Lesson 20; more solo

Had a good lesson again.

Started with normal circuits, a couple, then Dave was going to show me an engine failure after takeoff. Basically when we reached 500ft AGL, he took the controls:

  • Closed the throttle,
  • pushed the nose down immediately, to keep flying, maintaining the right speed, 60m/h I think it was,
  • we veered to the left a bit to get over the river bed,
  • searched for a spot without plants and sort of level, and did glide down to very low level,
  • where we applied full power again ( so didn’t land in the river !!! )

Pretty sure I will be doing this next time, I think. Nothing special really as long as the engine is still alive. Would be different if it was real. So hopefully will be practicing this a few times in the near future.

I think, but I will ask again, that he was doing this with no flaps, to get maximum distance. You would be applying flaps, to slow down at the end, and when you think you are going to miss your landing spot.


Then we / I did 2 glide landings, sort of an engine failure exercise:

  • So here you fly at normal circuit height at 1000ft AGL,
  • and when you reach the runway threshold, you close the throttle.
  • Instead of making turns like in the normal circuit, you make a big gentle turn, and try to line up for the runway (without engine), and aim for 1/3 point into it.
  • When you start the turn depends on how high you are, its all about aiming for the right point on the runway.
  • When that all looks good, you apply all flaps, slowing you down,
  • push the stick a bit to maintain speed, and aim for 1/4 of the runway.
  • Then instead of controlling power, you just maintain speed with the stick, and land.

But because we had so much thermal lift we couldn’t get down in time, so we did a “go around”. This happened twice ๐Ÿ™

Rangiora traffic, Juliet Oscar Romeo, go around, Rangiora


Next landing, normal landing this time, Dave told me to drop him off at the club house, so I could do some solo time !!

I did 3 laps around the circuitsย ๐Ÿ™‚

While I was having my lesson, there was quite a bit of an Nor Easter wind, and the odd thermal, so all challenging for this young pilot student, with not so strong stomach…. Especially during the landings where you are trying to descend with the least amount of power, but really trying to maintain speed, so you don’t drop out of the sky.

All in all a good lesson again.

Lesson 19; Norwester

Left home today to go for my lesson thinking, not sure if its going to happen. A horrible Nor West wind here at home.

But when I got to the airport, there was no wind at all, phhhhhh ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Dave mentioned that at low level there was no problem, but up circuit height at 1000ft, it was a different story. So for my first circuit we went all the way up to 1000ft and it was OK, but decided as there was no other traffic that the other loops would be a low level one, only up to 500ft. This all means that I got lots of landings and take-offs today.

As the Nor Wester was hardly noticeable on ground level, I managed to get quite a few really good landings. Ballooned up a few times as I pulled the stick a bit to much, but yes, getting the hang of this now ๐Ÿ™‚

Going well, and Dave was happy as well. Still need to work more on getting lined up correctly, especially with a crosswind at higher levels.

Oh yes the last landing, Dave took over and we landed on runway R28, straight into the Nor West that wasn’t really blowing. But good that I have seen it now, also because the circuit goes the other way for that one.


And no solo today as its a bit to risky if the Nor West suddenly picks up etc etc, but definitely will get more of them with calmer more predictable weather ๐Ÿ™‚

Al valves set

As symmetrical as possible, looking good I think.

All angles measured relative to the TDC of each piston.
The goal was to have all valves fully open at -120deg (exh) and +120deg (mix), because the seoaration between exh fully open and mix fully open is 240deg. All symmetrical.

I set the CAM timing using the valve positions of the #1 cylinder.

That’s looking very good, if you keep in mind that the remaining pistons (#2 – 5) are driven my the master rod, and the valves of these remaining cylinders are all driven by the common CAM. Proves that the TDC separation of all 5 pistons is close enogh to 360/5 = 72 deg….

I think I am happy with these figures.

Valve Open/Close timing #1/2/3/4/5
Starting to open [deg]Fully open[deg]Closed [deg]
#1 Exhaust-254-120+14
#1 Mixture-11+119+254
#2 Exhaust-254-116+22
#2 Mixture-15+122+254
#3 Exhaust-263-122+15
#3 Mixture-14+119+247
#4 Exhaust-249-114+20
#4 Mixture-16+125+266
#5 Exhaust-258-121+12
#5 Mixture-22+118+253


Next is putting the back of the engine back on, oil pump, oil hoses and magneto’s…..
Can’t wait to see the result ๐Ÿ™‚

Setting valve timing continued

After my solo flight today ย !!!!!!!! ย I continued setting valves.

All these measurements are relative to each piston TDC (top dead center) time

This is what I have so far:

Valve Open/Close timing #1/2/5
Starting to open [deg]Fully open[deg]Closed [deg]
#1 Exhaust-254-120+14
#1 Mixture-11+119+254
#2 Exhaust-254-116+22
#2 Mixture-15+122+254
#5 Exhaust-258-121+12
#5 Mixture-22+118+253


Very happy with this so far, looking good. Next time I will do the last two valves.

All I am doing really is setting the tappet clearance, and the checking what the valves do as the cam timing was set at the beginning when I did valves for cylinder #1. Everything else should be correct, and it looks like they all are !! ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Lesson 18; First solo flight

Today, another day another lesson, until Dave took over the controls. He basically taxied of the runway to get out.
When he said can I have the controls, I thought ooh, he is probably going to show me something. Then when he taxied of the runway I thought hmmm, I think I am going solo. Yes that’s what it was……

For a second I got a bit nervous, but always said to myself, if Dave thinks I can do it, I can.ย And recently I did have the feeling that I would be able to fly myself if I had to ย ๐Ÿ™‚

So yes today is the day. The weather was perfect, no other traffic, and last few circuits I did were all good.

He gave me a few tips, like I will climb faster without my instructor and glide further while landing.
Anyway, here I went taxied to the beginning of runway, R25, checked for other traffic and took off.
All went well. All the time I was talking to myself instead to Dave, basically about all the things I am doing.
Went up to circuit height, 1000ft and landed again ๐Ÿ™‚
Yes all went well

YEAH I few solo ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  ย ๐Ÿ™‚


Lesson 17

After a few months, of busy other stuff, I had my first lesson again for this year with Dave. Planning to have one every Saturday again if the weather allows. Before I went to the airport today, I studied the notes of my last flight from last year just above here. That was really helpful.

I went through the steps as I memorized them with Dave, and spoke about a few things here and there ๐Ÿ™‚

Today was like the previous ones, going through the circuit. Basically practicing the landings. All about the timing of when to pull the stick for the “round out”, and how to keep on adjusting it after for the “flare”.

I will get there. Was going quite well even after those 4 or so months not flying, so very happy !!!

The other thing I really need to get better at is maintaining my altitude when flying around in the circuit.

Really important for two things:

  • Other pilots know where you are or know were to expect you.
  • And important when going in to the final, so your landing approach is correct and not too high, because that’s sometimes a bit of an issue….

Start setting the new CAM timing

Today I started with the “final” settings of the engine valve timing.
After I had taken the CAM of last weekend, I have now installed it back again, I was hoping that the timing was still right.
And yes after all the work I have done a week or so ago, it looked perfect.
The timing for the #1 cylinder is very symmetrical:

Valve Open/Close timing #1
Starting to open [deg]Fully open[deg]Closed [deg]
#1 Exhaust-254-120+14
#1 Mixture-11+119+254

I should make a picture of this so its easier to understand

So in the next few days or weeks, I will set the tappets for the other valves, and check the timing….
Happy 😄😄

CAM back

So today I want back to Rangiora and assembled the CAM back onto the back of the engine.

Also spoke with Wayne, as he was very interested to see the inside of the engine. He also agrees with me that setting the CAM timing this way is so much better !!!!

So I am a happy man ๐Ÿ™‚

In the next few engine visits I will set the CAM timing and set all 10 individual valve tappet clearances so that all valves open and close at the same time……

Set CAM with valve fully open

Had another discussion with Warren about an idea I had:

In stead of setting the timing using the tappet clearance procedure etc etc, which is very error prone due to the shape of the CAM lobe as its done on the very gentle beginning of the slope of the lobe, I decided to set the timing using ย the “top” of the lobe. That way I don’t need to worry about tappet clearance at all. All I need to know is the angle distance between the top of the exhaust and the top position of the mixture valve, and position that symmetrical around the TDC. I looked up my measurements and the spacing between exhaust fully open and mixture fully openย is exactly 240 degrees.

So all I need to do is set the CAM so that the exhaust valve “peeks” at 120 deg before TDC and the mixture valve peeks 120 deg after TDC

This new procedure popped into my head when I had another good look at the CAM. Here you can also see that the valve is only a short time at the top, so that’s perfect for using as a reference:



You can also see in this image below what I am trying to achieve:

To have the two valve movements overlap at the TDC (at about 40 deg in the image below), I will have to position the mixture valve top time at the TDC + 120 deg, or the exhaust valve top time at the TDC – 120 deg.