Friday, August 3, 2012

When you Fly

As I entered the house my wife and son were talking on the phone. She told him I had just come back from a flight as I picked up:
"How was your flight?"

"I took off in no wind, passed the bottoms of the broken cumulus layer at 3,700', the haze layer at 7,500' and finally got on top at 8,500', but climbed up to 95 to stay clear. It took me about 30 minutes to get there and the temperature went from 30C on the ground down to about 12C at altitude."

" was a good flight?"
Ask someone for the time and they tell you how to build a watch.

I like this song.

I always have a good flight. I took a 'localization' flight for about an hour just to fly low and slow over the surrounding neighborhood. I flew up the valley just to the west of us, north of Reading but kept out of KABE airspace. Cut back across the ridge with Sally warning me about obstacles the whole time. (Thank you Sally).

I typically set my power by watching the fuel flow. When just wandering around I like to keep it less than 5.0 gals/hr. When I looked at the gauge it was reading 0.0, ... that can't be good. All other indications were normal. Turning on/off the electric pump had no effect. Throttle position didn't cause any change in Fuel Pressure. Everything else looked good.  But still...

Took a close look at the sender during the next preflight. Nothing apparent, all connections looked good. I checked my EMS settings to make sure I hadn't inadvertently turned one of the computer bits off, but that was also normal. (You can change the gauge from text to dial, but that didn't improve the situation any.) I'm not qualified to start taking fuel lines off so decided to wait for Harry.

So I made another 'test' flight. Stayed in the pattern for about an hour practicing landings. I had developed some bad habits (too fast) so the workout was good for me. The fuel flow stayed at 0.0.

I ordered a new sender from Dynon. I suspect some ethanol residue may have gummed something up. I spoke with Harry when he returned from Oskosh and asked his opinion. After a grilling interview he was satisfied that nothing else seemed to be wrong. I got on his busy schedule and we should trouble shoot this problem next week.

Since I often fly from the right seat I wanted to set up my EMS as an EFIS. So I went into the books to find that it is a simple setting to adjust what screens can be displayed on either side of the cockpit. Beware of unintended consequences! On the takeoff roll I looked down for speed and RPM...which wasn't there anymore, or any of the other indicators I check for to make that final go/no go decision. Fortunately I did have the pilot's side set up properly and could just look over there. I'll have to reconsider my screen rotation (and probably just use the full EFIS on the right side for cruise.)

My autopilot slow speed limit is set for 60Kts. This gets to be a bit nose high, especially near top of climb and I'm considering changing it. On the other hand it might be nice to have the autopilot maintain a 60kt glide in an emergency. I'll ponder that some more.

I'm stating to consider a cross country flight. AOPA Summit is in Palm Springs in October. There is also a great LSA Fly-in in Page AZ shortly after that.  AND, my son recently moved to Scottsdale. It would be a long flight for a PiperSport but a lot of fun.  hmmm, more pondering....

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