Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Day of Spring

video
Not necessarily according to the calendar, but today was really the first day of Spring. Prior to today the weather has been rotten. Cold, low clouds, poor visibility, rain and thunder-bumpers almost daily, preventing any sort of aviation activity. I bought the plane figuring I would have 8 months of 'flyable' weather. So far it just doesn't look like 2011 is going to be that generous.

Last weekend we did get over to Wings Field (LOM) for the Fly-B-Que. A very nice group of people from far and wide (a mere 20 min hop for us). Proceeds go to benefit Angel Flight East. 4PS got some attention and we were VERY proud to show her off.

The lead video is from a "local familiarization" flight yesterday. After putting 10 gallons in ($41), I made a quick flight down to N47. Then I traveled east for awhile, just checking out a variety of Private/Restricted fields depicted on the GPS. It was fun just to be free...

Some activity on the airplane:

  1. Installed cup holders behind each seat. I love that sip of coffee after the flaps come up.
  2. A friend posted a picture of a headset storage rail. This looks very interesting and will be investigated.
  3. I'm working of the auxillary air scoops and should have them painted and installed this week.
  4. I took both upper and lower cowls off to see if anything remained from the birds nests.  I think that problem is resolved.
  5. I found that my 'landing light ground wire' was actually a broken (#2) cylinder head temperature probe. Not sure why this failed, but on my list of inquiries.
  6. Landing light is still a problem, an intermittent one. I plan to hold off on that until the new Night Lighting Package is available. (Seems to be "soon".) I'll work with Harry to trouble shoot that and get the new package installed at the same time.
  7. I need to update the checklist again. It doesn't make sense to 'raise flaps' on the Take Off list. I need to add a "Climb" portion prior to cruise. A few other changes as well.
Blue sky, 80 degrees, very little wind and someone just reported downwind for 34 at Butter Valley. Gotta go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pests

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It’s mating season for birds, and many are out gathering the materials to build a home and settle down. Just as they may pose a hazard to aircraft in the air, their nests could do damage on the ramp. The nooks and crannies in your aircraft—in the cowling, exhaust, and behind control surfaces—are enticing shelter for cavity-nesting birds such as the European starling and the house sparrow, as Bill Knight explains in “Nesting Birds: Their brains are small but their will is strong.” Birds (and mice) can destroy an aircraft’s insulation and wiring; nests and droppings can cause corrosion.  Here

I've always been fascinated with birds.Amazed at their maneuverability, speed and gracefulness, they make human efoorts at flying pale by comparison. However, this is not where I wanted to find them. What a mess! It didn't take long for them to make this nest. So a good lesson reinforced, always take the cowling off to do the preflight.

I also found a wasp building a nest in the pilot's side air vent.  I thought this protected by the canopy cover but these pests always find a way in. Would not be good to open the vent and invite a swarm of wasps in the cockpit.

I ordered a new landing light. Mine failed to switch on last time, but while cleaning out the birds nest a found a broken connector.  I'll talk with Harry about it since I'm very close to my 50 hour inspection.