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Night flying

The rate of posting on this here weblog continues to be slow. I guess that's what happens when nothing's really happening. I've been flying, but my flights have all been uneventful, in that nothing unexpected happened. The engine continues to start quickly and run well. The replacement sump valve in the port fuel tank no longer has that sealant coming out of it. Fuel doesn't flow out of it much faster than it did the old valve, though it is a bit faster. At least it's clean. I received the invoice for my oil change. I had assumed they had cut open the oil filter and looked for metal, and also assumed that they didn't find anything that was concerning or else they would have told me. The invoice had the description of the work and notes which said they found no metal at all in the oil filter. This is, of course, very good news. I actually expected some metal from break in so it exceeded those expectations. One thing I did do that was noteworthy was my most recent
Recent posts

First Oil Change

It's been a while since my last post here. I've been flying, but the flights have been intended simply to put time on the plane and most have been pretty uneventful. However, the last two flight have been particularly nice because my wife came with me. I had enough hours on the engine that I felt I could trust it enough to take a passenger. I've now put over 25 hours on the engine since the overhaul and it's time for its first oil change. That was just completed, and the Aeroshell mineral oil used for break-in has been replaced with Phillips XC ashless-dispersant oil. The plan is to run it another 25 hours, at which point we'll change the oil again. At that time, we'll send a sample to Blackstone for analysis, and I will also resume adding Camguard. I also had the shop take care of a few other squawks while they had it in. The biggest of these is its tendency to pull to the left in the air and on the ground. I suspected that it was due to the nosewheel centering

April showers....

I haven't been flying in a few weeks due to the weather. It has been a rather wet April and the alignment of rain showers with the weekend has been exquisite. I have nineteen hours on the engine so far. The plan is to run it to 25 hours, then do the first oil change. At that point we'll most likely switch to regular oil. I do have Camguard that I intend to use but my understanding is that, with a new or overhauled engine, you should run at least one oil change interval on regular oil without Camguard before starting to use it. If the weather is nice at some point during this next week, I may just take a half day off from work and go flying, then make up the time later.


The weather was rather nice yesterday and I was able to get up in the air in the afternoon. The flight was pretty uneventful, essentially another jaunt up to the north and back. There were two things that were a bit different from the norm. First, on the way back to Harvey Field, I ran at full power. I've done full power runs before; it's a part of the break-in process for an overhauled engine. And I did another good long one yesterday. I was doing a bit better than 110 knots on the airspeed indicator, and that's with the built-in calibrator for true airspeed set for the temperature and altitude so it should be pretty close to what I was actually doing. Yep, still not a fast plane, but I still think the roomy cabin and large fuel capacity make up for that. Second, as I was flying back to Harvey, I decided not to straight back but rather to take a quick detour off to the east to prolong my full-power run. I turned east, then headed back north for a bit. I saw a couple of clo

Never regret

The weather was nice and clear today, although it was rather cold. But it wasn't below freezing so I took the plane up for about an hour and a half this afternoon. There are times when I'm not sure that I really want to go flying. But something I've noticed is that I've never put my plane away after a flight and thought to myself, "I wish I hadn't gone flying today." There are times when I've decided not to go, either because I'm not feeling well or because I'm not sure the weather conditions will remain VFR, but whenever I have  gone, I've always, always, been glad I did it. Before my last flight a couple weeks ago, I put a quart of oil in because it was down to about 6.25 quarts as measured on the dipstick. I flew for two hours that day. Today, when I checked the oil during my preflight, it read 7 quarts. So I lost about a quarter quart of oil in two hours. And based on the oil consumption rate I'd been seeing recently, it's very

Not much going on right now

I've put about ten hours on the plane since I got it back from the shop last December. The weather has been generally poor so flying regularly hasn't been possible. For now, I'm focusing on putting time on the engine to continue breaking it in and get to the first oil change. Oil consumption has already dropped to normal, or near normal levels so it looks like break-in is going well so far. And that's pretty much it for now. I am looking forward to more regular VFR conditions as we move into spring and summer. I'm also looking forward to flying to other places for fly-ins and other get-togethers since I missed most of them last year.

Left Turning Tendency

For those who aren't familiar with how airplanes work in practice, the title refers to a characteristic behavior of single-engine airplanes when climbing, or when flying at a high angle of attack. I won't go into detail about this, as there are many available resources that explain it far better than I ever could, but the short form is that, in these situations, the plane will turn to the left unless you counter with right rudder. The most common situation is when climbing at full or high power. Countering this tendency by pressing on the right rudder pedal is one of the very first things a student pilot learns to do. Once you level off and enter cruise flight, you can remove that pressure and the plane should fly straight; "should" being the operative word here. As noted in an earlier post, my plane has always pulled to left a bit even in level cruise flight. Just how much varied a bit depending on the throttle setting. At about 2500 RPM, it barely pulled at all and