Sunday 7/31: Kathy drove me up to the Crystal River Airport Sunday morning. It seems we had parked Sally in a spot reserved for the training aircraft of the fight school. The manager had already received a number of requests asking to rent her. Kathy waited in the car under a shade tree as I did a thorough preflight. Coolant level was good, but the oil was at the bottom of the flat. I added about a third of a bottle to bring it up to about midway. Tires and the rest of the exterior looked good.
I had cracked open the canopy to let some of the Florida heat out. I needed to use rags as oven mitts to use the handholds as I got in. The leather seats were hot too. I brought a small flat blade screwdriver to see if I could use it as a lever to pry the electric fuel pump on. It worked. She started easily and the remaining checks were good. We had an uneventful flight home.
Conclusion: This was an event of a lifetime and is really hard for me to overstate. The journey to and from Oshkosh, coupled with THE show itself were way above expectations, but spending a week of quality time with my son was nothing short of fabulous.
- Nate bought a hat at Airventure. (I received some comments about trying to shield his eyes while landing at Fon du Lac.)
- My cell phone was under warranty and has been replaced.
- The fuel pressure issue is under investigation. During the annual a new mechanical fuel pump was installed and some memorandum indicate fluctuating low pressure may be normal and acceptable.
- The broken toggle switch has been repaired.
- F = Food, S = Sleep. (IMSAFE) In any case, we were too tired to continue.
- The mileage and performance charts previously provided were based on straight line distance between airports and Hobbs time. This skewed the speed calculations. Remember that we lost some GPS data due to loss of battery power at Terre Haute. The following chart is a more "realistic" calculation of ground speed from the GPS track information available from the 696. (Average of 96kts)