Saturday, September 22, 2012


I woke Friday morning in a fog. No, not a hangover, a dense fog surrounding the neighborhood. I doubt I could see beyond ten yards. The thickest I have seen in a long time.

It had cleared by midday and I ventured out to see how Sally was doing. She is in for a 200 hour checkup (Hobbs is at 195 hours). When I stopped by Harry had the covers off and was checking compressions. #1 was a little low but well within limits. He found a frayed cable to the right side carburetor. There was a drop of water in the left carburetor bowl, and he showed me how he had added a safety wire to hold the latching arm in place. And then he showed me something else. The #1 cylinder top left bolt would not hold its torque. It would 'back off' just a bit after reaching the 200 ft-lbs on the wrench. We also saw some residue on the upper cowling and on the wiring under the head. It wasn't necessarily wrong, but it wasn't right.

He called me later in the afternoon to come by and check it out.  The valves and rings and other internal parts all look good. There is some grime on the top and bottom of the casing and head. Next step is a thorough cleaning. Hopefully new parts won't be required.

You do inspections for a reason. I'm planning a long cross country and it is oh so much more important to find any problems now than during the trip.

Trip Notes:



I finally broke down and entered the tablet age. An Ipad just seemed too large for the cockpit, even though it seems that Foreflight is a mandatory app these days. I went with the Google solution and am trying Garmin Pilot as a navigator. I want the ability to plan at home, and disconnecting the 696 really isn't feasible. This tablet solution allows me to do the planning, then add the way points into the 696  as needed. User reports will be forthcoming.

Some videos I like:
Some discussions I've been following:


  1. Bypassing the plateu SW of ABQ on the noth is not a bad idea, it's completely desolate. Hills between it a Phoenix are not so bad, and Grants is not bad a stop. However, did you plan your descent into Phoenix yet? Scottsdale is on the wrong side for us and they have unpleasant rocks almost touching the floor of Bravo. This is why everyone flying from our side ends in Deer Valley.

  2. I'm looking forward to your follow up trip report!!