Print Story Coconut replaces the smell of the bar
By FlightTest (Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:08:46 AM EST) (all tags)
And I don't know if it's her or the rum.

Stuff and Things and Stings and Thuff below the fold


Got Apache flying on Jan 1.  Took TFT on her first flight EVAR in a small airplane on Jan 2.   On 2 mile final back to Fullerton Mrs. FT pokes me and points at the right engine, the cowling of which was, at that point, covered in oil.  Sweet.  Still had pressure, so I didn't shut it down.  We landed and it held pressure all the way to the hangar.  Wiped it off and pushed it in, found out later we had only lost about 1.5 quarts, though it looked like a lot more.  Worked with $mechanic to find the leak.  We found 3.  Big one is the high pressure oil line, it's a hard line and one of the clamps had worn through, we'll replace that with a hose.  Also the vacuum pump seal appears to be leaking, as well as the oil pan seal up front, but both of those are "minor" leaks.  We'll replace the vacuum pump seal and tighten the oil pan bolts, that should fix those.

$mechanic and I had flown the Apache on Jan 1, we stayed in the pattern and I practiced landings.  On one climbout he pulled back the right engine to roughly zero thrust to show me that it would in fact still climb with both of us ($mechanic is a big boy) and half tanks, at ~1,000 ft MSL on a roughly standard day.  So that's good to know.  In fact, we got about 200 to 300 feet per minute, at 5 mph over best single engine rate of climb.  I've seen less in a 152 near gross on a hot day at the same indicated altitude (i.e. a higher density altitude).

Since I've done such a poor job of posting updates, one might be wondering why it's taken so long for me to take TFT flying.  Short story, it's been broken.  First it was the exhaust, then right after we got that fixed in late in 2008, teh Apache quit starting altogether.  Mags were so bad, the mag shop said it would cost more to rebuild than to buy new mags.  $mechanic found six (!) overhauled Slick mags for less than four new Bendix mags (on eBay, so we had to buy all 6), and even with new harnesses and plugs was less than $2K.  He then spent almost all of 2009 in Angola (with apparently a few trips to Russia).  The starting issue on the right engine we had late last year was caused by a mistake in the way we timed them, the mags were fine.


Both mags on the left engine now have impulse couplings, though only the left mag on the right engine does.  Since only the left engine has an alternator, that's fine.  The right engine still has a generator, which only charges the battery at RPM > ~1,200 or so.   So better to have extra insurance starting the engine that can charge the battery without blasting the ramp.  The left engine also has the only hydraulic pump, though there is an extending pump handle below the throttles to pump gear and flaps down if necessary.

On some airplanes, having dual mags would be pointless.  I have toggle switches for each mag, and pushbuttons to start either engine.  On a typical single engine airplane with a key switch to start, the right mag is shorted (off) when the key is in the start position.  I haven't flown enough twins to know how many use independent toggles for the mags.  The airplane I got my multi rating in, a Piper Seminole, also had independent toggles for the mags and rocker switch for starting to prevent some bonehead from trying to start both engines at once.    The Apache has no such protection, you're free to try to start both at once if you're that stupid.


$project continues.  $big_project might get canceled.  If that happens, the company I work for, along with a lot of other companies, will have to have layoffs, it is a substantial part of our business and responsible for the majority of our growth in the past 3 years.  My work on $project will probably only hold out until mid-summer at the latest, so not being currently assigned to $big_project is no guarantee of anything.


Thanks to our trainer, I'm stronger than I've ever been in my life.   Eating crap so waist size and weight are both holding steady.  Yes, I know muscle is denser than fat, but it's been more than long enough I should be lighter and certainly should have dropped a couple inches off the waist.  I know it's poor nutrition, I just can't bring myself to care enough to eat right.  Also, removing rum and coke from my diet is out of the question.


Turned out not to be cracked.   Might have been a very thin spider web?  It looked like a crack, I couldn't feel anything on the surface nor wipe it off with my shirt, but the next time I washed them, it disappeared.  I'm happy for that outcome, if a bit perplexed.

Garage Door

Sadly, the coil spring on the garage door did not fix itself like my glasses did.  We replaced the door, opener, everything.  Our opener is now on the front wall of the garage, next to the door, it drives the tension rod directly.  Pretty cool, no overhead unit and no noisy screw or belt-drive.  The only noise we hear is the rollers in their tracks, and the hum of the motor as it starts and stop.

Life is Short, Fly Fast!
< Gude Ale Keeps The Heart Aboon | With all these colored diamonds about, I feel like a second class citizen >
Coconut replaces the smell of the bar | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
I think your crack by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:20:56 AM EST
may have transferred to my glasses as a big nick right in the middle. I have no memory of nicking them.

I learned a trick for eating right. Each day I just tell myself that I'm going to eat right for just that day. As long as I don't make the diet permanent, I seem to do very well.

Think you could try my trick?

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

Well...... by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:49:02 AM EST
If were as easy to eat healthy as it is to go grab burgers or chicken, we'd eat healthy.  It's not that we prefer the fast food, it's that we're too lazy (and burnt out) to fix something healthy.  I do okay for breakfast and lunch, dinner is much harder.

We had been on the track of planning dinners ahead on the weekend, and that worked, it's just hard to get back to that.

[ Parent ]
There are healthier ways of eating out. by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 03:32:50 AM EST
I ended up having a veggie burger, no mayo, no cheese - for lunch today. Without the mayo, it's under 400 calories and an okay meal.

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

[ Parent ]
You're game by stevew (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:35:20 AM EST
leaving the engine on. I only ever had one major high pressure oil leak (hydraulic not engine) and it was about 30 seconds from when I noticed it until the atomised spray of oil hit flash point and started producing amazing volumes of black smoke. It blew itself out almost immediately after I killed the engine, but all I could think about was the gas in the tank on that side.

Maybe I'm a wimp but I'd rather feather it, trim up and limp home rather than wonder if it was going to do something interesting on final when you have no height and speed to spare.

As much was on the cowling by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 03:26:06 PM EST
if it was going to burn, it would have burned by then.    And I was already on final, about 2 miles out, gear and flaps down, probably about zero thrust at the time anyways.   The extra distraction to shut it down might have caused more problems than it would have solved. 

I didn't actually think about fire, but I think it it happened again in the same place, I'd still elect to leave it running.

[ Parent ]
something interesting on final by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #10 Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 10:38:48 AM EST
I had a boss (owned the company) about 12 years ago that something like that happen on take off. He tried to go around and didn't make it.

His widow is a much better manager than he was.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Every situation is different by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 12:20:57 PM EST
I need to be better about briefing myself in the run-up area what my weight is, and what the conditions are.  If it's just me, and I'm not totally full on gas, I'd probably try for blue line (best single engine rate of climb) - $mechanic and I had a reasonable rate of climb with the two of us and half tanks.   If it's the whole family and full fuel (the Apache has sufficient useful load, and TFT is light enough to do this), then I've got a single engine airplane on take off and landing straight ahead is the only viable solution.  In either case, anything that happens on the runway is always cause to yank them both back.  Going through the fence at 20 is always better than going through it at 80.

In this case, I was on final, I was in landing configuration (I had already done my first GUMPS check) - while I didn't think about fire at the time, oil temp and pressure were in the green, so leaving it running seemed the better solution.  Even considering the fire risk in hindsight, as close as I was to landing, the added distraction of securing that engine was not worth the added risk that distraction would have carried.

[ Parent ]
Would you by ni (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:23:20 PM EST
mind posting a photograph of your plane?

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
Sure by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 03:29:39 PM EST
Apache at Fullerton

A more side view would reveal the N-number, and that would give away a bit more than I care to in a public forum.  :)

[ Parent ]
It looks lovely. by ni (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 03:39:53 PM EST

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
purdy by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 03:04:38 PM EST
and, I thought of you guys when I shipped something to Fullerton last week.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
It never ceases to amaze me by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 10:27:43 PM EST
just how little oil it takes to make a mess when it's at pressure.

Sure a nice looking winged thing you have. I can't imagine the upkeep. I have troubles enough with things that stay on the ground.

There's an old saw ..... by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 01:39:08 AM EST
Twin engine airplanes aren't twice as much upkeep as a single;  they're four times as much. 

I believe it.

Spent all day at the hangar with mechanic today (Sunday).  Replaced the right engine vacuum pump seal, removed, cleaned, lubed, and reinstalled the r/e tach cable, replaced an old vacuum hose.  Doesn't sound like much but was about 7 hours of work.  During the week $mechanic is going to come in and try to seal a couple areas that MIGHT be leaking.  Next weekend is replacing the high pressure oil line, reinstalling all the cowlings (I should get a couple pics of the engine sans cowls), and test fly.

Next chance we get we'll give the l/e tach cable the same treatment we gave the r/e tach cable.  It requires removing a lot of cowling though, so we're not in a huge hurry.

[ Parent ]
Coconut replaces the smell of the bar | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)