Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Appointments to Keep

Flying home from south Florida.
I had two 5 gallon jugs full of Premium Mogas and some coffee and a bagel from Wawa. The rush hour traffic to get across Valrico Road and MLK Highway was heavier than expected, so it took longer to get to the airport than planned. Fortunately, the construction team hadn't started their work on the I4 exit ramp. I still made my departure time before 9:00am EDT.

I contacted Tampa Departure immediately after takeoff but got no response. Checked the frequency on my Waypoint Info page and reselected 119.9 just to be sure. No joy. huh. So I chose KLAL for some additional information and used that page for the Miami Center frequency. That worked. I was level at 5500', burning just under 6 gal/hr and True Airspeed read 115kts. Checklist complete, autopilot engaged...I left my coffee in the car. Rats!

It was an uneventful flight down to KHWO. I had a potential client to meet there. Our preflight conversation went well so we proceeded with the Discovery Flight. I'm always cautious finding a suitable area to do some maneuvering. This time we headed west to get out the Class B/C/D airspace and climbed to altitude over the Everglades. The student did some basic airwork (BAW) and followed instructions well. He has potential.

Next we had an appointment to visit a client down at Miami Executive Airport, formerly known as Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (KTMB). Parallel runways, under the Class B, this is a very busy airport. After landing we taxied over to the "Tiki" and sat in the shade to discuss marketing strategies and options. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. (*BTW, this was the farthest south I have ever flown a GA airplane.)

Then it was back to North Perry for some fuel before returning home. Self Serve is always a challenge for me. I don't know why I always find it difficult, but it never goes well. I carefully read the instructions, put the nozzle in the tank and...nothing. Read the instructions again carefully, again nothing. As I walked back to read the instructions for the third time I noticed the placard on the front of the pump. "Cash Only". The credit card pump was to the left. Success!

An uneventful flight home. I landed at the end of civil twilight. It had been a beautiful Florida sunset.

Notes from Sally. After lots on investigation, the oil pressure sender problem is FINALLY resolved. Thank You CERTUS!

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Sounds

Flying with SkyView over central Florida
Kathy came back from her early morning bike ride and announced thick Fog. I rolled out of bed and looked out the back window. Definitely IFR.

After few cups of coffee I was on my way to the airport. The fog had lifted leaving some haze and blustery winds. Good enough for me to bounce out to the local training area and get some much needed time with SkyView.

After a thorough preflight I climbed into the right seat and got comfortable. The seats are a bit different, the arm rest is nice. The throttle felt a bit tighter, the vents are different, and few other ergonomic upgrades are nice. I flicked the switches (different position order) and waited for the system to boot. There are an infinite number of ways to layout the screens. I wasn't sure which one would best suit my scan pattern but eventually settled on 2/3 EFIS and 1/3 EMS. I put 1/2 map on the pilot side with 1/2 EMS. Next I adjusted my Garmin 796 for North Up. I had added 5 gallons of fuel. The sensor knew this and asked if I wanted validate the new quantity for the computer. Yes, please. Then I looked for the Oil Pressure gauge to make sure I could find it quickly once she started. I turned the key. All seemed well. A warning from the map page said I was out of date. Todd had shown me how to do updates. I'll bring a memory stick with the new changes out with me next time.

It was a bit warm so I decided to open the canopy for taxi. My first new sound; Canopy Open. This would take getting used to. The rest of the ground operations were normal. I closed the canopy and was glad to have the canopy vent windows. They supplement the cockpit vents nicely.

The airport was a bit busy. They've picked up a small cargo carrier firm so I waited for a twin to clear before I took the runway. A brisk right to left crosswind got my immediate attention and I crabbed a bit to stay on track. My next new sound: Flap Overspeed. I pulled back a bit on the stick and raised the flaps. Almost immediately the next new sound: A twitter/screech alerting me I was close to Class B airspace. We departed to the south east and stayed clear of the Bravo.

I had kept the canopy side windows open. Wind Noise. I slid them closed and opened the small vents instead. Just as much air circulation and a LOT less noise. I turned the radio down a few notches.

Next I concentrated on routine operations. It was choppy so I found the Touch screens a bit awkward to use. Dynon has smart button backup for all screen operations, but the 796 doesn't. It took me a few seconds to find a place to brace my hand to touch the portion of the GPS I wanted. That will take some practice. After awhile I noticed an airplane symbol on the GPS with a swirled flag beneath it. OK, I'm game. I pushed it and found it went to track up. But no symbol to switch back? OK, more book time required.

I tried a few more system operations. Played with the Autopilot modes. Noted the different power settings and what airspeed was delivered with each. Transitioned to slow flight and did a stall. Another new sound: Stall warning claxon. (I determined I didn't want that blaring at me on short final so pulled the CB.)

This is a GREAT system! My friend Paul said he has been flying it for a few years now and is still learning. I really look forward to this adventure.

Video Notes: SkyView Landing

It took forever to process this short bit of video. Virb Edit just isn't doing it for me anymore so I looked for an alternative. I used DashWare to process this video. I requires you to sync the GPS data with the video, and as you can see I didn't get it quite right. Overall I was pleased with the results. The big benefit, it only took a few hours to process the video.

Getting a look at the fuel lines.
News from Sally: She is being tenderly(?) cared for at Certus Aircraft Inc up in the cold and snowy land of Cheddar Cheese. The latest report has her wings off checking the rubber connection from fuel tanks to engine. The BRS parachute repack is still underway, and a number of other adjustments and repairs are planned.