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About BKlott

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  • Birthday 01/18/1957

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    The "smokey" conditions were probably what the locals refer to as "smog". Sadly, this is the norm for SoCal. Lived in Torrance when I started my flying lessons and used to look out my bedroom window towards the Palos Verdes Peninsula before heading out to Torrance Airport to go flying. If I couldn't make out the outline of the "hills", the field would invariably be below minimums and there was no point in going. If I could see the outline of the "hills", chances were good for flying. Occasionally the desert winds would blow in from the East and clear out all the "smog" by blowing it out of the LA basin and over the ocean. The sky would be crystal clear and the temperature would rise significantly. Usually had windy and bumpy flying conditions to deal with. Other times low level fog would form just off shore and you could see it lingering there just waiting to come rolling in and taking airports near the coast like Santa Monica, Hawthorne and Torrance below minimums. On those days you would need to keep your eye on the blanket of fog so that you could quickly dive back into the field if it started rolling in. One thing that I enjoyed was departing Torrance on a smoggy day and flying up to the San Fernando Valley (up by Van Nuys Airport and Whiteman Airpark) where it would be crystal clear. From there you could see snow capped mountains in the distance in one direction and the desert in another. You could then fly back into the smoggy LA basin, land at Torrance and do all that within a one hour flight in a Tomahawk. Fond memories!
  2. Hangar space in DC area

    Did you try Shannon Airport (KEZF) down near Fredericksburg? They had hangar space available the last time I flew in there. Cafe and museum on the field. Nice people too.
  3. About time I fessed up

    An Instructor once told me that any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing. That would make all of your landings good ones.
  4. A couple of years ago I spoke with the owner of an interior shop that had done a lot of work and testing on different soundproofing systems. His conclusion and recommendation to me was not to bother. The added weight and expense wasn't worth it. His advice was to buy a good noise cancelling headset. That was the best soundproofing system he ever found.
  5. Engine failure, what phase of flight?

    My experience(s) have been more flukey than others. First, a partial blockage of airflow into the carburetor of our Grumman Cheetah as we were climbing through about 300 ft on departure, caused a rough running engine and partial power loss. Carb heat (what you are trained to do) further enriched the mixture, worsening the situation. The only possible solution from the cockpit would have been to lean the mixture, adjusting the fuel air ratio for best performance, the one thing we are not trained to do in this situation. Our solution was to fly a tight pattern at about 400 ft...to a safe landing. Next, a plugged fuel vent in the Cheetah, caused by some tiny bugs deciding to build a nest in the right tank vent, caused a total power loss at altitude after switching from the left tank to the right tank. This was resolved by switching tanks, boost pump on and a return to the airport for a visit to the FBO's maintenance hangar. Finally, another rough engine / partial power loss event occurred while climbing through about 200 ft of altitude on departure. Carb heat, once again, exasperated the condition. Fortunately there was a cross Runway at KISM Kissimmee Airport and no other traffic because the engine quit all together just as the nose wheel settled on the runway. The mechanic on duty found that the engine was flooded due to a small piece of fuel tank sealant that somehow managed to get through the two sumps on the right wing (we were on the right wing tank at the time) and the fuel strainers to lodge where the float valve would normally seat in the carburetor. This resulted in another "too rich" condition followed by our second forced landing in the Cheetah. Speculation is that the earlier plugged fuel vent, engine quitting event caused some flexing of the integral right wing tank which later resulted in this piece of fuel sealant breaking free. It was about the size of a small booger. This same tank later developed a leak which resulted in the wing being de-mated from the plane for repair. My opinion is that you cannot predict when it will happen IF it ever happens to you.It does not happen to the vast majority of pilots. I would suggest that you should consider it a possibility every time you strap yourself into an airplane and be prepared to act when the problem occurs. You need to KNOW that if you lose power on takeoff that you MUST come forward on the controls to maintain airspeed and control of the airplane. You should also have a pre-planned place to go at your home airport if you have to deal with this problem. Figure out your options while you're sitting on your living room sofa. Don't wait until you have a problem in the airplane to try to figure out what to do. One last thought for you is this. When you take someone flying with you, you may be their spouse, their Dad, their friend or their relative but there is only one thing that you absolutely must be...and that is THE PILOT. That must be foremost on your mind. The lives of your loved ones depend on it. I sincerely hope that you never have a power loss experience in your flying career. P.S. You might think that after having two forced landings and the power loss at altitude that I would probably not miss the Cheetah. Well, believe it or not, I absolutely loved flying that airplane and miss it to this day. We sold it twenty seven years ago...almost to the very day. That was one nice flying airplane.
  6. Young Mooney Driver in Need of Wisdom

    Yes I am. Years ago, when we were based in Brooksville, we used to stop in to Pilot Country for fuel regularly.
  7. Young Mooney Driver in Need of Wisdom

    Hello Blake. I'm over on the West Coast of FL at FA40 with a 172M. Love your "handle"!
  8. Now this scared the hell out of me

    Nothing like a Cessna fuel system. Move selector from "off" to "both" and leave it there, forever.
  9. Thinking of straying from the fold

    One good, solid airplane!
  10. Thinking of straying from the fold

    The article stated that there were 208 known in flight airframe failures of the model 35 as of 1978. The earliest model 35, referred to as the "straight 35" or pre-A35 Bonanzas most often failed at Wing Station 66, not the center section which is the subject of ADs. Beechcraft did not have any spar web in the original model beyond that point (Wing Station 66). The later models with beefed up Wings most often tend to fail in the tails. The later approved tail cuff is only part of the solution. The ruddervators are prone to flutter with very little margin for safety. Proper balancing is critical. The ruddervator and trim cables need to have proper tension and must be carefully inspected (and replaced when worn). There is a lot more to it than adding the tail cuff, which, by the way, had to be removed from the earliest models. They background information of the design, flight characteristics, the breakdown of failures by specific model, comments by engineers and investigators involved in studying the problem, comparisons with the straight tail Bonanzas and other airplanes makes for fascinating reading. Comparatively, when you look at the Mooney from a structural integrity perspective, you can appreciate it for the good airplane that it is.
  11. Thinking of straying from the fold

    It was in the February 1st, 1980 issue of Aviation Consumer. You can find it easily on line by searching for "The V-tail Bonanza - Breaking of a legend". There is a PDF from the piperforum, of all places. Aviation Consumer also did a later report which I have not located or read. You will want to read this report thoroughly. If you can't find it, I can EMAIL it to you. Brian
  12. Thinking of straying from the fold

    I'll second the recommendation for the 177 Cardinal. Hard to think of another airplane that would be easier to get in and out of. You'll have plenty of space and probably the best visibility of any of the high wing airplanes. If you don't need retractable and high cruise speed is not critically important, the 177B should provide lower insurance and maintenance costs. Make sure that the spar carry through area is carefully inspected for corrosion during pre-buy. That is one potentially major problem area. Comanches do offer a fully zinc chromated airframe and more cabin space but are probably no easier to get in and out of than your Mooney. I guess the other option to consider is a Model 35 Bonanza. My Dad flew the early Bonanzas when they were brand new and told me that if I ever got to fly one, "I would be spoiled for life". The Bonanza offers space, comfort and performance, although it would not improve entry / exit ease. You would also have to deal with an older airframe, reduced support for the original E Series Continental engines and Beechcraft parts prices which have a reputation for being expensive...not that any parts are cheap anymore. Low acquisition costs related to airframe failures is nothing to ignore. I read an Aviation Consumer report on "the V tail Bonanza, the breaking of a legend". You should read it and decide for yourself.
  13. Hurricane Irma

    We were among the lucky ones down here. Lost power for about 36 hours while there are millions without,, some of whom have been told that they may not have their power restored for another 10-12 days! No property damage other than a big pile of tree branches to deal with. Same at my Mom's place where my wife and I spent last night (Mom had power). My airplane was fine at Hidden Lake FA40. The only damage I saw at the airport was one (1) downed tree in the grass behind a row of hangars. I feel for those who have suffered damage to theirs.
  14. Hurricane Irma

    Spent he day boarding up my house and then started on Mom's place. Will finish hers up tomorrow. Forecast to be Category 3 when it hits my area, late Sunday night and early Monday morning. Should be an interesting night. Best of luck to you, your families and your airplanes in getting through this storm.