needs to be replaced under warranty, my shop performs that repair for FREE, even though it was the part that failed, not a labor warranty. I have a local limousine company that recently had us take the parts back to NAPA because he wanted to buy them direct himself. We did and he did. Napa sold the part to him, a new customer, for the same price as ours (we were doing probably $10k-$15k a year with them). NAPA no longer sells to m y dealership (our choice and they aren't real happy now). The final saga to that story; the limousine company comes back after one of the parts failed for us to fix it and wondered why he paid full rate for the "warranty". I told him take up our labor charge with NAPA, we didn't sell him the part that failed! To answer the OP's original question.......it's appropriate for a shop to place a reasonable mark-up on parts they sell or charge a small fee for parts brought in the door. I guess I akin someone bringing parts in the door (that we could easily source, not odd ball stuff) to me bringing my eggs or steak into a restaurant and asking them to cook it for me. Tom
  15. Love the FREE hangar heat!

    Probably 30 degrees would be reasonable over a few days (high temp with sunny day followed by cloudy days). Never saw any issues with condensation. Probably because humidity level in hangar in the winter up here is pretty low. Tom