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About CFII

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 06/17/1954

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    San Antonio, Texas, USA
  • Interests
    Flying, teaching flying, road racing, motorcycles, and sailing.
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  1. Being able to fix one's airplane in the field is a useful skill. I have overhauled my own engines on occasion. Changing props, mags, jugs, or fuel system components isn't that big a deal. I can't think of a field repair on my Mooney I would not be willing to undertake myself ... under the watchful eye of a licensed A&P, of course. But there are a lot more people out there with FAA A&P licenses than you might expect.
  2. I did the Monroy extended fuel conversion. That increases the capacity of the wing tanks from 72 to 110 gallons. That by itself is almost enough in my 231 to do the leg from Hawaii. Normally that would be the longest leg you would ever encounter. I also added a 100 gallon TurtlePac ferry tank in place of the rear seats. Potentially my fuel capacity was 210 gallons. At 18 gph during climb (fully loaded it would take me 1 hour to get to FL230 at 90% power) and 9gph cruise at 60%, I had 22+ hours of fuel. I never used the full capacity of the TurtlePac but came close on the longest flight. I use
  3. I think that a top-mounted antenna will work better, at least on the ground. Moving the wire farther away from the airplane makes it a lot easier to feed and it makes for a more efficient antenna. The losses in the wire increase at the low impedance caused by the wire being so close to the belly. OTOH the small gauge wire that José uses is going to experience a lot of resistive loss too. It probably all evens out in the end. One thing I do know, his will be cheaper than mine. I paid a fair bit for aircraft antenna parts from Dayton Granger. My antenna probably cost $1000 in parts, not to
  4. Yeah, probably. My flight is over. Perhaps the operational questions would be good here or even in another thread. I know *I* learned a lot from the flight, starting with why I picked a 231. A 252 would have been a slightly better choice but the differences are pretty small, especially when one slows down to achieve better efficiency. Yes. It doesn't matter if we ever find her. It was her attempt that was important. For me it was walking 30,000 nm in her shoes to see what it was like. Much of my flight was NORDO. Most of my flight was without useful weather information. It was literal
  5. Urine is corrosive. Nasty stuff if it just sits there. I never found any urine residue on the belly but I haven't looked too persistently. When I use the relief tube I normally follow it up with water to rinse the inside of the funnel, the tubing, and the venturi. I didn't want the relief tube stinking up the cockpit. (Don't you just love these frank conversations?)
  6. Today we have Iridium, SPOT, GPS, Stormscope, RADAR, Satellite-based weather spotting, and a host of other things that make a trip like this easier. Hey, I love HF. My first choice was to put the antenna on the top but the Mooney's pivoting tail with the 11" travel at the top of the vertical stabilizer made crafting a reliable, long-lived antenna very difficult. What I have on the belly is pretty darned robust. Only a gear-up landing is going to take it out. OK, it won't work well on the ground but I don't care. On the ground I have other means to communicate. So, after evaluating all opt
  7. I guess it doesn't matter that much. After all, in flight, the antenna on the belly of my plane works very well, probably just as well as the antenna on top. Bonnie Crystal did a stellar job modeling how the antenna would work and what was needed to make it work well. After all, she is an electrical engineer who specializes in the design of HF antennas. As for top-mounted vs. belly-mounted, your statement is spot on in the case of VHF antennas. I specifically moved my two VHF antennas so that one was on the top and one was on the bottom. Not only did it provids better isolation between
  8. Thank you. I have some really solid numbers and some fuzzy ones. Distance flown was 29,948 nm for the route. Given the turn-backs and the test flights I am confident in saying I flew 31,000 nm. 220.1 hours on the hobbs meter in 66 days. Longest leg 17.5 hours by the hobbs meter. (Pago Pago to Honolulu) My longest week was 61.7 flight hours in 7 days (Natal to Karachi) and that included a down-day for maintenance in Dakar. I realized I couldn't keep that pace up. This is where my respect for Amelia Earhart started to get really high. TAS when fully loaded and 63% power
  9. BTW, it wasn't the contamination itself that made my engine quit just N of NZ. Turns out it was vapor lock. The restriction in the fuel screen created enough of a pressure drop in the fuel line to the engine driven pump that, when combined with the high altitude and engine compartment temperature rise when I closed the cowl flaps, that vapor lock happened. I saw someone comment on my flight where I just went in circles over NZ. That was my test flight after cleaning out the fuel system. I went up to FL230 and let the engine get pretty hot looking to create a worst-case situation to deter
  10. Well, perhaps it is time for me to chime in here. I didn't realize there was such a thread here or I would have gotten on here sooner. But I was doing something ... and it kept me pretty occupied ... darn, can't remember what it was but I think it was important at the time ... ;-) As I read your comments I kept wanting to jump in, but it is a little late for that. Piloto: Don't argue antennas with Bonnie. She designs antennas for a living and understands them upside down and backwards. Also, I couldn't have done this trip without your long-range tank mod. Thank you. Garmin Gu
  11. Um, well, I like Carl but I think he may be mistaken about the 201 being usable. Speeds and power settings are completely different from the real airplane. (The sim doesn't stall until about 30KIAS.) I borrowed a known-stock 201 with a good engine and did some data collection and sent that off to FTS. The electric pitch trim is WAY too fast. There is no manual pitch trim. Flaps do not work as they do in the Mooney. (They used a flap model with presets instead of having to hold the switch to extend the flaps.) It is all little stuff and I have reported it to them. And it may be that they have f
  12. When you purchase the TouchTrainer from FlyThisSim, you get all the aircraft from one manufacturer with your purchase. You have a choice of current-production aircraft from Piper, Cessna, Beechcraft, Diamond, and Cirrus. So if you choose Beechcraft, you get both the Bonanza and the Barron, and each comes with several panels including steam gauges, Aspen, G500, or G1000. You pay extra for each additional manufacturer's aircraft. Since I use mine for flight instruction, I opted to get all the manufacturers. Now, since I do a fair bit of instruction in Mooneys, I wanted a Mooney. But FTS did
  13. (Gawd I hate stupid forum software. I went to bed in the middle of answering this and when I finally posted this morning, I had been logged out and my entire response lost. Why can't we use an email group? <sigh>) Where to start? I think the answer to your question is actually a book, not a message in a forum. First, loading yourself up to fail is not a learning experience. I don't think it helps you to learn at all. I think that isolating individual skills and exercising them until they become "muscle memory" is the right answer. That implies using the sim for repetition on sim
  14. The Mooney 201 sim for the FTS TouchTrainer will work without the Visx external view. I equipped mine with the external view because I like to be able to simulate the transition from the gauges to visual when breaking out at minimums. I am still waiting for FTS to fix the errors in the initial version. There are some small systems problems but the big problem was that the flight-dynamics were off. I hope to see a new version any time now.
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