Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Santa brought Belly Wash

December 30th was a mild winter's day, it was also my last flying day of the year. I drove the 20 minutes down to Pottstown intending to clean her, both inside and out.  I failed. I did a good job on the outside but it took longer than expected. By mid afternoon I had enough of scrubbing and polishing and decided to try a bit of flying...always an easy decision.

In addition to a large jug of Waxall Waterless cleaner, I also found a small bottle of degreaser under the tree. I laid down on the asphalt under the plane, sprayed on about a square foot or so and used an old green scrubby to loosen any tough spots. The gunk wiped off easily with a rag, and I worked my way to the tail using the same process. First time in a year I had addressed the belly and it REALLY needed it.  Thanks Santa!

I also worked on the plexiglass canopy, hit the wings (especially the non-slip foot paths used to get into the cockpit) and the engine cowling. Last but not least, I attacked the Woodcomp Propeller with the degreaser. This really cleaned up the back side of the prop of all the bugs that had sacrificed themselves for my enjoyment. (The prop is in great shape, but I am envious of the new Sensenich wood prop now available through an LOA for the PiperSport & Sportcruiser.)

Santa also brought me a new camera. The battery compartment door on my Pentax Optio had finally failed. I liked being able to carry my camera in an Altoids box but was anxious to try some new technology. Strictly a 'point and shoot' kind of guy, I was pleased to find a Nikon Coolpix S9100 under the tree. (Much more sophisticated than I need, but a very simple device to operate.) The picture was taken in "special effects" mode - blue selected. Aperture, shutter speed, iso were all automatic. It will take me awhile to become proficient with settings other than automatic.

The flight was a simple one. I departed to the north to see if Harry had his "beacon on". He wasn't in, but I decided to do a landing at Butter Valley anyway. I left there and flew back to N47 for a straight in followed by four more full stop landings. I made progress adjusting my power off landing from the pattern. I also started my survey of possible landing spots just in case the engine quits after take off.

It was a good day, a good year for flying.

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