No Fly Day

This was a disappointing morning.  Bad weather and having my bride home has made it difficult to get in any flights.  Last night she worked late allowing me to hit the sack early.  This morning I woke 15 minutes before the alarm, jumped out of bed and arrived at the field at first light.  I was concerned that I might have left the key in the ignition but …. No, it’s all good.  Cranked up the theme to True Detective,  loaded the wing in my lap, taxied out to the launch zone and just as I arrived I heard/felt a crack.  Damned if the nose wheel hadn’t collapsed!  The last flight was normal with a normal landing.  I’m not sure if it had been damaged for awhile or if it rotted from the inside or I banged it into the earth on landing and just didn’t notice.

Oh well…
I’m off to San Fran tomorrow and will just have to deal with it when I get home.
Note to self….. Take pump and full tool kit to field when you go to replace the wheel.  It did seem to be coming up to full power and maybe the cable needs tightening.

821… 823

Two flights last Thursday and another this morning.  No drama, other than Mike braking the netting tensioner on his cage. It did go into his prop taking out a chunk, but he was able to nurse it back to the LZ.  I’ve been working on getting as much ground speed as possible before lifting off. This morning the roll out was good.  I didn’t touch the brakes until after the front wheel left the ground and then only very lightly.  The climb was dramatic.  The last two flights I landed with the trimmers completely closed. It works ok and I’m coming in darn slow but the brakes feel mushy.  I’m going to try it alternating between neutral and closed and see what the sweet spot is.

I’m keeping the rig at Shell Creek in the Airport Managers hanger while Marc is using the truck.  

It’s nice to drive out to the field in the MR-2.  It saves loading and unloading the truck.  I pull up to the hanger, pull on my flight suit and go.  On the other hand I’m limited to Shell Creek Airport.

SCA 819 & 820

Two short flights.  The first flight was cut short when I discovered that the brake line was wrapped around the risers.  It was not something that could be sorted out, without landing.  I made a slow 180* turn and set down.  The second flight was about 25 minutes and shortened by virga and rain approaching.  After landing I watched it build … dissipate and build again.  I could have probably stayed up without incident and never felt anything on the surface but ….

The brake line is another matter.  I checked the brakes and all lines before and after clip in but the wrap was well beyond the risers.  I should have caught it when laying out the wing and will have to be more careful in the future.  If I ever have an opportunity to replace lines I will certainly change the color of the black ones.  They are hard to see and it’s easy to miss a fouled line.
During the run out I discovered that I was using too much brake pressure.  It didn’t seem like that much but after centering the wing I consciously put my hands all the way up and felt the wing accelerate and move forward.  I let the trike roll and pick up speed for another 30 feet and then when I touched the brakes, it rotated immediately.  Perhaps that explains the long take off runs I’ve been experiencing.

Last week I spotted a lonely little lenticular cloud below a bunch of circulnumbus.  I don’t know what caused it but it was worth taking a shot.

Flight #818 Placida

Dawn had an early flight so I got up with her and was at the LZ a few minutes after 0600.  It was almost a no wind take off right down the undeveloped cul de sac I was using for a runway. Although the winds were right I didn’t want to cross the Gaspirilla Causway alone so I contented myself with a good tour on the mainland side of Gaspirilla.

The air was good with the occasional bump.  Lots of activity this morning.  While returning to the LZ I felt a strange vibration.  The motor seemed fine but it was something new and therefore … Not good.  
The landing was fine with a nice float, it was all good except that I had to jump a swell and ended up banging the front caster down when the rear wheels touched against the rise at the far end.  That jolt was probably just enough to open up the broken weld on the top vertical spar of the cage.  Mike Lange was planning to be gone over the weekend so I took it into Gregs automotive who took it in for the quick fix.  
Update…. Greg’s welder John, was trained by my good friend John Fetz