Another day of preparing

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, November 11, 2012

A somewhat frustrating day trying to finalize the aircraft for the next leg. I flew again in the local area to familiarize myself with the fuel transfer system and the complexity of the HF radio. I gave up on the radio today until I can talk to someone who is "up to speed" on the technicality's. As an example; the Jeppesen charts give HF frequencies which I tried but were not in operation. I contacted in the air on the VHF frequency San Francisco Centre, but they could not help, the telephone numbers printed on the very expensive "Jepp" charts were no longer in use, lots of fun eh !
 I shall speak to my ferry flight chums to see if they can help.
One hour into my test flight and I experienced a stutter and roughness of the engine followed by a rise in the number six cylinders exhaust gas temperature. I reduced the power and increased the mixture in case of a more serious problem. I did an in flight "mag check" by switching off each mag in turn  to determine the culprit. There was no apparent loss of power and I returned to the field to evaluate the situation. The approach to land was made more exhilarating by the groans and occasional bangs from the near empty ferry tanks contracting with the change in air pressure.
I shall return to the field on Sunday to replace all the spark plugs as a matter of course. Hopefully it will not be anything to serious. Don't let any body tell you this is easy !
Dined at Applebees again this evening, for the third time. I'm quite well known now to the staff, who I suspect see me as some kind of  novelty!  Once again I selected the less generous portions from there ample menu, fried chicken with prawns and red potatoes, very tasty, washed down by a local beer called "Oktoberfest.", Mmm, I'm certain it wouldn't win any prizes at the Munich bier festival, but the food was good and the staff very friendly.
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chris digiacomo on

Hi Dave .glad to here the aircraft is ok now its been converted , i think it will be easery than that air to air refueling ? could be trickky with a B52 supper tanker just in front of you ??? have a safe flight accross the pasific .look forward to hering your next blog in hawia ,
regards chris

chris on

my spleeling is as good as my flying . he!he!he!

Brian Tuson on

Hi Dave you doent no me but im a friend of chris digiacomo who told me about your trip. Being a x pilot myself who now does his flying on a flight simulator. I have followed your adventure on ever leg from Sleap to now hawaii. To save on flying time on the f.s.i elected to use a lear jet as i did not no the top speed of your aircraft. Reading up on your blog ( and to get as much realisme as possible i have been useing real world weather update every 15 minutes) and i too have experianced the conditions and experiances of the approaches of the air particular the one you mentioned on you blog as like landing on a aircraft carrier even at a approach speed of 115 m.p.h and full flap.a full runway was required. In closeing i found the leg to Hawaii (where i visited on vacation in May of this year) to be the most dauting in so much i experianced a strong head win two thirds of the way at 6000 feet. Look forward to following you on the stages of your incredible journey in GAVFR (my last piper cherokee) Best Wishes and safe flying Brian Tuson.

eskimo on

Harry Anderson has some great info on his travelpod website about HF on his Pacific crossing. Do give him a call if you don't get any better luck with the ferry guys.

"I switched on the HF and gave Oakland a call on the primary frequency 8843 kHz they assigned me. To my astonishment, it worked! They heard me and called me right back. I used the HF to call them until finally my signal got so weak they couldn't hear me anymore. At that point I switched back to the satphone and used it (and relays) for the remainder of the flight. Any pilot contemplating an oceanic flight like this, be prepared to deal with this HF radio issue. "

Read more:

Wishing you all success with the crossing.
Linda and Patrick.

harry4123 on

8843 kHz is the SF ARINC general HF hailing frequency. You should be able to hear them in Tracy, though they may not be able to hear you since their directional antennas are pointed out to sea. I can hear them in the Seattle area and occasionally they can hear me. The best HF frequencies do change with the seasons. The local ferry pilots should know what's in use. What kind of HF radio did they install? When you get a chance, please post some photos of your ferry tank and HF radio installations. I'm very interested to see what they did.

davidbowie on

Linda,Patrick and Harry. Thank you all for your valuable information. I have been occupied most of the last two days sorting out this engine roughness and raised EGT. I changed all the spark plugs today and that was a marked improvement. However there is still a high temperature on number six EGT. I have a spare sensor, so that is my first job tomorow to change it.
I'll also try the HF radio, with the information you gave. I do have a sat phone, which seems far more reliable, however as you know I;m sure I need a clearance on the HF from San Francisco to depart the mainland for Hawaii.

LenS on

Hi Dave, something to consider that may possibly be causing the high EGT reading - is it a dirt particle lodged in the fuel injector? The aux tank and associated plumbing are the only new component that has been added since you last flew when the aircraft was OK. It's conceivable that no matter how well the aux tank installation was flushed something remained or has passed through the system and is now partially blocking the jet. Worth cleaning the jet to check. Best of luck for your next leg. Len

davidbowie on

Len. Yes it could well be an injector,it has been mentioned by Tony B. although the installation feeds the main wing tanks which in turn go through the gas collator , and I thought that would trap any debris, and that part has not been disturbed. Whatever it is I.ll put it on the list of things to check. Thank you for the input.

Brendan Stone on

Dear Dave,
Glad to you hear you have made it this far, I lost your website via a virus so I did a quick internet search to find it again. I suppose the next leg of your journery is going to be the real test of nerves....Fancy Jeppensen putting useless phone numbers on a chart ridiculous!!!! .Anyhow I wish you luck on getting to Australia hope to see you soon.
Tally Ho,

Ron Jones on

Hi Dave,
It's gone very quiet!
I hope all is well and things are still going according to plan.
Do find a minute to let all your fans know what you are up to - we're all keen to hear from you!
All the best,

Ivan Shaw on

Hi Dave,
Best wishes for your flight across that very big pond.

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