Mark's First Flight Comments

Enough of this worrying about hitting the prop on start-up. Learn your airplane well enough to place the throttle lever to get a 1000-1200RPM start. Any higher RPM on a cold start up is damaging to the cam on the Lycoming engines -- in fact lower RPM is better if you can do it. Hot starts are not so critical to the cam, of course, but sometimes the pilot will set a bit of extra throttle to help the Lyc Hot Start Syndrome...not necessary if you know the procedure that works for your ship -- there isn't one sure method, I'm told.

My hot start procedure, from buckle-up:

Master on, alt on, L mag on, elec ign on if so equipped

Set full throttle

Set full rich

1-3 sec of boost pump (listen for pressure change); pump off

close mixture

set throttle for 1000RPM, or a bit more than idle

Press the starter button

move mix lever to 1/2 when engine fires (it should run OK there)

Boost pump on if engine tends to stumble -- as would be the case in high ambient temps: +80F

Set 900RPM idle; lean as far as possible


Cold starts are easier:

a bit more prime

set mix 1/2 open

Crank 'er up

SO!! Don't set so much throttle for starting, and you will have no problems with brakes or stick or needing 3 ain't Rocket Science, after all!

YMMV, of course 

The ship doesn't have any really bad habits, but it does come with a very high engine-out sink rate, for no extra charge. Engine out: keep her at 100KT or so in the glide so you have enough energy to flare (and flare kinda late)...stopped prop might allow 90KT...

Be sure of control system continuity and good clear fuel flow, tight oil hoses, and have some sort of radio out procedure ready (sign language with your wingman, or simply land), and you should do OK. The flight advisor area of the manual was written by a good advisor -- use it , and ask questions if necessary. If 3 things go wrong, abort, and back up. 2 things are not so hard to handle. 3 things will hurt you: 3 things, plus flying the plane, is an overload.

If your pre-taxi engine runs are a non-issue, chances are the rest will be OK too. If you had any problems with getting the engine started and getting it to run cleanly, I will suggest that you check everything else again.

No high-speed taxi runs please. Go ahead and hop the thing to 5-10' AGL and land it (if your runway is long enough) if you think that will help.

Plan for a 20 min flight; have fuel for 1 hr in each tank (15 gal or so). Taxi out & fly on ONE TANK; the other is an emergency tank on this flight. You can use tank #2 on the second 20 minute flight, with tank #1 as the emer. tank this time.

1/2 flaps on your 1st landing; 85-90 KT on approach.

Expect a plugged injector some time in the first 5-7 hrs. The engine will tell you that one is plugged. Don't worry or hurry -- just land as soon as practical. Your EGT gage will tell you which cyl is plugged. The ship will fly fine and maintain altitude at 15"/2000RPM.

Don't bust your ass, and don't let anyone else bust it for you. Seems Yeager said something like this.

Carry on!  Mark


One thing I've been warned about for my first flight:  "Watch the airspeed;  It accelerates and slows down very quickly."  I'll give credit where credit is due here.  The quote is from Ken Fowler.  

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