Saturday, May 20, 2017

Flying Sally

I got a call to do a demonstration flight with one of our new SportCruisers. I was excited with the opportunity and drove out to the hangar to prepare for the flight. First I had to carefully maneuver the plane away from Sally and then pull her out of the hangar. Next I removed the car dollies and checked tire pressures. Then I put the wheel pants on and completed the rest of the preflight. After the workout I grabbed a bottle of water, changed my shirt and flew to the demonstration airport.

Upon my return I reversed the steps and very carefully pushed the new plane back into the hangar. Both planes fit but from a practical standpoint it just wasn't going to work. If I was tired after a busy flight and lost any concentration putting a plane back in there would definitely be some "hangar rash". Also, Sally was trapped by the other plane. So to get her out, I would have to reposition the other plane first. I decided to move Sally back to her covered tiedown spot on the other side of the field.

I listened to the weather forecast on our local news station on the way to the airport. We could reach a record high of 94°F. (He said it would actually get cooler in the summer once the sea breeze started.) I was glad I got an early start. It was only in the mid-70's.

I gave Sally a thorough preflight and was once again impressed by the work that the Certus Team had done to clean her up. The engine compartment is spotless with all of the tubes, cables and hoses properly dressed. The cowlings are as clean as I have ever seen them, and Corrosion X has been applied to the firewall and everything forward. Scratches, dents and other exterior finish problems have been addressed. (New carpet in the wing lockers.) The prop looks great.

Inside, the leather and carpets have been cleaned. The pilot's map pocket has been restiched and most of the scratches on the canopy have been polished out.

Time to fly.

It took me a few moments to get my scan pattern back. This wasn't SkyView. She started easily, taxied well without the funny noises coming from the breaks. Runup went well, but then I had to wait. Sally doesn't have a thermostat so it took a few minutes to get the oil temperature up to 122°F. The CHT stayed in the 200°F range as I waited.

There was a thin-scattered-broken layer at ~1500ft. We decided to stay in the pattern. We took off on RWY05, winds were light an variable, but as the temperature increased, so did the winds. Soon they were 110° @ 6, then 120° @8G18. My final landing was no-flap and the gusts were greater than reported. 6 landings, a great work out and NO engine annunciations. This was a fantastic way to get back in the saddle.


  1. Sally looks great! Happy to see her back home and flying again.

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