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About GrassStripFlyBoy

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    Senior Crew Member

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    Croswell Michigan
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  1. If you're using them contain heat for winter pre-heat needs, the gap behind the spinner to cowl opening is giant. I've been draping a towel over the cowl and snake one edge between the cowl and spinner, pull it down around the prop shaft to seal this off. If the plane is left outside these cowl plugs are more for anti-bird and some weather protection, I don't see need for these with hanger kept planes.
  2. 6Y3 North Fox Island, remote isolated island in northern Lake MI, but still just quick hops to local mainland airports. Very low C-19 rates in low density northern MI. May have another pilot stop in for camping, but also likely it is just you, and certainly could go remote away from runway. I'd plan on cell service not being available.
  3. Ok, I really didn't exactly fly to Italy, but it was 7.5 hours of flying today, and did blow out a tube on landing. This post is pure flying report, enjoy! My employer is based N of Chicago, we have a company summer picnic annually (a Fri-Sat extravaganza including spouses that is three+ parties over two days), enter C-19 and that's out the window. The owner is working it as virtual event, and will showcase the talent of each employee, about 70 people. If he was not the successful business owner he is, I swear he'd be a late night TV show host, funniest guy around. He came up with idea we "fly" around the world visiting our employees, IL, WI, east coast US, UK, Italy, Singapore, west coast US, then back to IL, with comical refueling stops and such along the way. So with GoPro and cell phones loaded, we hit the sky and flew around several of my co workers homes shooting video and commentary in the IL and WI area up to Milwaukee. Our fuel stop in Waukesha the fuel guy was gracious to talk with an Italian accent in our "interview" with him, out over Lake MI "crossing the Atlantic" footage, and so much banter such as "where's the bathroom", "ordering meal service", wrong turn to Africa, lots of take off and landing footage and shots for green screen - he's taking this in so many hysterical directions including us putting on real deal flight suits on the tarmac doing the walk from plane and slapping hands like Goose and Maverick in TopGun for the ending credits. And that's just the short list. As far as my flight to/from Chicago land, the forecast was decent up to launch this morning, then convective starting popping beyond what I expected. Working optimum winds aloft I flew ~ 4.5k over with dog leg on lower Lake MI making ~ 50 mile crossing. With ~130k GS that equates to about :15 of time with wet ditching prospect. And my ditch kit of lift vest / raft / GPS / com radio was ready for bail out. Return back flew direct with 80 mile crossing and no tailwind, maybe 110k GS at 7.5k, lower was headwind. This is where I'm really appreciating ADS-B weather, the new EFIS, Ipad, and the performance / endurance of the CT. Stayed in solid VFR and was able skirt a few showers with only a few drops hitting the plane all day. I'm still learning to match what I see on screen to what is out the window, so thought I'd share a few pictures of both for data points. I have no desire to fly IFR or push weather, but also see days like this where it becomes worse and closer than expected, and good to have the experience and comfort level. Ultimately I had solid divert options and frequent airports to duck into along the way. Landing had the sensation that my strip was rougher than normal, and by the time I was thinking of brakes I knew right tire was flat. A walk to hanger for jack and tools confirmed tube was leaking but an air up would buy me the needed two minutes of taxi time. Thank God I was at home and not in the middle of all the days activates with weather bearing down on situation. This tube was original to plane prior to my ownership and looks like its a cheap one based on valve stem and cap appearance. Here's some pic's: Chicago crossing over: Pic of ADS-B near Lansing: Corresponding view of weather:
  4. That's a clever bit of design there, even though I'm experimental and would consider this if possibly allowable, I'd still avoid it. Reason being taking advantage of 40 additional HP means more prop up front, which who know what that means to clutch gear box wear, stress on engine case, and a host of other risks. I think a constant speed prop would be a nice upgrade, why that is not allowable within LSA framework seems kind of short sighted, that would probably provide more performance gain than the weight of this supercharger swinging a fixed blade, at least in cruise which is what most people are judging here.
  5. As built, and as flown (loading variations) are two different scenarios. Seems I touch nose and aileron trim every flight, I'm a fanatic about hands off straight n level. I've yet to touch the rudder trim in flight. I've almost learned how much to dial the aileron trim between solo and passenger in right seat before TO.
  6. Nice post, someday maybe 10 years from now one will be in my plans. Convince Tom to make that ride available for some demo's, and name the day, sounds like a great destination for a later summer gathering.
  7. CT's don't like rough strips, I have a SW with straight legs, and fly off lots of grass. Maintained grass strips are sweet, "fields" with say a couple inches of variation in ground / shape of dirt are the max. Maybe the LS with composite legs, and turf tires would get you a bit more, but still you don't want to be treating these planes rough. My state has a lot of clay so it's hard as a rock now and these uneven surfaces are really felt. And when I say a couple inches obviously the "shape" of the runway does not have to be laser flat, I'm talking like clumps of grass v/s a bald spot, and your hitting speed bumps or depressions, what it would feel like under your feet walking across it. Have your buddy go land you on some grass runways and get first hand impression. This is a topic I have a lot of views around, having a grass strip at home base and have followed evolution of STOL the last couple decades. The past ~5 years this has become a very hot area of aviation thanks to many youtube stars. Which is a very good thing for growing aviation. I also view a large number of people into STOL in the same light as those who buy Jeep Wranglers, spend big money on tires on lift kits, then proceed to only drive them on pavement around town. I'm always curious when I see big tire planes landing at the long paved runways and go admire the aircraft, a beautiful Just Highlander was the most recent example, it was a show piece. The airport had two runways, grass and paved, pilot chose the paved because "don't want to get bugs on it", meanwhile I'm flying my non-Tundra tire SW off grass more than anything. I also wonder if people dream about flying off airport, then later when insurance companies say your on your own, decide to stick to charted airports not wanting to risk a 100k plane if they dork it. I was deciding between a STOL and CT long and hard. The reality of not needing to land in more remote area than a 1400' grass strip was my logic for deciding on the CT. If you want to bounce around close to home and go off airport, STOL make sense. If you want to fly out of your state, at any speed and level of comfort (avoiding or outrunning some weather / crossing great lakes, etc) then don't buy a STOL. Another way to say this is do you want a "fun flier" or a "cross country" machine. I can fly to OSH for a day trip in my CT, if I had a STOL that would nearly impossible with fuel stop and slower cruise. The CT fits my missions exceedingly more than it doesn't. I view my CT as a STO plane, (light SW base weight, and I'm lightweight pilot) half fuel solo and flaps it JUMPS off the ground as short as about all but the extreme STOL planes. Even dual at gross I'm impressed with how short of run and the rate of climb, comparing to my old Cessna. CT's are a rather decent plane for getting out of short airstrips. Landing short - not so much. I use about half of my strip, without any braking when landing, say 1000 feet is the normal. I'm not putting it right on the numbers, flair, and let it roll until I need to power for taxi. If I used max braking maybe shave 200 feet. It comes down to safety margins and I keep it well within skill level. I'd not want to get into rough grounds, I've been into some friends grass strips that are not that smooth, don't care to go back. I'd say these are a "rough lawn" sort of strip, fine for any airplane, but don't want to abuse my plane at all and stick to the more smooth and well maintained grass strips.
  8. Posting this for a more recent status of small (non-Tundra) 4" nose tire options. Have found many of the past posts have links to web pages no longer active, and perhaps some product / stock changes as well. Dresser - The search function on site does not show a size of 4.00-4 as selectable, here's what they emailed back, note this is only a 2 groove and 8 Ply from Aero Classic, this is found at Spruce and likely many other sources with Aero Classic being a popular brand: http://i2admin02.webstorepackage.com/desser/virtualweb/pc_product_detail.asp?key=CDF61B32A0B34E0DAAE567F41D496A52 Specialty Tire has what looks to be a nice option & price, currently out of stock. Inquired and was answered with an entirely wrong size in reply, asked again and crickets. http://specialtytirestore.com/400-4tirer.htm#200 Wings & Wheels (Also has the same Aero Classic available here too) https://wingsandwheels.com/aircraft-parts/tires/400x4-tost-aero-8-pr.html I ended up ordering the Tost Aero and a couple tubes from Wings & Wheels, being on turf I did not want to give up grooves going to Aero Classic, if I was entirely on paved runways then Aero Classic may have been the choice. Also as a curious topic, my CT currently has a Kenda K301W-KS-002 tire on nose, I tried a pile of searches and no dice. The Kenda site shows K301 as a turf tire series but not finding anything close to a 4.00-4 size offered, maybe it went obsolete. My nose wheel is getting a bit thin, will keep it for carrying as the spare instead of running it to death.
  9. That serial number is right at the change over time based on Tom's knowledge:
  10. First number is year, then second number is month. This post trail provides a bit of insight about window of time where it changed:
  11. Wide Open Throttle at level flight = 5600, I hear that is the goldilocks just right spot that many people target.
  12. That clamp position is exactly as Roger suspected, I had felt the flare and clamp was offset. I knew it did not belong on top of the flare, but it certainly had room to move over just up to it. And will consider a conventional hose clamp too. It's not like there is a "leak", in 10 months and 100 hours my coolant has never had to be filled, and what tiny bit reservoir is down is proportional to the loss I saw over winter cold season when the leaks really develop. I did an oil change recently and I think pulling the mag plug had some spillage get down into the rad fins which blew traces back into engine area making some oil messes also, so in cleaning that up I was seeing "more oil" when I hit this down tube... I've been so impressed how tidy this Rotax is compared to my old O-200 that I watch every little for change. As always, appreciate the inputs.
  13. Yeah, good point. Cleary I did not notice that, the slight leakage appeared dirty brown color when I looked at the blue shop towel it was on and I guess my brain saw that as oil. I'll have to look around further, probably it was coolant then.
  14. Noticed a couple of the oil return lines exiting at bottom of cylinders, the 90 degree elbows, are leaking a tiny bit of oil at the hose to elbow joint. I pushed the hoses a tick further on elbow, then slightly moved the spring clamps on the hose, to perhaps develop a bit more compression. These spring clamps don't seem real tight, not concerned they are defective just wonder if they weaken over time? Any foreseeable issues if I swapped these out for a conventional hose clamp? Could a hose change prior to my ownership have used a slightly different ID / OD that would possibly change the compression force these develop? Probably safe to swap to a conventional clamp, but always like to cross check these things with those having more experience than me. Thanks, Darrell
  15. If you've not talked with Airtime Aviation, give Tom Gutmann a ring, they pioneered the integration of Clamar floats onto the CT. https://flyct.com/floatplane/ When I was at Airtime we talked a bit about the floats, I have no interest in that it was just a curiosity. Besides the slower cruise and hit to useful load, the flight performance sounded to still be a decent experience, the straight floats you mention would help useful load compared to amphibs. There are a few videos on youtube that shows plane in action if you've not seen these: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ctls+float+plane
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