I flew again this afternoon hoping (expecting) to earn my second endorsement to solo. Alas, no. Here's why...

I flew my instructor to McKinney Regional. Things were great. I did one landing textbook perfect. The second landing I was a bit high in the pattern and had to drop a lot of altitude on final. My landing was good but the pattern was less than perfect. We intended to mulligan and stay in the pattern but we had to wait forever for the tower to clear us for take-off. (It was a great day to fly so air traffic was busy.) While we were idle for 5+ minutes, my instructor noticed the carburetor head temperature was very hot. It went into the red zone meaning we were overheating. But we weren't moving. That was the weird thing. So we requested to taxi to the mechanic area called "Cutter" to look at things. When we started to taxi, the temp went down.

We called the owner/manager to troubleshoot. Turns out there was a plate installed when temperatures were freezing that helps keep the engine warm when idle. Problem was, it was well above 50 degrees today so it was causing the engine to overheat.

So we popped the cowling off, my instructor removed the plate, and we attempted to put the cowling back on. Another problem: one grommet wouldn't go in. My instructor tried tirelessly, I gave it a good turn, a mechanic tried, I think even a passing pilot who was oogling the airplane might have tried.

My solution: tape!

I found some foil masking tape from another pilot hanging out in the rental office and placed it over the loose grommet. Yes, we fixed our airplane problem with tape. (My friend Lee would be so proud!)

Our flight home to Addison was quiet. I landed us perfectly (again) at Addison. My instructor told the owner he wanted to endorse me but because of the high pattern on my second landing and that we ran out of time to do it over, he couldn't endorse me. But he wanted to.

So I go back tomorrow. This time I'll fly with Patrick, the owner/manager. He's been told verbally by 2 instructors that I'm ready to solo if only I had [insert whatever their reasoning].

Tomorrow I will wear two shirts. And I expect one will get cut on the back.

1 comments:

moofie said...

You say true things. I am proud of you. : ) Foil tape is magic!

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