Saturday, December 31, 2016

A short December Flight

It was cool for Florida, about 14°C OAT. I decided to clean her up later in the week when the temperature was forecast to get warmer. (25°C) Instead, I spent time doing a thorough preflight. It took about 30 props to get a burp, oil was in the middle of the stick. Fuel came out of the sumps clean. Tires are a little worn but the inflation was good. Lots of spider webs but nothing covering the vents or pitot tube. Considering I hadn't flown her in two weeks she looked pretty good.

The mission was simple: just exercise the systems and get a few landings in.

Winds were variable 020 to 050 at 7 gusting to 18. I chose RWY36. The runup went well. I felt comfortable. As we took the runway I searched for the sock and found the winds blowing straight down the field. Static check at 4950RPM. We lifted off quickly. All indications
were nominal. We did two landings to a full stop without any problems (4 out of 5 stars). Then we departed to the east and climbed to 2500'. I expected more turbulence but it was relatively smooth. We did a few steep turns, some slow flight, then headed for home. All systems worked well with no annunciator lights.

As I checked in with KVDF another Light Sport was giving a position report over "Kidney Lake" (Lake Thonotosassa ) which is northeast of the airport. He said he was at 300', departing and returning to Peter O'Knight. I looked to my right and found him climbing to the south. I turned and my formation training came back to me in a flash. I joined him in trail and came up on his left side. I had never seen an Icon A5 before. What a beautiful aircraft. After a minute or so I broke off to the left and reentered the traffic pattern at KVDF. A great no flap landing followed.

Another beautiful day to fly in Florida.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December Activity

A weak cold front
 Fog. The mornings have been obscured with fog and low clouds. Sometimes its due to a weak cold front, but more often due warm moist air blowing over the cooler land (Advection). Lately this has kept me grounded for most of the day. Morning temperature starts in the mid 60s and gets up to the low 80s by mid afternoon.

I've been troubled with a low oil pressure problem. This seems to have been going on for some time now. I'm convinced it is a false indication. No other symptoms exist. I recently had the Honeywell sender unit replaced but had the problem again on the way home. I'll focus on wiring and a loose connection next.

Post flight complete
The BRS parachute needs to be repacked. Dave had a very good conversation with Patrick and decided the best way to do this was to remove the instrument panels and the rocket and slide the chute out from under the glare shield. Unfortunately the schematic for Sally did not match the configuration we found in the airplane. Since we didn't want to tamper with the rocket we decided to delay the removal until we got better documentation.

A bracket for the nose gear pant broke. I ordered a new one from US Sport Aircraft and had Dave replace it. He'll take the broken one over to the welder so that I'll have a backup when the next one breaks. Reinstalling the pant was a challenge. Lining up all of the screw was difficult. At least I didn't have to do it laying on a frozen floor.

Sally was DIRTY. The covered tiedown keeps the harmful UV off the plane, but dew and rain seeps from the cover to leave black spots on all upper surfaces. Waxall and few clean rags and a lot of effort cleans her up in about an hour. The bonus is a clean airplane, uncovered with fuel in the tanks. Add the late afternoon sun dissipating the fog and we have a recipe for an enjoyable hour bouncing in the pattern.