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4/10/10 Flight 124 - Rolls Cont'd
0.5 flight time, 3 ldg. Started with putting the plugs back in, plug wires back on, cooling tin tops back on, cowling back on. Radio was quiet on the AWOS. Got to the run-up area, un-did the seat belt to check the antenna lead, and right at that moment heard another plane calling a taxi position. So AWOS I guess is just broken. Took off went up to the practice area at about 6500', did some clearing turns. Set up about 2850 rpm, push down to 150 mph, pull up to about 45 nose up, rolled to the left. Didn't use enough aileron - it lightened up near the top. Did it again, focusing on full aileron. Worked smooth as can be. Turned around and set up for a roll to the right. These are slower due to fighting engine torque, and it got light on top. I thought the few items would fall off the seat, but no. Engine burbled because fuel delivery lightened up. Returned to the airport. Decided to try a hint I saw on an RV site (transition training report by Dan Checkoway) to set up trimmed nose heavy on approach, so you are not alternating between back and forward pressure, but only changing back pressure on touch down. This worked for a butter-smooth wheel landing. Went around and did it again - another one. Went for a 3rd one, and there was a little cross wind, so I bounced and had to recover to a 3-point. Well, they can't all be winners, but the nose heavy trim trick is interesting. Took off w/ about 6.5 indicated, landed w/ about 5, so added 11 at the fuel pumps. Saw oil under the fuel door. I know where that came from. Back at the hangar, that brief light spot on the right roll blasted a slug of oil out the vent hole in the breather tube - right to the top inside of the cowling, and a little on the fuel filler box on the firewall. Surprisingly little on the engine itself, but it must have blasted straight up out of the hole.
4/13/10 Flight 125 - Patterns
0.7 flight time, 10 ldg. 5 power off, 5 normal approaches. First one I tried power off - pull power abeam the touch down point (set at the 500' marker). After last flight had filled up, so about 16+ gallons on board - blew fuel out the vent! I could see it go over, not on the windshield. Must have put my rear-facing safety vent (tiny hole) in the right place. Did 2 normal approaches to burn off some fuel, then 4 more power off, then 3 more normal, trying the "trim nose heavy" technique. Was shooting all of these to the 500' marker. Was never short, but was a little longer than I wanted. Tried right foot only on the takeoff rolls, as more or less right rudder is all that is needed. Had to do forward slips to most of these landings (set up high). There was a slight tail wind - just enough to turn the wind socks that direction. Nobody else out that early, though someone took off right as I was putting it away.
4/14/10 Flight 126 - Patterns
0.5 flight time, 6 ldg. 5 power off, 1 normal approach. Again aiming for 500' spot. Short one time - the wind came up a little. Started with crosswind from the right, but it died down. AWOS is off the air and phone. Everything seems to be running well.
What happened to the engine roughness? I have concluded it is prop imbalance. Since the RV-3 was swapped for an RV-4, room in the hangar is a little tighter, so the Sonex prop has not been able to be stored horizontally. I couldn't find any other reasonable explanation, and flying it more often keeps it smoother - less time for the moisture to redistribute due to gravity.
4/14/10 - Updating the list
2. Finish rearview mirror bracket.
3. Replace nut on ignition cooling tube w/ metal self-locker.
4. Wiring supports (clickbond cable tie anchors).
5. Install flap gap seal angles to fuselage.
6. Finish the doors in wheel pants (well underway).
7. Stick boots.
8. Fix PTT lead on passenger's stick.
9. Stop drill canopy cracks.
10. Look into having the fiberglass parts painted.
0.4, 3 ldg. Went out to the I-10 project for a look. Ramp on the east side is really getting built up. Returned to the pattern. Some sort of large round-engine plane doing high-speed low approaches when I got there. Looked like maybe a Russian plane? Kind of like a T-6. Did 2 normal, 1 power off approach. I may be messing up my normal approach with these power offs. All running nice, almost no wind at the surface. A bit bumpy through 3k, ~15mph wind above.
4/18/10 Flight 128
0.5 flight time, 1 ldg. While taxiing out, decided to fool with the little "lock" knob on the back of the g-meter. I suspect I may have it locked, as it only indicates about 1/2 g from unaccelerated (1g). Pull out knob, rotated 1/4 turn CCW (looking at the gauge). Went over to the I-10 project and took some photos. There was a hot air balloon just west of my house WAY up there. Around 6000' (~4000 AGL). I was well under him taking the photos, and crossed west to the usual practice area and did some rolls, after reading Kershner's description. Key thing I had not been doing before was modulating the rudder. I just put it in and went. Starting w/ strong rudder, then reducing as the roll rate is established is supposed to allow for a nicer arc in the top 180 degrees. Makes sense, as rudder into the roll will be pulling the nose down in that portion if it's not reduced. Didn't get the rudder smooth at the end of the roll, though. Maybe just reduce it and leave it out, as the Sonex doesn't have much in the way of adverse yaw. Did 3 rolls to the left. Yes, now the g-meter is working. Indicated about 2.5 max, which makes sense.
Looking SW. Ramp on the E side really built up a lot.