With Wings As Eagles: Craig P. Steffen's Blog

No squawks

2014 June 28 20:56

It's been sort of a busy spring. I've been dealing with all the stuff of getting the airplane back in the air, and getting all the minor bugs fixed. Then I had to wait to get it signed off for IFR flight. I also had to go and get myself current for IFR since I hadn't flown much over the winter. And the time this took was extended because the weather has been stormy and horrid all spring. It was really difficult to find a solid half day so that I could just go flying and wasnt' worried that I was going to get fogged in and waste the trip down to the airport. And what I really need to do now is just take the airplane out and fly it a bunch, to make sure the engine's all broken in.

But finally...finally...Thursday evening I had a chance to just take it out and fly. I did check a couple of last things that I'd had fixed or adusted, but everything worked fine, I had a smooth uneventful flight, and everything just worked. And the significant old squawks were gone and no new ones showed up. I spent a little effort paying attention to the storms and rain around the area, I did fly through a little rain, but even that was uneventful. It just worked. Nothing happen. I just spun the engine for an hour and a half, and then came back home. It's been so rare that that's happened, and it was lovely.

And of course, since taking instrument panel photos is my fetish, here are a few:

GPS/radio stack. Nothing special about this except no rubber bands on the controls at the bottom keeping them from slipping (fixed the friction during winter annual). Also--I checked for the old electrical fault by banging on the ceiling. That's definitely gone now. Whoo-hoo!

The new digital tach is in the upper left. The new ammeter is to the right. Both working just like I'd hoped. (To airplane people: the reason cylinder #1 isn't showing any EGT is because a mechanic replaced the #1 exhaust probe without asking and put in the wrong kind, so it's flaky. I forgot to fix that this winter.)

Bottom row engine gauges firmly in the green at cruise.

Another thing that happened over the winter while the mechanic was adjusting the door was we tore the leather strap pull-handle. He re-attached it, but had to shorten the strap a bit, so my Stratus GPS/ADS-B device no longer fits in the door strap. So I have to find a new place for it to sit. Here's the temporary location, on the left side of the glare shield on top of the optical tach I have taped there. This allows Foreflight to display my position and display weather radar in flight, like so:

Since I was using both my iPad and the Stratus, I got to test out the lighter socket charger that I got. Historically, I've had problems with chargers holding voltage enough to charge devices in the airplane. Here it is for sale on Amazon. I'm very pleased that it worked like a champ!

That charger has three slots, a 2.4A, and two 1.5A slots. The 2.4 is labeled "tablet", and then the other two are labelled "Apple" and "Android". Since generaly the iPad tends to be very power-hungry, I plugged the iPad cord into the 2.4 slot, which worked fine. However, the Stratus power light blinked red when plugged into the 1.5 (which I think means it can't charge). So I switched them, and it actually worked. So the Stratus was running and charging happily on the 2.4 A slot and my iPad was running and charging on the 1.5A slot. Successful test!

Oh, and just in case there was any question, the Great Smoky Mountains are lovely and picturesque from the air.

Another 5 flights or so like this would be really really groovy. Here's hoping.