Oshkosh Tools and Supplies

Here are the tools and supplies I take to Oshkosh:

  1. 1/4” to 3/8” Sockets
  2. Adjustable Wrench
  3. Boards for Wheels
  4. Brake O Rings
  5. Canopy Cover
  6. Cleaners and Rags
  7. Flashlight
  8. Fuel Tank Drain
  9. Funnel
  10. Gust Lock
  11. Paper Towels
  12. Quart of Oil
  13. Ratcheting Wrench and Extension
  14. Safety Wire .032
  15. Safety Wire Pliers
  16. Scoop Plug
  17. Screwdrivers
  18. Skybolt Parts
  19. Skybolt Tools
  20. Spark Plug Anti Seize
  21. Spark Plug Gaskets
  22. Spark Plug Socket
  23. Spark Plugs
  24. Tie Downs
  25. Torx Drivers
  26. Various Fuses
  27. Wrench Set

Puppies in a RV8-It Can Be Done!

Several years ago, I was active in Pilots N Paws when I owned a Bonanza. It was a great plane to haul almost any size dog. In fact, I hauled so many aged and injured Pit Bulls, I took to calling my plane “the Pit Special”…ha. I sold the Bonanza and aside from a brief interlude with a Cirrus, I didn’t have a plane to continue hauling animals and gave up on it temporarily.

I always found it very rewarding and always intended to do it again after I finished up the -8, but always wondered about how realistic it would be considering the space available. Seeing some of the recent stories reawakened those thoughts and I recently and unexpectedly had an opportunity to jump back into it right before Oshkosh. It’s a story of two coincidences.

Out of the blue and with no action on my part, and for the first time in years, I was contacted by a rescue organization based in WI and asked if I could fly 8 puppies (later to be 4 puppies) from Magee, MS to my home airport Fayette County, TN. That was convenient! The pilot I would hand them off to happened to be someone I had met for the first time less than 24 hours prior to being contacted and whose hangar is less than 50 yards from my own. What are the odds? Sean would then fly them to Waupaca, WI on his way to Oshkosh.

Needless to say, a RV-8 is not a freight hauling machine and I was concerned about the weight and the size of the crate with 4 puppies in it. The puppies averaged about 6 lbs each and the foster mom found a small crate for them. I removed the back seat and laid a moving blanket down to quieten things a little and it all fit fine.

We kept the dogs overnight and my daughter, a former vet tech, and my wife, a certified dog nut, just fawned over them for hours. They named them. I was afraid they would want to keep them. They had a great time in our backyard.

Later they had a good night’s sleep in one of our crates after some energetic wrasslin’.

I took them to the airport the next morning to meet Sean’s wife and daughter, who fostered them for one night. I heard later from Sean that they were named again. Those were four spoiled little dogs and now they are residents of WI courtesy of Pilots N Paws.

It was just as rewarding as I remember, and I’m looking forward to another mission if I can find one with smaller animals in my area.

It’s Painted, Finally

The “before” photo…

The “after” photo…

A picture is worth a thousand words, but I’ll say that I am very happy with the work that Jonathan McCormick and his crew at Evoke Aviation in Gadsden, AL did. Completely transformed the ugly duckling into something I’m very proud of.  All I did was write a check, but still…

Airspeed Calibration

Although I had run airspeed calibration tests earlier in my flight testing, I was never satisfied with the accuracy because of the turbulence I always seemed to encounter. So, I decided to re-run these tests early yesterday morning, before the sun had time to heat things up.

I was at the airport at sun up and launched shortly after that. The technique I used is the well-known three-leg GPS process by Doug Gray. This technique is documented in multiple places on the web, but one good place to access this is at Kevin Horton’s site here. Essentially, you fly three legs with different headings (preferentially 90 to 120 degrees from each other), note the GPS ground speed and GPS track. You plug these numbers into the calculations shown in Doug’s paper and voila, it spits out your true airspeed, While flying these tracks, you should note your true airspeed as shown on your avionics.

I ran tests at 4,000 and 8,000 feet. Here are the numbers as noted in the air:

4000 ft Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3
GPS GS 162 146 118
GPS Track 150 030 290
IAS 134 131 132
TAS 146 142 143
Heading 157 020 287
PA 3960 3960 3960
OAT(C) 24 23 24

After plugging these numbers into the calculation, I was surprised to see that the true airspeed was calculated as 144 kts. The average of the above three TAS numbers is 143.67, so that’s not too bad.

Here are the 8000 ft results:

8000 ft Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3
GPS GS 149 177 160
GPS Track 180 090 010
IAS 133 132 134
TAS 153 152 155
Heading 192 094 359
PA 7960 7960 7960
OAT(C) 15.6 15 15.6

The calculated result was 154 kts vs. an average TAS noted of 153.33.  I’ll take it!

I was astounded that these numbers came out so close, especially considering the ham-handed way I installed the static ports, but I guess a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while.

The plane is too slow, but the wheel pants haven’t been installed yet and there are other clean up tasks to perform so I’m not worried about it at this point.

First Flight

On November 20, 2016, I took N678MT up for the first time!

After about 30 minutes of flying a figure 8 above the airport at 3,000 ft, I brought it back in for landing. Post flight inspection indicated no leaks and no surprises! I do have to work on my no flap landings since this plane loves to float down the runway with that fixed pitch prop.