This is the online blog of a husband, father, and hard working PLC programmer, software developer and project engineer.
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Blogs for September, 2014
Oshkosh
Written on 2014-09-03 22:16:07
707278 views, 1 comments
Ed White
theking@edwinwhite.com
 03 September, 22:16  Oshkosh
Written on 2014-09-03 22:16:07, 707278 views.

Oshkosh

It was 4:00 am when Ray and I met at the hanger. It had been a sleepless night for me, I have been looking forward to this for years and was sure that it could still fall apart. We both had been watching the weather all week and there hadnít been a single good day. When I went to bed there was a storm on the western side of Pa that I thought would pass but now it was just about here.
We had been preparing for weeks and all our stuff was piled in the hanger. We had removed the back seat and weighed all the camping gear, weight would not be a problem. In anticipation Ray had pulled the trigger on his free month of XM satellite weather and I had bought an ADSB receiver and a new tablet with more memory for the maps. The ADSB would give me weather on my tablet but unlike XM we would need to be airborn for it to update.
Last week while replacing the spark plugs I had broken a plug wire. We were both convinced that this would kill the trip, what were the chances of getting a replacement wire for a 1953 Tri-Pacer in 5 days. The chances werenít that good for a wire but better for the whole set. Thanks to Aircraft Spruce and FedX we had new wires and magneto caps in just two days. We had also changed the oil and filter, put new foam in the seats and I bought a hand held transverse in case the radios quit.
Everything was looking great, except the weather. The plan was to leave at about 5:00 am and fly while it was calm to Kalamazoo Michigan where we would spend the night with Rays brother. It was clear that a 5:00 am departure was not going to happen. We loaded the plane up anyway and waited out the heaviest part of the storm. The XM was working good and at around 7:00 we pushed out into some light rain thinking we would leave as the storm passed. The storm had one last burst just for us, never having been in the rain before we discovered that the plane leaks. It wasn't leaking a little but a lot and most was draining on both me and the dash. Ray was prepared to fly the first leg and his side was dry but it was way to much water to risk taking off. I had brought a few rags to use on the windshield at fuel stops and quickly put them into service to stop the leaks. The rain didn't last long and within about 15 minutes we were ready to go.
Ray was already buckled in and the clasp end of my belt had fallen under the seat. As I pulled it out from under the seal there was a loud pop and the smell of ozone mixed with burning seat belt. I jumped out and looked under the seat just in time to see a bright red seat belt clasp that was somehow shorted from the battery post to the seat frame. I grabbed the belt and pulled it free just as the glow was starting to die, the clasp was swinging around the cabin threatening to burn anything that was within reach. Ray and I were both dumbfounded, it was hard to believe that this had not happened before. Close inspection reviled that the insulation had failed on the battery cable and the belt caught it just right.
When the belt cooled I discovered something else, the seat belt clasp was now spot welded closed. It took the better part of half an hour to repair the belt but we freed it up and were ready to go. In the back of my mind I was remembering how the clasp was starting to cool just before I yanked it free. Ray pressed on the starter and nothing, not even a grunt. Time to unload the plane, at least it wasn't raining.
We removed the seat to get access to the battery and discovered that the braided battery cable had melted completely through and would need to be replaced. We also needed to replace the insulator that the cable passes through since that had failed along with the cable. After a trip back home for parts and another hour I was back at the airport with a new braided cable and insulator material. We checked the water in the battery and it was around 11:00 when Ray fingered the starter and she finally sprang to life. With the engine warming up Ray and I touched on the merits of whether or not this was a warning and both agreed that it was better to leave late than never.
Our next stop would be KBTP, Butler County for fuel, just this leg would be the furthest we had ever flown.

James wrote...[E-Mail
hey there, love the 89, i have one myself. am going to the do the boyesen boost ports soon. however was wondering about the front end conversion, want to do the same. did you use the 89 stem? or the 99 stem. was just wondering about that bronze spacer you had to make. thank you
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