Running again with OLD carb

I connected a new bit of fuel hose again between the carburetor and the fuel pump, and re-connected the throttle cable again. Looks easy, and it was, but took me an hour….. Oh yes also cleaned 4 dirty spark plugs (from last time) in that hour πŸ™‚

So yes ready for starting the engine:

  1. Primer on, throttle closed, mixture rich, ignition off, magneto’s off; Priming the engine by pulling the propeller over a few times. That makes the engine suck the fuel into the carburetor. I noticed that it was dripping a lot of fuel, more then normal, and I wonder if thats because of the higher compression ratio. I think it is, so that’s good.
  2. Primer off, throttle set (10%), mixture rich, ignition on, magneto’s on; Swing the prop, and there it goes !!!

Yes, as usual, no problem starting !!!

These are my findings:

  • The engine runs nicer, no sound of missing cylinders.
  • Not getting above 2000rpm yet, but it will need more running in I would say.
  • After running for 10 minutes or so, it stopped OK, without continuing to run on, as it did previously, because of cylinders that were to hot.
  • 4 Cylinders now have nice clean spark plugs, and only the one that was supper dirty last time, is now a little blacker then it should be. I’am assuming thats because of oil still leaking past the rings, so that should improve.
  • Ran the engine again for 10 minutes or so, and checked that one spark plug. It still looked the same….

Next time I am going to taxi the Bleriot along the taxi way a few times, to get more engine running in time, and at the same time get some real “plane” time πŸ™‚

Flight 55, first solo XC

Yes did my first solo XC (Cross Country) today.

Basically means you leave the airport where you are based and go somewhere else and navigate a bit πŸ™‚

So yes, arrived just after 0700 I think it was and there she was :

The hanger where KNZ lives

I did all my checks, filled up the petrol tanks and rang Terry. We were talking about the wind conditions and he gave me the OK. It was nice and calm, with a bit of a NE wind, not a lot. But I know it would get stronger.

This is the map I was using for my trip:

Today’s map

So basically starting in Rangiora, going anti clockwise.

First point to fly to was the Sefton Chipmill. Easy to spot as it always has lots of white smoke coming from the chimney, but not today. Just a little bit:

Sefton Chipmill

Flying North just past Amberley, my next turning point was Dave’s property. He has his own private “SHORT” runway. I spotted it from a distance (can you ?). So yes all good :

Dave’s runway

That’s the way to Oxford. A nice day, but a bit of fog ahead of me !! I noticed it driving away from home this morning:

That’s the way to Oxford

Beautiful views:

Just a nice view

Next turning point was Loburn Abbey. I’ve seen it many times before, but never approached it from the East. But again I didn’t have any problems finding it:

Loburn Abbey

And yes getting closer to Oxford with more and more fog! Beautiful views towards the North, looking at Mt Thomas:

Towards Oxford, looking at Mt Thomas

As the fog was to thick, I decided not to go all the way to Oxford, but stay on the edge of the fog, and turn at Harewood Rd. Easy to recognize as I have driven there lots of times. Here you see the little single lane bridge across the Eyre river:

Harewood Rd single lane bridge across the Eyre river

And yes I wanted to circle around our house. Its a bit to the right from the centre, with the drive way loop and the white looking shed πŸ™‚ :

Our house
Our house

Everything was going fine, until I got closer to Forrest Field, my next turning point, the air strip not far from us. I spotted it straight away.

I saw a plane not far from me, but quite a bit higher. So I radio-ed him that I could see him. A few seconds later I saw another plane coming towards me, at the same altitude, so I started turning right, that’s one of the “right of way” rules in aviation, internationally. He descended and went under me. All looking safe, didn’t feel in danger at all at any time. Next someone called me on the radio saying that I was on the wrong frequency ! OOOOOPS

I apologized and quickly changed frequency, and reported my position, altitude and my intentions.

I completely forgot to change frequency. I blame the fog, as it changed my plans,

So important to use the right channel !!!!!!!!!!

Won’t do that again. So no photo of Forest Field.

Next turning point was Cust. Yes looking good, almost home:


I found Rangiora no problem and had a really good landing, considering there was a lot of wind now, a lot more then when I left.

If you click on THIS LINK a new tab opens with the map you see below. And if you zoom in, you can see the turning points that I photographed, GREAT :


So yes had a really good time. Seen fog from above, had beautifully views, made a mistake with my frequency (hopefully learned from it) and had a really good landing. So yes happy !!!

Oh yes rang Terry when I landed to “terminate” my SAR time ( Search And Rescue ). If I wouldn’t have arrived on time they would start looking for me πŸ™‚

Flight 54, XC to Culverden

Today I did my first real Cross Country (XC) lesson. Got an email from Terry a few days ago with his plan to fly with me to Culverden. This is about 50km in a straight line North of Rangiora.

It was a bit foggy this morning at home, but some of my plane friends told me it was nice and clear in Rangiora, so all good !

Left home at 0700, to prepare the plane and be ready for 0800. Just a beautiful day again.

Filling up

Today I mounted a camera on my headset (see photo below taken mid flight) to show you what it looks like during the flight πŸ™‚

Terry (left) and me

The video you see below is a bit on an angle, sorry… Yes in the video, you see my cap on the left. The video is 5 bits joined together:

  • 0:00 / 2:21 : Taking of in Rangiora
  • 2:21 / 4:42 : Flying towards the Hurunui river
  • 4:42 / 5:35 : Air strip in Culverden in sight
  • 5:35 / 6:12 : Flying in cross wind, last good check of runway
  • 6:12 / 6:57 : Landing in Culverden

So yes, flew from Rangiora, via Amberley (just to the West) where I changed frequency as that area is using a different radio frequency. Then via the Weka Pass to the Hurunui township, and towards Culverden. On the way I made about 4 or 5 radio calls to tell “every one” where I was, how high I was flying and where I was going ……

The air strip in Culverden is long and nice and smooth, owned by the local council. So when I arrived at 1500ft above ground level, I had a good look at the wind sock to find out the wind direction and decided to land on the “Northern Vector”, descending to 1000ft on the non-traffic side of the circuit into the wind. Then fly through the cross wind part of the circuit, into the downwind sector, still at 1000ft. Finally descending through the base sector to 500ft, and turning into the final sector into the wind again and landed.

Just landed in Culverden

We had some morning tea and a drink. before I went flying again. On my own this time, doing 3 circuits. Somehow my landings get better every time. must be getting used to doing it ! Nice photo below of me landing πŸ™‚

Solo landing in Culverden

After my 3rd circuit, Terry jumped into the plane again, and we flew back to Rangiora. Same route: 3000ft over the Weka Pass, 2500ft past Amberley, and down to 1700ft towards Rangiora. There I did a right hand circuit and landed on runway 25 (magnetic direction 250deg) and made a perfect landing.

Yes Terry was very happy with how I did everything, and cleared me to do XC trips !!!Β  I still need to call him before I go but good progress today !!!!!

Terry just checked with Mike, another instructor. They want me to do a solo XC now from Rangiora, to Oxford, to Amberley and back to Rangiora. This is about an 1 hr trip ! So that’s what I will be planning for next Saturday hopefullyΒ  πŸ™‚Β  πŸ™‚Β  !!!!

Flight 53, RW04

Decided to fly early Sunday morning. Yesterday we had strong North Easterlies, and the same forecast for today.

I arrived early, around 7, and yes the wind had already picked up. But after last weeks North West winds, I wanted to try it out again.

I was ready doing my pre-flight checks, and rang Terry. I assumed he would be home, but it turned out that he was on his way to the airport as well. Only 2 minutes. So yes when he got here, he gave me the OK to fly. I assume he wanted to see me fly, and keep an eye on me πŸ™‚

I told him I wanted to use the shorter runway (RW04) as thats pointing nicely into today’s wind.

Yes I took of from RW04, and flew my circuit. The plan was to fly a few circuits, and then decide what to do, stop or go flying somewhere. When I left there was no one else in the circuit, but soon after I took off, I had someone, Victor Charlie Charlie I think, ask me what the vector (runway) in use was. Soon I saw him join the circuit. Never saw him land, he must have been behind me all the time…

Anyway, back to my flying….

I flew 3 circuits. The first two touch and go’s weren’t really a landing. As the runway is very short, I only briefly touched down, and then applied power again. I noticed I was drifting sideways quite a bit after turning into the “Cross wind” part of the circuit (first turn left), so yes a lot of wind up there. Apart from that flying went well.

As I was flying a different circuit as the normal one, it all looks a bit different, but that was OK. I started to feel comfortable and was making my decision to leave the circuit during my third circuit.

But then ……. during my 3th final, I suddenly had a big wind gust pushing my left wing down (right wing up…) I banked quite a bit. I did a quick check of my slip indicator, to see what correction I had to make. Luckily that was still in the center.

This is when I decided to stop, and land. The landing went fine I think, can’t remember anymore really. I know I got to a stop halfway on this short runway so that was good.

After I got back to the hangar, I spoke with Terry who had been keeping an eye on me. He told me I made the correct decision. If I would have continued and vacated the circuit, he would have contacted me on the radio, to tell me to come back and land.

So yes happy I did fly this morning. Was only 30 minutes, but feeling good about it. Lots of new experiences !!! Β πŸ™‚

SU carburetor off, old one back on

With my confusing engine issues, I decided to take the SU carburetor off and start putting the old Stromberg carburetor back on again. Hopefully when I get the engine running again, it will tell me something about what’s happening.

When I picked up the old carb I noticed that I did cut the fuel line, to make it fit for the SU carb, so I knew that I wouldn’t be running the engine with the old carb today. That’s OK. That gives me some time to have another good look at it in the next few days.

To be continued !!! Β πŸ™‚

Flight 52, bumpy NW

Yes Saturday again, and we have had a few days of NorWest winds. The same today, but usually they are not as strong in the morning.

So yes I went to the Rangiora air strip and pulled KNZ out of the hangar. I knew it was going to a bumpy flight, but I wanted to fly, to give my body more exposure to turbulent conditions. My plan was to ask Terry if he wanted to fly with me. just as a backup, and to calm “me down”. I am not great in turbulent weather, and used to get air sick, so yes that idea worked well for me.

As soon as I had finished doing the pre-flight checks, Terry arrived, and told me to go solo in the local training area, and enjoy myself. When I told him I wanted to take him as my passenger, he was happy to do that.

So yes, I taxied to runway 25, facing almost perfectly into the wind. We took of very quick with that wind, and slowly climbed up to 1700ft and headed to the “River Junction” reporting point. from there the plan was to fly to Oxford, but we soon realized that the wind was to strong and to turbulent. It wasn’t to bad, but no going to Oxford would be unpleasant. So we turned right towards a local; airstrip “Loburn Abbey”. With the wind in the back that went really quick. With that wind our “ground speed” almost doubled. That’s when Terry decided to go back to Rangiora, and maybe do a few circuits.

So I did a standard circuit overhead join and got into the circuit and landed. We decided to do a few more circuits, so back to the runway and there I went again, still with Terry with me. I wasn’t that worried with him there and not getting “official solo time”. Β At the end of this circuit it got very bumpy for a second, just turning into final. Still feeling very good πŸ™‚

I did one more circuit followed by a perfect landing !!!!!

So yes very happy I went flying this morning. It was only 45 minutes, but my body was feeling good, and that is what I wanted to find out. And yes Terry was happy with how I was dealing with the NorWest wind πŸ™‚

Flight 51, 3 rejoins

This (Monday) morning, I was flying early, just after 0700 !

Woke up normal time for a work day, but instead drove to Rangiora 😊. The weather in the weekend wasn’t great, so decided to fly today.

Got there, ran the engine for a few minutes to warm it up. Stopped it, and did all my checks.

Spoke with Terry on the phone to discuss what the conditions were. Just a nice morning, no wind, and cloudy, just high enough to fly at 2000ft I found out later during the flight.

In the end I did 3 separate flights, with circuit rejoins and a touch and go.

First one, was a short one to a local air strip North, Loburn Abbey. Didn’t land there. That’s where I turned around at 2000ft high, and back to RT.

Second trip was East, via the Ashley river to the river mouth, turned around over the beach, same altitude, and back to RT.

Last one I decided to go West, via “river junction”, and then to Cust before i turned around again. While flying over just, I spotted Evan’s air strip (my test pilot).

All circuit rejoins went really well, as expected. Only heard one plane take off while I was flying. Pretty quiet!

Flying with low cloud went well. It must have been somewhere around 2500ft. I never touched it, but I was close 😊

So yes was a good start to the week.

Hopefully next weekend, will do a cross country to Culverden…..