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  #1  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:45 AM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
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Default First - fly the airplane...

Had an interesting moment yesterday, I lost my airspeed indication on rotation off the runway. With 2600' of runway and wires on the end, it was a "keep going" situation.

This is when knowing the airplane really pays dividends. I know full power solo with full tanks will give me 2000'/min climb, so I just held about 1000'/min and knew I would be good. I leveled off and set 2500 rpm and 17" MAP which will always give me 100 knots, and came back around to a long final. Pulled all the power and dumped 20 degrees of flaps and stuffed the nose down to the same angle I use every time, and it worked this time just like every other, from my flare and float I'm guessing I was maybe 10 knots fast over the threshold. Turned out to be a non-event.

I chased the problem down to a broken TEE fitting where my pitot line splits behind the panel to feed my backup EFIS with airspeed data. This particular fitting came from the aviation department at Lowes Hardware, and after 135 flight hours it decided it had served its sentence and gave up.

Anyway - the upshot of all this - practice some slow flight occasionally without airspeed info, or just turn off the EFIS entirely and play with it. Learn how it feels and sounds, you never know when that experience and time spent will pay dividends.
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Greg Niehues - PPSEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2018 dues paid
N16GN flying! http://websites.expercraft.com/airguy/
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2017, 08:55 AM
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goatflieg goatflieg is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
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Once lost my altimeter flying a rented Citabria. Asked the tower if they had my altitude; they did not. Oh well, I thought... guess I'm going by feel on this one, and it was no problem. During the decades of dreaming of owning my own airplane, one of the things I'm most keenly anticipating is getting the feel of my own personal aircraft; wearing it and understanding it's behavior intimately. Won't be too much longer...
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:10 AM
gasman gasman is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 3,466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airguy View Post
Had an interesting moment yesterday, I lost my airspeed indication on rotation off the runway. With 2600' of runway and wires on the end, it was a "keep going" situation.

This is when knowing the airplane really pays dividends. I know full power solo with full tanks will give me 2000'/min climb, so I just held about 1000'/min and knew I would be good. I leveled off and set 2500 rpm and 17" MAP which will always give me 100 knots, and came back around to a long final. Pulled all the power and dumped 20 degrees of flaps and stuffed the nose down to the same angle I use every time, and it worked this time just like every other, from my flare and float I'm guessing I was maybe 10 knots fast over the threshold. Turned out to be a non-event.

I chased the problem down to a broken TEE fitting where my pitot line splits behind the panel to feed my backup EFIS with airspeed data. This particular fitting came from the aviation department at Lowes Hardware, and after 135 flight hours it decided it had served its sentence and gave up.

Anyway - the upshot of all this - practice some slow flight occasionally without airspeed info, or just turn off the EFIS entirely and play with it. Learn how it feels and sounds, you never know when that experience and time spent will pay dividends.
Did you figure out why the fitting failed?
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:22 AM
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airguy airguy is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gasman View Post
Did you figure out why the fitting failed?
It cracked in the body of the fitting, did not separate but was leaking significantly enough that the airflow coming in from the pitot tube was only sufficient to show 30-40 knots. This was the white PVC push-in type that is typically used for 1/4" water line for a fridge or icemaker.

Come to think of it, I had one of these fail several months ago, on my icemaker... maybe they've just got it out for me...
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Greg Niehues - PPSEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2018 dues paid
N16GN flying! http://websites.expercraft.com/airguy/
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:38 AM
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MikeyDale MikeyDale is offline
 
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I run Avare on my android phone. It gives me a good ground speed and fair altitude backup. Better than nothing and dirt cheap!
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:52 AM
SuperCubDriver SuperCubDriver is offline
 
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What did your backup EFIS show without pitot pressure? I mean what attitude?
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:14 AM
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rv6ejguy rv6ejguy is offline
 
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GPS is a pretty good check if you know the approximate wind and direction. I always crosscheck mine on final in case the ASI took some sort of dump.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:22 AM
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airguy airguy is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperCubDriver View Post
What did your backup EFIS show without pitot pressure? I mean what attitude?
I've got Skyview for primary and Garmin G5 for my backup EFIS, the airspeed on both of them matched but was in the 25-40 knot range the whole time. That was my first clue as to the nature of the failure - two independent sensors showed identical results, so I knew it had to be a legitimate pressure problem somewhere between the pitot inlet and the devices. My initial assumption was a bug in the pitot tube, that happens and it's the easiest/simplest to check and fix. I pulled the pitot and blew it clean, reinstalled, and went to the runway and powered up. I got fast enough to lift the nosewheel off without any indication at all on the airspeed so pulled power off and went back to the hangar, where I pulled everything apart and finally found the Tee fitting that was cracked.

Both EFIS were indicating correctly for attitude. I know Skyview has a "GPS-assist" mode that it uses if the airspeed indication is suspect or missing, I guess the Garmin G5 does also because it was a good attitude on the display.
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Greg Niehues - PPSEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2018 dues paid
N16GN flying! http://websites.expercraft.com/airguy/
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:35 AM
gasman gasman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airguy View Post
Had an interesting moment yesterday, I lost my airspeed indication on rotation off the runway. With 2600' of runway and wires on the end, it was a "keep going" situation.
Why couldn't you use your GPS ground speed?
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:53 AM
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RV8iator RV8iator is offline
 
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Location: Saint Simons Island , GA
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Default Good job Greg

For all of us, if you can't fly your plane safely in a VFR pattern by just sound and engine settings, you NEED to practice. This is just basic airmanship 101 in light planes.

I'm ready with the flame suit, but we should all be comfortable if these little airplanes with just the basics.
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