Monday, September 3, 2018

A little bit of Saturday flying

It had been over a year since my friend Clint and I had been able to coordinate some flying together . But I got the call from him on Friday and my weekend to-do list was taken care off so I had the day to go play .
 The Bonanza had a new electronic magneto put on it and we needed to do some testing to check our power setting versus engine temperatures .
 For those not familiar with aviation , piston engine airplanes have two sources of ignition and two spark plugs per cylinder to not only provide more efficient combustion , but a redundancy factor should one ignition decide to quit at an inopportune moment . When the big fan in the front of the plane stops spinning it gets awful hot in the cockpit . And that is never a good thing .Traditionally the source of ignition is a self contained magneto . A gear driven mechanical device that produces its own electricity and times the spark to the plugs . That device is the black thing in the middle of the above photo on the white baffle just below the cowl hinge .
 New advances in technology have provided us with the wonders of electronic ignition . Traditionally general aviation has been reluctant to mess with new systems if the old system works . Issues with legal liability are imperative and often surpass practical application . But advances do come however glacially . The Continental engine in the Bonanza has now been approved so that one of the old magnetos can be replaced with newfangled electronic ignition system . This now provides the engine with a 70K volt spark as opposed to the old 12K volt one . It gives us better and more complete combustion , easier starting , and no mechanical wear implicit in the old dynamo and breaker points of the traditional magneto . The new ignition system can be seen in the photo above as the two black boxes , one on the white baffle and one on the firewall and associated red plug leads .
Parked in the hangar next to the Bonanza was this Bell Jet ranger
 Belonging to Windham Weaponry .
 After a quick departure clearance out of PWM we are soon over South Portland at a thousand feet .
 The Portland harbor view looking north east towards the islands of Casco Bay
  Passing through forty two hundred feet
 Over Willard Beach in South Portland looking north east
The islands in Casco bay with Peaks island in the top right corner of the photo
Passing over Fort Gorges
 Climbing through ten thousand feet . . .
 . . . we don oxygen cannulas so our brains continue to retain some reasonable measure of function , some of us need all the help we can get .
 Leveling of at thirteen thousand five hundred feet , we do some air-work and play with the throttle and mixture settings while keeping a close eye on the engine monitor for about ten minutes to see how the engine behaves .
 Once done with that we shoot a practice instrument approach in to Augusta
 Short final into Augusta
 The Flight-Aware mapping of our movement from Portland to Augusta
(click on the pix to "embigen" and see the details)
 After a quick lunch stop in Augusta we head out and shoot an approach into Brunswick
 Final into Brunswick , with Topsham and the Androscoggin river off the right wing
 Then it's back to Portland where we shoot another practice instrument approach
 Short final to runway 18
And a smooth touch down......
 The flight aware track of our ride from Augusta , low approach in to Brunswick and back to PWM


  1. You certainly get to see a different perspective on things than us earth-bound folks.

    1. Yea, it really does give you a different view on things. I figure I am pretty lucky that way. I don't get to fly as often as I would like to anymore. It simply is not in the budget right now. I learned to fly and got my license in the early 80s, before I got married and had a mortgage and could afford to rent a plane and pay for an instructor. Back then I paid Clint to teach me to fly. Now he takes me flying when we can coordinate schedules. Not only did I learn to fly and get to see the world form above, but have one the longest friendships I have had in my life.