Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oil change #3

I now have about 75 hours on the plane and Sunday I did the 3rd "owner assisted" oil change.  I ran into my friend Oleg at the airport, who is also in the NRI flying club, and took him for a quick flight to "warm up the oil".  We shot an approach and I showed him how the plane pretty much flies itself right down to the numbers.  

After that I started taking the cowl oil drain access panel off.  I've got most of the oil change stuff down for the most part, except I'm not comfortable doing the safety wiring just yet.  My friend and A&P Paul came out to help, and I wanted to do a really thorough cleaning of the screens to check for metal.  I picked up some Mineral Spirits from Home Depot and we pulled out the oil screens and I soaked and brushed them thoroughly.  Unfortunately we found small amounts of ferrous metal in both engines.  The left engine had maybe half of a pencil eraser worth of dark mud like bits, and maybe one or two small flakes a millimeter or so long.  The right engine had about twice that amount with more flakes.  We took this photo of the gunk from the right engine with a macro lens, which makes it look huge but by reference that's the tip of a ballpoint pen on the left.

If you balled it up it would be about the size of the tip of the ball point pen.  Paul isn't too worried and thinks I should just keep flying it, but we will continue to change the oil every 20 hours or so and keep an eye on it.  I'm also again sending the samples off to Blackstone so we'll see what they say.

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