Sunday, July 14, 2013
Just a little VFR
Ever the optimist at 8:00am I checked AvnWx.com Aviation Weather Map hoping for any encouragement. Nope. A blanket of red dots with only a small number of blue was all there was within a 150 mile radius. At 10:00am I noticed something strange, a shadow on my deck. Checking the weather map I found a few green dots. I finished up my house projects, grabbed my bag and headed out to the airport. No Walmart today!
Birds have made a nest in the barn over Sally's left wing. I'll have to start using tarps and covers again. Some enterprising wasps built a mud nest in the right air vent. That could have been an ugly surprise. She burped after 20 pulls and all of the preflight checks were good so I pulled her out into the sunlight. (Yes, the sun was shining!)
My old Lightspeed 20Xl fell apart on my last flight. It had been trying to die for some time, I just wouldn't let it as it was perfect for passengers. I replaced it with a basic David Clark (passive) set I've had for years but seldom used. I decided I would use it today to insure passengers could hear everything OK. They work fine, but I quickly missed my own headset.
I enjoy flying the gaps around clouds. The base of the broken layer was at 2800', the tops roughly at 4000' so I climbed up to 5500' and settled in:
RPM TAS Fuel Flow
5400 114Kts 5.9gph
5300 110Kts 5.5gph
5000 102Kts 4.8gph
4800 93Kts 4.3gph
A nice overall improvement with the new Sensenich Power-Flow propeller. I wove my way back down to re-enter the traffic pattern at Butter Valley. I haven't been thrilled with my last few landings. I prefer to go to idle power at the 180, hold 55-60 knots on base and final, slowing further once "over the fence". Lately I've been high forcing me apply a slip as I turn final. My first landing was the same and Sally didn't like the "thump" when we touched down (neither did I).
After some more laps I realized I was cutting the pattern too close. (Not a long enough cross wind.) Since I fly right seat, I wasn't getting a proper view of my offset which cut the base leg short, which meant I was high on final. I fixed that by flying wider and really looking for proper alignment on downwind. Squeak.
Finally, I wanted to use the fuel cut off to shut her down. I left the Master and Instrument switches on (as well as the ignition) and twisted the fuel control to cut-off. After 2 minutes I got a "Low fuel pressure" alert, and after almost exactly 3 minutes the engine quit. Nice to know.
Posted by Pilot at 2:18 PM