11 September 1989

Time to spare?

Liz, John, Phola, Annette McQuinn, nephew Michael, and I were flying from Middletown to Tulsa. In the clouds seventy miles from Middletown, the alternator low voltage light came on. The alternator would not reset, so I was forced to turn back.

The mechanic at Middletown looked at the alternator, and pointed out the smoke marks all around it. He said, "Yeah, this one's burnt up. You know what they say: Time to spare? Go by air!"

He said that it would take a day to get an alternator from Cincinnati, Lunken. It could be installed tomorrow, but we did not want to wait. So he called the maintenance shop at Lunken and arranged for them to replace our alternator that afternoon. We jump-started the airplane and flew to Lunken. Five hours and one alternator later, we flew 4.4 hours to Tulsa. At this writing, 4.4 hours is the longest duration of any flight. It was 620 miles.

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