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Junkman last won the day on December 25 2017

Junkman had the most liked content!

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About Junkman

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    Full Member
  • Birthday 01/30/1961

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  • Location
    : Saint Charles, MO (KSUS)
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  • Model
    M20M TLS/Bravo

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  1. First off, I'm sorry for your bad fortune. The "golden BB" can cause enough damage to bring an airplane down if it hits the right spot - in like fashion, its painfully ironic when a maintenance action results in grounding the airplane. Second, I'm also one of those guys who sees virtue in being able to top a high cloud line or maintain a nice altitude margin over the Rockies. More gas? Everything is relative, isn't it...? In the final analysis we all like to go FAST. My wife is a reluctant flyer but very grateful for the time saved and the places we are able to go in the Mooney. Part of that is because she understands and supports my love of aviation. I, like you, prefer to have a mission for each flight. So I create a mission every time I want to go fly, be it very specific training or more data collection on my engine performance. You can never have too much data (so I've heard from the engineers I collect data for at work). It sounds like this latest event has prompted you to re-evaluate the cost/benefit of all things aviation-related in your life, as well as your opinions and perceptions of the motivations and attitudes of those who fly. You're a CFII? May be a way to re-channel your efforts for awhile and regain some energy about flying, and remember why you got started. There's nothing like the moment when the light bulb goes to high intensity in a student to get the juices flowing again. A lot of us have been there, either because of a costly maintenance issue or due to some other major outlook-altering event. You'll get through the ensuing hardships to get your bird airworthy. That's when you'll want to step back again and take a good long look at this aviation thing. You and your wife will be able to make the right decision for you both then. I'm not a counselor, but I love aviation. Good luck! Cheers, Rick
  2. I am approaching the end of my second career. I have what should be one of the best jobs on the face of the planet for an aviator. And up until about 10 years ago, it was, for me and most of the folks I work with. "I can't believe they pay us to do this!" was a common refrain. That's when the insidious creep of modern day management-in-lieu-of-leadership started having a real impact on our department. Now, I keep going to work because of the people I get to work with, and a small part of the work is still "oh my God!" fun and rewarding. I am definitely in the camp of working to live, and am looking forward to claiming all of my time to devote to the things I choose to, without giving 8 hours a day, and usually more, to someone else. But in the mean time, my coworkers are some of my best friends, and we occasionally get to do some great work together. I've been blessed with a job I love working with people I like, but it is still a job. I'll never stop contributing in some way, especially to aviation, it will just be on my schedule and according to my priorities. I know that will be somewhat limiting and confine me to pursuits over which I have the illusion of control, but isn't that the point? A friend who just retired put it best - "We are dinosaurs here, nobody cares about what we've done or that we know how to do it better." A sad fact of where we are at our age in corporate life. Time to move to a different environment. I didn't get hit with Marauder's ton of bricks, but they've been piling on top of me brick by brick to where the ton is finally there. Cheers, Rick
  3. I"m four years away from retirement, a year less if the market stays positive, and already living on our retirement spend. My wife retired last year, and has started a business that allows her to manage her time however she chooses. The Mooney is our "forever airplane", along with a low wing trainer (Zenith CH2000) that I plan to instruct in after I retire from my current gig. That, and a number of other aviation and non-aviation interests, will keep me occupied. About 5 years ago, before this round of airplane ownership, I projected what I expected our retirement budget requirements would be, doubled it, and set that as our target for our "fun chip pile" income generating end state. We're pretty simple people and don't live extravagantly aside from our aviation habit. We're still living within half of the retirement income target, and haven't had to change much. It's a great exercise with a side benefit of increasing the funds available to grow the nest egg faster. We're very fortunate to have combined pension income that will cover our subsistence needs and a little more. The airplane budget will ebb and flow with the income from the retirement fund. At some point I expect we will decide to let someone else do the driving for our air travels. I've identified, as I'm guessing others have, that physical health and financial health will be the two things that drive that decision. Pretty obvious, I know, but identifying them drives me to continually assess them honestly. It can be hard to be objective about either when you want to keep flying. I'd like to think that the chore of selling the airplanes will fall to my wife or the kids after I'm gone, but most likely I'll know when the time is right to step away. Cheers, Rick
  4. Mechanics upcharge for parts?

    I have the next best thing - Sporty's Breakdown Assistance. Its like an auto club for your airplane, and I used it last month. I was AOG, called the number and gave my information to their call center, and within 20 minutes I was talking to a technician who referred me to a local shop in their network for repairs. There was no guess work in trying to find a mechanic, and the technician I talked to encouraged me to call him if I had any questions about anything that the shop told me. VERY slick and worry free, and the annual fee is less than $200. All the work is managed by Savvy Aviation, Mike Busch's company. Cheers, Rick
  5. I got word from my friends at Wings of Hope at KSUS that they will be offering a 1968 M20 for auction in the coming month. I'm told that he airframe and interior are in remarkably good shape. The engine, however, was overhauled over 2 decades ago and hasn't flown much since and the mechanic doesn't want to sign it off without some detailed inspection work beyond what they usually invest when getting a donated airplane ready to sell. I didn't get a tail number, don't know what model M20 and don't have any additional details, but Ive asked for them and will update this post when I get them. Here is a link to the page where Wings of Hope posts their auctions, use the "Aircraft for Auction" pull-down at the top of the page to see the airplanes currently up for bid. You can usually buy these airplanes for a more than reasonable price. https://aircraft.wingsofhope.ngo As I stated at the beginning this airplane isn't on the site yet, but should be posted in the coming month. Cheers, Rick
  6. Concur with both. RE: MAINTENANCE. I did a quick look at the belly of the airplane and I found a couple of camlocs had pulled through on one of my belly panels (the large one) and I'm thinking the open holes could be the source of the CO infiltration during climb. I need to drop the panels and have a further look inside and retrieve the pulled-through camlocs, but it was still too dang cold for me to get in to that. I won't be able to get to the hangar again for about a week and a half. Hopefully the temps will be back above the teens by then and I can affect some repairs/replacements and resealing and get her out for a check flight. RE: CO LEVELS. The only time I had seen an alert on my Sensorcon prior to this incident was when I had put the sensor in the back seat with my flight bag when refueling after a trip with my wife, and she was holding the door open during the taxi back to the hangar. To be expected, right? It also gave me a warm fuzzy that I could hear the alarm over the normal cockpit noise. Every other time I had looked at the sensor it read between 0 and 17, with 17 being during ground ops with the pilot window open. I don't stare at it, or constantly check it, or run it in MAX mode, so it could be that there were higher levels that I just didn't see, but not high enough to cause an alarm. And the preset alarm on the sensor is set at a conservative 35PPM, the level deemed acceptable, by the people who are supposed to know about this stuff, for regularly experiencing 8 hours of exposure during a normal work shift. What levels you're wiling to fly with is your decision. And that's where I'm going with this. If you read through the posts on the CO threads you'll see a pattern of "normal" levels you should expect to see during different phases of ground and flight operations. Generally speaking the reported levels are between 0 and the high teens. If the levels you are seeing exceed these by a significant margin, you may want to take some time, as several people have done and reported here, to take a look and see if you can figure out why. The most significant thing about the PPM number that your sensor is reporting, other than if it gets high enough to alert you to imminent danger, is that your numbers are within the norms and that THEY AREN'T CHANGING. In my case I had never seen anything higher than 17PPM, and now something has changed and the alarm is going off. I can't find a way to get the level back down to normal, so there is something wrong and I don't know what it is or if it will get worse. SHOULD I continue is the question that led me to the decision to get back on the ground and investigate. I briefly flirted with the question of CAN I continue, but quickly determined that there would be a lot of workload in dealing with future contingencies, potentially in a diminished decision making capacity, and there was no justification for taking that risk. Something was not right with my airplane and it could hurt me, I couldn't find a way to mitigate it, so it was time to get back to zero knots where I could devote all of my attention to finding the problem. My level of experience with this airplane factored in as well. I only have 120 hours in my Mooney and while I've seen some unusual things that I've worked through, I still have a lot to learn and experience. Looking at this in retrospect, if it were to happen again and I had closed the heater/defrost, opened vents, etc I would reduce the angle of attack (increase speed) and see if that changed the CO PPM trend. One more troubleshooting technique to put in the tool kit. But once the level climbed through 100PPM my focus shifted completely away from troubleshooting and on to getting the airplane on the ground. That was as far as I was willing to let it go with a reasonable expectation of being able to continue to fly the airplane competently through a successful recovery. You can look at the available charts and data and determine where your own limit is. FWIW, my daughter's boyfriend is a St Louis firefighter, and we talked about CO poisoning over the Christmas holiday. The St Louis fire department uses 100PPM as the trigger for evacuating a home or building. One more piece of data to consider. Cheers, Rick
  7. I got a very pleasant follow-up call from the Memphis FSDO while I was walking in to work this morning. The gentleman told me what information he had regarding the incident, and essentially asked me to fill in the details on the event and subsequent maintenance performed to remedy the problem. Took about three minutes, with shared well wishes for the new year. No paperwork requested on this one. Cheers, Rick
  8. EPILOGUE PART ONE I recovered N1088F from Tennessee back to St Louis this afternoon. The Sensorcon alerted again (35+PPM) on climb out, but immediately dropped into the teens when I opened the cockpit vent on the console. I already had the overhead vent open. I leveled at my flight planned altitude of 4000' to fly between cloud layers and the CO level dropped to 0. I closed all of the vents and opened the heater, and the CO level stayed at 0 for the rest of the flight. I'm thinking that I have some spots on the belly or in the left wheel well that are allowing exhaust into the cockpit at climb angle of attack, as pointed out to me by Don Maxwell and others on the MAPA mailing list. Tom (my mechanic) and I will be taking a look on Friday if it isn't too cold. There's more to this story, I think. Cheers, Rick
  9. I'm sure one of the doctors here can answer authoritatively. Personally I would be thinking about getting on the ground as soon as possible. You're using supplemental O2 because of the rarified air at altitude, so you aren't getting any "extra" O2, just what you need to keep your O2 saturation at normal levels. CO attaches more readily than O2 under NORMAL conditions, and according to the studies I've read there is evidence that you are at a higher risk with CO exposure at altitude. You can only get to 100% O2 saturation (I think?) with supplemental oxygen and CO at sufficient levels will still win over the O2 from what I understand. Lots of hemming and hawing here, as I think I only know enough to be dangerous on this topic. The exception would be if you were using a sealed mask from an O2 bottle and not pulling in any ambient cockpit air, in which case you will have isolated yourself from the CO in the cockpit. I'd get on the ground as soon as practical, rather than as soon as possible, in that case. These are only my opinions, looking forward to being educated by those who have done more than read studies. Cheers, Rick
  10. Unfortunate Auto Accident

    I'm sorry for your loss of a friend and mentor, Tom.
  11. Best Aviation Christmas Gifts

    Shameless plug for flyboytoys.com to all of you who "need" shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, coffee mugs, door mats etc with your airplane printed on them. Great quality and as you can see from the pics, nice images matching your paint scheme and tail number. I"m a bit of a junkie (no pun intended) for that kind of stuff. Cheers, Rick
  12. Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas all!
  13. Best Aviation Christmas Gifts

    Are those from flyboystoys.com?
  14. That's a great question. I did a quick search on "carbon monoxide detection as a function of altitude" and came across this study on altitude effects on CO absorption and presentation of symptoms: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj93L6Uz6XYAhWGeSYKHYEsCtkQFggpMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nfpa.org%2F~%2Fmedia%2Ffiles%2Fnews-and-research%2Fresources%2Fresearch-foundation%2Fresearch-foundation-reports%2Fdetection-and-signaling%2Frfimpactaltitudecotoxicology.pdf%3Fla%3Den&usg=AOvVaw3Sg4-AK1ZPdMhJ7dkcNCMq To cut to the chase, the study supports the premise that the same concentration of CO at altitude will have a greater impact on you than it will at sea level. The Sensorcon does not adjust for altitude, and that means that that the PPM risk level parameters change with altitude. A lower PPM count at altitude will hurt you more than that same PPM count at sea level. Here's a quote from the study: "Conclusion: For a given exposure to the same partial pressure of CO, persons at altitude will exhibit a greater rise as well as steady state value of COHb levels than similar persons at sea level. Acute symptoms for a particular level of blood COHb also seem to be magnified at altitude, whether this translates to a greater risk of death is unknown. It is therefore clear that guidelines for CO exposure at sea level are not well suited to elevated environments." There is a lot of interesting and educational data in the study for those so inclined. Cheers, Rick
  15. Ok, so this won't be necessarily the BEST aviation gift in Mooneyspace this year, but its been my best and most entertaining gift so far. My daughter decided my wife and I needed some new soft side luggage for our travels in the Mooney and got one for my wife Glennie, appropriately embroidered with "The Pilot's Wife" and her name. Here's mine: Cheers, Rick