I hope all of you survived the celebrations and started the new year without a screaming headache. After surviving so many ball drops I don’t pay much attention to all the partying. I got a good night’s sleep and decided I would start off the year with a nice flight around the local area. I called a couple of my usual airport restaurants to see if they were open but had no replies to the ringing telephone, so I had no particular destination in mind.

The winds were less than 5 knots so there is still a temperature inversion and haze layer in the valley. Above about 2000′ AGL it was a really nice day. A couple of planes took off as I was getting ready to go but the airport was quiet when I got to the runway. I have been trying to fly about an hour a week which works out to about 12 gallons a flight. That burns about 48 gallons in four weeks and the plane holds 52.  The last flight of the series is usually to an airport with a restaurant and (relatively) inexpensive fuel. If I fly a little longer on a couple of the flights I just put a few gallons in before I leave Stead.  For this flight I headed up northwest toward Susanville until I ran the first aux tank dry, then turned around and headed back, switching to the aux tank in the other wing. That ran dry about the time I was 10 mi north of the airport. I was alone in the traffic pattern but by the time I was pushing the plane pack into the hanger there were four planes in the pattern. Other pilots were taking advantage of the day off from work, the nice weather and an opportunity to start the year off right.

Young Eagles Zodiac 601XL

We made a bit of progress last weekend. I think we’re finally to the point where we move forward rather than repair previous work that had been accomplished either incorrectly or with other than standard practices. An order for replacement parts is supposed to have been made this week. We moved forward with the parts we have and started on the leading edge fuel tank installation. The tanks have electrical fuel quantity senders that are installed in a hole to be cut out of one of the tank ends. The sender operates on resistance in the circuit that varies by the position of a fuel float attached to the sender. There is an involved process of bending the float arm in a couple of different directions so that it operates properly in the tank. Full and empty indications are checked by the amount of resistance at the sender terminals.


Oh, the photo – how the world would look if you were an  Ivchenko AI-25 turbofan