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2004 Western Trip - Day 9

What I Planned:

Date: On or about July 20, 2004

After visiting with Al Wick, I'll head up out of Scappoose, OR (KSPB) toward Mt. St. Helens. I've never flown over an active volcano before - this should be pretty cool.

Then up through/around the numerous restricted areas, MOA's, and Class B airspace around Seattle, to Friday Harbor, WA (KFHR), which Al says is pretty nice.  Maybe some lunch there, and then onward to Paine Field, WA (KPAE), where Eric Westland lives (although he keeps his flying COZY MKIV 1/2 hour north at Arlington).

What Actually Happened:

Date: July 20th, 2004

Jim and I woke early, as Jim had a welding class to go to at 8 AM. I thanked Milene Sower profusely for allowing a total stranger to stay in her house, eat her food, and take her husband away for pretty much four straight days. Jim and I headed out to the airport at 7:35 AM, and Jim dropped me off to finish up the last bits of work. I duct taped the nose gear cover closed (it had lost a few bits in the crash, and I hadn't bothered to fix it - I knew the duct tape would do for a short while. I then reconnected all the canard stuff - the trim springs, the "Strong" Pitch Trim unit, and the pushrods. I then safety wired the rudder pedals to the brake cylinders, so that they could NOT be disconnected by some idiot with long shoelaces.

Next, I took the cowlings off and re-pop riveted the carb heat bracket in place - the three pop rivets had ripped out of the airbox fiberglass wall.  I used metal backing washers to ensure that wouldn't happen again. I replaced a couple of baffling rivets that were loose as well (also using backing rivets. That was it - all the repairs were done, and the plane was ready to fly!  I buttoned everything up and gave it all a once over again.

Next, I went inside and checked the weather and TFR's - the president was going to be in the St. Louis area that afternoon, so I needed to arrive before 2:55 PM CDT so as not to get forced down by F-16's and arrested for being a terrorist.  I feel so safe now.  The weather looked good, although hazy, so I loaded up the plane, said goodbye and THANK YOU to Jim Sower, and then did one trip around the pattern to ensure that everything was working, which it was. I then called Chrissi on the cell phone and told here that I'd be there in 2 hours.

I took off, climbed to 8500 ft., and put on the tunes. The plane did seem a bit anemic - not much, but just slightly off - TAS was just over 200 mph, which was a bit slow for the loading and CG position.  The leg was completely uneventful, until I lowered the nose gear and the down microswitch didn't engage, so I had to turn off the gear extension manually when it was fully extended - no harm done, but I have to take a look at the switch tomorrow - it's probably just a loose connector.

After landing, I did a runup and decided that the magneto that Jim had loaned me was probably on it's last legs - while the engine would run on it, it was running very poorly and "missing" a lot - that probably explains the somewhat anemic performance. I called Ken Miller (who had offered a mag when I was stuck in VA) and he's FedEx'ing a newly overhauled mag to me for installation tomorrow.  More $$$, but I've got to have a safe, working aircraft. It shouldn't take more than an hour to deal with the microswitch and mag tomorrow.

Chrissi and Randi picked me up at Creve Cour Airport (1H0).  We spent a bit of time looking at the plane, and then we headed back to their house. We then spent a couple hours looking at THEIR project, in the garage. Although they are building a highly modified COZY MKIV, with retractable gear, dual EFIS systems, front hinged canopy, rear gull wing, lengthened strakes, drop mounted rudder pedals, turbo charged Mazda engine and many more modifications and improvements, their work is EXCELLENT - I've never seen better glasswork or machining/welding, not to mention the incredible planning that has allowed them to achieve what they have. They will have a tremendous show winning airplane when they're done next year.

Nick Ugolini was also in town, so Chrissi picked him up at the airport and we yakked airplanes some more. Ted Barstow and George Rippeto and his wife dropped by, and we yakked airplanes some more while having brats, dogs, and BBQ for dinner.  After Ted and the Rippeto's left, C&R took Nick and I for a ride through the old part of St. Charles, MO, just to see the sights. After yakking planes some more, we hit the hay.

Here are a couple of images from the day:
The plane in Jim's hangar at CSV, ready to push out.

Click on the thumbnail to see the larger version.

A VERY hazy photo of flying over the Missouri River coming into Missouri from Indiana.  It  would be a lot prettier without the haze.

Click on the thumbnail to see the larger version.

With respect to continued trip plans - I'll probably stay in St. Louis Wednesday, to do the minor fixed (mag and switch), and it'll be too late in the afternoon to leave for KC and CO.  Since I'm way late, and people's plans have changed, here's what I'm planning for the next few days:

  1. Wednesday - minor repairs in MO
  2. Thursday - Visit Phil Weaver in KC, then onward to Colorado Springs to visit Burrall Sanders and Ron Lee - Test High altitude takeoffs at temperatures for possible Kremmling trip
  3. Friday - Possible sightseeing down to Taos/Durango area, then up to visit Rick Maddy/Lee Devlin in Denver/Greeley
  4. Saturday - BBQ in Kremmling, CO????
  5. Sunday - head off to Waterloo, IA with Rick Maddy
  6. Monday - head out of IA to OSH

Weather, Density Altitude and luck permitting, of course.....

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