Flight Testing

First flight happened on March 22, 2006.  Still lots of snow around but the temperature was at around 8C.  Clouds left for the day and we had about 8 knots straight down runway 12.  Not the best runway for the first flight (power lines and a Wallmart off the end), but I wasn't sure I was flying anyway.

Half fuel on board.  Taxied out to the end of 12.  Ran up the engine.  All was working perfect.  OK so lets try a taxi test, lift the tail and see how she behaves.  Sandra is taping so don't do anything stupid.  

Pushed on about half power, smooth, engine running nice, prop working.  More throttle, brought the tail up, looked in the cockpit at the air speed, lifted my head back up and I was flying.  Put the rest of the power on and climbed out.

Spent the next 20 minutes circling the airport up to 7500 ft (airport elevation is at 2500 ft).  After 10 minutes or so I noticed my CHT was too high (hadn't set my alarms right so the engine monitor didn't give me a warning).  Throttle back, no help, speed up, no help.  So I gave up and descended for a landing.

First landing; 100 mph final, flaps down, slow to 85, throttle back, and land.  Easy as can be, no bounce, slightly tail high (wheel landing), and she tracked out perfect.

Videos: yea right.  Lots of blue sky with engine noises.  Next flight got David to record, worked out much better, other than he missed the landing.

March 23, 2006 - Had to wait this long for weather.

Another nice day.  Morning foggy and cloudy but the afternoon was nice and clear.

Fueled the plane up - fought with the dreaded hot start.  It was obvious from the video that the engine was flooded.

Run-up - Electronic Ignition showed a larger than expected drop.  Not too bad but last time the EI showed no drop (when the mag was off).

Took off on 30 and climbed out to 4500 ft.  Circled the airport for around 15 minutes fighting with the CHT.  Ken Fowler recommended switching off the mag and see if that was the problem.  The engine almost quit when I did that!  I quickly turned towards the runway, put the mag back on and the engine smoothed out.  Switched off the EI and the engine still ran smooth, but guess what?  The CHT dropped from 500 down to 380 then to 330!  Ah ha, perhaps there is the problem.  after another 15 minutes I left the airport as Ken Fowler was flying through the area and he wanted to have a look around the plane.  We formed up, he had a good look over and then headed off to Cold Lake to see Eric Hansen (he didn't make it all the way up due to weather and had to turn around).

I spent the next 30 minutes working with the GPS and autopilot and getting my steep turns down (much different view not being side by side seating).

Then I came back into the airport.  Lined up on the runway but thought I saw geese on the runway (they were close by when I left) so I did an overshoot.  David did get that on video.

Back around for a landing.  Came in a little faster this time and did a little skip (not a real bounce, but not a perfect landing either).

I then had to return to work.  I think I have a plan for the EI now.