[October 31, 2010]

The winds today looked a little too aggressive for me to go flying when I looked at the forecasts. 10kts gusting to 20 kts, although right down the runway. I know that's totally manageable, but I wanted something less to get my feet wet a little slower.

I went to the airport because I wanted to figure out how the mapping software on the GRT's worked. I didn't want to get up in the air only to not know where I was. Yeah, I know I have paper charts, but as much as I can have in my favor the better! I upgraded my navigation database and then pushed the airplane out into the taxiway so I could get a GPS signal. Everything worked well, and I was surprised how easy the GRT mapping software is. It is also pretty detailed.

After all that was squared away, I noticed that the hangar was a complete disaster. Stuff everything. No organization. So I cleaned up everything and got it looking pretty decent. I was about to wrap it up for the day but then I noticed the winds had calmed down. I turned on my handheld comm unit and the winds were now not gusty and right down the runway at 6 kts. Time to go fly!

It's amazing how quickly I am getting familiar with my airplane. What used to seem so foreign to me is now familiar. My takeoff was perfect. No veering. I gently advanced the throttle and that kept me able to control the rudder a lot better. I climbed out at 110 kts and my CHT for #3 stayed below 400 degrees. At 1000' AGL I pulled back the power to 25" MAP and 2500 RPM (25 squared). I continued to climb to 5,000 feet. Once up there I pulled back to 24 squared (which is also 75% power, the minimum recommended for engine break-in). Everything was running great so I took some pictures. Here is Lake Marburg in Codorus State Park.

Here's my office for the afternoon! 144 kts at 4,980' running at 23.9", 2490 RPM and 76% power. My CHT's are looking great along with all my other stats. Since this is engine break-in, I had been instructed not to lean out the engine. So I'm burning 15 GPH! Now, the fuel flow isn't calibrated, so it could be less (or more). The Grand Rapid system is really amazing. I like it more and more every day. The mapping is a lot better than I thought. It does everything I need.

While I was up I tested out my VOR antenna. I turned it into the EMI VOR and sure enough I could hear the Morse Code identifier. I have yet to tune it into the VOR, but I am sure that will come with time as I figure out how the Garmin 430W integrates with the GRT EFIS's.

It took me two times to land back at KDMW. The first landing I was setup really well but I flared a little too high. It seemed I was in a flare forever and the wheels never touched until I bounced. Instead of trying to save it, I went around. The second landing I did a wheel landing which was a little better. My best landing has definitely been the first one! A great 1.1 hours up there, and closer to me getting out of my first penalty box of only being able to land and takeoff runway 34!

I decowled the the RV when I got it back to the hangar to check out any issues.

Good news here! My mixture bracket doesn't rub anymore.

Of course there has to be bad news. The lower cowl is still rubbing. No real surprise here. What I am going to do is build this up on the back with a bunch of glass and then reshape it with the dremel tool. I will probably go out one night this week to start laying glass.

A second issue I had was my auxiliary battery isn't holding a charge. I went to the PowerSonic website and saw that this battery needs to be charged every 6 months. Over time it will discharge itself if not charged. Well, I wasn't that good at charging it, so I think I cooked it. It was only $30, including shipping so I ordered up another one.


Last Modified: September 4, 2017