More running in

Today I went back to hopefully get the engine running better. Last time I noticed that with one magneto switched off, it was running on less then 5 cylinders. Also noticed 2 really oily spark plugs.

So today I cleaned all 10 plugs, and ran the engine twice, for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Yes its running nicely now on both magneto’s individually. And checking the spark plugs afterwards, they are all looking good. Some are a bit to clean, indicating a mixture that’s maybe a bit to lean (fuel / air ratio a bit to low, so not enough fuel). This makes it run hotter. And yes that’s what I see. Trying to stop it running, doesn’t work, it keeps on igniting as its to hot inside, so I think I definitely need to change the mixture ratio. Make it richer……. That’s for next time 🙂

Flight 49, bumpy solo

🙂 Woke up in the middle of the night thinking, ooh no, the Nor-Wester is blowing, no flying today. But by the time I got out of bed, it calmed down a lot.

So I left home to go to the airport, and yes by the time I got there, absolutely no wind.

Rang Dave as Terry my current instructor was in a conference, and got permission to fly. I need to get that every time until I have my first licence.

I got the plane ready, and of I went. The wind was picking up a bit but nothing serious, but straight away I noticed that higher up there was definitely a bit of a Nor-Wester, a wind coming over the mountains, with a lot of turbulence in it. Especially in the last 15 minutes that wind was getting stronger and bumpy-er. Really happy how my body is coping with turbulence now

Anyway, I flew for 1.1 hrs. Happy with all my landings! Today I definitely had to work harder to get them right as the wind was playing tricks with me, but learned from it. Get your speed right and everything falls into place.

Flight 48, just solo

Yep, more solo today. First time, without instructor Terry for first few circuits.

Was a nice day but there were North Easterlies developing, creating bumpy conditions, tossing me around a bit while up there 🙂

This made the landings a bit trickier. One of the reasons as I was flying a bit faster during landing to compensate for the wind gusts and turbulence around the hangars on final at RWY07 here in Rangiora. So yes a few landings were bumpy, ballooned a little bit. But all about learning I suppose.

Terry and Mike Small, watching me were not concerned. Yes their comments were that my speed was probably a bit on the high side.

But yes, feeling good after today !

Running again

Started the engine again, for the first time after assembling with the new pistons, that now have a new oil collection groove just below the oil ring.

But first I had a good look at the carburetor, decided to take the top cap of my SU carburetor off to put new thin oil in the oil damper for the piston that controls the mixture ratio. I had normal engine oil in there that was to thick at the current low temperatures. So yes did that first before starting it.

After priming the engine, it started first time, as always 🙂

But I noticed that of the two magnetos, the original one isn’t firing all 5 cylinders so that will be my next little side project. Trying to find out why its not 100%……

Lesson 47, more solo…

Beautiful winters Sunday. Was going to do a little trip 7 nm West of our airfield, but Terry thought I should have some more solo circuit flights first. We will do that 7 nm trip next week.

So off we went, first 2 circuits with Terry, then about 5 I think on my own “SOLO” 🙂

All very good, feel comfortable !

The second to last landing was a little bouncy. Started flaring to high, and then in the end “stalled” from a bit to high. Could have landed, but decided to do a go-around. First time ever. Basically aborting the landing and applying full power to take off straight away.

So yes never did that before, but this is one of the best decisions you can make if you are not 100% sure !!!! Good lesson for myself 🙂

Lesson 46, :-) more solo

Horrible weather yesterday (Saturday) but today, just perfect.

So I contacted Terry for a lesson just after lunch. Went through all the preparations, checks and was ready to fly just after 1300.

It was almost as I was mentally not completely prepared. I took me 2 circuits to get used to everything again.

  • I need to be so more aware of the slip indicator, and
  • With different conditions, it was a bit harder to get the altitude right for finals (the landing)

Apart from that, the circuit was fine.

During the landing I had to pay a bit more attention to the timing of the flare. At one stage I was flaring a bit to high, like only 1/2m to high, so no drama !!  🙂

After 3 circuits with Terry, he jumped out and I went solo again. Everything went really well. Almost like its easier if no-one is watching……. I know Terry was, “outside” from the runway, keeping an eye on me.

After I finished my 3 circuits, I did a “full stop” and vacated the runway and back to the hangar, were Terry came to see me.

He was happy overall with what I did. So from now on, while I need to get more time under my belt, I can start flying on my own, without an instructor with me for these first few circuits. I do need to call Terry before I take-off and talk him through the conditions.

So yeah !!!! Really solo now 🙂

Lesson 44, circuits and yeaaaah tail dragger SOLO

Yes after last lesson I knew  was going to do some good landings. And yes my feeling about what was about to happen was right !

I think I made 4 landings, 3 of them really good !  🙂  During that last circuit Terry, my new instructor told me to do a full stop. Strange I thought, didn’t think I had done an hour yet, but yes I was thinking maybe I will fly solo today.

Terry rang Dave who just arrived at the airfield and asked him to come over. The reason, Terry belongs to a different club, so only Dave can authorize me to go solo. So started doing circuits with Dave, and after 2 of them he told me to let him out, so I could do my solo’s.


Yes had two almost perfect circuits, good takeoffs and landings.

First solo in KNZ
First solo in KNZ
First solo in KNZ

Nice comment I got from Brent Thompson:

I recon the kitfox is one of the best taildragger trainers around. Beautiful when you do it right but let’s you know all about it if you don’t. Once you’ve mastered the kitfox, you have an excellent foundation for any other taildragger. Well done!