Made Wheel Chocks

June 7, 2015 Leave a comment

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I wanted to make some decent wheel chocks that are light enough to take on cross country trips. I have some chocks made of PVC pipe but they are heavier than I would like. I priced some chocks at Spruce but at $20 per pair or more I decided to go the homemade route. I started with three feet of 1.5 x 1.5 x 1/8 aluminum angle I bought for about $5 at Spruce. I cut it into four strips of 6-inch length with enough spare material to make one more. I cut two of them down to 1.25 x 1.25 to reduce weight and I drilled a bunch of 3/4 inch holes to reduce the weight further. Here are two completed parts next to two raw pieces.

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I etched, alodined, primed and painted the two lightweight parts to make them stand out as you can see here. The final weight of each part is about 52 grams. I just need a couple of short pieces of bungee cord to connect them and I will have a completed pair of chocks. I admit these are a knock-off of some shock you can buy at spruce but cheaper because I put some time into making them instead of paying someone else to do it.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Minor Mods and Maintenance

May 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve just been busy with life and work, and flying. I have noticed that my oil temperature maxes out at about 180F which is right at the low end of the range recommended by Lycoming. Some people say it is better for the oil temperature to run at about 200F at cruise so any water in the oil will vaporize and reduce the chances of corrosion. I decided to block part of my oil cooler to see if the temperature will increase. I put a 2-inch strip of aluminum foil tape across the top of the cooler as you can see in this picture.

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While I had the upper cowling off I noticed a ding in the protective foil on the inside of the lower cowling near the right muffler. So I pulled the lower cowling off and found two spots where the foil was broken and smashed. It looks like the muffler made contact at some point, probably during start up or shut down when the engine moves quite a bit. I readjusted the muffler and exhaust pipe to increase the clearance.

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I smoothed out the foil and applied a layer of new foil tape over the top. You can hardly tell it was ever nicked in the photo below.

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I also have wanted to add a lock to the canopy latch for times when I leave to airplane in transient parking. My solution is really simple. I drilled a 9/64 hole through the latch handle on the outside of the airplane. You can see it if you look closely in the photo below.

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I picked up a small key lock with a cable at Walmart. It is typically used for luggage. It’s not strong enough to stand up to a pair of bolt cutters but it is a good deterrent to someone looking for an easy target or someone rude enough to think they can open the canopy to look inside. When the cable is inserted through the hole in the latch it prevents the latch from retracting through the slot in the fuselage which prevents the canopy from releasing. Simple, but effective for keeping undetermined thieves out.

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I also installed the instrument panel cover I received as a present for Christmas.

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Categories: Flying

First Time to Cut Open Used Oil Filters

March 7, 2015 1 comment

Saturday Mar 7, 2015

I recently bought an oil filter cutter to enable me to inspect the inside of my used oil filters. This is commonly done on aircraft to look for signs of excessive or premature engine wear as evidenced by metal particles in the filter. This photo shows the cutter on the first oil filter. It slices through the can with a rolling knife.

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When you open it up you see this.

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Then you pull out the filter and cut it free from the center mandrel and then you can open the pleats of the filter and look inside. The good news is I saw no metal particles I could detect. It is certain that some are there but they are too small to see with the naked eye. So far it seems like my engine break-in has gone well. No signs of problems and my oil consumption is running about 18 hours per quart which is really good for a Lycoming.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Replaced Dynon Heated Pitot Tube

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015

Dynon found a problem with their heated pitot tube that could result in water getting inside and freezing in an area that is not adequately heated so they sent out a notice of recall. Fortunately they will ship out a replacement pitot tube at no charge and allow 30 days to send back the old pitot or send in photos documenting that it has been destroyed. So today I removed the old pitot tube and installed the new replacement. It wasn’t a big deal really. It just took a few hours working awkwardly under the left wing. This photo shows the new pitot tube installed.

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Categories: Uncategorized

First Cross Country Flight

February 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Sunday 2 Feb 2015

Today Denise and I flew out to Lake Havasu, AZ on our first real cross country flight in the RV. It was about 175 nm each way from Corona and took about 1 hr, 15 min each way. We landed at HII which has a beautiful 8000 ft runway. We parked for lunch at the Blue Baron restaurant and then flew back to KAJO in time to get home for the Super Bowl. Here is a shot of Denise buckling up for the return flight.

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Categories: Flying

First Semi-Cross Country Flight

January 17, 2015 1 comment

Saturday Jan 17, 2015

Now that my phase 1 flight test is completed I am free to fly outside the test box assigned by the FAA. Today I decided to venture out toward Arizona in a short dry run of a cross country flight to Lake Havasu. This was to start getting used to using the Dynon for navigation. It was a beautiful day and the visibility was awesome. In this photo I was just leaving the Riverside area heading east toward Palm Springs at about 5500 feet.

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Looking toward the Big Bear area I could see snow on the mountain top. It was so clear everything seemed closer than it really was.

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Looking down the valley toward Palm Springs I could see the Banning pass. Palm Springs is just beyond the pass and around to the right.

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After passing Banning I turned north east and overflew Yucca Valley airport. This picture shows the desert about 100 miles out from Corona airport approaching Twenty Nine Palms where I turned around to head back to Corona. Total time from takeoff to landing back at Corona was one hour and 14 minutes.

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Categories: Flying

Phase 1 Flight Test Complete – Hobbs 40.1

December 22, 2014 1 comment

Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Today I finished the Phase 1 flight test phase with a 3.5 hour flight. The Hobbs meter shows 40.1 hrs as you can see below. I enter the certification into the airframe log and now I can legally take passengers on board and travel to just about any destination I choose. Yippee! I expect Denise will be my first passenger.

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Categories: Flying