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About RobertE

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  • Birthday 07/28/1951

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    St. Helena, CA
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  1. RobertE

    What is your icing strategy?

    If I could toss in another question to this thread, it sounds as if using icing probability forecast products is important to many. Does that mean that you knowingly fly into visible moisture that is below freezing if the icing probability is low? If so, how low a probability is low enough? I know that the answer probably depends on the “outs” you have available but this is the sort or real world advice I find really useful. I’ve, heretofore, been pretty conservative and have never intentionally flown into a freezing cloud. I’d like to hear if that’s being too darn conservative. Thanks.
  2. I don’t know the accuracy of TIS A and B but on the half dozen or so times I’ve been able to visually judge ADS-B accuracy it’s accuracy has been at least within 100 feet, maybe better.
  3. I don’t want to get overly dramatic because the fact is it’s very, very unusual for two aircraft to occupy the same space at the same instant. Three dimensions work in our favor. But this morning I think it was at least 50/50 that, absent the heads up my GTX 345 gave me, I might have become a statistic. I departed Palo Alto just below SFO’s class B, turned in a direction that would allow a climb and commenced a climb. This was just prior to a hand off from the tower to nor cal and in an area where lots of aircraft squeeze into the airspace below class B. Well, a King Air was at 9 o’clock 200 feet above me a mile away on an T-bone heading when my ads-b started flashing yellow. I quit climbing and got a call from the tower just as it passed 200 feet overhead alerting me to the traffic. Tough to say if had I sustained a climb whether I’d have slowed enough to pass behind it. But that flashing yellow (and, maybe, audio alert. Can’t remember) sure helped. I do know that tower and ATC were of no help in that airspace.
  4. So does this mean I can call ATC well before I’m in classic radar coverage? Stated differently, will I show up on the controller’s scope before the first radar pingg touches me?
  5. I just checked flightaware for the record of a recent flight and I noticed it had my track all the way to touchdown. This was at a coastal airport where I thought radar was unavailable below a couple thousand feet. Does my mode s and ads-b mean that I’m tracked pretty much anywhere, regardless of radar coverage?
  6. It’s funny that this topic came up. Literally, after looking at that yellowed thing for years, I decided last week to get rid of it. So I bought a sheet of polycarbonate (was it polycarbonate or Lexan or....?) and copied the old part’s shape and ventilation holes. Total time to fabricate was maybe 20 minutes and cost $24. I’m not a shop wizard, either. Now, I’ll concede that I wasn’t entirely certain this qualified as the sort of “lens” that owners are allowed to replace without a sign off, but my A&P (a conservative fellow, typically) says it does. I’d give it a go.
  7. RobertE

    Tailpipe clamp

    I’ve had problems too. I suspect it’s due to improper installation that doesn’t allow flexibility along the proper plane. Frankly, I don’t understand why that short tube is supported by two brackets, not one. In any event, my current one seems to be OK. Som I’m not touching it!
  8. Beyond the fact that establishing in one’s mind the reality that an airport might have different weather than forecast so you better be ready with a backup, I don’t really understand the basis of the logic for the minimums at the alternate. As we all know, the 123 rule means an alternate is necessary if the primary airport is worse than 2000 and 3 miles. But aren’t any conditions that change enough to produce a miss at that airport far more likely to deteriorate at the alternate airport that needs only, typically, 600 or 800 and 2 miles (or at some airports 200 and 1 mile)? It doesn’t seem like a prudent, true backup. Anyone know how these rules came to be? Is it just a practical expedient the FAA gave us because the distance to a new weather system would, typically, be just too darn far for much IFR flight otherwise? Just curious.
  9. RobertE

    A random, scary failure mode

    I’ve got an EI engine analyzer but have never been able to download it to a windows 10 laptop. There is a translation program that should allow this old software to work but I’m too tech-deficient, it seems.
  10. RobertE

    A random, scary failure mode

    You know, you make a really good point. The truth is I wouldn’t know if it was intermittent. So maybe that right mag went off and on for a long, long time. Today it just happened to short out when on the ground during my run up.
  11. RobertE

    A random, scary failure mode

    Not an intermittent problem. Pleasantly, the first evidence of a problem was when I was 50 yards from a shop that could quickly diagnose the problem.
  12. I say “scary” because this was a reminder to me of all the tiny little imperfections that inevitably afflict our 30, 40 and 50 year old aircraft and, every now and then, can actually have a serious consequence. Today after a short flight my right mag was dead. The problem? The insulation on the p-lead had a tiny nick in it (never noticed by anyone before) and the braided ground wire to that mag just so happened to have come in contact with that 1/32 of an inch section of the p-lead. Result? A grounded mag. Glad we’ve got two discrete mags. Makes me wonder if the Mooney’s with Bendix “dual mags” have that single point of failure or is, perhaps the wiring to each of the halves separate.
  13. To close the loop on this Executive Autopilots in Sacramento diagnosed the problem this morning and the answer was ............. a clutch on the aileron servo that was slipping. It’s supposed to offer 21 inch pounds of resistance and was actually providing just 15. Now, what was non-obvious was the fact that the problem revealed itself when turning in one direction only but the working hypothesis is that 15 inch pounds were just barely enough if there was no friction in the system and the right aileron wasn’t quite as frictionless as the left. Anyway, everything works now.
  14. When I find out the problem I’ll close the loop with an explanation. These analog computers are strange beasts, it seems.
  15. The plane flies fine with the autopilot off and the symptoms I’m describing are in cruise, climb, descent, doesn’t matter. It actually is quite able to track a nav line or hold a heading. But, as I said, it reacts very lazily to right turn instructions. So if, say, in heading mode I twist the knob 30 degrees to the left it will overshoot to, maybe, 45 degrees and then slowly correct back. The FD tells it what to do on time and in the appropriate amounts but it’s slow to react. Same thing happens in nav mode.