Thursday, May 2, 2024

N333C Has Gone West

I did not intend to ever write another post on this blog. I sold 33C 4-1/2 years ago.

This is my undertanding: 33C was groundlooped during dual instruction. After a period of time, she was sold to someone who planned to rebuild her. Before that party could pick her up, a severe windstorm/derecho/tornado smashed her further. The party who planned to rebuild her backed out, understandably. Some other entity bought her and then, eventually, she was deregistered. I have little doubt that what salvageable parts were left were taken off and the rest of her sent to a scrapyard.

In short, N333C is gone. As of this posting, the registration number is listed as "reserved". Maybe, some day, I'll learn what airplane has the registration number.

I had to sell her for medical reasons, if not financial ones. My last flight in her was just before Xmas, six years ago. But allow me, if you will, a walk down Memory Lane.

I bought 333C in 1990. In the time I owned her, I had her based in four different states. I flew her up to Caribou, Maine and down to Lakeland, FL. I touched her wheels down in all but a few states east of the Mississippi and a few to the west. I flew her to go swimming off Cape Cod. I took friends to countless lunches and fly-in breakfasts. I gave a lot of people their first ride in a prop plane, and some, their first flight in any aircraft.

Oh, sure, owning an airplane is an expensive proposition, and many times I cursed as I wrote checks to mechanics. But I flew her on several Fourths and got to see a lot of fireworks from above.

I've gone leaf-peeping with friends. You haven't seen Fall colors until you've seen the landscape carpeted with red, yellow and golden-leaved trees, as far as you can see from a few thousand feet.

By flying before sunup and then descending quickly, I've made the Sun appear to set in the east. I've downe the same around sunset so that the Sun appeared to rise in the west. I've seen the power of Nature by overflying a flooded landscape. I've seen huge auto junkyards and clear-cut landscapes that were hidden from highways by "beauty strips" of trees a few hundred yards thick.

Funny how some things can seem so routine when you have an airplane. Flying to Martha's Vineyard to go swimming. Going to Block Island, Put-in-Bay or Lambert's for lunch. Fly-in breakfasts, whether at an on-airport restaurant or an EAA fly-in..

Technically, some of it has been a real joy. There was the time that in a gusty wind, I made a landing so smooth that the controllers in the tower expressed their appreciation.

One time, I was practicing night landing. Night landings in 33C involved flaring and trying to do that as close to the runway as possible, but not too low or too high, as one could bounce impressively. That one time, I flared, power off and waited for a little bounce of landing. It didn't come and then I noticed that the airspeed was down around 30MPH. I'd never been able to replicate that.

I can't adequately tell you the fun of landing on a grass runway, or the smells of newly-mown grass and hot aircraft oil mixed together.

I flew to Sun & Fun twice. On one trip, I went down the Hudson River at 2,000'. I wish I had taken photos. After that, I climbed to 6,500' and proceeded down the NJ coast. I saw a conga line of C-141s pass below me as they headed for McGuire AFB. On the return trip, I overflew the NYC TCA at 9,500' and saw a continual stream of heavy jets pass below me en route to JFK. I saw the smoke from the crash that killed John Tower (among others).

There's more, so much more. But it has been long over for me and now over for N333C.

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