Flight testing – Day 1

Getting into and out of the 2400′ runway at Smoketown airport is a manageable concern. Per my previous post – I was up here picking up my airplane after extensive paint work.

First takeoff was downhill with a tailwind, as I mentioned. In my mind it was favorable to upwind with an obstacle on a 2400′ runway. Traffic showed up on subsequent tries, however, and I didn’t want a new pilot in a C150 doing tailwind takeoffs; nor did I want to try to explain why I was taking off on runway 10 and landing on 28. All remaining takeoffs were uphill and over the obstacle. No problem with two engines on a cold day. Each time I took off uphill on 28 – the road crew working on the departure end stopped work – either to watch with excitement or run for self-preservation. Not sure which.

After the first flight, both shops are working together to evaluate the problem. They both have worked on the flight controls, so I ask who is leading. That’d be the paint shop. Very important to know who has the ball.

I explain the flight experience i just had with my first attempt to take it home. They discussed what it might be, and decided to adjust aileron trim tabs and rigging.

We do another flight test – me flying solo – and there is no improvement. I call my mechanic down in Georgetown because I trust him – he knows this airplane in and out. The ailerons are still the leading suspects, so the two A&Ps at Smoketown prepare to get to work on evaluating and adjusting the controls.

They’d like to know details and even have pictures. I’m not going to do that while paying attention flying an out-of-trim airplane into and out of a short strip, so Kendall the paint shop manager decides to come along. Kendall is both a pilot and an A&P, so I’m very comfortable with that.

I let everyone know I couldn’t keep my in-laws sitting in the car forever, however, so I’d commit to about another hour of flight testing. I believe I did a total of five flights on this day, but we made little progress adjusting ailerons and trim tabs. I was disappointed.

At this point, I called it a day. The two A&Ps were time limited today and later in the week. I was off the next two days, and than had reserve and flying after that. It might be that we cannot get together until Dec 3rd to try again.

Oh well – safety first.

…. I’ll follow up with a Nov 21st flight description that we managed to fit in there on the next blog.

By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.