Wednesday, August 3, 2011

She flies!

Wow... holy crikey.... where to begin. After four long months I finally flew the plane today... In short, the plane is amazing, the flight was exhilarating and I'm just so, so grateful at the opportunity to own such a fantastic machine.  The plane was always smooth, but it's now ridiculously smooth. The levers move differently now, more smothly and easily, with no split between the two levers. I used to think that the shaking floating panel was normal, but now it's steady as a rock. It's quieter too, much quieter. I flew it with an instructor in the right seat. Basically his job was to keep his eyes glued to the engine instruments during takeoff and callout any issues. There were none! Actually, there's a few minor squawks, but for the most part the plane flies great, even better than before. I alerted the tower we would be flying a wide pattern over the airport at 3500 feet, briefed the takeoff and then blasted off and climbed to 3500 in maybe 2 minutes. I ordered the NFlightcam video system to hookup to my headset, but it didn't come in time so I just used my camera. I captured the video below but forgive the poor editing, I'm just learning imovie.

The squawks:

You can see in the video below, the JPI shows an eratic fuel flow. I'm not sure why, but the stock fuel flow gauge was steady as a rock but the JPI shows fluctuations as much as 4 gph which is obviously incorrect. There was a slight oil streak that formed on the right engine. Apparently this is from the dipstick, so they are putting on new seals or replacing the sticks. The ones TCM sent had to be modified so that's probably the reason.  A very, very small oil leak on the right engine oil filter adapter. Apparently the crush gasket was bent when it arrived, they bent it back and thought it would work but now we're just going to order a new one. It was basically just enough to smear on the finger after the hour flight. Also the prop syncrophaser seems to no longer work... it used to lock on when I got it close but now I had to make it precise manually.

I flew for about 1 hour, the CHT's started around 360-370 and crept as high as 400 with the cowl flaps closed and bumping up the power a bit to bang out 201 kts TAS. Cylinder number 6 on the right engine seemed to run the hotest. Gami spread was 50 deg on the left and 70 on the right. Not bad! I'm going to fly it again on Sunday and try to put 4 hours or so on it. Final items to fix:

Right engine oil filter crush gasket
Dip stick leaking slightly
Dorsal fillet still needs to be installed

But I can fly! Man after 4 months I almost forgot how much I love flying... I did okay I think, but my landing was sloppy. Also it's time to brush up those instrument skills for sure. Here's the video:


  1. Wow, congrats! Great to see this post after following the previous work! Flat out gorgeous airplane (and I like the SVT setup)!

  2. Congrats!! On the fuel flow you might check the transducer installation vs JPI's directions. They are very particular in the instructions to say that the transducers have to have a long, straight run of fuel host on each side of them, no sharp bends or elbow fittings.