Today, after a snow storm and a month of below freezing temperatures, I was able to clear a path from the hangar to the taxiway. I pulled the plane out of the hangar and after 4 seconds of prime, the weak battery had trouble turning the engine, but it was enough to start. (The $1000 for the improved starting kit was a worthwhile expense.) I ran it for 20 minutes (enough to bring the oil temperature to 175 and the CHT to 300) to recharge the battery for the 2/23/04 trip to the service center. This will be the first flight since the 6 week annual was completed on 1/15/04, I am having the cowl replaced and the 2 CAPS SBÂ’s and the starter SB performed. While I was running the engine I have to admit that the plane had a very nice interior design. Then I thought about the 2 missing round inspection covers for the wheel pants that got lost on the way back from the annual, Cirrus saying a minimum of a 6 hour preheat was required in cold weather, that I just received a notice that the brake lines may have to be replaced (until then they should be inspected prior to every flight) and I realized that selling was a good decision.
Hi Art! I must have just missed you at GAI today. I finally was able to make a business-related trip these last two days – to Chapel Hill and back, which was fun and painless in the Cirrus and would have been much slower, or more expensive, or both, by any other means. This was after, as previously noted, scrubbing six straight trips for weather reasons. (And after having to shovel out a big pile of ice from around my airplane even yesterday, when the temperature finally made it into the 40s.)
My interpretation of recent flying difficulties is that two straight very cold and very wet years on the east coast, following the 2001-2002 season when the weather was great but the airport was locked up for a couple of months because of DC-area security restrictions, have together made GA less practical than I would like it to be. Or than it was when I was living in the west and decided to buy an airplane. But a decision to sell based on that reality – which I, too, have contemplated – seems to me driven mainly by factors external to any particular aircraft company. Any airplane, short of a known-ice bruiser that I could never begin to afford, would be handicapped in the northeast in these circumstances. So I blame God, or perhaps Scott D, for the weather, and various sources for the security restrictions. It sounds as if selling the Cirrus will be a relief for you.
Art: You have remained true to your cause to the end.
However, you have been a wonderful foil and your departure will leave a hole on this Forum. I hope your experiences with you new plane are more satisfying.
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… I just received a notice that the brake lines may have to be replaced (until then they should be inspected prior to every flight
I haven’t seen this mentioned elsewhere - is there a new SB or SA or something on this that someone can reference?
If you do sell please stay a COPA member your posts are great. I can imagine you digging through the snow trying to reach the plane you hate so much. Turning the key in disgust only to find the engine does start after all. It conjurs up a great picture in my mind. If its not the plane its the weather or the SC that stop you flying.
I’m not one to leap to the defence of Cirrus - I’ve made two trips to my SC and I’m no closer to getting my autopilot problem fixed so yes I understand some of your concerns. However I suggest you actually read the CAPS SBs - one is a placard - I guess this is an FAA requirement they must want you to read something on the way down. The other is because they found some SCs re-rigged the lines in the wrong place. Hardly Cirrus’s fault.
I missed why your plane was in annual for 6 weeks (seems quick by the history of my Piper) waiting for parts, or was the SC busy - it takes alot of time to replace 7 autopilots. Pray tell I need cheering up.
In a parallel universe, another Art had this eerily similar experience:
Today, after a snow storm and a month of below freezing temperatures, I was able to clear a path from the hangar to the taxiway. I pulled the plane out of the hangar and after only 4 seconds of prime, without preheating the engine, the engine started right up. Heck, that battery had been sitting in an unheated hangar below freezing for the past 6 weeks without a hint of a charge! Amazing!
I took the plane around the pattern a few times, ostensibly to recharge the battery for the 2/23/04 trip to the service center, but I was really just revelling in the chance to be in the air again. The trip to the SC for a few SBs is a great excuse to go fly and shake off the winter blues. Woo-hoo!
A couple of years ago I bought my first plane, and of course, had to work a few bugs out. One of which was weak battery that gave up its ghost trying to start. I was rudely awakened at how much a 24 V battery costs. Did a little more reading about battery theory, “volt testing”, “load testing”, longevity, etc. Long story short…the avg airplane battery lasts two years because of relatively little usage and long standing idle times between recharging… The main culprit is sulfation of the lead plates so that the battery may appear “fully charged” when tested with a voltmeter, but in reality its “load” ability can be next to nothing.
So, worst casing it, one could be in IMC, generator goes,shut down all non essential electronics and the hoped for 1/2 hr of standby battery power may be a pipe dream. I think that during an annual, the mech is supposed to load test the battery, but I wonder how often/accurately that is done.
I had heard of “battery maintainers” which are just low mA trickle chargers. Commonly available now are “battery maintainer/desulfators”. The desulfator part of this type of charger actually actively desulfates a battery’s lead plates and restores them to close to normal condition(load capability); they do this via a specific RF pulse in addition to the “trickle” part of DC charge. There are a fair number of websites describing this…one site mentions that the U.S. Army now uses them routinely on some of its stored vehicles(tanks) and has proven that battery life is considerably prolonged not to mention the avoidance of “it won’t start” headache.
These desulfators come in 12 or 24 volts for less than 50 bucks. Easily pays for itself if it just prolongs the useful life of a plane 24v battery(my replacement + labor was 300plus $) even for one year. Added plus is that it more assures having a battery with real load ability. I put a 12V desulfator on a “i was gonna throw it away” boat battery and it brought back about 75% of the original load capacity.
I bought a 24 V desulfator/minder and keep the plane plugged in all the time in the hangar. Two simple battery wires are permanently attached and then a simple wire runs out the door when the plane is parked. Also makes it easy to dry fly some of the electronics or play with the nav inst’s on the ground without worrying about running down the battery for next day starting.
Hope this helps.
I am sorry for all of your “troubles”…but I must admit there’s a lot of entertainment value that I will miss in reading your bitter posts.
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So I blame God, or perhaps Scott D, for the weather, and various sources for the security restrictions.
Is it God or me that you are blaming for the security restrictions? I had nothing to do with this…honest! [;)]
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My interpretation of recent flying difficulties is that two straight very cold and very wet years on the east coast, following the 2001-2002 season when the weather was great but the airport was locked up for a couple of months because of DC-area security restrictions, have together made GA less practical than I would like it to be.
The local weather has been bad and stopped me from flying for 4 weeks but the annual stopped me from flying for and additional 6 weeks. Although about a week into the weather problem I received notice from Cirrus that the parachute may not work and I need to get it inspected by my service center who could not take me until the for another 4 weeks (one of the problems of having so few service centers). So by my count that made the plane unavailable from 12/1/03 until 2/23/04 of which 2 weeks was solely weather.
Now I just received information that to fly to the service center I am supposed to remove the wheel fairings to inspect the brake lines (something I was unsuccessful doing while trying to put air in the tires). So even after the parachute SBÂ’s and the starter SB the plane isnÂ’t usable until Cirrus figures out what to do about the brakes. My question to you is prior to your last flight did you remove and replace your wheel pants to inspect the brake lines, remove them and leave them off, or just trust to your luck that you wouldnÂ’t have a problem?
Scott, you have to read these sentences as carefully as a Skew-T chart. [:)] You and God share the blame for the last two years of weather. Osama bin Laden, John Ashcroft, and whoever else you want to name share blame for the security lockdown.
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My question to you is prior to your last flight did you remove and replace your wheel pants to inspect the brake lines, remove them and leave them off, or just trust to your luck that you wouldnÂ’t have a problem?
Hi Art – I didn’t know anything about this SB (if there is one – I still see nothing in the mail at my house) until just now, so I just made a normal flight, without removing the wheel pants. The next trip I have in mind is actually to the service center for a bunch of (genuinely) small stuff – eg, landing light has burned out, but the new one will be only the third one in 600 hours so I can’t really complain. And, on the assumption the feds aren’t overseeing this board, I probably will make the half hour flight to the service center with the wheel pants on. (Shhhhhhh).
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And, on the assumption the feds aren’t overseeing this board, I probably will make the half hour flight to the service center with the wheel pants on. (Shhhhhhh).
Actually, until/unless an AD is issued, you really don’t have to worry about the feds. SBs and SAs are simply advisory, no matter what they may say on them…
(Not that it isn’t a good idea to follow them, particularly in this case. But you aren’t breaking the law if you don’t.)
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Scott, you have to read these sentences as carefully as a Skew-T chart. You and God share the blame for the last two years of weather. Osama bin Laden, John Ashcroft, and whoever else you want to name share blame for the security lockdown.
Great news! We’ve assigned blame to everyone for everything. We can now go back to important things like watching the superbowl halftime show on TiVo again. [;)]
For the record, I do hold Scott to blame for all WX abnormalities or when it interferes with my plans. Dennis, do we have a case?
Regarding the brakes issue, we had a SR-22 exit the runway at my airport (College Park, MD), take out some runway lights and one of our visual slope indicators a few weeks back. In the process, it seems to have lost the tip of its wing, but looks repairable to me. The airport manager said the pilot reported that a brake problem caused the accident. It was very cold that day…I thought perhaps it was ice in the brakes, but don’t know for sure. I did not speak to the pilot
There’s a pretty good discussion on the members forum including a discussion from the pilot with pics. Not just a small repair…
So Scott…what’s the inside scoop on what happened to the SR-22 at CGS? I’m unlikely to be a Cirrus owner anytime soon, so I can’t justify the $50 to read the members forum. But I am curious if it were an icing related event, brake failure, or just too fast on final (which seems very unlikely for a pilot based at one of the DC-3…we’re all fairly well accustomed to short narrow runways)
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I missed why your plane was in annual for 6 weeks
Annual started Dec 1 and was finished by Dec 15. On the ferry trip back ALT 2 light came on and stayed on. Plane returned to SC. Dec 31 plane had new MCU (3rd), on ferry trip back ALT 2 light came on and stayed on. Plane returned to SC. Jan 15 plane came back with new alternator (3rd or 4th it is getting hard to keep track of all the replacements).
The SR22 at State College had a brake line on a main landing gear fail due to chafing by a fastener securing the main landing gear fairing. The pilot applied brakes and the differential braking caused the aircraft to swerve off the runway and into the alfalfa.
Have a look at the www.ntsb.gov site accident report
for more details.
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Today, after a snow storm and a month of below freezing temperatures, I was able to clear a path from the hangar to the taxiway.
Today, after a cold front came through, where the temp dropped to almost 60, I cleared a path ( some palm frons had fallen when the front came through) to the taxi way. I made sure that my life jackets were in the plane, and brought along my wind breaker and filed my VFR flight plan to the islands.
Hawks Nest at Cat Island, Bahamas is a lovely spot for a day excursion for lunch. The air strip is right next to the hotel and resturant. By time we arrived the temp had warmed up to the mid 80’s and the water was crystal clear and blue.
Join COPA at the annual Bahamas Fly-in, but no need to wait till then.