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chrixxer last won the day on August 1

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About chrixxer

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    PPL+IR, Complex, High Performance
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  1. chrixxer

    M20F cruise speed

    I'm seeing 147 ktas in the same plane with the scimitar prop (occasionally 148-150 ktas). And the IO-360 hot-starts easily, 1st time every time for me, with the "mixture rich, throttle wide open for 12 seconds, throttle to idle, mixture to cut-off, and crank" technique.
  2. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    Yes, it’s mostly at CMA now (the mags are in Van Nuys getting IRAN’d). With all the attention it’s getting, and all the work done under sub-optimum conditions on the ramp at NBVC, I’m having an early annual done, too. Will feel much more comfortable with a tip-to-tail inspection.
  3. chrixxer

    Magnetic compass on 1966 M20C

    I mean, if you have a spot for it, you can always go with a panel-mount SIRS: I'm thinking about that as a solution, though I'm not 100% sold on giving up a panel hole. I have the VCC (PAI-700) and even with the "balls" it's totally inaccurate on many headings (30°+ off).
  4. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    No dip stick?
  5. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    Hmm, hadn't heard that before. That, plus the issues the A&P identified (air in the lines, gunk in the gauge) ...
  6. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    I never said I trust(ed) the fuel gauges. I had a dipstick on board, which, while not specifically calibrated to that airframe, has been verified - on multiple occasions, by myself and the previous owner - as reading, conservatively, 5 gallons less than what's actually on board. If the dipstick says I have 10, I add 15 and calculate for 15, but what I actually have on board is more like 16-17. I dip sticked the tank, and cross-checked it with what the fuel gauge read. (And these have proven to be more accurate than the trainers I flew. But I also have a fuel totalizer on board, and check the levels after every flight, and ...)
  7. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    I'll check re the battery, thanks! And yeah, I think it was several starts with very little charging. I'll note my boss runs 100LL in his '69 Charger. I've never had any fuel loss before, and I now strongly suspect something happened with all of the mucking about with the servo, pump, etc. that's been done, under less than optimum working conditions, over the past several weeks. It's grounded at CMA (my call) until after everything is 100%, which at this point (I confirmed today, we're going ahead with it) will include a full annual inspection and all the ADs, no matter how "early." EDIT: Battery changed 10/7/2017.
  8. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    Below visible, and I think bone dry. Certainly possible, and he's going to go over every inch before I even taxi it! Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking, in connection with the plane sitting for weeks and starting a few times but not running at cruise power for any length of time to build the charge back up. We may have smoked the battery through all this, but if so that's "only" another $300 or so, right? :/ I'm tracking the ADs in my database , and already inquired as to whether or not it makes sense to just do the annual now (great minds ). It'll already be largely apart and is AOG anyway... And after all this I'll feel better with a full inspection and sign-off. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. chrixxer

    Handheld backup

    Ditto. I might add, also, a "trick" I picked up from a friend: Get ATIS before every flight using the handheld. Saves the ship's battery or some engine run-time, and it's an easy way to be sure the batteries in the handheld are good for when you really need them.
  10. chrixxer

    Handheld backup

    Came here to say this. In my experience with a Yaesu 550, the tower could only hear me from the runway (though I could hear tower / TRACON / etc way out). Hooking up to an external antenna increased the transmission range dramatically. I like the Yaesu, it comes with a headset adapter. I also had a RAM mount to suction cup it to the window (could fly a VOR or localizer with it, in a pinch), and a PTT switch I could velcro to the yoke.
  11. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    Um, I think you need to re-read what I wrote...
  12. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    Well ... Not in this instance. The flaps on 4BE were done by one A&P, at Chino, a Mooney-specific recommendation from Lou DuBois (who has an M20B on his flight line at Chino). The tires and tubes by another A&P, at home at SMO, who I thought did great work but then I heard some things that raised my eyebrows. I did some avionics work, which was signed off by an FAA repair station who also did the field repair on the S-Tec (they're an S-Tec authorized shop); I've found them to be attention-oriented and detailed, and they were a MooneySpace recommendation, but I've heard from another Mooney pilot that they botched some (non-avionics) work, so everyone's mileage may vary. I've only had 3RM since mid-April, so the only work that's been done on her so far was an oil change and a full power static check, just to see if the A&P noticed anything I hadn't; that was done less than 10 hours before the engine out on July 8th. That was an A&P on the field at TOA who works on my boss' planes. I have a recommendation for another A&P who was recommended to me by another MooneySpacer, a fastidious gentleman with an immaculate E; I met the mechanic when we dropped him off to pick up his plane as it came out of annual. The guy who's working on 3RM at Camarillo was a referral from another MooneySpacer, who works on that person's personal Mooney. The A&P is based out of CMA, which made the most sense given the plane was stuck at NTD, which can be 90 minutes or more from the folks I know in the L.A. basin, each way (on top of the delays inherent in the military's security protocols). He seems to know his stuff (though I do suspect I unnecessarily replaced the fuel servo - I believe the issue was with the gasket piece in the throttle body, and the (cascade?) failure of the fuel pump; but I'd rather be griping about an unnecessary $1,700 than losing power again, or having a nagging question in the back of my mind re an unreplaced servo). And as long as the plane's up there and he's already identified a bunch of stuff that should be done, I'm comfortable having him do it. Given the geography, I don't see many scenarios where I'll use his services again, but we'll see how everything turns out when I get to the end of this chapter.
  13. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    "nowhere in your original post did you state that you had calibrated the Cessna dipstick. Just that it was 'conservative'" I didn't go into the whole history of the aircraft, either. Didn't think I needed to explain that the dipstick gave me conservative estimates. (What I said was: "15+ gallons (I have a dipstick, but it's for a Cessna; if I add 5 gallons to what it indicates, I'll always be conservative).") I inherited the dipstick from the previous owner, who told me "add 5 gallons and it's pretty close." I like to know what "pretty close" means, so I made it a point to take readings at various fuel levels and cross-reference that with what it took on when filling. But that's not, to me, "calibrated." (I'm Tau Beta Pi.) In this case, the fuel gauge showed 97 lbs. of fuel in that tank (16 gallons), and when I filled up at CMA it took on about 12 gallons to the 25 gallon tab, so I had 13 when I landed - about right for taxi, run-up, full power full rich climb, and a few minutes of flight time. The dipstick told me I had "approximately 15." It may not be "calibrated," but it's good enough for a sanity check to ensure the fuel gauge and totalizer are doing their thing properly. "I thought maybe you just didn't know the risks you are taking and how they could easily be mitigated." I knew them, but honestly, and I'm not sure why, I didn't think about it at the time. Tower asked how much length I needed, I said I could comfortably be off the ground in 2,000' (which is true, when normally operating); tower told me I had 3600' remaining and cleared me for the intersection departure. I had, in fact, actually expressly pondered the advantages of the long runway earlier (and before you skewer me for that post, I'll point out it was (a) not my idea and (b) skeeved me out, and I was more wondering if I was being unreasonable ... But ultimately opted to cajole the mechanic into replacing the mechanical pump on the ramp at NTD (which was not exactly cheap) and getting her 100% no ferry permit required airworthy (which he did sign off on) before flying her to CMA to give attention to the rest of the squawks he identified (none of which affected airworthiness, all are "recommended maintenance" items)). It's not exactly apples to apples, but I kinda want to point out I'm still daily driving the 1995 Jeep Wrangler I bought new when I was 18; everything it needs, mechanically, it gets, and it has never so much as failed a smog check despite being a "49 state" equipped vehicle (bought it in Missouri before I left for California). My M3 is currently at the shop getting a 90K service (it's an '04 I've owned since '08, CPO, I put the last 60K on her). My '94 Porsche is in storage (it's relatively rare) and had one catastrophic failure (lost a drain plug on the freeway and the empty transaxle locked) that I firmly believe was the result of an inattentive mechanic (I'd had a bumper-to-bumper service performed a few weeks prior), but couldn't prove it. I have the "Exemplary Driver" discount on my car insurance. My last traffic accident was when an SUV hit me on my motorcycle on the 101 in 2002 (despite being a SigAlert, a dislocated thumb and a whole-body bruise were my only injuries; I wore "all the gear, all the time"). I'm not - or at least I try not to be - an idiot. I hit WINGS seminars regularly. I fly with experienced pilots constantly (and cringe at many bad habits I observe regularly, and catch shit for things like following the Cirrus checklist to the letter, including pulling the CAPS pin, which I've seen multiple-thousand-hour ATPs refuse to do). I invite the scrutiny, and these conversations - with most of y'all - mirror some of those I have with friends in meatspace. The other day I was talking to a friend who was second-guessing declaring a situation where, when the flaps stuck at 10° extended (retracting after take-off) and nothing in the QRF helped, they as PIC made the decision to declare and divert to a suitable airport 80 miles away, flying there at ~5000'. (Regional jet, FWIW.) I'm a lowly PPL but talking through the decision making process with another pilot, one who's had two declared emergencies, was reportedly helpful.) IDK.
  14. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    >11,000' and, yeah, again, agreed and conceded. (Think you mean "once you get longer than 4500' or so," if I'm 4500' above a runway at sea level, I'm positive I can set it down safely if anything happens.)
  15. chrixxer

    Wish me luck...

    (1) He wasn't able to correct it on site or he would have. Limited access to tools, no access to electricity ... (2) Agreed and conceded. (3) Yeah, but again, what could we have done about it? No 100LL on base. We weren't able to bring any on. No way to diagnose, and extremely limited options regarding repair. Take the wings off and take it out on a flatbed? Write the plane off? The other tank had more than enough fuel to make it to CMA with more than double the required reserves (I landed with 13 gallons in the tank, my dipstick said I had "15" before I fired it up, did a (lengthy, cautious) run-up, had a text message conversation with the A&P with the engine running, departed, climbed to 3500' (which put me within gliding distance of CMA - at all times I was within gliding distance of one of the two airports) and flew to CMA, all the numbers fit. The fuel selector was on the tank with fuel in it. No indication of any leak. The fuel had been in the tank for 3 weeks. The A&P had done several run-ups over those several weeks, and had inspected the fuel system (fuel lines, pumps, servo, filters, etc), and confirmed no leaks and proper operation. The owner's manual expressly contemplates flying with one tank dry. Given the totality of the circumstances, I made a safe, if less than 100% optimal, choice that would maximize the mechanical attention the plane could receive (6nm away over empty fields). The A&P, more intimately familiar with the exact state of the aircraft than either you or I are, advised of the empty tank, nonetheless stated unequivocally "you're fine to fly." I was watching the (working) fuel gauge, and it wasn't moving (see below (taken during pre-flight)). As PIC I have to rely on those with more knowledge about things than I have, like the A&P who just spent 3 weeks working on it, and the folks in Kerrville who wrote the manual. I'm asking, in all sincerity, what would you have done in those specific circumstances?