Stranded In The Southland

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Busted Plane, Again...

Well, the Santa Annas were kicking up at 10 to 20 mph this morning, so we were gonna face some bumping flying, but I was all ready to test out my new headset and see if I could finally lick those stall problems. I carefully pre-flighted the airplane and got ready to start it, which has been a total PITA all along.

You gotta turn the key all the over, and simultaneously press it in. With your left hand, while your right hand is on the throttle. I don't know if my left hand is just too weak or what, but I've only started this plane a couple of times by myself. The other times, the instructor got it, 'cause it was like starting an old lawnmower, with lots of "Let me try this one more time, but I'll try to prime it twice and put the throttle at half, this time."

Only this time, I got a buzzing as the starter spun, but failed to engage with the engine. After C. and I gave up on the plane, another instructor and the front-desk guy came out and fiddle with the starter and hit it with WD-40 and still couldn't get it after a half an hour of messing around.

Bummer. Yet again, this plane has defeated me. Fortunately, the school has a PA-28-181 coming on-line next week, which'll be nearly the same as the current plane, but with 20 more horsepower.

In the meantime, I spent an hour on ground-school with C., talking about the pattern. I still gotta come up with a way to convey what I know and what I don't know about this stuff, or I'm gonna spend a fair amount of time (and money) glassy-eyed, hearing stuff twice or three times.