jlunseth

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jlunseth last won the day on July 6 2015

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About jlunseth

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    MN
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    N381SP
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    M20K 231
  1. +1. I fly the same way. I almost always file IFR, but I get my "actual" time in drips and drabs, mostly ascending and descending through a layer of some kind. There are many advantages. When you fly a long trip, and I fly quite a few, the destination weather when you arrive is rarely what was forecast and there almost always will be some kind of weather enroute. You can avoid much of it by flying low, but that is generally pretty uncomfortable. Getting above the layer invariably means smooth air. In the summer around here (upper midwest) we get quite alot of "popcorn cumulus" days where the bottoms might be 4 or 5 thousand and the tops are 8-12k, sometimes higher. The air is quite alot smoother above the tops, glassy actually, and I can ascend and descend as needed, I don't need to look for that elusive hole or worry that I will be trapped on top. You need to be able to deal with that unforecast fog that rolled in or the remnants of storms that did not quite clear out at a destination 800 nm and 4 hours away, when things aren't quite what you expected.
  2. Well, have they figured out how to make a lighter diesel? And have the laws of physics changed so that diesel does not weigh a pound more than avgas? Given that Mooneys tend to have low useful loads, adding a diesel to a Mooney is not heading in the right direction.
  3. If you have had some panel upgrades from the original equipment it may be that the outlet hoses were not reconnected, and it may be that there is not enough space back behind the electronics stacks to run and connect the hoses at all.
  4. Yes, but that is not how it works. 50 degrees LOP and 50 degrees ROP are not the same power setting. Very roughly speaking, and in my engine, 30 LOP is what I use to achieve the same power setting as I do with 125 ROP. The power fall off is very steep on the LOP side, I am not sure the engine would even run at 125 LOP. So again, roughly speaking, the difference between equivalent LOP and ROP power settings is about 100 dF. 50 LOP is, again, speaking in generalities, not in the red box, and you would have to work pretty hard to get, say, 75% power out of a 50 LOP setting. I doubt you could do it at all. 50 ROP is about dead center in the red box and you could probably get a 100% power setting to work at 50 ROP. That would be hard on the engine, but you could get the engine to do it. I agree on your conclusion though, it does appear that LOP, although it results in generally higher EGT's, does not burn valves. It appears to actually be kinder to the valves, they stay clean and do not coke up.
  5. There is a locational issue to the durability question, which makes it hard to pin down. For example, LOP, to speak in generalizations, results in an EGT that is about 100 dF higher than an equivalent ROP power setting. So one question that was raised early on, was whether that would result in reduced valve life because the valves are operating in a higher temperature environment. Or reduced durability of the collector which is going to run hotter. In my aircraft I run the turbo harder to produce a particular LOP setting, in an effort to get the mix lean enough. I will generally run at 34" MP instead of the 28-30" I would see at a ROP cruise setting (I vary the power LOP by adjusting fuel flow, not MP). Further, the TIT will be higher because the EGT's are higher. GAMI says that the turbo will be fine at cruise operations up to the redline. I try to keep it at or below 1600, but that is still hotter than it would be if I ran ROP, and the RPM's are going to be higher. So, what part of the engine might be affected, and whether that part is able to withstand the heat and/or stress, is the issue. Valves hold up fine according to GAMI, so long as engine temps are in a normal operating range. The turbo seems to be capable of running all day at 1600+. The collector is probably cherry red, but does not appear to deteriorate any faster at the higher temps. At least that is what I have seen so far in my engine after a few hundred hours, and the GAMI people are interested in, but not concerned about these issues. The ICP issue is a little different. Having watched ICP's on a running engine at GAMI, with the wrong mixture setting the ICP gets very spikey, a hammer blow rather than a push, and while the absolute ICP is important, that pre-detonation or in-detonation blow is what hurts the engine most. The whole emphasis of GAMI's advice on mixture control, whether ROP or LOP, is to control the rate of combustion.
  6. Yes, no enforced speed limit in Portugal. The speed you travel especially on the freeways is dependent on the type car you are driving, and at what speed the suspension still feels like it is tracking securely. Peugots and Renaults generally puke out between 100 and 125 mph, Mercedes, Ferrari's and the like will be doing 140-160 and if you are in the left lane doing 120 they will flash their lights and YOU MUST move over. On the two lane highways someone will pull into the oncoming lane to pass, and traffic in that lane is expected to move onto the shoulder. I have seen two cars passing at the same time on two lanes, the cars being passed are expected to pull onto the shoulder. Try that here.
  7. When Bruce was teaching at the Mooney PPP he recommended using some isopropyl but he thought the automotive stuff was fine. I have used HEET in the red bottle and the yellow bottle, mostly the red bottle. But I have found that I never have fuel line freezing regardless of conditions or temperature, so I don't use it anymore. It is more important to regularly sump, which I do anytime new fuel goes into a tank, regardless of the quality of the FBO or whether I self-fuel or someone else does it. I just always let it sit a little and sump. I have never seen water in my tank, I have seen it in a J that was not very well maintained, the well that the fuel cap sits in invites water to stand during rains and if the O ring leaks you will get water in the tank. Pretty much everyone in the Mooney community knows that one. Outside of that, I have not seen any water, so I have not used isopropyl for a few years. On a related note, when I first got the plane I would use the center sump, but I have not used that for several years either. You have two choices, pull the ring from the inside and let the fuel drain. Given current regulations you really need to put a pan down to catch the drainage and carrying a pan around is just impractical. Or you can use a sump cup with the stem that goes in the sump hole from the outside and opens the valve. I found that works great for the sumps in the wing, but had the center sump jam open once, which was enough, so I just don't use that one anymore. I have not had any water problems, regular checking of the wing sumps prevents it.
  8. I flew back once from Williston ND to Flying Cloud during the winter. It was -56 at altitude. My heater is usually pretty good, but it did not keep the interior above freezing. All the windows were completely frosted over except a tiny hole in the frost on the windshield in front of me until we started the descent. We did not have to tolerate it long though, the normally 3 hour trip from Williston was under an hour and a half with hellacious winds aloft, that's why we were there. I have flown quite a bit in the subzero weather at altitude, the footwells do get cold because they are forward of the heat outlet, and sometimes it is a good idea to have a jacket on. That's with heat output so high that the fuel switch on the floor in front of the vent gets too hot to touch. Plenty of heat, just plenty more cold.
  9. @Andy- I would say I am an in between guy too. We are single pilot in a Mooney most of the time, of course, and the rest of the time the guy sitting right seat might know how to keep it in the air, but he does not know the particular aircraft. I have had right seat pilots from Beech's etc. and they always spend a lot of time asking questions about what a particular readout might me, or how they do something in their NA and why is it different in my turbo, so they are not particularly useful in a pinch. On the ground I am religious about using checklists. I created one from my POH (there is not formal checklist in the 231 POH, you need to fish through for everything), and I have modified it as I gained experience in the aircraft. It covers everything. In the air, however, I don't use written checklists. I use either mnemonics (for example, at the FAF -Time, Gear, Power, Tower, Lights, Lights, Lights) or flows. The "Instruments and radio" parts of "WIRE" becomes a flow across the Comm Panel to make sure everything that needs to get set up, has gotten set up. In the air is not a good time to go heads down and read through a checklist unless you have someone right seat who knows the aircraft to help you do it. Even for emergencies - especially for emergencies. If the circumstances give you time to check what you did with your mnemonic or flow with a written checklist, fine, do it. But timeliness, especially in emergencies, is often more important than perfection.
  10. Bring your wallet and your banker's phone number.
  11. I ran into Erik on the tarmac this weekend and introduced myself. Actually, it was more like an "icemac" and so cold we did not talk very long. That four blade is what caught my eye and I am here to tell you the interior is really primo!
  12. I am of mixed minds on this one. A couple of years ago I sat right seat in a plane that was unfamiliar (turbo converted Otter). The pilot did not use any checklist that I saw, nothing that went on the plane was weighed, I never saw a DG get set, and when he landed that plane at Mudhole Smith Airport in Cordova, believe it or not he did not use an approach that lined us up with the runway and wound up landing it crosswise on a runway that was only about 100' wide. He never held a straight course during the entire trip, nor did we fly at a constant altitude. Did I feel unsafe? Not for a moment. It was Alaska, we were VFR, the pilot flies that route every day in some of worst, most variable weather conditions you can imagine, and after 27,000 hours flying for Delta and now being a bush pilot in AK, he knows his stuff, he uses flows not checklists, and he knows his flows really well. His useful load is about double what the six of us plus gear could possibly weigh. Oh, and he landed that fully loaded Otter across the runway because that was into the prevailing wind, there was another hundred feet of gravel pad, so he had a total of 200 feet to stop the plane. He used about half of it. I flew with another pilot up there who, believe it or not!, missed the beach and landed in the surf!!!! They do it that way because the dry sand up on the beach is soft and variable, but the sand where the waves are wetting it is hard packed and safe. And no, he did not set a DG either, no point. He just flew the coast line for about 45 minutes until we got to our camp. There are a lot of very good bush pilots who operate exactly this way, having done the takeoff under all conditions of wind, temp. and loading, they know they are safe, and in any event their aircraft are equipped to land anywhere in the bush, and they have often done just that. It is not uncommon in AK to fly up a coast and, if the weather drops to an unsafe level, just land on the beach and wait it out. It is not uncommon to land a wheel plane in a river if it is "fat tire" equipped. Not a very big deal. So I would not have a heart attack when a bush pilot flies like a bush pilot. That landing across the runway was one of the best I have ever seen. On the other hand, even a bush pilot needs to know what the rules are and when the aircraft loading or whatever parameter happens to be an issue, is reaching its limit. It was the case a long time ago that they would just paint a line on the pontoons in Can. and AK, load the plane until the line hit water level, and go. Years ago I was a member of a fishing club, and there was a trip I was not on. They did a flyout to a remote lake to fish one day, and some idiot came to pick them up. The winds had picked up pretty badly. Two of the guys were sitting on the gear piled in back without seat belts. On takeoff in the rough water the pontoons stubbed, the plane pitched over, the engine stopped and the two guys were ejected with quite a lot of gear into the lake. The plane drifted away in the heavy winds, with the now dead engine. One of the guys had a broken arm but was picked up. The other fellow was fairly slight, became hypothermic, and went down. That was that. The pilot was charged with manslaughter (they do that in Canada), and spent quite awhile in jail. I doubt that was much consolation to the father of the boy who died. For decades after, they have made it clear in Canada that loads must be weighed, so we put all the stuff on a scale. Not coming back out though. No scales at the remote camps, and they know that whatever the load was going in, a fair amount of it is now at the bottom of the latrine so w & b is not an issue on the return. On another flight I sat right seat in a Beaver, and like a lot of Beavers the entire plane was lined with pads filled with excelsior. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, excelsior is shredded wood, and it was used to line the walls of the old DeHavillands to prevent damage to the walls. We had a substitute pilot, not the guy we were used to flying with. He was smoking (this was back in the day when you could), and about half way to our camp he lost his cigarette. He tried to surreptitiously search for it in his seat, among the maps he had stashed next to the seat, and we never found it until we landed. That was about as stupid as it gets. If you go expedition flying you have to expect that the rules will be different, and you have to know what you are seeing. I am not saying the OP didn't, cause I wasn't there. On the other hand, applying FAA book rules to bush operations in another country is apples and oranges.
  13. I declared once, over Canada enroute to New York. No investigation other than Can. police and customs meeting me on the ground. They had had to roll emergency vehicles, so that was probably the reason. They were quick and professional and the presence of oil dripping from /the entire belly spoke for itself. I would declare again in a heartbeat if it were necessary. Dealing with hassles on the ground is nothing compared with the outcome of an air emergency gone wrong.
  14. Looks great. Would sure work with older planes (like mine) that already have the hot prop but no wing protection. The only thing to solve would be the windshield, and in my aircraft that second generator. peeve you might be right that there is not room under your cowl for a second alternator, but I think the bigger issue is that the engine is not designed to be able to drive one, is it? That is the problem with the TSIO360GB/LB, no way to add an alternator so no FIKI even by TKS.
  15. I have only used KBUF once and it was under unusual circumstances (emergency landing in Can., no passports), but they made it seamless. The only comment I have for you is that KBUF can be a very busy commercial airspace, at times verging on B traffic. We landed between a Boeing and an Embraer. Taxi was somewhat complicated as I recall, although I was a fairly new pilot at the time so it may have seemed more complicated than it would to me today. Foreflight, iPad and a georeferenced taxiway diagram sure make a difference. Just be aware that you are likely to be dealing with the typical issues of being in and around the big iron. If you are good with that, then don't worry, customs was pretty good.