Friday, February 3, 2012

Autopilot Descent

Normal setup for the pilot's EFIS
The big reason to go out to the airplane today was to install some weather stripping. I bought some of the standard quarter inch foam stuff from the local home improvement store, but was worried that it would make the canopy too hard to latch. So since it was a relatively warm day, it seemed like a good time to experiment with it.

The original seal is about an eighth inch tubing glued around the circumference of the canopy. I mounted the foam along the edge of the fuselage from one latch hook to the other. I was able to secure the canopy without difficulty and could feel a tighter fit as I closed the latch. The test flight confirmed that the seal worked and it made for a much warmer flight.

I also worked on some cleanup. My CO sensor has expired and the residue from the glue was stuck on the panel. Goo-Gone and my finger nails  took care of that. My fuel caps were also stained with dirt and grime. Waxall didn't work as well as I would have liked, so I tried some "liquid pumice" hand cleaner. I gently rubbed the tops of the caps with my fingers and got rid of about 90% of the grime. I also worked on the wing lockers, but decided the quarter turn fasteners (dzus) are beyond hope.  I'll remove and replace them. I did take some time to clean the inside of the lockers. Since they aren't weather tight they can get pretty dirty.

The test flight was only partially successful. The weather strip works. I played with autopilot in both VOR and GPS mode, and used the Heading and Track functions to navigate. The autopilot did a fair job of intercepting a course, but does too much searching (s-turns) close to the station. The bad news is my landing light/autopilot conflict still exists.  I had hoped that letting the generator charge the battery might fix the problem. (Low battery might make a voltage spike when initializing either function. I was wrong.) I have opened a problem with Dynon, who referred me to my PiperSport dealer, who gave me a link to CSA about a diode fix for a fuel pump problem. This could take awhile.

1 comment:

  1. Watch and check all 3 points of that canopy every time for a seal and proper latch.