Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Traffic was light and we made very good time heading to Elkton. When we pulled in I saw the club plane 679er tied down next to our new girl, I almost felt uncomfortable, sort of like that first time you see an ex while taking your new girl out. I know, call me crazy. The guys at Cecil Aero were going to bring 08Romeo in and complete the windscreen seal and leave her sit in the hangar over the weekend to dry. After looking at the wx next week I made the decision that Sunday looks best so I was going to bring her home then. Keith said he would call to confirm she's done and they would expect me between 1 and 1:30 Sunday. Done deal.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Here is a break down of the work on our first annual
Two master cylinders rebuilt
Right side landing gear
- Jo Bolts (2) removed and replaced
- One new hole drilled
Vacuum regulator rebuilt/repaired
New ELT battery
Windshield reseal *
Corrosion spot repaired and repainted
-(Vent duct corrosion,dissimilar metals)
Wing tip replaced and repainted (on the shop)
*I added the windshield reseal since it caused corrosion of the vacuum regulator and the corrosion next to the vent duct on the right side under the windscreen. There was not a constant dripping leak but after hosing the heck out of it it would be damp in and around the vacuum regulator and the original black duct which eventually rotted and exposed the metal to the skin of the aircraft thus,dissimilar metals. The regulator filter, often called the garter filter was replaced for the annual and sent the suction gauge above normal on run up. Upon further inspection there was corrosion everywhere on the regulator so, they took care of that.
Total cost.....$1.7 AMU's (Aviation Monetary Unit)
Hands on learning experience...PRICELESS!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Mike B and I traded emails Friday afternoon and he asked if I was available for some right seat safety pilot time in the Cirrus SR22 on Saturday. Well, let me think, oh hell yeah I'm available! Mike sent me a text this morning and as I was texting back he followed up with a call. We were on for the SR22 flight. I would have taken us to Lancaster in the Sundowner but it's still at the shop. I offered to drive since Mike was providing the airplane so we decided to leave from my home. I swapped vehicles around so he didn't have to park on the street and Mary was getting ready to head out to visit her Mom in the Hospital and check on Pop.
The plan was to meet up at KILG - Red Eagle around 5-5:15ish. I headed out a bit early so I could put my tie down straps at our new ramp location. I finished digging out around the tie downs so I could set the hooks and then parked the SUV out in the lot. I walked back through the gate and stood around watching jets take off and climb out of sight along with a few Cessna's doing pattern work. The sunset was gorgeous, now if I only had my beach chair and a cool drink I would be a happy camper.
I watched an aircraft heading towards the airport from the south, it had to be Jeff. Sure enough he entered the pattern and worked in between the departures and pattern aircraft. I walked over to the taxiway that turns off Kilo into Red Eagle so I could climb in. Jeff pulled the throttle back and opened the door for me. I had asked him not to bother shutting down as I would approach from the rear of the plane and climb in. We made a quick turn and Jeff called ground to let them know we were ready to taxi out. There was a straight tail Cessna that came in on the red eagle ramp so Jeff repositioned towards the Boeing ramp side. The Cessna driver made no call on ground and taxied towards us and sat there. Heeellllllloooooo.......say something dip stick. He didn't so Jeff hit the push to talk and advised ground that we were um "maneuvering" for another aircraft.
It was a a cool night as we rolled down the just reopened runway two seven. 93Zulu climbed out enjoying the night air. We were cleared on course to MQS and off we went, enjoying all the lights. Jeff's two children (Hannah and Bryan)were on board and they serenaded us with a modified rendition of twinkle twinkle little star, just too cute. Traffic was minimal this evening and it seemed we would have Chester County all to ourselves. Jeff shot the GPS 29 approach and made a very nice landing rolling out long and having to taxi back, I guess I should have told him where the terminal was located, it was his first time at this airport. We had the ramp all to our self. I climbed out and gave us a push back just to get aligned.
The Flying Machine Cafe' was open for business and actually seemed to be very busy. We were seated at a table overlooking the ramp which is always nice. The kids had mac and cheese, I had ravioli with Italian sweet sausage and Jeff had a either a crab cake sandwich or some fish sandwich. The food was very good but it took awhile for it to make the table, maybe because they were busy. Hannah and I played numerous games of tic tac toe and she really enjoyed blocking my every move, she caught on pretty quick. It was time to saddle up and head back to ILG. Jeff loaded up the children and I gave Mary a call to give her a heads up. After his walk around and fuel check he and I climbed aboard. A Cessna 172 taxied in as we were leaving and that was it for ramp traffic. We headed out to runway two niner and launched into the night sky. It was a short hop back home and the tail winds provided 140 knot ground speeds, fun stuff.
It was good to be back in the air! Thanks for the invite Jeff and for dinner. One of these days if and when I get my plane back I'll take you flying.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Lunch was very good as it always is at Fiorentino's Italian Bar and Grill. A few of us headed over to the pilot shop to check out what goodies we could find and Scott, Ted & Adam and Ron headed out. Ted and Adam were on a Cloud Nine mission for ARF so they saddled up and pointed the Aztec to KISO - Kinston Regional Jetport at Stallings Field in Kinston, North Carolina.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
We soon picked up where we had left off at the close of day one. 08Romeo got fresh oil even though I only had 16 hours on the last change. It seems I have an oil screen vs the conventional oil filter, I'm not sure I like that set up. It's four screws that can be a bit hard to reach and the frequency of the change is more often then the filtered models. Anywho,I did want to change to a more appropriate weight oil for our north east temps. In Texas the previous owner was running straight 50 weight oil, I switched to 15W50. Aeroshell 15W50 is a premium multigrade ashless dispersant oil specifically developed for aviation piston engines. Ashless means that the product does not contain any metallic components - this is important because it reduces the formation of harmful metallic ash deposits within the engine. Dispersant means it will hold small particles in suspension if they do not dissolve, allowing these particles to be carried away from critical areas and filtered out. This helps keep the engine clean. The advanced additive package provides excellent protection to engines operating at extreme ambient temperatures. The ashless anti-wear additive package provides exceptional wear protection for camshafts and lifters and other wearing surfaces. I should also mention that 08R has a quick drain oil plug which really made things move quickly.
I moved on to reinstall the inspection plates under each wing and the tail cone since inspection was complete. Frank didn't like the way the tail cone was fastened so we changed the screws and added dimpled washers that sat in the predrilled hole much nicer and provided a much cleaner finished look. With the tail end completed we moved to the fuel system. I was back under the plane removing the gascolater/fuel strainer cover to make ready for removal and inspection. The fuel pump is also located under this inspection plate. While removing the gascolator we noticed some sticky residue and it turns out it was brake fluid. It had been there a good while since it was really more of a slime/sludge consistency. This started the trail to find the source. It seems a master cylinder had very minor leak on the right side rudder/brake pedal evidenced by the same sticky slime. We checked the hoses and cleaned the area and also rebuilt one master cylinder on the pilot side. Was fluid spewing out? No, but why wait for a problem to snowball.
We are still waiting for the ELT battery and the wing tip but for now I continue to button things up. Keith climbed inside to replace two filters behind the panel; the vacuum system filter and a relief valve filter. What I want to know is who designed this thing and placed it in the most out of the way, hard to reach space. Obviously aircraft design Engineers and roadway/bridge Engineers both forget about the field guys. I did get a good look behind the panel and things seemed very orderly. I also checked out the space available for the future panel mounting location for my Garmin 496, plenty of room. While Frank and Keith were hard at it I was assigned the reinstallation of the back seats and rear cover for the battery. I also took the headset plug apart so I could repaint the interior plastic piece that houses the two plugs. They had some scratches that will drive Mary and I nuts so now was the time to clean it up. Since the plane was still on jacks I had to use a step ladder to crawl inside. What a sight, to high to lift the new hip in a tight space so I did the belly crawl to get my butt inside the baggage area, thankfully there were no cameras taping this scary stuff.
Following afternoon break we were ready to hang the bottom cowl. The screws for the cowl were some sort of quick set, by that I mean a quarter turn and they locked, which was a good thing for there were many to address. Next, the left side landing gear was temporarily put back together. A high tensile bolt was placed through the Jo Bolt holes so we could lower the plane and prep for drilling the two new Jo Bolt holes. The Service Instruction (SI) detailed the replacement process. I should mention the Beech Aero Club (BAC) that has a very comprehensive list of Service Bulletins (SB) and SI's. If it's related to Beech aircraft they have it. The membership fee is worth the information available to any Beech owner, not to mention all the fly-in events they schedule and the people you meet.
We are pretty much complete for day two since we are waiting on parts. I will not be able to finish up since I am going back to work on Monday. I'll get a call as soon as the wing tip is completed and I will schedule pick up late next week. I'll have to bum a flight down or have Mary drive me down. I hope 08R is back in time for the North East Flyer's Lancaster lunch run on the 14th.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Some history leading up to this morning....Mary and her cousin Amy went through the condo top to bottom spending Sunday cleaning and Monday putting the kitchen together and getting things set up. I thought the place was pretty darn clean to start but hey, I’m a guy what do I know. I was wide awake Monday morning by 3:30am and now that the day is coming to a close I was really dragging. Mary and I met at the house last night, took care of the zoo then headed to Elkton, MD (58M) Cecil Aero to drop off a car so that I would have transportation to work. Two vehicles making the run, rush hour traffic and I am starting to really feel the effects of very little sleep last night. I was leading the way and somehow managed to find this gem on the back country road and having not been here for a year. A few things I noticed; There is a new terminal building that is really impressive and a new parallel taxi way to access runway three one. We locked up the car and piled in the truck, both dogs in tow. Maggie and Rudder came with us just for a change of pace.
Why does it never seem to take as long going home as it does getting to the destination? One of those mysteries of life I would guess. We made it back to the house around 7:30 and after letting the pups out we went right to bed, we were both dead beat tired. I also started to feel like I was getting a sore throat and the sinus was acting up. I had one pill left from my last antibiotic prescription so I took that and crawled in bed. I managed to drift in and out and did catch the last inning or two of the Philly win over the Yankees. Mary let me know this morning that between me and Maggie girl it’s lucky the house is still standing, we both were snoring pretty badly.
I am up and ready to go around 6am and the dogs are ready to eat. Mary tossed and turned all night reminding me that the little guy, Rudder, walked all over the bed last night and kept her up. I wouldn’t have known if a bomb had dropped. My throat feels better and I’ll call the doc for meds to fight it off. Mary was up, showered and ready to roll by 7am. I drove to the airport and together we uncovered 08R. I ordered fuel from AeroWays since Dassault didn’t answer the phone. 08Romeo took on 21.3 gallons of fuel for her 2.5 hours of work on our last flight. 8.5 gallons per hour burn and I’m just starting to get the hang of the JPI engine monitor.
Mary left for her parents and I got the plane started. I sat for a good bit letting the oil temps come up all the while enjoying the sun as it was warming the cockpit.
I picked up the ATIS info and called ground for taxi instructions. I was directed to taxi to runway one, that’s it, just taxi to runway one. Hmmm…ok, Zero Eight Romeo taxi to runway one. I took my normal path and once at the hold short I completed my run up. Once cleared to take off I gave 08R some throttle and we were off. It was gorgeous this morning, at least around Wilmington. Looking towards the Chesapeake Bay I could see ground fog. When I was nine out of Cecil County I announced my positions and intentions. Winds were out of 240° at 6 knots so I planned to land on runway three one with a crosswind. I was watching the ground fog linger around the bay and hang around Elk Point just of the extended center line of runway one three or as you can guess covering the approach to three one. I decided to buy a bit more time and repositioned for a crosswind entry to three one and I was at pattern altitude of one thousand feet. I turned to the downwind and d had a clean view of the three one approach and had the numbers clearly in sight. As I added a second notch of flaps and turned left base the end of three one was covered by ground fog. Ugghhh….one three was clear to the north so I announced my new intentions to enter the left downwind for one three and give this a try. Down wind was looking good as I watched my airspeed and position to the runway. I was keeping this one tight as I turned base then final now deciding to hold off on the last notch of flaps until I was over the displaced threshold. I was right on it, descent looking great, on center, last notch of flaps added followed by wheel chirp, I was on the ground. Flaps retracted and brake brake brake, there would be no missed this round. I made a turn off at the old terminal and taxied back to Cecil Aero in search of a tie down.
Tale of the tape for 58M
Runway 13/31 Dimensions: 2987 x 70 ft.
Displaced threshold: Runway 13 is 288 ft - Runway 31 is 602 ft
Roger walked out to meet me and he chocked the plane. I handed over the books for 08R and stood around to chat for a bit. I know he is busy so I told him I would wait for his call so I could take time off work to ‘assist’ (get in the way) for the Sundowners first annual. There will be more posts and lots of pictures to document the process. There is so much to learn about a new plane!