Friday, 13 April 2018

International Comanche Society Report

Safety
I was reading the safety report (linked to below) regarding an accident where a DC-3 was destroyed, and two pilots killed, by controlled flight into terrain in the Georgia Straight. 
 
What I learned was that there was a CAR requirement for commercial VFR operations at night.  The requirement states that commercial VFR operations at night must be conducted at least 2000 feet above the closest obstacle within 5 NM.  I had no idea there was such a regulation or that it had been around for a long time.
 
This CAR does not apply to private operators but it does make sense.  I have flown in the area that the accident occurred and I just cannot imagine conducting the accident aircraft's flight plan under VFR at 900-800 feet AGL, in the dark, among scattered cloud at 800 feet.  Those scattered islands are steep, well over 1000 feet, and mostly uninhabited - no lights.
Maintenance

My temperature sender has bit the biscuit and a new one is on the way from Air Parts of Lockhaven.  The gauge was barely reading above 60 degrees and that bothered me.  I figured it was just cooler due to the cold weather this winter (compared to Langley!) but it didn't matter how much tape I put over the oil cooler the gauge wouldn't budge. 
The schematic from the service manual shows that it is a single wire resistive gauge where current flows from the bus through the gauge and to the sender where it grounds to the engine.  The higher the temperature of the oil, the lower the resistance of the sender, the more current flows through the gauge and the more the gauge deflects.
 
So there are a number of possibilities.  The gauge could be defective, the wire between the gauge and the sender could be faulty, the sender thermistor could be defective, or the ground was poor.
I measured the temperature of the oil after a flight by constructing an inexpensive temperature probe consisting of an inexpensive ($5) thermistor, a coat hanger with tape on it, and a cheap multi-meter to directly measure the resistance of the fabricated probe.  Went for a short flight and by the time I could get to the filler neck the oil was still at 160 degrees F.  I measured at the oil pan and it was around 180 degrees F.  Thus I was not worried about the vernatherm.  I did calibrate my homemade temperature probe with ice cubes and boiling water and it check out to within a degree.
 
I measured the resistance from the sender body to ground and it was zero.  So the ground connection to the sender was fine.  Apparently this can get iffy due to corrosion or more importantly insulating tape on the threads.
 
I briefly shorted the sender wire at the engine to ground and the gauge promptly went to full scale so the gauge works.  This also checks the wiring to and from the gauge and it checked out ok as well.
 
Last check was the resistance in the oil sender.  This should be high (1000 ohms when cold) to low (30 ohms when hot).  The results were confusing and contradictory.  Thus a new sender is on the way.  I ordered the Rochester sender with the STC for converting the gauge to calibrate properly.
Fly Ins
The fly in to Victoria is on and if there are any more takers for the end of July trip to Victoria plus a tour of Viking (fabricator of new Twin Otters) please let us know.  I will also be hosting a BBQ at my hanger at Richter Field on the weekend of the 25th of August.  The owner of Richter Field (Frank Richter) gave us all hangar numbers the other day - I am "C4" - very explosive!
 
ICS
We need to have an annual election of tribe chief and so forth.  Please let me know if you are interested in serving in this position - I'll gladly step down if someone else volunteers.  If no one steps up I'll continue to serve as best I can. 
The matter down in the states is not yet resolved but I figure time will heal most wounds and a new set of elections for executive officers will help.  In the meantime the business of the society is proceeding.
 
I have volunteered to serve on the technical committee.  There are so many people with so much experience.  I mostly seem to ask silly questions compared to the level of skill and good judgment available.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Technical Project - Bank Indicator

Took my daughter up for a flight last week to test her instrumentation project.  She has tied a micro-controller to a gyroscope chip and created a bank indicator.  It did work as intended.  It does have a tendency to accumulate negative errors slowly but certainly.  However, the she seemed quite pleased by the initial test.

It isn't often that my children call me up and ask if we can go flying.  Any reason is a good reason.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Mosquito!

A friend sent me these links to a documentary on the Mosquito.  My first exposure to these was "Mosquito Squadron" as a kid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8I2mgzc1ww
 
 
 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Antiques in Action

Here we have a 1940's Ford 8N tractor pulling a 1960's Piper Comanche into the hangar, with a 1950's Edsel Pacer in the background.  Will resist joining the twenty first century for as long as practicable!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Comanche Stabilator Horn

I received the following note from Transport Canada a few days ago:

Just a brief communique to close the loop on your efforts earlier in August (ref attached e-mail).  The holder of CASA STCs SVA532 and 533 had made application as expected and gained TCCA approval of the associated STCs as well as global AMOC AARDG 2017/A70 to accommodate the AD.  This will be made available by the STC holder.
 
You can find the validated TCCA STCs SA17-112 and SA17-113 online via the search tool NICO:
 
http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/nico-celn/c_s.aspx?lang=eng
 
I am quite pleased that we were able to make a bit of a difference and help get these matters addressed.

Friday, 1 December 2017

IFR Clarification

COPA IFR TESTING CLARIFICATION

This is an excellent and very clear summary of what needs to occur in order to retain your IFR currency.  In short, the regulator has clarified that you need to demonstrate the use of GPS equipment during your initial flight test from now on.  Your every two year IPC can be done in your own aircraft, as equipped, even if it does not have an IFR GPS in it.

In addition, the post also describes how you can keep your 6-6-6 currency rolling - which is exactly how I keep current.  VFR hood is always in the back seat, and if the right-seater is competent then I'll log some hood time on any cross country flight, and shoot an approach at the destination too.