Thursday, April 14, 2016


It was only Wednesday but had already been a difficult week. I was ready to exit the "real world" for a few hours to enjoy a vacation in the sky.

The weather was good. A weak cold front had stalled in northern Florida which had the potential of bringing clouds and rain later in the day, but when I arrived at KVDF I was welcomed with blue skies and light winds. The preflight went well, she burped with less than twenty pulls. I'm still learning how to start using the new ignition modules.  As I waited for her to warm up two Cessnas, one belonging to C.A.P. joined me in the runup area. I let them go first while I waited for 122°F. When it was my turn I got the low oil pressure and low fuel pressure alerts when I added take off power. The engine sounded great, gave no other indications so I continued.  CAP announced he would stay in the pattern and I saw him on downwind as I departed to the east. When I leveled at 1500' all engine indications were normal.

Sally and I explored the area just east of the airport for awhile. First we traveled over to see Plant City (KPCM) but stayed clear of the area and didn't land there. Next we went south to see Wimauma, a private grass strip. We passed east of the five giant TV towers south of Riverview. They scare me. At 1500' I was still looking up at them and on a hazy humid day they could be all but invisible. It would not be good to wander too close.

Next we flew down to Parrish to overfly the housing development we currently live in and see the surrounding community. It always looks different from the air. The SRQ Class C airport has a shelf  with a base at 1200' so we went down a bit to enjoy the view. There are a lot of houses being built in Florida. We returned north by following Rt 301 and staying under the 3000' shelf of the Tampa Class B. Sally reported low pressure problems only a few times during our travels, and immediately recovered without any additional indications.

We did about 5 turns in the pattern. Again with a few low pressure annunciations but no other adverse indications. I am convinced we need a new oil pressure sensor.

Video Notes: I inadvertently left previous video on the chip and ran out of space to record this flight. Too bad as I had made meticulous audio notes of each indication whenever we had a low pressure annunciation. So instead, I offer this video from US Sport Aircraft: Takeoff

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