Dual Purpose Mission

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Dual Purpose Mission

On the heels of my recently completed 1st annual inspection, I had two things that needed to be accomplished; do a post-annual shakedown flight and top off my thirsty tanks.  My home airport, Buckeye Executive, is out of fuel so I have to ferry for gas.

Since this was a pseudo-test flight, I elected to go solo.

Saturday, was ear-marked for domestic duties so it was going to have to be Sunday, which was actually nicer weather-wise.

It was severe-clear as I made the hike out to the airport. This is one of my major complaints of ownership, the 25 minute drive to Buckeye. It is the 2nd closest airport and it’s the cheaper of the two at $200/mo for a hangar. The guys that live in the Northeast and on Left Coast are laughing at me right now. I know I’m spoiled from my days of living in Oklahoma – I never paid hangar rent and my airplanes were at work with me – no driving. It’s a different ballgame up here in the big city.

I did the pre-flight and saddled up. With the temps in the 40s and light on fuel the thing jumped off the runway with vigor! I was only climbing to 1500′ for the short hop over to Lancaster, OH so the level-off came quick.

It was a beautiful morning –  smooth and clear. There was no traffic anywhere as I crossed over the field for a downwind to runway 28. On the ground I taxied to the self- serve pumps and shut down. I noticed the tailwheel had a little shimmy so I went back to check it out. I found one of the chains that connect to the steering arms had flipped over pulling more tension than the other; problem solved by just flopping it back.

I put in 32 gallons, collected my receipt, and pushed the -8 away from the pump.

Taxi out was uneventful. I did the before takeoff checks and took the active runway as there was no traffic around this morning.

I took off and climbed in a right turn on course to home base. That’s when I noticed my canopy wasn’t latched…oops!

Luckily the RV-8 canopy is actually pressed closed by air pressure in flight so there were no concerns. In fact there was no air noise, I just happened to see it. During the run-up I pulled the canopy all the way forward and rotated the latch, but the hook part of the mechanism missed the engagement pin – lesson learned; need to put this in my scan prior to departure.

The balance of the short flight was uneventful. With no traffic at Buckeye, I went up the initial (upwind) and did a left overhead break and recovered onto runway 01.

I’m sure this little flight was pretty unexciting for the reader, but for me I have been working at savoring them all because with all the economic and government issues these days, you just never know…


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