Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Annual 2015


I can hardly believe it's annual time again, where did this year go?  After yesterdays dog rescue flight I was worried I would be really tired. Of course the chance to fly helped get me motivated this morning and the pets were wanting me up at 5am.
into the clag
Thankfully I did remember to turn on the preheats last night so I knew 08Romeo would be all warm and toasty. I opened up the hangar and swapped out the Cabrio (still for sale) and  tugged 08Romeo out into the chilly air.  The sky was looking dark to the north east but the forecast was calling for very good weather this morning, showers possible this evening.
breaking out
I taxied out for runway two and contacted Potomac Clearance Delivery. A slight change to the plan today from a new voice. SBY ENO as filed. I'm not sure why I got SBY since they always add in fly 270 heading once entering controlled airspace, this pretty much points you at Salisbury (SBY).
Layer thinning out and the open hole over Dover
I acknowledged and launched, climbing out on runway two and  turning on the 270 heading. I was requested to ident, as always, and did so. We confirmed my location and I was immediately turned to Smyrna (ENO), wasted ink. I climbed through a layer and road along for a short time until breaking out around 6200. It was super smooth and the view just gorgeous. The ride was short lived as Dover once again burst my bubble and had me descend to 5000, pilot discretion.
Looking at runway 31 at 58M
I found a huge hole, more like a bowl, in the now thin layer and worked my way below. The weather always seems to break up  over Dover, I've noted it on several occasions when flying north or south. At five I was handed off to Philly and reported having the weather and requesting the GPS 31 approach, the fog is not getting me again. I was turned direct CANUV which means no procedure turn :) and I continued on my way. No approach required today, I could see the field from 15 miles out. I canceled IFR and switched to Unicom at Claremont. A nice landing ended the fun ride and now it is time to get dirty and roll around on the concrete floor.


I talked with Roger and went over my squawk list. I wanted to replace the stabilator bolts as pointed out to me at BACFest. I also wanted to replace the left main and nose wheel. The main had some flat spots, it was showing its age. I had replaced it back on my first annual. The nose wheel looks ok but I see the rubber showing some age (the start of cracking) around the rim.
bottom old bolt
top of connecting rod shaft - old bolt
one of the new bolts installed
I opened all the inspection plates and pulled the wing tips as Stan and Jeremy started on the power plant. The plugs had some carbon build up but they checked out fine after cleaning. The tail was inspected and the stabilator bolts changed out followed by lubrication. The ELT was checked, control cables checked and lubricated and the wing inspections completed and lubricated per the service manual.
looking from behind the screened intake for the alternator
Where it attaches to the alternator
Compressions looked great, 76/78/78/77. The oil filter was pulled and was inspected  after it drained out. The filter looked clean,no metal or carbon. There was a hose replaced that forced air to cool the alternator and a single section of the baffle was replaced that didn't seem to stay in place on the pilots side rear of the engine.
Top right, you can see where the air is blowing by the baffle.
I had to pick up my rental car and head out by 3pm so I could get the one way rental to Ocean City on time. I bugged out and made it to OCMD in two hours, traffic was um...flowing. Enterprise gave me a ride to my hangar and I finally ended the day with a nice ten minute drive to the house. I swallowed an Advil with dinner, took a hot shower and got this first day entered.

Another early start with the pets at 5am and I am on the road by 6am. Traffic, if there is any, should move along nicely despite the constant rain. I make a stop at Helen's Sausage House for a single with cheese, a chocolate milk and get right back on the road. I make the north run in two hours and twenty minutes.
When I got to the shop 08Romeo was in the air with her gear coming off. I jumped right in and finished replacing all the inspection panel screws, what a suck job. Once that nasty task was completed I managed to get in the way since there were three people already working on my gear. One changing the main and nose gear tubes and tires that I requested and repacking bearings, one rebuilding a brake caliper and the other cleaning each gear strut and greasing every fitting on the plane.
Somewhere along the way there was two new grommets installed; one on my fuel tank vent hose and one on the drain line that is attached to a collector in the cockpit that takes care of the fresh air vents in case they get water trapped, which they do, because some genius engineer made the opening facing the sky on each side of the cabin behind the top cowl.

The electrical system, batteries and lights, were tested. I must have pulled a ground loose on my Starboard nav light when removing and reattaching the wing tip. The tip had to come off again and a repair was made to the ground wire.
Old, with a soft spot
Once the gear was completed 08Romeo was lowered and taken off the stands. The lower and top Cowl was installed with a run up to test the two Airworthiness Directives; Precise Flight, Inc. Model SVS III Standby Vacuum Systems and the Bendix Ignition Switch. That's it for today.  08Romeo will be snug in the shop until I bring her home tomorrow.
New front tire, check out those whiskers!
Two hours and fifteen minutes for my trip home. I'm ready for a hot shower and another Advil.  I'll be renting from Enterprise in Ocean City for a one way to Elkton in the morning so I can fly 08Romeo home. I hope the weather holds, I'm not flying IFR immediately following annual.


I didn't need to get such an early start like yesterday, instead, I walked into the Car rental office around 8:30. Todays ride was a red Honda that got great mileage, 3.2 gallons for 110 mile trip so 34.4 mpg. If only my ML320 could do gets 18.4 mpg.
Enterprise ran me over to the airport so I could square up the final bill. I added a few quarts of 15W50 to the total in order to keep my hangar stocked. The weather was pretty much the same all the way to the beach so I filed just in case. Ceiling was 2,800 overcast so I ran south at 2,500.
The tail winds were 20 knots and it helped push my ground speed to 142 knots at its best. It was a bumpy ride but since it was just me I was ok riding it out.
The change in the baffle really fixed the temp issue. I had CHT cruise temps in the 330's and EGT's were leaned out at 1220 solid across the board, and both readings were stable.
KOXB over the nose on the coast, almost home
I canceled flight following with Dover and switched over to Ocean City.  I made my position calls and picked up the weather,  winds were 340* at 10 gusting 18, pretty much right down the runway. As I turned base I could see that my hangar door was open. Mary was sitting in her car waiting to take me over to pick up my SUV at Enterprise here at home. After a nice landing and rolling out, Ops said welcome home Gary and asked if I needed fuel. Not right now, I would be back during the week.

A fun annual and if not for the two new tube and tires($402)it would have been rather inexpensive. Here is the breakdown.

Annual Inspection 4 Place  $755
Additional Labor 4.9 hr    $333
Parts:                     $512
Pneumatic filter
Air Hawk Main tire
Michelin Airstop tube 
Air Hawk Nose tire
Michelin Air Stop Tube
Scat Hose
Brake Pads
Caliper Seals
Champion Oil Filter
Spark Plug Gaskets
Brackett Air Filter
Consumables (Shop)          $45
Owner Assist              -$100

Total $1545.00

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