Flight 1038 Placida

It’s all good. This morning the mid summer pattern of calm at dawn with gradually increasing breeze from the NE continued. There was one large storm cell, 20 miles offshore, directly west.

Take off and landing were uneventful. I can feel my skills improving.

Falcon idle needs to be lowered. Today at 3000 feet, after running strong for 30 plus minutes it idled at 1800 and would not go below that. It is not as cold blooded as it was 5, (running), hours ago. I opened the choke at start but needed to start closing it right away. After the oil change, which I plan on doing as soon after the surgery as possible, I’ll adjust the idle again . Hopefully it will run a bit smoother at 1200 to 1400 RPM. If that does not work, I’ll try Terry’s idea and reduce pitch 1 degree.

At full throttle 3600 RPM it climbed at about 360 ft / min. The Humidity was 98% and it was 74 degrees Fahrenheit. I will do it several more times in different conditions to see what happens.

The nose wheel pegs seem a bit too far out. Bring it back 2 inches.

Next flight…. let the trimmers all the way out to full reflex then pull left trim in till flying straight line at power. Evaluate if this setting would be good for cruise mode.

Blue Falcon 35


Gasparilla Causeway


Port Charlotte Harbor , Punta Gorda

Myakka River. Gasparilla Road

Boca Grande

Coral Creek Airport

Flights 1034 35 36. Placida

Last night I posted on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in flying Sunday morning. Alvero came back that the Sky Pirates Club was coming down from the North. So…. We had 6 pilots at the LZ ” at 6:30. The winds were 4 to 6 from the NE with mostly clear skies.

I had to cut the first two flights short because of a tangle with the right tip steering toggle. The first flight the rig locked into hard right turn and it pointed me at some very real trees that I missed by steering between them. At the next tree, I’d climbed just enough to clear the top. The second flight was a repeat, as soon as I was off the ground we were in a hard right turn. I couldn’t see the snag but I should have known what the problem was by the way the wing was behaving. If I’d grabbed the toggle I’d probably have cleared it right away …. my bad.

The third flight was a charm, I’d found the snag with the tip steering but I’d lost the best flying time so… wasn’t able to follow the flight plan, which was to cross the Inter-coastal and run the Gasparilla Island Beach. Whatever…. it was nice to get up and three successful launches was good practice.

When I landed most everybody had returned. We chatted, took the group photo and broke up. It’s all good.

Flight # 1033 Placida

It was 76 degrees and 99% humidity when I arrived at the LZ . The wind was 1-3 from the NE. I opted out of launching from the road and set-up in the middle of the field. The last few take-offs had been forced and sketchy. This morning, I wanted a clean launch that wasn’t rushed and didn’t require popping the brakes to force takeoff.

I tucked the center leading edge and used a chevron shape to lay out the wing. It worked fine, the prop wash didn’t catch the wing. After rolling a couple of feet I started to feel pressure in the A’s. The wing came up clean. I accelerated to 20+ and rolled 400 feet before rotating. It was satisfying to climb out smoothly instead of staggering along near stall speed. Even so, that was one of the fastest launches since leaving the Rocky Mountains.

I’m getting used to the new machine. It torques firmly to the right at 3000+ RPMs requiring the right trimmer to be let out at least 1.5 inches. Cruise is about the same as Big Red, 2800 to 3000 RPM. The boat seat Terry recommended is comfortable but it makes me feel a little “exposed”. It doesn’t “wrap around”, like the old bucket seat did.

The GoPro 7 was mounted to the frame in front of the A’assist and it was quickly apparent, that wasn’t going to work because it was shaking beyond the ability of any stabilization program. It had also been set to 4K which was too much for my old iPad.

Two upgrades are in process. The first is a new gas tank with fuel gauge that Paul Czarnecki turned me onto and second is a new throttle assembly with a more positive action.

New helmet, feels good.