The first launch was a surprise. I popped up quicker than expected and started to float down but with a little brake I got climbing and started to circle the field while Mike got ready to launch. About 5 minutes into the flight at 1000 feet, I thought, “Did I open the fuel lines?” I had spent longer than normal warming it up and I taxied out to the launch site…AND…I’d been flying for at least 5 minutes. There was no reason to expect that it would still be running but it was and I knew I’d made a big mistake without even looking. When I got twisted around enough to get to the fuel I opened the vent and before I could open the flow valve the motor died.
Now What? I had some altitude, I could try to open the fuel line and restart. I had my doubts though because couldn’t prime the carb. I would’ve had to unbuckle and hang halfway out of the seat to blow into the vent hose, one bump and I’d be swimming. I was in a good place to get back to the LZ and if I fooled around and wasn’t able to restart the motor, it would have been a long push back to where I could re-launch. So…prudence being the better part of valor, I choose to go in “dead stick”. The rest of the story was a non event. I turned downwind, got in position and did a gentle S-turn to bleed off altitude. The landing was smooth but it would have been better if I had taken a wrap to get a little more brake input. It seems like there is a point in the flare where I cannot muscle any more brake. It might be fixable by shortening the brakes.
The second flight was great! Nothing to report.
(Old Stapleton Airport Tower)
(Dick’s Sporting Goods Arena)