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Down…but not out.

June 23, 2010

We thought we were off.  We weren’t.

We had trouble getting the plane to start.  We tried a hot start (which means we didn’t prime the engine at all.) Nope.  We tried a few shots of prime. Nope again.  We tried several combinations of full rich / lean / pumping the throttle / opening the throttle /closing it down.  Nope, nope, nope.  We waited for her to cool down…. (though it was high noon and close to 100 degrees…so I’m not sure we were going to see that happen.)  Still nothing.

We notified the Stop Chairperson that we needed a mechanic to help, and he was able to get the plane started.  However… he listened to her at full throttle and then back at idle and he did not like what he was seeing and hearing at idle.  The plane was developing very little rpm – much lower than usual – when the throttle was pulled back.  We shut her down, and he took another look.  Turns out there is a leaky gasket that needs to be replaced..the part is inexpensive….but it needs to be shipped overnight.  We were fortunate that Mitch, our mechanic, was there as a volunteer as this airfield has no maintainence shop and he’s the closest mechanic they have on call.

So, here we sit in Waycross, along with another team whose vacuum pump failed during the flight.  They too are expecting a part overnight, and yes, Mitch will need to fix their plane too.  Thing is…Mitch can’t get back to the airport until sometime around Noon tomorrow.  So….we’ll see what happens next.

As any good pilot knows….you can’t control these things and you just have to deal with it.  We dealt with it by going out to dinner with our new friends Barb and Maureen (Classic #37!) and Velhma – a wonderful woman who came out to the airport because she read about this air race in the local paper and she was so thrilled that we would all be stopping in Waycross!  We were delighted to meet her, and we think we’ve convinced her to take an intro flight soon.

One thing we all agree on….the southern hospitality is alive and well here at the Waycross airport!  Everyone has been willing to pitch in and help us out as needed.  We’re so thankful to all of them.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    June 23, 2010 1:38 pm

    That’s a really pretty part of GA. I lived up in Savannah for 4 years while I was at Ft. Stewart and got to see a good bit of the state. Helps to have relatives up in Elberton as well! Hope you guys get airborne soon!!!

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