While I was in the area I ran up to Dorr Michigan and visited with Terry Lutke, designer and builder of the Falcon 4 stroke. We had a nice lunch and chatted about the pros and cons of training. I left encouraged but thoughtful about the right way to train prospective PPG pilots.
|Terry’s new two seater headed for the Pacific Rim|
Q set the alarm for 5:15 and I awoke if a fog but managed to get on the road by 5:30 and was at the apartment and loaded by 6:40. The conditions at the field were perfect, with a light wind from the south south west. I’d left the key in the ignition after the last flight which had drained the battery while I was out of town so I drove to the north end of the field and set-up so that I could jump start the Falcon with the truck.
The launch was fine but I did have to use a little brake and nurse it until I’d gained a few feet of altitude. Once up, I noticed that the air was moderately bumpy and the wind was shifting toward the west so I stayed near the patch and avoided the rotor that would be generated by the foothills.
Often when the wind starts this type of shift an hour after sunrise it also picks up dramatically. If it was from the south it might be hard to get back from the lake and if it was from the west it would be turbulent so I decided to land after 30 minutes and came in for a nice powered landing.
The Power Play has probably 450 to 500 hours and I’m concerned that it is suffering from high porosity or line shrinkage. When initiating a turn it either jumps into the turn or is slow to start and then jumps into the turn. It doesn’t seem as stable overhead either flying too far back or forward. It might be that the air was more active that I thought and I was concerned for nothing but after talking with John Fetz this morning I’ve decided to stretch the lines and do a oral porosity test.