Showing posts from November, 2006

Super sweet oil change action shots

OK, maybe not super-sweet but kind of enlightening none-the-less. I worked with one of the co-owners, who has experience changing aircraft oil, to learn the ropes of changing the oil. It turned out to be a fairly simple process - easier than changing the oil on a car or motorcycle. We first removed the cowling, which came off and on surprisingly easy, and then drained the oil. Our airplane doesn't have a filter so there was nothing to do WRT that - though no filter means twice as many oil changes (every 50 hours instead of every 100). We didn't clean the oil screens yet - I plan to get with our mechanic in a few days to learn that process. We added the fresh oil in and Maciek and I did some taxiing and a run-up in the dark to test it out. We watched the oil pressure throughout and everything looked great! To complete the task I had to add an entry to the Engine logbook. The enlightening part for me was to realize how the engine is just hanging out in front of the airplane,

BFR prep

I'm approaching that time of the year (well, 2 years) that require me to get a biannual flight review performed. Being a little rusty on things like soft field takeoffs and short field landings I went out to the airport tonight to practice the fundamentals. The wife, K, was using the airplane (like always!) so I had to wait my turn. She gave me a call and handed me the keys at 4:30. That meant that I had about 40 minutes of practice time before dark set in - perfect! I started with a soft field takeoff. For this one you keep the nose up nice and high as you roll on the runway and coax the airplane into the air as soon as possible. Then you lower the nose and imagine yourself as a low-level fight pilot by trying to fly 1-2 feet off the deck to remain in "ground effect". After a very short amount of time doing this you've gained enough airspeed to go ahead and climb out. And climb out I did! It was ~60 degrees F out, so not too cold, but boy did the airplane cl

Taking a prop to the chest

I didn't think walking into a propeller would be a survivable incident, but this guy apparently lived . Wow.

VOR checkin'

One of the requirements for IFR flight (flying in the clouds) is a current VOR check. This only applies if you actually plan to use a VOR from up in the clouds, but even if you're all setup with fancy GPSs and non-so-fancy ADF receivers you still want to be able to rely on your VORs as a backup. So the FAA requires that you check you VOR receiver within the last 30 days. They provide a variety of different legal ways to perform this check. They are: VOT - these are test signals that you can tune in (usually only when on the ground) and put your OBS (omni-range bearing selector) to 360. If you see a FROM indication and the needle is within 4 degrees of perfectly centered - you're all good (don't forget to test with the 180 radial too though) Ground checkpoint - special locations at certain airports are listed where you can taxi over and make sure you're VOR indicator shows you on a particular radial. Again, you can have a max of 4 degrees of error. Airborne checkpoi

Avionics looking better

Last week Jim used his Cirrus to help me ferry our C172 back down to PVG for the last bit of avionics maintenance. It was to get its new - um, refurbished, - VOR indicator installed and an ADF antenna strung up since the old one was no where to be found. I tried to crank up the cessna and found I needed to prime it a bit more to get it started. This was the first cold morning I've flown 35388 and I under-primed. I also had to spend about 20 minutes scrubbing off the frost with a towel. By the time I was done the sun was hitting the wings. If I had just sat back with a Bloody Mary and waited for the sun to do its thing I would have had the same result, but with less elbow grease. Oh well, live and learn (and re-learn). I took off and saw a great climb rate - the cold air had me climbing out like I was on a fast elevator - maybe 900'/minute. I dropped the plane off and buttoned it up as Jim was taxiing up in the SR22. I hopped in with him and we taxied out to leave. He