It used to be that you could call it a $10 hamburger. Oh how times have changed. The local avgas rate has gone down lately, but we’re still not back to the “good old days.” My logbook says that I paid $5.08/gallon for the 100LL in late September and when I filled up a couple of days ago the price had rolled back to $3.55/gallon. Small pleasures.
The day had dawned clear and calm and the forecast was for it to stay that way, but the weather people were saying that in a couple of days there would be a major shift in our weather pattern – winter was on the way. I decided to take advantage of the late fall weather and drove out to the airport, opened up the hangar and turned on the engine pre-heater. The outside air temperature was in the low 40s and was supposed to rise to the low 50s, but it had been down in the 30s overnight, so the engine was cold-soaked. I have a small ceramic heater to which I have attached an insulated duct that I run up into the engine compartment from below. It’s not a strong heater, but it has it’s own built-in fan and works fairly well. I usually leave it on for an hour or two as I work around the hangar doing the usual pilot stuff, like the preflight inspection. It also gives me time to check that I have everything I want in the plane for the flight – a mountain survival kit, small stash of tools, chocks, extra parka, and working batteries for the portable gps and comm radio. Then I usually walk across the taxiway to see what is going on in my friend Dave’s hangar. I’ve mentioned Dave before, he’s the one who builds hotrods. There are always at least two or three cars under construction in his (heated) hangar.