Just got my plane back from Cirrus, who did the annual. They were interested in seeing the plane, which now has over 300 hours on it, and I was interested in having them look at it. It was mutually beneficial.
I had a long list of things that I wanted them to address from screws that had fallen out (minor things) to wear marks on the flaps. I took the plane to DLH on Monday, June 26, and in three and a half days the plane was ready. Frankly, I was worried based on past experience that annuals never go as quickly as planned leaving me without wings, etc. That was not the case. Although the customer service department has just a few people, they are good. They have the carts (custom made for Cirrus) for each plane in for work. The people are decked out in color coordinated shirts based on the area where they work. They have thought this thing through. The carts are designed to hold the engine cowl so it doesn't lay on the floor to get nicked and chipped. Owner things on board (and I have a bunch) is stored on the cart (most of the time unless you brought all the stuff I did Â…. golf clubs, etc.). I am impressed with the organization and dedication of their staff. As the to the plane, they found that I had very dirty injectors (hadn't been cleaned since I picked up the plane. I'm told they should be cleaned or at least inspected every 100 hours) and the timing was off a bit. The fuel regulator was also running a little leaner than it should. They tweaked and replaced all associated parts including replacing the tach, which is now very accurate (most are not) and verified by the an independent tach (I don't know what it is called, but I think it used strobe technology or the like). As I think I have mentioned in the past, my plane always ran fine. I was pleased with the fuel burn (maybe more than I should have been), but was concerned about the plane's difficulty in cooling Â… both oil and cht. Well I am now in Grand Junction Colorado. I pushed the plane hard flying the Rockies. Route took me to Cheyenne WY and then I took Rabbit Ears pass flew over Steamboat Springs, Meeker and on into Grand Junction, CO. The trip required that I climb in relatively hot weather up to 12,500. I climbed steadily out of Cheyenne to 12,500. I was pretty loaded with two big sets of clubs, baggage, full tanks, and me. I doubt we were over gross, but we weren't far from it. The plane climbed smoothly Â… mixture full rich. The fuel flow was higher than I what I had seen when Kevin Moore and I flew to Kansas. The CHT, which used to routinely find its way to 400, never crossed 375! The oil temp, which would go above 225 if I weren't looking, barely crossed 200. I am pleased that the plane seems not to get as hot as it had in the past. I'll have to keep checking. Tomorrow, I am off to Monterey. If I can do it I am going to Mono Lake and cross the Sierras. The if depends on the MOAs and permission to go through. I'll just have to see. There were some other minor things that were fixed or tweaked, but I won't lengthen this posting by going through all that. I will, however, pass on a couple of things that I learned. First, there are "footman loops" that are used to secure the load. I always wanted the anchor to be located so as to allow you to "tie down" the load from side to side not front to back. Now I understand why they do that way, but as practical matter people would likely use them more often (I would) if they tied from side to side. Well there are two loops that go side to side on the vertical panel in the back of the baggage compartment Â… egg on my face. Second, I always found it dumb that the rear seat belts did not release. When you put the seats down the seat belts at attached to the back of the baggage compartment and therefore in the way when you loaded baggage. Well guess what, they do release. You can take the seat loops out of the buckle and there is no problem. Leaned something. Sorry it is so long, but I am in a hotel room and am bored. Hope I didn't keep you up too long. Aloha.