Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oil Pressure

Fortunately I've been busy this summer learning to fly. Two teenage flight students have done their initial flights while another student prepares for his solo. While they think I'm teaching them, the real truth is they are teaching me. Insightful questions, interesting comments and observations, looking at the obvious with fresh new eyes, has allowed me to see General Aviation in a new perspective.

Learning to Fly

Just before the trip to Oshkosh Sally started having trouble with GPS steering. A warning "GPS Fix unavailable" was displayed and the magenta tracking information on the HSI disappeared. I have since checked and found multiple satellites available to the 696 and that device appears to be operating properly. I was given (SCFlier) the software settings for the GPS and the HS34 and checked them to see if those settings had become corrupted but all look fine. I suspect the wiring may have come loose from the GPS to the HS34 and will do more extensive troubleshooting later. (An outside chance that the HS34 has failed?)

Recently after the starting the engine I noticed my oil pressure flashed "bars" instead of providing the 65psi I'm accustomed to seeing. I shut her down, removed the upper cowling and did a general inspection of the cabling. Nothing unusual, I climbed back in and tried again with the same result. Allen responded quickly to my call and did a cursory check, found nothing and suggested we remove the sender and put a pressure gauge on to eliminate the possibility of electronic failure. I love the glass panel EMS but do appreciate seeing actual pressure on an old analog pressure gauge. 65psi.

An internet search pointed to LEAF and their technician explained that the Honeywell sender is no longer available and that the replacement is from Keller. However the thread pitch is different so the engine block has to be re-tapped in order to make it fit. So, I called Lockwood and had a conversation with their technician who explained that they did have the Honeywell sender but it needs a "cable kit" to fit a ROTAX engine. (Essentially a new plug to attach the wires.) After the parts arrived Allen had us all fixed up in less than an hour.

No video notes this time. I have done some Discovery flights and made some interesting post processing enhancements, but decided to protect the students privacy by not posting them on YouTube.

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