L. Trotter

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About L. Trotter

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    Full Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    : Rapid City, SD (KRAP) : Provo, UT (KPVU)
  • Interests
    Planes of course, Family and all things extream
  • Reg #
    N 815T
  • Model
    M20TN (Acclaim)

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  1. L. Trotter

    So whats too cold for the plane

    So, I was at FL 210 temp -27C when I experienced a primary alternator failure ( alt new 150 hrs ago). The back up alt worked fine. I had very little load on the alternator when it failed. No circuit breakers popped. I landed for fuel for about 1/2 hr, temp +5C. I was expecting the primary alt to remain non functional. However, after things presumably warmed up a bit, the primary alt started working just fine. No further issue past 75hrs in temps as low as -15C. I believe the cold combined with very little load caused some sort of alt disfunction. Could cold temps be an alt limitation? Or do you turn every thing on creating a heavy load when temps are low?
  2. L. Trotter

    Runway Conditions Report

    For those not familiar with reported runway conditions for landing or departing (particularly in the winter), here is the criteria airports use to report conditions. They will be given by NOTAM or verbally by the tower during approach. There will be 3 numbers provided correlating with the 1st 1/3rd, 2nd 1/3rd and last 1/3rd of the runway (example 5/5/5). Hope this is helpful. Runway Condition.pdf If interested in the entire FAA circular, from which the chart was extracted, here is the link: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_91-79A.pdf
  3. I really enjoy these little tid-bits of knowledge to learn from. Thanks Scott. These type of exchanges are what make this site so valuable.
  4. L. Trotter

    What to do when the planes in the shop

    Be strong.....I've been told that looking at other similar beauties on the internet-watching them gracefully move about is a form of cheating. But I don't think any of us will tell-we're all guilty.
  5. L. Trotter

    Upgraded Bravo vs. Acclaim

    The topic of how to go high, safely, year-round for little $$ has been a long debated question (and one that is still enjoyable to entertain). I know I have struggled with the decision with in the past year. This is my summary with the mission requiring 1. Consistent alt >12k 2. Year-round availability 3. Ice encounter options (FIKI) 4. Speed 5. Efficiency 6. Overall maintenance costs 7. Comfort 8. 2 people regularly plus a 3rd and rare 4th person 9. Average 300-600 NM trips : Start with the power plant(s)- Turbine vs Reciprocating. Who wouldn't want a Turbine !! Acquisition cost alone kill this option not to mention maintenance fees even if the aircraft was given for free. So, turbocharged engine it is. Yes, they cost more to operate than NA engines, but that is the cost to go high-reliably. I have owned a 310HP Ovation thinking it would do the job above the weather in the teens, simply not so. After about 13K that beautiful bird really starts to choke and your altitude option vanishes quickly. For perspective, I don't think climbing at 50-100 FPM a viable option. Mountain wave will beat you at that rate. I've owned a turbo twin Cessna (also a nice plane), but yearly ownership costs are very high-well over double any single I've owned. One could talk about safety in regards to engine redundancy, but I'll omit this debated topic. FIKI vs non-FIKI- Not much to discuss here. Year-round flying in the northern tier over mountains. You will encounter ice, period-even in the summer. FIKI is an option out, not an option to stay in the situation. I just put a FIKI TKS system in my Acclaim.... a 62K ouch. If you need a new prop/spinner add another 16+K. Find a plane already equipped, it's cheaper that way. FIKI is definitely the icing on the cake (no pun intended) and will significantly improve utility. New vs Old- I see this as a pay me now or pay me later question. A newer plane (typically) will have less maintenance/replacement costs compared to an older model. I'm thinking of perhaps a 15+ year age difference. A newer model may also bring additional expensive equipment along as well. Items such as autopilot, oxygen, integrated glass, airbags, air conditioning, back up electrical system, upgraded interior and possibly nicer paint. Speed/Efficiency/comfort- Several possible brands to choose from....well not really. Mooney stands alone in my view. Sure there are other nice manufacturers to choose from, but considering this topic not many will argue that Mooney excels in this area. I'm 6'1" 200# and find my mooney to be comfortable. Sure, the twin was like a Suburban but not any more/less comfortable. Pressurization is a beautiful thing, but all the reasonable options will exceed a GA budget faster than a turbine burns fuel. Summary- I considered many different options (turbine Lancair, turbine conversions (several makes), meridian, old TBM, light twins, Bo's and even Cirrus/Columbia type). I found spending as much as I could afford on a turbo charged FIKI Mooney to be the best option for the above requirements. The saying "buy your 2nd plane 1st" is true. The "get there itis" is a real phenomenon especially when the aircraft is used for business and must be ready to go on a regular basis. There are so many variables to consider when making a safe flight. You can mitigate many issues with a properly chosen aircraft. It's a bad place to be at 15K ft starting to pick up un-forecasted ice in the wrong plane. If you can afford/justify a FIKI Mooney Acclaim you will not be disappointed. I believe it is the best BANG for the BUCK.
  6. L. Trotter

    Preflight De-Ice

    Riverton, WYO (KRIW). Landed at 5pm. Temp was 7ºF. Had frost on wings within 20 min.
  7. L. Trotter

    Today's flight for 2018

    A nice IFR trip from Chesapeake, VA (KCPK) to the Dayton, OH area (I73) last week. Above an ice containing overcast at 8000 ft. The sunset approaching Dayton was truly a sight - the photo, although nice, does not due mother nature justice. Admission was a near 40 kt head wind. It's Unfortunate that there so many terrestrial based individuals have no idea what we are so fortunate to experience.
  8. L. Trotter

    Preflight De-Ice

    So, the cold weather is upon us and even though you may not have TKS panels and FIKI capability, you may find frost, snow or even ice on your plane that needs to be managed prior to any flight. The days of "polishing" frost smooth prior to flight were officially deemed unacceptable by the FAA Feb 2010. I've seen guys scrape surfaces with an ice remover, credit card or just a gloved finger. If you don't have access to a heated hanger here is a cheap, quick and effective alternative. I used an empty spray bottle with 91% isopropyl alcohol and a little TKS fluid (mixed 75/25). I sprayed a portion of the wing the night prior and the frost literally just wiped off while untreated areas were rather adherent. Spraying adherent frost/ice the morning of was also painless but took a little extra time and perhaps a little more fluid. I used about 1 qt. for the entire plane. Cost was under $3.00. The best part.....essentially no elbow grease and no damage to paint.
  9. L. Trotter

    FlyQ 4.0 thoughts

    Keep a hard copy of your flight time logs. Years ago, in the early digital era, I kept all my flight experience with an online company. They went under and took all my flight info with them. Unfortunately, I did not keep a hard copy. Now I let ForeFlight keep a record but I also keep a hand written logbook as back up.
  10. L. Trotter

    Fuel sump in winter

    So...How many sample fuel for water via the sump drain during winter with ambient temps below freezing? As for me...I don't. It may seem elementary but early in my flying career in Minot, ND with temps of below -20℉ I checked the fuel via the sump only to have a small piece of ice keep the sump open draining fuel onto the ground. It was difficult to get it to stop.
  11. L. Trotter

    What is your icing strategy?

    A practical in flight observation.....If temps are +2C through about -25C and you see a nice aura around your shadow in the clouds, ice is a definite possibility.
  12. This is what I was referring to in my less than eloquent written observation. Although my concerns for icing are diminished (when its's snowing in clouds) the concern for icing is not zero. I guess I can now say they are diminished 66% with a concern for ice of 33%. I guess Snow impact on a leading edge is technically a form of "icing". I think for many in GA, this form of "icing" is often not considered as it is generally accepted that snow will just "pass over and not penetrate the boundary layer". My point is, wet snow can stick to leading edges and lead to the same issues as rime, clear or mixed icing. Maybe what I am really seeing is generic icing but that is not what it looks or seems like. Thanks for bring up this timely topic. Dispelling myths to promote safety is always welcomed.
  13. Scott, From your signature block It would appear that you are certainly my superior when it comes to weather. I am no weather professional. However, I do have loads of experience flying in the northern tier-year round. This I can say from personal observation....When there is snow in the clouds my concern for structural icing diminishes considerably. It would seem the atmospheric conditions which produce ice with supercooled liquid droplets and the conditions which are favorable to produce snow are competitive in nature. However, beware, depending on the moisture content of the snow, impact build up can occur and produce the end result of ice. This usually occurs when the temps are just hovering around the freezing point. When the temps are really cold the moisture content is low and the snow will do a great job cleaning your leading edge.
  14. L. Trotter

    Landing gear small emergency!

    No intention is misdirecting this thread. However, I can't help but make an appreciative comment on this experience. All too often we believe that when we do something, like move a switch, the intended action occurs. In fact, I suspect many of us are lulled into complacency because what we expect to happen usually does. This is a perfect example and reminder of what we should all be doing...all the time. After initiating an action, like extending the landing gear, verify its completion. The same could be said about Flaps, frequency changes (nav and com), autopilot and oxygen to name just a few. There is nothing small about this incident. It was only a pilots vigilance to detail that converted this event into a successful landing. Thank you for the reminder.
  15. L. Trotter

    G1000 WAAS Upgrade Cost?

    The GIA 63 and 63W are not backward compatible with each other. I was told by Paul Maxwell that after changing the antenna's and upgrading the G1000 software, the old units would have no value to me as I would not be able to ever use them again. Also, the exchange (63 to 63W) is an all or nothing proposition. The issue is with the G1000 software. The updated programing allows each element in the "system" to understand each other. I am told the WAAS info is in a different language the old G1000 set up can't understand. You are correct in regards to Support for the GIA 63W. I spoke with Garmin directly. There is FULL support for the 63W currently and going foreword for the unforeseeable future. As far as continued support for the GIA 63 I am not certain. Garmin was rather sketchy about this issue. If I still had the 63's in my plane I would grab 1 or 2 used units removed from a plane that underwent the 63W upgrade. I know there are several units available and would be cheaper than sending one in for possible repair. There is the possibility that the GIA 64 may work with the G1000 set up. However, this option would have to come though Mooney and I'm told that is highly unlikely.