N21481

"This is my [airplane]. There are many like it, but this one is mine."

Meet N21481, my 1979 PA-28-161 Piper Warrior. No, she doesn't have a name. I've been criticized for failing to name her over the years (he says looking pointedly at his wife), but nothing ever really stuck.


Warrior 481 rolled off of the Piper assembly line in Vero Beach, FL in 1978 and, according to the original invoice, was painted yellow and orange over a white base.  She now looks a little bit less like a child of the seventies thanks to the efforts of her prior owner. Here she is in 2004, inside our first hangar in South Haven, MI.

  
I bought Warrior 481 in Guthrie, OK on March 11, 2004 and flew her home to southwest Michigan as a relatively inexperienced private pilot (total time of ~165 hours) with only an hour in type. This photo was taken in 2004 on the ramp at South Haven.


My buddy Dave always said she looked good in the air.  This photo was taken from Dave's Decathlon by my wife on October 10, 2004.


The Warrior's instrument panel, as I purchased it, was pretty basic.  Beyond the obvious six pack in the photo, avionics included a King KT-76A transponder and two King KX-170B nav/com radios.

Panel as of December, 2015
Over the years, I've added or replaced some instrumentation, including:

Warrior 481's four cylinder Lycoming O-320 powerplant propels her about 115 knots (~132 MPH)  true airspeed at 75% power. This photo was taken in 2004 from our first hangar in South Haven.


On the ramp at Michigan Aviation at Oakland County International Airport (PTK), Waterford, MI in 2010.


Parked next to Darrell at the Luray Caverns Airport (W45) in Luray, Virginia in 2010.


On the ground at Coldwater Branch County Airport (OEB) in Michigan while in search of breakfast in 2005. We didn't find any, but I got this cool picture.


Early evening on the ramp at St Mary's Municipal Airport (OYM) in 2009.



At the Liberty Aviation Museum and Tin Goose Diner at the Erie-Ottawa International Airport (PCW) in Port Clinton, OH.


A 2015 nostalgia visit with Kent to Three Rivers - Dr. Haines Municipal Airport (HAI) in Three Rivers, MI, where we learned to fly and where Warrior 481 first came "home" under my ownership.


2014: Moonrise in Cortland, NY.


Outside our first hangar at the Williamson-Sodus Airport in 2013.


With the monument to the Wright Brothers in the background, Warrior 481 is parked at First Flight Airport (FFA) in Kill Devil Hills, NC where the Wright Brothers first tamed the sky.


Warrior 481 parked on the frozen surface of Lake Winnipesaukee after landing at the Alton Bay Ice Runway (B18), the only FAA-approved seasonal ice runway in the continental United States located in Alton Bay, NH.

Sure, she's a Spam Can.  But she's my Spam Can.  Together we've been to Oklahoma, Maine, northern Michigan, the Florida Keys, and many cool places in between.