23rd December 2012

Time away & more maintenance

Posted in Maintenance

Until this weekend, there hadn’t been any flying for over a month…work schedule combined with lousy weather patterns kept the door to the sky closed for me.  Friday was the first day of my “Christmas vacation” (I’ve taken a few PTO days so am off work from 12/21 – 1/1; a common practice because the students are all away for the break anyway).

During the downtime, I was able to sneak off to the hangar a couple times, during which I disassembled the induction system, and removed the fuel servo.  I found that the servo’s inlet filter had some debris in it, so that was removed and cleaned, and the area beyond the filter inspected as best I could visually, through the inlet hole.  Filter replaced with a new O-ring.  I also talked with Don at AFP, and subsequently did a careful cleaning of the boost venturi (the gold bullet piece in the servo’s air passage) with a Q-tip and brake cleaner.  I also replaced the O-rings on the fuel pump inlet & outlet fittings.

The previous weekend, I was able to get the fuel servo and induction system reinstalled — so Friday dawned clear, and it was off to the airport for post-maintenance testing.  A ground runup indicated no leaks or other concerns, so I recowled the plane and went up.  No concerns on taxi or takeoff, I headed up to New Richmond for some cheap fuel, then came back to Red Wing and did some pattern work.  No stumble/miss at all; but whether this is related to the work I did, or simply the lower OAT is unknown yet.  Allison stopped by and we went for a jaunt across the south suburbs of the metro and back.  It was the first decent day in awhile, so plenty of traffic to keep eyes out for.

In anticipation of some XC time over the holidays — assuming the weather cooperates — I popped out to the airport again to do some work on the plane.  I pulled up the floor pans, hooked up the roll trim springs, and installed the trim lever.  I also installed the fittings for the Gust Buster system I bought awhile back, since we may be parking away from home for a few nights.  Put the set of cowl plugs I got from Van’s in the travel bag, along with the PVC tube chocks I worked up on Friday evening.  Should be good to go…

Things still on the “to do” list include adding a cooling shroud to the fuel pump, and adding Van’s oil cooler shutter; both of which I have on hand.  I currently have 3 strips of tape on the oil cooler, and it’s almost enough.  And of course, finish the install and fiberglass work on the gear fairings…!  Once that’s all done, time to deal with the prop pitch.

I tested out a Stratus ADS-B receiver I picked up used on Friday; seems to work fine.  The downside is that you need to leave Foreflight on the whole time; it doesn’t process any data received when the app isn’t active, so be careful handing the Ipad to a passenger to let them play DJ.  It’s helpful to be able to see weather from airports that have their AWOS on the VOR frequency, though, since I have no NAV receiver.  I’d like to have the traffic component too, but without an ADS-B Out box, it’s not too useful.

On a less positive note, future panel plans may be changing…it appears that AFS has now discontinued all the 3000 and 4000 series displays, in favor of the 5000 series.  I understand the business and technical reasons for that, but unfortunately I still have a big hole in my panel where a 4500 is supposed to go.  I posted a question on the AFS forums about whether the 4500 would still be available for any period of time…otherwise, my best hope would be to try and pick one up later, from someone selling theirs for an upgrade.  I do hope they’ll fix the known bugs in the box before discontinuing development…

Christmas flying plans are made, now just playing the wait-and-see-weather game.  We’ll be headed north somehow, whether on wing or wheel, for Christmas, then may be headed south toward warmer parts for a couple days afterward.  Safe travels to all!

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  1. 1 On July 18th, 2013, Mike said:

    Hi there. I found you on rivetbangers. I’m trying decide on if an RV is right for me. I’m really tall and would just like to sit in one. My home airfield is KCMY if you’re ever in the area, let me know! Nice work btw.