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Vance Harral

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Vance Harral last won the day on July 23 2021

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  1. That's a good question, but ours are not particularly close to the cylinder head. We have an E.I. engine monitor also, and the installation manual suggests that the "ideal" location for EGT probes is 1.5" from the exhaust ports. Ours are more like 4" down, because the exhaust already had existing EGT probe holes there for a prior system, and I felt the position wasn't critical enough to warrant welding up the old holes and drilling new ones. Also, we choose to use the P-110-F "fast response" probes, which are arguably more fragile than the P-110-R "robust" probes. That might have something to do with longevity. That said, we've had as many CHT probes fail as EGT probes over the past decade. We also had a lot of trouble with the thermocouple wire cracking at the quick-connectors, back when EI was still using spade-type connects. We used to find a break every few months or so. That problem seems to have mostly resolved with the introduction of the OLC connectors. I was kinda irritated at EI over connectors, because their support reps assured me on multiple occasions that there was not a widespread problem with the spade connectors, and that there must have been something about my installation that was causing them to break. Then they "suddenly" announced the OLC style connectors, but it must have just been coincidence, right?
  2. I don't necessarily disagree with this statement. Just be aware that the more probes you have to monitor more stuff, the more opportunity you'll have for probes/wiring to go bad and need to be replaced. I've had good experiences with low temp stuff like oil temp/pressure, have never replaced one of those. But it seems like I have to chase a bad CHT or EGT probe about once a year (sometimes the probe itself, sometimes the wiring). Some pilots I've spoken with claim to have never had to replace a temp probe, others have experiences more like me. I sometimes wonder if the problem is mainly vibration, noting that some airframe/engine combinations simply run smoother than others. A non-counterweighted Lycoming IO-360 is a great engine, but isn't what most people would characterize as smooth, even with dynamic prop balancing.
  3. I'm a CFII in the area, flying out of KLMO and KBJC, and often over at KGXY for instrument training and hundred dollar hamburgers. I'd be glad to sit with you on a test hop out of Greeley the weekend of 8/13-8/14. I'm very familiar with the GTN, and largely familiar with the GFC 500, but only lightly familiar with the G3X. I am not claiming I can be more helpful than Niko182, who has the same panel. Indeed, he'll almost certainly have more G3X tips/tricks than I. My only edge is arguably in remembering to look out the window occasionally while enjoying all those fancy avionics. Doesn't sound like this ride particularly requires a CFII, and no hard feelings if you'd rather ride with him than me. PM me if interested.
  4. This first, then check the condition of the wiring from the breaker to the actuator. Circuit breakers and wiring do wear out.
  5. In my experience, you have to decide on the sweet spot for your particular preference. Basically, loose = extra drag, but tight = extra chafing. Our were slightly loose when we bought the airplane. We adjusted them to be tighter, then over the course of about 30 hours discovered that the forward "lip" of the port side door was being pretty badly chafed by the overlapping "lip" of the starboard side door. The radius of those door "lips" aren't really conducive to receiving anti-chafe tape, so we just adjusted the rod ends back to where they were originally, and called it a lesson learned. It left an ugly scar, but our airplane isn't a beauty queen anyway. If you do have a beauty queen, I'd be careful about adjusting them particularly tight. The drag reduction isn't worth the potential cosmetic scars on a nice paint job.
  6. For the reasons David Lloyd mentions above, I find almost no benefit to actually loading airways in GTN navigators. Instead, I almost always manually load a minimal set of "important" waypoints along the airway, skipping enroute intersections I don't care about. My partners and students load airways so infrequently that they often get confused about how that works on the GTN. You can't directly enter "V220" as a flight plan element. You must first load a waypoint along the airway, then select that waypoint from the flight plan, at which point you get an option to load the airway from that waypoint up to an exit point. I freely admit I can be cavalier about airways because I've never flown east of the Mississippi in anything other than the back seats of an airliner. Airway legs in my part of the country are often long with no turns, and we get a lot of off-airway direct clearances that make loading airways moot. I'm told that loading airways is much more useful in the eastern part of the country, particularly the very dense airspace of the northeast.
  7. I'll chime in with my mostly-unpopular opinion, that most of the complaining about touchscreens stems from primacy, i.e. what-I-learned-first syndrome. I know the internet is replete with people who say the GNS hardkey/knob interface is superior to touchscreens, but best as I can tell, the vast majority of those folks learned to competently work with a GNS navigator first, and are more bothered by the switch to a different interface, than anything objective about the GTN touchscreen interface itself. The first high-end GPS navigator myself and my airplane partners were exposed to - about a decade ago - was the GTN we installed in our airplane. The local flight school I teach at these days also has a couple of airplanes with GTNs, and a couple of airplanes with GNSes, as well as a Redbird simulator whose "steam gauge" cockpits emulate the GNS devices. Because of this instructional history, I've worked with over a dozen folks who learned to use GTN devices first, and only later tried to transition "backward" to a GNS. Not a single one of those people has ever said to me, "Oh, this hardkey and knob interface on the GNS is so much better than the GTN touchscreen - why did Garmin ever switch?" On the contrary, I mostly get, "Good grief, how does anyone use this GNS thing?" I don't interpret that comment as an objectively valid criticism of the GNS, by the way, it's just the same primacy thing at work in the other direction. Regarding the ubiquitous "but what about turbulence?" argument, the front range of the Rockies where I live is famous for bumpy weather (and it annoyingly seems to get worse every year). I've flown hundreds of hours in the stuff, and I feel pretty confident in saying that I find programming errors due to turbulence to be equally likely with either device. This does assume you use the bezel of the GTN for a palm/thumb rest as designed, though. Not everyone intuitively gets that, and the resultant arm flailing is kinda hilarious until I provide a little motor skill training. I particularly don't get the touchscreen hate now that (1) basically everyone is using a phone or tablet in the cockpit, and so many of them claim these portable devices work "flawlessly", and are actually better than the panel-mounted stuff; and (2) about every other GNS I use has a flaky, worn-out COM radio flip-flop button, because the owner doesn't really want to send it back to Garmin for their $1600 (or whatever it's up to) flat repair rate. Having said all that, as far as making the mission, I've yet to see anyone whose dispatch rate is higher or personal minimums are lower because they upgraded from a WAAS GNS to a GTN. I just don't think it makes much practical difference, including IFR, and thus I don't think upgrading is objectively "better" or "safer". But from a standpoint of comfort and fun and cool factor (and let's be honest, isn't that 90% of what it's about?), I'd take the GTN every time!
  8. This is one of my pet peeves as an instructor. That mnemonic may help you memorize 91.205(b) for a written test (which only covers day VFR, flight by the way). But in the real world it's useless, because required equipment is governed by a lot more than just 91.205. Fully understanding the required equipment for a particular airplane requires understanding the Type Certificate for the aircraft, the AFM/POH/placards, and - the one that's most likely to be missed - the Airplane Flight Manual Supplements for any STC'd equipment installed in the airplane. Any of these things can legally require equipment beyond 91.205. Other answers in this thread are good - directing the OP to the Type Certificate, POH, etc. I don't own an Encore, so I won't opine on whether the 2nd alternator must be working. But for any aircraft owner casually reading this thread... TOMATO FLAMES is not a useful mnemonic, and you shouldn't feel obligated to memorize what it supposedly represents. Required equipment is something you look up on the ground, so there's no need to memorize it; and the requirements are codified in more than just 91.205.
  9. An Alemite 3018 matches the spec of the original zerk, e.g. https://locknlube.com/products/alemite-3018-grease-fitting-6-40-unf-2a-threads. But let me share the bad news on why you're missing it in the first place. If you use an extractor to get the old, broken zerk shank out, you can carefully install a new one (maybe after cleaning up the threads with a 6-40 tap); at which point there's at least a 50/50 chance the new one will immediately strip out - moreso if the threads in the bearing itself are buggered. The amount of torque these fittings will take when brand new is very small - basically finger tight. Don't be surprised if the new zerk doesn't really set up, and/or pops out as soon as you try to put a grease gun fitting on it. Assuming you can actually get decent purchase on the threads, there's about a 50/50 chance you'll thence break off the zerk when trying to apply grease, and thereby wind up in the same situation as before. These tiny zerks are soft and fragile, and won't take much side pressure at all before they snap off - you need to be extremely careful when putting a grease gun fitting on them. A lock-n-lube tip helps, but isn't a panacea. Assuming you actually get the new zerk installed, it doesn't strip, and you don't break it off when applying grease, congratulations... but you'll get the opportunity to break it or strip it out again at the next annual. It will definitely get stripped or broken if a mechanic does the work who doesn't understand how fragile these things are. After a couple of annuals, you'll likely lower your standards, and just jam a needle tip grease gun fitting in the empty hole like everyone else. That doesn't work very well, but it's still better than actually trying to use the tiny, under-designed zerk. If you're really serious about greasing that bearing, it's actually easier in my opinion to remove the landing gear to do so, than to actually push grease through the designed zerk without it popping out or breaking off. The whole thing is just badly designed. It's my understanding that later model Mooneys use larger, pound-in zerks. Sometimes people try to install these compression zerks into the threading fittings of the older models, and that just makes everything worse. I love my Mooney, but certain small details about it are just poorly designed, and this is one of them.
  10. I don't work for EI, but I have a UBG-16 in my airplane, which I installed myself (under "adult" supervision). The way the UBG-16 bar display is supposed to work is: the lit-up segments of each bar indicate EGT values. Within each lit-up EGT bar, there is a blacked-out segment that indicates CHT. The temperature range from bottom to top of the display is programmable (this is important, see below). Below is a sample image. In this example, the #4 EGT is highest (most lit-up bar segments of all four columns). The #4 CHT is also highest (blacked-out segment is highest of all four columns). Note that when the engine first starts, it's common to think you're not see the blacked-out segments that indicate CHT. This is because the blacked-out segment is the lowest segment for values below the bottom range, and since it takes a while for CHTs to come up above that value, all blacked-out segments are at the bottom of the display, which just makes it look like the entire display is physically a little higher than it actually is. The UBG-16 connects to its temperature probes via a large cannon plug that contains the wiring for all probes. While it's possible this plug could have been left disconnected, it's extremely unlikely the CHT and EGT probes were "swapped", because it's extremely unlikely a shop would have un-pinned the individual probe connections from the cannon plug, and the plug is indexed with tabs that prevent it from being connected in an incorrect orientation. If the plug is completely disconnected, the numeric display at the bottom will read ambient temperature, and the bar display will be typically be blank (because ambient temperature is typically outside the programmable range of each display bar). Any chance this is what you're seeing? Regarding programming, it is "somewhat" possible that due to actions by the shop or random events, that the range of the bars has been re-programmed to something nonsensical. Fortunately, you don't need to do anything scary or special to check and (re)program these ranges. The procedure is trivial, and is described on p.14 of the operating manual: https://www.iflyei.com/wp-content/uploads/OI-UBG-16-OI-Rev-B-0505991.pdf It's possible the unit is actually damaged, as Anthony suggests. If so, EI advertises a $349 repair rate for the UBG-16: https://www.iflyei.com/wp-content/uploads/Standard-Repair-Costs-0930-21.pdf Hope that helps.
  11. Can't speak to your enroute plan, but on the destination side, there are several airports within a few minutes' flying distance of KFNL that have self-serve 100LL well below $7.24/gal: KLMO, KGXY, KEIK, 18V and even KBJC. All the self-service prices tend to stay in the same range, because if any single one of them increases the price very much, everyone just goes to the other nearby choices. KLMO is my home airport, and self-serve 100LL was just a hair under $6/gal last time I filled up. 100ll.com say it's still $5.94, though with the way fuel prices have been moving rapidly I can't promise that'll be as true tomorrow as it is today. Anyway, all the listed airports above are pretty easy to get into and out of. No particular reason to fill up at KFNL other than convenience.
  12. The usual cause of a broken fuel selector housing like the one shown, is over torquing the bolt that holds the fuel bowl and screen onto the bottom of the fuel selector. Ask me how I know. As far as I know, the options are to find a replacement from a salvage yard, or to pay a hugely exorbitant amount of money to convert to a newer style fuel selector that is still made. Hopefully you'll be successful with the former route. If you are, be extremely careful torquing that bolt, so as not to break your replacement!
  13. @tony, we didn't notice any difference in trim or other flight characteristics after adding the spacer kit. The axis of slop that gets cleaned up by installing the spacers is perpendicular to that which actually moves the ailerons, so the slop that gets cleaned up doesn't really change the position of the ailerons at all. @AlexF, as mentioned above, I couldn't really tell what material the spacers are made of. I just know it didn't seem like nylon/plastic (not light enough), or conventional cad-plated steel MS washers (not heavy enough). Almost seems like they were painted aluminum, but I seriously doubt that's what they actually are.
  14. I appreciate the commiseration. Today was a little better day, at least this morning. My airplane partner got our bird home, and I was able to give a discovery flight to a first-time primary student. Still bumpier than I hoped for the primary student, but first day in a while I would have even considered it. Winds are forecast to pick up again this afternoon. Next couple of days look decent, but then back to 15+ gusts in the mid-day forecast for the next 7 days after. That's not unsafe, just unpleasant, and arguably not a good use of flying dollars for primary students. We'll try to work around it by flying early morning or late evening, but that's not always practical. Just par for the course on the Front Range in April.
  15. I have zero criticism of this attitude. Completely understand. That said, one of the frustrations about flying on the front range of the Rockies is that AIRMETs for moderate turbulence are nearly an everyday occurrence in the spring and fall, as the jet stream migrates north of and south of the middle of the country, respectively. High winds at altitude running over the tops of the mountains bring wicked, katabatic, downsloping winds. So if you decide to stay on the ground any time there's an AIRMET for moderate, you're going to be grounded for weeks at a time. After a while, there will finally be a nice day, but then you get to contend with the pent-up demand from hundreds of marginally current pilots who have been waiting weeks for that perfect day to go weekend warrioring. I hate to be a cynic about it, but after a couple of decades flying here, I tell people not to be fooled by that "300 days of sunshine a year" advertisement when it comes to aviating. There are a ton of VFR-but-very-unpleasant flying days in Colorado. You either live with the bumps, or spend a lot of time on the ground. It's particular frustrating when I have primary students trying to learn to fly in late winter/early spring. There are so many days when the bumps are bad enough to impede their ability to learn, and I'm inclined to reschedule. But if we only fly on really nice days, they'll go so long between lessons that there is considerable backsliding. I'm probably grumpier about this than usual today, because my own (partnership) airplane is currently stranded a mere 15nm from it's home in KLMO. At the conclusion of our annual at KBJC on Friday, it simply wasn't prudent to fly it home due to high winds. Today's not a good day either, 50+ gusts at KBJC. We'll try again tomorrow. At some point it'll be "safe enough", but likely still unpleasant. Just gotta hold out until late May or so, when things usually settle down for a few months.
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