My first flight of 2016 turned out to be much like the stock market - going down quickly for no apparent reason.
I am flying a 2006 Northwing Apache ST (currently branded as a NW Navajo) with a Rotax 582. Only 231 hours total time, well cared for. However, as eluted in the title, I had my first engine out a few weeks ago. I'm sharing this story because I learned a lot in the process and it reminded me that even the most trusted engines can fail.
It started with a non-eventful 20 minutes flight from a drylake to KBVU. After a short pause at the FBO, I restarted and took off again. At 200' above midfield my engine seized without warning. I had enough runway to put it down safely (thanks Leo Fitzgerald for training me well). Once on the ground I was able to restart and put it on a quiet taxiway to do some tests. Fuel, mags, temperatures, high RPM, etc... all looked good. So I gave it another try. Unfurtunately, just over 200' it seized again. This time I was prepared. Once on the ground it would not restart.
Back in the garage I took the entire fuel supply apart and checked & cleaned the usual suspects. Fuel pump, filters, carburators, spark plugs, etc... all good. I replaced the fuel pump anyway. After all that, the engine ran again, so I decided to give it another try. This time I had help (thanks Lauren Attaway) and we opted to test on the dry lake. Unfortunately, same story all over. I felt like an early aviation pioneer, barely reaching 50'. The engine was completely locked up this time.
Time for an overhaul.
A quick visual inspection showed scratches on the rotary valve, so we sent it to a repair shop (Thanks Glen for transport help). Once in the hands of a licensed Rotax mechanic, I got the call that this was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. Failed crankshaft bearing, damaged piston, damaged engine casing, and metal shavings that went through the rotary valve.
While the cause of all this remains unclear, there are a few things that may have contributed:
1. I bought this trike used with only 145 hours, but it had been stored for more than 2 years without use. I learned that low hours on an older trike does not mean everything is ok. Sitting still for too long is bad.
2. I pre-mix my fuel with high-grade Amsoil. However, the oil pump was still installed on the engine, basically running without functioning.
3. I used the same fuel after my trike sat for 4 months this summer. I know, that's a no no. Won't do it again.
Lessons to be learned. I'm sharing all this, hoping it will help others. If someone has another idea of what might have caused it, feel free to contribute.
I'm happy to report that I got myself a brand new engine yesterday (thanks Steve Beatty). Leo F. helped me install and test it. Runs like new :-)
I have 4 winter Flight Suits for sale, including an older red/black summer Ozee, a like new red/black Ozee Millinum, new gray HMK Snow Mobile Suit and a superb blue/yellow Fladden Suit for cold WX.
Additionally, Gerbing liner jacket, vest, pants, socks and gloves for 12v.
Everything in XL or XXL. I'm 6'3" and 215 pounds. Figure roughly 1/2 price for everything except less for the older summer Ozee suit.
Craig email@example.com 510 220-4905 Photos available
Flight Instructors are getting audited for Compliance to the TSA rules. I had mine this morning! It was friendly and informative, and served notice to expect a comprehensive review in 3-4 months. They want to ensure we are collecting copies of Birth Certificates or unexpired Passports, and proper ID's. In addition, maintain logbooks and copies of above for a period of five years. No need to do this for one-time Discovery Flights, Proficiency Checks, Flight Reviews, and recurrent training.
From my perspective, it has been another great year for Triking. Larry continues to Evolve the Revo with many new upgrades and introduced another great addition to triking, the ultralight REV. Abid continues to support the Apollo line plus continues to supply the Delta Jet 2, a great option for a USA supplied/supported trike. P&M introduced the PulsR and the "British" dominated the world games. Thanks to our one USA entrant to the world games 2015 by team USA Todd Ware the USA had a significant presence. The Brits currently provide great exposure through the world games.
Also we must congratulate Henry TrikeLife for getting his CFI, transitioning to a Revo and getting people interested ion triking through his videos. Henry is a big asset to triking. My other Henry Boger trike friend, from Pacific Blue Air LA, has been providing an incredible number of intro flights that introduce people to triking. It was almost exactly two years ago he came up for his trike CFI and has been a huge success in southern California.
As far as safety, We were able to get spiral dive awareness (thanks to Henry and Larry again) to a new level and start the process to get spiral dive recovery into the FAA PTS.
Thanks to all those others introducing those to triking in one way or another and providing a POSIIVE influence for triking . Many who are not mentioned here. We are all lucky to have industry experts/professionals as well as new bees providing positive input for the form of aviation we love.
Any other accomplishments/progress for 2015 you feel are significant please include.
My best to all for a great 2015 and the upcoming 2016.
May the positive trike force be with you....
I am thinking about putting a spinner on my Ivoprop (just for cosmetic beauty). I ordered one from trikebuggy, but it turned out to be the wrong size. The diameter of the spinner I got was 4 inches and I need a 6 inch spinner.
Now I have searched aircraft spruce and other websites and have come across some bigger spinners but they are for Cessna and other aircraft.
Can anyone point me in the right direction for a 6 inch diameter spinner.
What are your thoughts regarding Trike/Microlight competition and what should the course be like, and what tasks included so it is a safe and more even competition for all trikes of similar characteristics.
Here is the course, as I understand it begins with a distance measured take off, a fast run around pylons, a fast pass for speed measuring, then climb to 1000 and engine off precision landing. Each task is judged and poits awarded (or taken out).
When bulding a dule searter/Cross Country WSC:
What size and type of aluminum, engine, wing, where should I start?
I asked Todd Ware how he likes the QuikR wing from P&M. His comment was interesting and is below:
"Abid. Great stable wing for speed and cross country trips. Is hardly effected by turbulence. However for racing and tight turning.... I was telling the Britts today that to really pitch up around a tight turn feels like I have to bench press a baby cow! They all laughed and said they have a similar phrase for it, "if you're not lifting a steer you may be a bit queer".
HUGE Pitch pressure, and high roll pressure. After a minute and A
half race I feel like I've been at the gym for an
But that also makes it usually stable at high speeds. It's a well behaved rocketship but hard to turn.
Also if you are going slow it will pull to the left and if you're going fast it pulls to the right so you're constantly having to wind the role trim knob if you fly at different trim speeds. But of course while racing you just don't have time to do that. So you just go fast all the time. Also while going slow the role pressure increases drastically.
It's nearly physically impossible to get the control bar within 3 inches of the compression strut.
If I raced it all the time I would look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But for beginners and normal flying, I think it's a superior wing."