Apr 28th

Rotax 912 float warning. Check yours. It can happen to you. It has happened to me.

By Paul Hamilton

 

Recently, I have had numerous problems with the Rotax Carb Floats. Luckily I was able to avoid an engine failure, just loss of power but enough to land safely. This has been for new and old floats. They absorb fuel and can sink.

 

Some say that the newer floats are OK, Wrong. Some say that the older floats are OK, Wrong. I have seen sinking floats in all ages.

 

It is really simple, run the engine or the electric fuel pump and fill the carb bowls. Pull the bowls and see if the fuel level is equal below the top of the bowl. See if the floats all look like they are floating at the same level and lastly take the floats out, let them dry and weigh them. If a float is more than 3.1 grams it is no good. Rotax sez 7 grams for both, but in my opinion, this does not  leave much room for error.

 

This is a simple safety check for all 912 carb owners

 

Check your floats.

 

Apr 25th

AGAIN, ALMOST!

By monty stone

last friday was lovely, sunny, 50 deg, no wind. but saturday was different, with possible thunderstorms, etc. this happened  saturday.  i had spent the last coupla' weeks rebuilding 'phang', now known as 'feenix', my cosmos echo, and trailered him up to the airport. i assembled my old 1993 12m wing, it had been bagged for 5years while i flew my 14.7 northwing, which i destroyed in feb while trying to perfect a forward somersalt. surprisingly, despite the rest, the 12m still had that tired look of a 24year old 'molting' python, no apparent healing having taken place. i rolled the trike out to an open area far away from the hangers, and proceeded to pitch the new (to me) warpdrive prop. 1deg at a time. i had the front tire of the trike up against the rear wheel of my van. the wind was 10mph so was on the lee side. each adjustment entailed re-setting each blade, re-torquing 10bolts, sitting in the trike revving till max revs attained etc, re-setting everything again. this all occupied quite some time, but as i was getting down to the nitty gritty i  ignored the fact that the wing was beginning to move around, BIG MISTAKE! i was torquing the bolts when a gust hit, almost blowing the trike over. i was by now grimly pushing the trike up against the van as hard as my ancient bod could, thinking, it'll calm down. NOT SO! i managed to grab a bit of rope and got one side of the a-frame tied loosely to the landing gear, but had no chocks, and nothing else to shove under the tires but my sandelled foot, that wasn't working. the wing was flapping around trying to gouge the van, i grabbed a rear stay wire, i think thats when a nico made a hole in my arm, now blood was getting all over my nice yellow t-shirt. THEN the wind really blew, my bod' propped' (pun) up against the hub, with the 2 blades horizontal, if it blew over it might survive! this uneven struggle went on for another 20mins, i'm desperately trying to get the attention of the only guy i could see, the airport mower-guy, half mile away. i would wave, then he would wave back, he obviously thought i was being  'overly friendly' then, out of the 'blew' (pun) a guy in a blue van appeared at my elbow, uttering those magic words "do you need a hand"?.  i blurted out "yes i need a goddamned hand". he cell-phoned his budds who were cowering in their hanger, listening to the doors rattleing, and pitying any poor sumbitch caught out in this! soon i had 6 guys hanging on the trike and guiding it into the hanger. i was too beat to check for damage, and re-check the bolts, but maybe i SHOULD take up flower-arrainging, or golf, anything not relying on wind, or lack of!                             freazier nutszoff                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ps my saviour, ron, now my new bestfriend, was offered my first-born son ,(now 61 ) as reward, but he declined, he already had one of his own.

Apr 24th

New Wings for Airborne Trikes

By Rizwan Bukhari

 

It seems like Airborne has three new wings for their new trike. I wonder if these wings would be available for their existing trikes.

 

XR -S     Toples

XR -K     Kingpost Double Surface Wing

XR -M     Kingpost Single Surface Wing

 

Here is the link, check them out

 

http://www.airborne.com.au/images_new_site/microlights/m3_sport/M3-Sport-A5-Fold.pdf

 

 

 

Apr 16th

Aerotrike Cobra Trike with Skis for Sale

By Rizwan Bukhari

Please contact Tom Shanahan with any questions. Complete and ready to go. Includes two helmets, headsets, Icom radio. Full instructor package with foot, cruise and back seat throttle, foot (nose wheel) pedals for the backseat, training bars. Skis are offered with the sale. Asking price with skis is only $17,000 and without the skis is $16,000 All reasonable offers will be entertained. Please contact me (Tom) at 208-420-2839 or email me at bugsshanahan@yahoo.com for any questions. Thank you.

 

Apr 11th

Initial Flight Review Airborne new M3-Sport trike with XRS wing

By Paul Hamilton

 

Just had my first test flight on the new Airborne M3-Sport trike with XRS wing. It was everything I expected. Note this has just myself (140 pounds) and one flight so these are my first impressions.

 

Nice improvements. What stuck out most has how straight it tracked. We would expect this with the huge wheel stabilizer area plus the winglets providing significant vertical stabilizer/rudder. Because of this, there is very little adverse yaw in the turns. No uncomfortable/odd slipping hard/scary to get out of turns. This lack of adverse yaw appeared to slow down the turn response slightly but the turn pressure is similar to the other high performance Airborne wings and maybe better.

 

With the minimum twist wing design, it performs surprisingly well with the 80 HP 912. Quite the glide for landing round out.

 

Again with just me, I could push the bar all the way to the front strut and it would not stall. When I brought it up quickly into a mild whip stall, the whole wing broke lift and pitched down quickly. Yahoooooo. When it stalls it stalls. No roll to either side and a clean straight break. We would expect this for a low twist high performance wing.

 

The trim system is about as effective as the other Airborne wings. Not a huge speed difference but I did not crank it to tight until I review this system better. From the factory trim was full throttle 75 MPH and glide at 65 MPH. Slightly faster than I like but I need to fly double with extra weight before I move the trim position on the keel.

 

What I really liked and thought was a big improvement was the offset engine angles providing minimum torque AND P factor effect throughout the engine and speed ranges. That high speed/full throttle irritating right turn of the older models drove me crazy. The combination of the engine offset with the vertical stabilizer area solves this problem.

 

Overall I think it is a winner and a great improvement. Make no mistake, this XRS is a high performance wing. You can get a lower performance wing on the updated/upgraded M3-Sport undercarriage and these should be options also.

 

This is a great option for the top of the line mid range priced trikes.

 

I will have this here for a while for demos as I train Warren the owner. Call me 775:772-8232 or e mail paul@SportAviationCenter.com  if you want more details for pricing and availability. 

 

Apr 9th

Travis achieves his goal to change his career/life and become and work as a trike CFI.

By Paul Hamilton

 

The phone rings. Someone asks if I provide mountain flying for trikes. HMMMMMMM…. Yes I do come out and fly with me and I will teach you how to fly in the mountains. Travis lived in NJ and wanted to get his CFI and set up operations in South America Chile to run a flight operation just like many other dreamers wanting a new life. I said “yea come out and fly with me and let me know when you are coming”. He said OK I will let you know.

 

It should be noted I get all kinds of calls about people wanting to live their dream but most are just talk. They say they will get back to me and that is the last I hear from them. Well this is not the story here.

 

About a month later Travis calls me and said “I sold everything and headed out to you. Do you still have that S-LSA trike for sale I want it?”.

 

Well he showed up, bought the trike, got his sport pilot license last summer and flew every possible time to get his 150 hours in less than a year. He just passed his CFI checkride and we had our first fly together with customers today. YaHoooooo

 

Travis will be working with me this summer providing intro flights at Lake Tahoe and doing primary training for trike students.

 

Congratulations Travis for living your dream and welcome to serious triking.

 

Apr 8th

Engine Failure After Takeoff

By Paul Hamilton

Engine Failure After Takeoff
As discussed earlier in Chapter 7, Takeoff and Departure
Climbs, proper takeoff technique provides lower pitch
angles during the initial climb to provide the slowest possible
descent rate for an engine failure after takeoff. The pitch
angle and altitude available for engine failure at takeoff are
the controlling factors in the successful accomplishment of an
emergency landing. If an actual engine failure should occur
immediately after takeoff and before a safe maneuvering
altitude is attained, it is usually inadvisable to attempt to turn
back to the takeoff fi eld. Instead, it is safer to establish the
proper glide attitude immediately, and select a fi eld directly
ahead or slightly to either side of the takeoff path.

The decision to continue straight ahead is often diffi cult to
make unless the problems involved in attempting to turn back
are seriously considered. First, the takeoff was probably made
into the wind. To return to the takeoff fi eld, a downwind turn
must be made. This increases the groundspeed and rushes
the pilot even more in the performance of procedures and
in planning the landing approach. Second, the aircraft loses
considerable altitude during the turn and might still be in a
bank when the ground is contacted, resulting in cartwheeling
(a catastrophe for the occupants, as well as the aircraft). After
turning downwind, the apparent increase in groundspeed
could mislead the pilot into a premature attempt to slow
the aircraft to a stall. Finally, it is more than one 180° turn.
For example, it is fi rst a 225° turn in one direction, then
another 45° turn in the other direction, totaling 310° of turn.
[Figure 13-6]

On the other hand, continuing straight ahead or making a
slight turn allows the pilot more time to establish a safe
landing attitude. The landing can be made as slowly as
desired, but more importantly, the aircraft can be landed
while under control.


At airports where the runways are much longer than needed,
there is typically ample runway to make a straight ahead
landing. If a tight pattern is being used and the crosswind leg
is started at the end of the runway, turning back the additional
90° to the runway could be the best option, depending on the
suitability of landing areas straight ahead.

Depending on the specific design of the WSC aircraft
considering weight, wing, and carriage, this maneuver can

be performed with no reaction time and as low as 250 to
500 feet AGL. However, the pilot should determine the
minimum altitude that such a maneuver would require of a
particular aircraft. Experimentation at a much higher, safe
altitude, 700 feet AGL as an example, should give the pilot
an approximation of height lost in a descending 225° and
45° turn at idle power. Starting high above the ground at
low bank angles and monitoring the altitude loss while doing
the required turns to line back up on the runway provides a
good reference. Finding the best bank angle to perform the
required turns for this maneuver with minimum altitude loss
is key to optimizing this maneuver and developing a habit if
this maneuver is needed in a real emergency.

By adding a safety factor of about 30 percent to account for
reaction time and no thrust from the propeller, the pilot should
arrive at a practical decision height. The ability to make these
turns does not necessarily mean that the departure runway can
be reached in a power-off glide; this depends on the wind,
the distance traveled during the climb, the height reached,
and the glide distance of the aircraft without power.

This is a highly advanced maneuver with turns close to
the ground. This should be practiced well into the training
program with the instructor. For example, consider an aircraft
which has taken off and climbed to an altitude of 350 feet
AGL when the engine fails. After a typical 4-second reaction
time, the pilot pulls down the nose, maintains control of the
aircraft, and elects to turn back to the runway, losing 50 feet.
[Figure 13-6, A to B] The pilot performs the 225° turn and
loses 300 feet. [Figure 13-6, B to C] The pilot must glide back
to the runway, losing another 50 feet. [Figure 13-6, C to D]
The pilot must turn another 45° to head the aircraft toward
the runway, losing another 50 feet. [Figure 13-6, D to E] By
this time the total change in direction is 310°, the aircraft
will have descended 450 feet, placing it 100 feet below the
runway.