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Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Oil Temp & CHT issues are FIXED!!  Last night I closely examined (and cleaned) all the sensor-related connections and found that the Oil Temp sensor ground wire into the spade connector was completely loose.  I could pull it out easily...  I did also find that the sensor wires were bundled together with the alternator wire for a few inches and that's a no-no (I didn't do it...), so I fixed that too.  I flew this morning and all was perfect!!

Nashua, NH airport.

Strong winds aloft!

Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  Landed at Laconia Airport (KLCI) doing the RNAV 26 Approach.



Back home at 6B6.



Monday, June 27, 2022

I uploaded the engine data from the two flights on Saturday where the oil temp went crazy.  Interesting to compare them to two previous flights where everything was fine.

Good flight in April

Good flight in May

1st flight on Saturday.  Notice how CHT2 starts to go crazy when the oil temp starts to go into the yellow and red zones.

2nd flight on Saturday.


Went for a flight a couple of days ago and the oil temperature went through the roof (redline!).  It also happened a couple of flights ago.  It was 75F outside, so not crazy hot.

The only new thing is that I did an oil change about 5 flight hours ago using all standard Rotax parts and procedures.  Oil pressure is perfectly normal for the whole flight.  I did notice when viewing the video after the flight that one of the CHT measurements seems kind of wacky.

Some people on Rotax-owner.com said that the oil temperature was changing way too fast for that to be real.  Agree?  Thoughts?  The weather has finally gotten nice here, so I want to fly!

I'd really appreciate any ideas you'd have on this.  I sent this to Dean at Lockwood, but haven't heard back.

Full flight video:

Friday, June 3, 2022

Well, I'm definitely going to Oshkosh this year, but after much consideration, I've decided to not fly Sadie there.

With the crappy weather we've had over the last several months I've not flown as much as I thought I would and it's looking like a stretch to have my Instrument ticket by the time of OSH.  I really wanted to have that before flying the roughly 900 miles to get there.  Maybe I'm being overly conservative, but I consider that a virtue in flying, so I'm OK with disappointing some people with it not being there. 😎

I'll be there from Tuesday morning until Friday morning, so this time I WON'T miss the Sling Ding! 😁

Can't wait!!

When not flying in Sadie, I've been flying with my home simulator.  It's now a great setup using X-Plane, with a Garmin GTN 650 emulator from RealityXP on my iPhone and a physical device from RealSimGear emulating the Garmin GFC 500 Autopilot all running within the sim.  Using that with PilotEdge for practicing real ATC communications, I've got an amazing setup to make sure I have the buttonology (and comms) nailed down.  It even connects automatically to ForeFlight!

As you can see in this video it is super cool.  I'm still trying to get VNAV working though as most planes in X-Plane don't seem to support that autopilot functionality for some reason.  Apparently, people have gotten it working, but just not me yet...

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Flew yesterday and no more nose wheel shaking on climbout, so the imbalance is resolved!

Did three practice approaches with my CFII.

IFR with these avionics really seems like cheating...

Taking these pictures was from the few minutes I wasn't under the hood...  I'm missing a lot of beautiful views!

1 missed at 6B6, 1 missed at KBED, and then the approach and landing back at 6B6.  All hand-flown.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Did an oil change this weekend and since I hadn't cleaned the oil tank yet, I did that.  I've decided to do my oil changes at 30-hour intervals.  My detailed checklist for oil changes is at the bottom of this post.

Oil drained....

New filter on

The magnetic plug was checked (all good!) and safety wired back in place.

I loosened the ring clamp holding the cover on, the two worm-drive clamps, and was able to slip the tank out the bottom.  I noticed that when I did this a good amount of oil drained out, so just pulling the plug doesn't really get it all out.

Considering I hadn't cleaned the tank, it didn't have much lead sludge.  Of course, I've been using Decalin for a while, which certainly helped.

Clean as a whistle!

Latch safety wired back in place.

Drain plug back with a new crush washer.

Safety wired...

Since things need to be done in a specific order I created a detailed checklist for an oil change:
  • If replacing spark plugs (every other oil change), gap 8 of them to 0.6mm (0.023") to 0.7mm (0.027")
  • Warm-up engine to operating temperature
  • Remove upper cowl
  • Remove keys!
  • Detach air intake from the NACA duct
  • Remove lower cowl
  • Burp engine
  • Get sample container
  • Put on gloves (there's lead in that oil!)
  • Remove drain plug  bolt (using 17mm and 19mm wrenches (the 19 is used to hold the tank nut so you're not twisting the tank))
  • Drain oil - Take a sample from mid-stream of oil draining for oil analysis (I use Blackstone Labs)
  • If cleaning the tank (every third oil change) ( Video Part 2 below for how to clean the tank of lead sludge):
    • Loosen top cover and two worm clamps
    • Remove tank and clean
    • Reinstall tank and cover
    • Safety wire cover latch
  • Reinstall drain valve with new crush washer to 25Nm (18.5 ft-lb) (Groove facing down)
  • Safety wire drain plug bolt
  • Prepare a new filter with an oiled gasket surface
  • Remove oil filter, protecting components underneath with paper towels/towel since oil will leak
  • Put on new filter until fully touching
  • 3/4 more turn
  • Magnetic plug:
    • Remove safety wire
    • Use paper towels to protect parts from dripping oil
    • Use 16 mm socket to loosen (may need a long-armed wrench)
    • No whiskers longer than 3mm in length
    • It should feel like a fine metallic paste
    • Clean plug and re-install to 25 Nm (18.5 ft-lb) (Really should be 100 in-lb (8.33 Ft-lb) because threads are oiled)
    • Safety wire
  • Remove dipstick (so you’re not covering it in oil)
  • Add 2.5 L
  • Turn prop 20+ times
  • If replacing spark plugs (every other oil change)
    • Remove spark plugs and inspect (see below)
    • Inspect cylinders & valves with a boroscope
    • Put thermal paste sparingly on spark plugs threads (3 threads closest to electrodes should be clean) and install to 20 Nm (177 in-lb)
  • Put lower cowl on
  • Reattach air intake to the NACA duct
  • Run engine to operating temp and make sure oil pressure rises within 30 seconds
  • Remove keys
  • Check for leaks
  • Burp engine
  • Check level before adding the final .5 L (Should be in the upper half of the min/max range (max if you're going on a long flight))
  • Put upper cowl on
  • Note Engine Time & Total Time in Engine Logbook
  • Cut open the oil filter to inspect.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Well, the weather has really sucked these past several months.  I'm flying whenever it's been flyable, though mostly with my CFII to keep my instrument training moving along.

One thing I've noticed for a while is nosewheel vibration on climbout.  Just lasts for 20 seconds or so and I've just assumed it was some kind of aerodynamic thing at that speed and pitch.  I posted about it on Facebook and several people said it was more likely that the nose wheel was out of balance.  So, I looked into that a few days ago.

Pants off...


It took about 200+ lbs of rocks to hold the nose wheel up.  Pretty hilarious contraption...  But, it worked.

Several spins of the wheel showed there definitely was a heavy side.  I marked it with a pencil.

First I tried 1/2 oz on the opposite side, but that wasn't enough.  A second 1/2 oz weight did the trick.  Got these.  Hopefully will fly over the next few days to confirm, but I'm sure that was it.