Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It is early afternoon here and the outside air temp is flirting with 90degF, 50% humidity. Most light airplanes are not air-conditioned and, if you are flying them in such a direction that the sun pours through the windows, it's like riding in an Easy-Bake Oven, with the added joy of solar convective turbulence.

Better to go flying as early in the morning as possible. Which is what I did today. The airplane was refueled, tied down and I was home by 11.

The good news is that the mud daubers have given up trying to build their nest inside one of the fuel quick-drains. Every other preflight this month has involved removing that crap from the drain.

Friday, July 15, 2011

One of the Joys of Ownership

Washing the airplane:

Not seen are the hose and the long-handled brush.

The airplane was filthy, I haven't washed it in awhile. I sprayed Simple Green Aircraft Wash directly on it, then scrubbed with a water-Simple Green mixture.

Washing an airplane is hot, hard work. It's like hand-washing several cars at once. I didn't wax it; the paint is pretty crappy and wax would not help at this point. But it is still a few shades brighter than it was this morning.

I flew it for a bit afterwards to make sure that it was completely dry.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Turned out that the problem was a species of bug known as a mud dauber. I knew that they will build nests inside of pitot tubes (which is why aircraft owners should keep them covered if the airplane isn't being used), but I had never heard of them building a nest inside of a fuel quick-drain.

A friend advised me to take a paper clip, unbend one end and poke around in the opening. Sure enough, bits of mud and dirt came out. I stirred the wire around and then the mess just flushed out with the fuel sample.

So I went flying! The winds went from calm when I left to "hold onto your hat, Hannah" in an hour. They weren't too bad of a crosswind, though, so the only real joy was wrestling with the cabin cover to put it back on.