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May 16, 2016, 02:28 PM
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Notes on final approach speed with the Flash 45 Pro

I probably got 20 flights on it and late in the day, in the 90's, pilot dehydrated with kind of a dull headache and after taking around 4 flights, I took another flight with the Flash.

After about 7 minutes I decided to land. A slight crosswind had developed, mild. I approached pretty hot and the drift wasn't being compensated by the wing being lowered into the wind.

I started to add up elevator and the plane pitched up, ballooning. I corrected down, got a little lower but it drifted in more to the pilot area whereas I gave it a combination of left aileron, left rudder and up elevator to try to get it to mush down. You don't want to do that at waist level. The left rudder was added last and the plane snapped just like it should with the Saphir wingtips. Don't fly tired.

The wing was undamaged as it did a complete half roll and planted nose, canopy and rudder first into the asphalt. Just some upper wingtip scuffing.

The fuse cracked, the canopy gouged and the tail cracked. Spinner was broken and the cowl had two minor scrapes.

It's been repaired and stripped of all paint and covered with Oracover. It's not as smooth. With all of the paint removed it became nose heavy and I had to add lead to the tail to balance.
The 70 FS up front is the reason. The lead proves to me that paint finishing is quite a bit heavier, so no weight loss from the repair.

It's not as pretty but I took care to finesse alignment of everything and added a ply bulkhead to the center section of the fuselage that should have been there in the first place.

I test ran the engine after finishing the repair and ran it up and it kept quitting at idle. Before I could tune it for idle I noticed a small object in a drop of oil. It looked like a nut with a slotted screw insert. I lifted the nose of the plane and saw a hole in the valve cover. It was the valve lash adjuster screw and nut. One had broken off and bounced over to the other side of the head and jammed between the other rocker arm and punched through. I found some aluminum fragments on the garage floor from the valve cover. Haven't found the lockwasher yet.

I ordered some parts from Global Hobby but they did not have the valve cover. One tiny screw end caused the trouble. Glad it was not in the air. There was no bending of the pushrods nor valves kissing the piston and bending. I ordered 2 valve springs and tried to get the adjuster bolt and nut. They were backordered until June but the fellow that helped me supplied me with a whole tappet assembly refurbished as well as the missing choke. All in all I was well pleased that I got more for a little less and did not have to wait. But it might be writing on the wall that older motors may be trouble for finding spare parts. No way to plan ahead for an adjuster screw failing.

I'll be alumi-welding the hole in the valve cover if I can't scrounge one up.
Last edited by Oneblueyedog; May 31, 2016 at 08:54 PM.
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May 24, 2016, 09:53 AM
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What to do about unobtainium rocker covers? You alumiweld the holes. Tons of vids on how to alumiweld, aluminum brazing. I had the chips of the puchout in place, but they melted. Got worried that the main cover would do the same. It didn't. I spanned over the hole. It left a sizeable blob of braze metal in the inside. I ground down the excess and polished the outside. Treated the engine to new valve springs, rocker assembly and piston ring. Also sanded the rocker cover facing with 1000 grit on glass to combating warping. Just a few strokes and it was flat.
Last edited by Oneblueyedog; May 24, 2016 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Spelling

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