N631S finished the year with 4,207.3 hours on the tach, having flown 175.8 hours in 2011. That's really very close to the 2010 total of 177.9 hours. I made the round trip from KVKX in Maryland to KBDR in Connecticut and back 34 times this year, three and a half fewer than last year. That's in addition to a trip from the DC area down to the Carolina Outer Banks, thence inland to Nashville and back to home plate.
I logged 10.0 hours in actual IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) this year, compared with 2010's 12.9 hours. The weather has been good! The down-side of this is that this year's total of 10 instrument approaches flown in actual conditions is down from last year by four. Time logged as night this year was 10.2 hours, not materially different from last year's 9.2.
Since N631S came to us in 2004, it has been a remarkably reliable machine. But age may be catching up with it a bit, for this year has been shall we say maintenance intensive:
- In February, the alternator was replaced.
- During the Annual Inspection in April, the voltage regulator was replaced.
- Also at Annual, the 121.5 MHz ELT was replaced.
- In May, replaced the pilot's Push-to-Talk switch.
- In July, replaced the left fuel bladder.
- In November, replaced the switch, circuit beaker, flasher and lamp for the rotating beacon.
- In December, a new battery, and tagged "Inop" the activation switch for the GPSS module.
And the last item in the above list calls for a mea culpa from me regarding the recent absence of posts here. The December weather has been remarkably cooperative, allowing flight from KBDR to KVKX on the Friday before Christmas (with due attention paid to potential icing), then a return to KBDR after the holiday weekend, and finally, back to the DC area this Friday past to end the year. Each of these trips was completed uneventfully. Let me just offer this video clip, collected over central New Jersey whilst headed south at 6,000 feet on the 23rd, just above the solid, cold and icy undercast. As always, ATC was concerned and helpful:
And finally, may I wish all who may visit here a healthy, prosperous and safe 2012.