I am almost embarrassed to say that I have only flown the Swift 3 hours so far this year. That is really nasty.
Through a series of circumstances the annual inspection last year was completed in December – in a heated hangar. So on the last day of 2018 the annual ran out. My low-temp rule for working in an unheated hangar is 40 degrees (F) so I put off working on the Swift and helped (in a heated hangar) a neighbor put ADS-B in his Piper. In the middle of that project we had an unusual warm spell would have met my temperature requirement for working in my hangar, but I like to work on one project at a time…
All the temperatures and time availability finally lined up and I started on the annual. First challenge was a fuel selector valve that had graduated from a small seep to a visible drip. Of course, the fuel tanks were all full…
I was looking at possible valve replacements but when I finally got the valve out of the plane and cleaned up I found that it just needed a new o-ring seal on the valve stem. All fixed with no leaks with the fuel system pressurized.
Then while putting the fuel strainer assembly back in (removed to gain access to the selector valve) I found the seals in that assembly were in bad shape. That led to a month-long quest to find the right fuel strainer (gascolator) seals. You would think that is a simple process. Aircraft Spruce had the right one in their online catalog but when they arrived the seals were the wrong size. Subsequent discussions with them revealed that their supplier had sent the wrong seals and that they had then been put into their stock improperly marked. Meanwhile I found another source in Florida that took a bit over a week to receive.
Finally the fuel system was all back together again, tested and leak-free.
The rest of the inspection went smoothly and the paperwork was finally finished in April. A week later I got back into the air and regained my landing currency. The following day I even made the EAA Chapter fly-out for breakfast.
About a week later our EAA Chapter hosted the EAA Ford Trimotor Tour stop. We operated the event out of the Atlantic Aviation facility at KRNO this time. I can’t say enough good things about the hospitality we received from the folks at Atlantic. Great bunch of people.
The following week the weather started moving in again. We have had several weeks of weird-for-Reno weather, which is saying a lot. Cold fronts have been passing through one or two a week, temperatures have been in the 40s to mid 50s (the end of May) and clouds have been sitting on the tops of the ridges.
This coming weekend is supposed to be the end of the weather days – just in time for Pylon Racing School (PRS). Next week will be formation qualifications for the new racers so they can then attend PRS. A TFR will be in place June 5-8 while the race course is active.
Maybe I can sneak a local flight in before the TFR activates…