Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The non-copeland masterpiece

Today I few my friend Alex down to Arizona to pickup his A36 which has been down for some time for new paint.  He didn't go with Don Copeland, but Master Aircraft Service at Wickenburg did a mighty fine job.  We were scheduled to leave this morning but on Friday up at Sacramento I hopped in my Baron and found a vacuum gauge reading zero and my backup AI toppled.  Doh... double vacuum pump failure?  Actually it would seem one of them failed some time ago but I just didn't notice the little plastic ball popped out on the gauge.  Then the second one failed and I only noticed then... so much for twin redundancy.  duh.  Since we had some weather the last few days I preferred to have working pumps because they drive the backup AI, the boots and the Autopilot which works off of the backup AI.. so we hopped up to JetExe and had them fit the new pumps before setting off.

They were new when I put the engines on in 2011, but I guess these dry pumps only last about 500 hours.   No wonder everyone is moving to solid state.  I wouldn't want to depend on one of these $800 suckers as my only instrument source.  No way.  When the veins inside seize up there is a little nylon grommet that breaks free and so it doesn't seize up the accessory case on the engine.

So we got a late start getting the new pumps installed but made it down in about 3 hrs, with 40 kt tailwinds and mostly VMC conditions climbing to 12k to get on top.  It was cold and howling wind at Wickenburg but they had Subway sandwiches for us and a beautiful plane waiting.

Similar scheme to mine, I love the dark top with white bottom look.  Then we set off in our respective chariots towards the waning evening sun and a moonless nighttime return flight, mission successful!