Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Nicest Texas Spring in recent memory!

Let's see, lots of miscellaneous stuff over the past few months. In order from newest to oldest:

Attended Paul Smith's wedding. There were a bunch of the old timers from KMW and AMD. It was especially good to see Tim and Karen Wright who currently reside in Belize. They were looking very relaxed.

In other posts I'm detailing the engine problems that Cav is going through. So I haven't been flying a lot recently. But I did finally build up enough hours in the C170 1793D to make the insurance happy and pass a club checkout. So now I have solo tailwheel priveleges. Also checked out in the club 172, 1177F. This is a really nice old 172. It has vortex generators, which lower the stall speed and make it a sweet flying airplane. A bit underpowered, and climb rate is a bit low on a hot day.

The Spicewood hangar finally sold after more than a year. The new owner wanted to keep RV's as tenents. The rent went up a little, but I decided to stay.

Flew to Port Aransas with Max. We walked down to the beach, then south to the golf course for lunch. It was a good day of flying with my nephew.

For Mom's birthday, my sister Suanne and my wife Lynne went took Mom out to a cooking class at Central Market. Mom was kind of grumpy, but we still had a good time. I'm not sure I would recommend this particular event though.

Robert White of Lakeway, our local DPE, passed away. He was a great guy, and will be sorely missed by everyone. Tailwinds, Robert. At the reception following the funeral, ran into Mary Schott, who is flying jets and working at Redbird in San Marcos. It was good to see her.

No swimming for a couple of weeks, they are resurfacing the Lakeway pool.

No airplane, no formation work. Also focusing on tailwheel time, poor weather and lots of other reasons have kept me away. I hope to start this up again once Cav is back in the air. I'm missing all of the clinics this year.

I almost forgot: During annual I decided to powder coat some interior part on Cav. They turned out nice!

Granddaughters #1 and #2.

Engine Woes

Annual on the RV

Started knocking tasks out in February. If the weather is crappy, might as well work on the airplane since it has to be done anyway. With an El Nino year, it never got too cold, but we had a lot of clouds starting in February.

Finally got to the end of the list at the end of March, and was trying to get it ready for an upcoming formation clinic. The last item to take care of was some TLC for the #2 exhaust valve, which had been showing signs of morning sickness. It hadn't been a problem since November, but starting the engine up for the oil change, and for the compression check it was back.

Sure enough. Compressions were 74, 20, 79, 79. That unfortunately is not a typo. #2 was stuck open for the check, and it was hissing at the exhaust pipe. I knew from the EGT gauges it was #2, but this proved it also.

So I arranged for the local Spicewood mechanic, Chris Albrecht, to help work on the valve.

It took a lot of effort to get the valve punched through, and he was commenting the whole time that this was unusual. Once the valve was through, a quick look at the guide with a borescope revealed problems. He suggested pulling the cylinder for rework.

So off comes #2.

With the cylinder off, it is possible to see some cam lobes. After 500 hours, they were starting to show signs of distress. I had not seen any metal in the filter, and the oil analysis was normal and steady for all of the past samples (including the one I eventually got back from the oil change at annual).

But with the cam starting to degrade, he suggested a tear down. This was probably to drastic, I think Mike Busch would have said so, and I know that Seth though so. But we started working on it.

This is an image of the forward crankshaft journal from the Magnetic Particle Inspection (aka magnaflux). The circle is the main oil journal that collects oil for pressurizing a constant speed prop. The two tiny white streaks emanating from the left half of the oil journal show that my crank suffered a prop strike in the past. My prop is in perfect condition, so this was like this when I bought the engine. As a result, I had to find another crankshaft. This only cost $3200. I hope to sell this crank for use in an airboat. It should be fine for that application.

213 Darwin's Way

I started a side blog to document our new place.

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