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FlyingMonkey

MrMorden & Wm.Ince Still Not Home

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Bill and I have been battling weather since leaving Tucson on Thursday. First there was the huge north-south weather line in the southwest, now we are trapped under hurricane Patricia. Yesterday we made about 400nm through the weather from Pecos, TX to Victoria, TX (KVCT) where we are now.

 

Most of it was not bad, but we were down to VFR minimums a few times, including our landing at Victoria which was about 20min from sunset under 1500ft ceilings and 4mi visibility. We hoped to get out from under the weather here early this morning, but by the time we were day VFR legal the weather closed it. We are now stuck watching and waiting.

 

Current weather picture attached.

post-853-0-33897000-1445697209_thumb.png

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They were warned.  In any case, the weather in East Texas is going to be hellish...10 to 20 inches of rain in many locales.

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They were warned.  In any case, the weather in East Texas is going to be hellish...10 to 20 inches or rain in many locales.

Who were warned? This weather was not forecast until after we departed.

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The weather was clear from mid Texas east when they left Tucson. We are getting raining we rarely ever get this time of year. Patricia is affecting all the south US weather. It's killing Mexico where CT4me and I are going next Saturday if anything is left standing.

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I'm sure we have other Texans on the board other than me but the forecast on Thursday would've been favorable for a route that went through the Hill Country (Austin area) then up the coast around Houston.  Friday's forecast pretty much would've precluded GA VFR travel. Can't see anything wrong with the planning based on the information available at the time.  And there are a lot of little airports in TX to land at in case the weather moved in faster than forecasted.

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Who were warned? This weather was not forecast until after we departed.

 

Both CT and I told you of considerable buildup of convective weather in the Pacific from the South and driving East across SoCal days before the Page Fly-in and during it.  El Nino is producing these things. 

 

There are two more streams of such weather hitting next week after this...from across the Pacific South and East.   For now, the forecast for Texas is continued winds and hard rain thru next Tuesday.  You may see more rain following right behind that from the next set coming in...

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Time to spare? Go by air!

 

Took Karen and I a week once to get from Sebring home in the Sky Arrow.

 

Enjoy the experience!

 

But you really need to listen to 100Hambuger next time!

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Silly me, relying on NOAA and FAA instead of Internet blowhards for weather information and forecasting.

 

Also a factor was the fact that I found a completely broken (as in severed) exhaust pipe and spiderweb cracks in my muffler that required extensive stainless steel welding to repair. That was found DURING PREFLIGHT an hour before scheduled departure, and pushed our departure back a day.

 

I was not warned of that by Burgers, probably because Burgers has stated pilots have no business removing the cowling and that should be left to a mechanic.

 

BTW, many thanks to Roger Lee for finding me a stainless welder within hours, and removing/reinstalling my exhaust to get me back in the air ASAP!

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Hi Andy,

 

Hate to rub salt into the wound, but since you left sunny skys in Tucson. Told you that you should have just stayed and moved here. I'm beginning to think one of you is cursed. :bad_day-3329:

 

 

CT4me heard the odd exhaust noise in Sedona. So it had to have happened between Page and Sedona that morning.

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Hi Andy,

 

Hate to rub salt into the wound, but since you left sunny skys in Tucson. Told you that you should have just stayed and moved here. I'm beginning to think one of you is cursed. :bad_day-3329:

 

 

CT4me heard the odd exhaust noise in Sedona. So it had to have happened between Page and Sedona that morning.

I told my wife to put AZ on the short list of places to live. :)

 

I watched a video of our Lake Powell flight. When I'm at low power a very loud noise can be heard (camera was on the wing. So I think it failed during or before that flight. That was the day before we went to Sedona, IIRC.

 

I guess my ANR headset works...I could not hear a difference from inside the cockpit.

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Irish Al,

Not so many airports when you consider the total area plotted is 9.2 times the area of your island. Of course, the graphic only shows the paved runways. There are many times more private dirt and sod strips on the farms and ranches in this area.

 

Mr.Morden & Wm.Ince,

I know you guys know this, but you need to bid your time. Flying minimums is no good where radio towers often reach above 1000 feet... and three mile visibility can turn to zero in 90 seconds at 105 knots. Go to the movies, or the bowling alley, or the library. Or better yet, find someone to share their hangar with you, rent a car and drive home, then come back next week to return the car and pick up the plane.

 

My wife and I just got back from a trip to New York. There were days we had to wait until late afternoon to take off, and days we didn't fly at all. It took a week... and four days to get back. We were on schedule to make it to Page on Thursday, but by then one of us was pretty tired of sitting in the plane. When we had a clean stretch of weather we took it and headed straight home.

 

Sorry I missed you all.

 

Mike Koerner

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Did you get your planes in a hanger? The news just showed a freight train including two locomotives lying on its side because the tracks washed out.....

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I was taught to check the exhaust and do. What are the causes for the exhaust and/or muffler to crack?

I think the general answer is: vibration.

 

A more specific answer is lack of play between the exhaust pipes and mufflers. This can be accomplished several ways, but with the ROTAX it's a ball joint which is supposed to allow some play, and muffler held in place via springs and not a rigid connection.

 

All the more reason to ensure those ball joints get inspected and lubed periodically.

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An accident report from decades ago that made an impression on me:

 

A Cherokee owner noticed a broken exhaust clamp. It looked to him like a hose clamp and he procured a hose clamp and installed it in the place of the broken one.

 

Problem was, the actual clamp had a locator pin and was designed to be installed loosely to allow the play mentioned in my prior post. The hose clamp allowed no such play.

 

And so, in flight, vibration caused the exhaust stack to fracture. The escaping exhaust gasses started a fire and the pilot burned to death.

 

Just a reminder how little things can have huge and frightening consequences.

 

9437357014_17fcef4778_z.jpg

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It broke at the welds up at the top neck out of the exhaust port. The other muffler cracks were down around the muffler tail pipe that radiated outward. Both should be stronger than new now. Most of the time this happens it does come from vibration, but also because a welder didn't relieve that weld correctly. We really don't see these on CT's, but I have seen them on many others from weld jobs done privately.

 

The only indication is if you stood outside the plane. The tone was different while it was running. When the cowl was off there was blow-by all over. The bigger risk here is a fire because of the exhaust temps. Paper will burn at 451F. Plastics can start to burn as low as 125F and up to 500F+.

 

Lubing the balljoints down by the springs as Rotax advices will help keep those sockets from fracturing. That said it rarely happens. The best preventative medicine is to make sure the springs have the correct tension. Too loose tends to be a bigger issue. The proper amount of RTV silicone will not only help the spring, but the socket too.

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Did you get your planes in a hanger? The news just showed a freight train including two locomotives lying on its side because the tracks washed out.....

Yes, the FBO here at Victoria is top notch. They put us in a big hangar and even waived the normal $30/night fee, since the weather is so bad and they they would have moved is in if we were tied down outside anyway. They even let us take one of there crew cars for three days! Really good folks here, we recommend stopping in here if your travels ever take you this way.

 

We also have a nice, comfortable hotel with good wifi at a reasonable rate. Overall, it could be much worse.

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