Test Flying Piper Cherokee

As most of you know, I work at a part 61 flight school. Among my duties that I perform, I work in the maintenance hanger obtaining my A&P through an apprenticeship.

Our fleet is fairly large and consists of a mix of aircraft, including a few Piper Cherokees. A few months ago, we discovered a large oil leak coming out of the #2 cylinder on the engine on a 1962 Cherokee 140 (with a 180 STC). After removing the jug, we determined the root of the problem was destroyed cam lobes and lifter bodies. (not my picture, just one showing an example of a lobe and lifter body).

Image result for cam lobes lycoming https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj-0v7g74LfAhUQKHwKHbw_DCQQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vansairforce.com%2Fcommunity%2Farchive%2Findex.php%3Ft-73172.html&psig=AOvVaw2rdWF2YAZRqgFsI-dQVo3-&ust=1543899436079127

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(This is my photo of the aircraft in question, showing the 1 & 3 cylinders removed, preparing for total engine removal)

After further inspection, the engine had to be completely removed, broken down, and sent to Kansas City for repair. We bought a new engine and have installed it, and have recently finished the Ground Operational Test. Tomorrow, I will be taking the plane out for its first flight test, per Lycoming standards outlined in Service Instruction 1427C.

The flight involves a normal take off, cruise at around 5,000 ft MSL and power settings at 75% power for the first hour, then changing between 65-75% for the second hour. If all indications are normal, the final 30 minutes are to be done at full throttle. While it will not be the most exciting flight, it will be a fun opportunity to do some flying for a different purpose than just hour building.

I will post tomorrow my flight plan, then afterwards the track logs and any other data I collect. Stay tuned!

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Nice aircraft :).

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Oooooh, can’t wait to see some shots of tomorrows flight!

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RIP engine! Enjoy your test flight!

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Test flights are always a bit nerve wracking. Just remember the planes replacable you aren’t. That’s why I don’t let owners fly me around. I could care less if their aircraft survives.

Have fun brother

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Morning all! It’s a beautiful morning in the Vegas valley. I’m scarfing down some breakfast and getting my briefing, and everything looks good so far.

I’m about to head out and start my preflight. Updates to come later!

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Alrighty, a long day is in the books.
While conducting my pre flight inspection, I noticed a problem with the flaps of our Cherokee, causing the flaps to remain fully extended. I have a very strict personal “No-Go” policy for problems regarding flight control surfaces.

Upon seat and carpet removal of the interior, we decided the best course of action would be to lube the critical parts of the Johnson Bar, flap assembly and linkages. This ended up doing the trick, however enough time had passed that the 3 hour flight could not be accomplished before sunset.

So, tomorrow we give it another go. Here’s to hoping it all works out!

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Solid advice. Thankfully we have plenty of flat area between us and KIFP, so everything should work out.
As soon as this one is done, we have another Lycoming to break in (rebuke after prop strike).

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I do too. I am very particular on my “No-Go” policy and I think if a pilot has one of those then they are being a successful pilot. Like Brandon said, “An airplane is replaceable, not your life” and I value my life alot. That is why I take it so seriously and don’t move from it

All right folks, I can finally update this thread.

After my last post, I had quite a few no-go days and didn’t see the need on updating each of them with a new post, so I’ll do a bulk recap. After the last delay due to MX issues, we had our one IFR day a year in the Vegas valley which meant I couldn’t go (this break in flight is VFR only). After that, we had freezing/icing conditions stick around for a few days which lead to no-go’s as well. Very frustrating, but good ADM must always be applied.

I finally was able to conduct the flight, and departed KHND in the morning. The flight was routine for the first hour and a half, until I had a full electrical failure and lost all comms. I quickly diagnosed the problem, so I shut off everything in the airplane. All lights, all panels, all radios, everything except the engine and the Transponder. I also proceeded direct back to KHND.

KHND is a class delta airport, which means I need 2-way radio communication to be able to enter the airspace. Luckily I always carry a handheld radio, and that was able to get my my entry to the airport. KHND is always near KLAS, which means I must have a Transponder to fly in the airspace (which is why it was the only thing I left on. My hope was there was enough juice in the battery to run that one piece of equipment). KHND tower cleared me to land, and from there it was rather uneventful.

After landing, we bought and installed a new alternator for the airplane to remedy the situation.

However, because this flight didn’t go the whole 3 hours, it meant I had to do the whole thing over again. Y’all, talk about boring haha. Thankfully, the next flight was uneventful and went exactly as planned.

I successfully completed the flight and we released the plane for cross country flying only, of which I’ve done 4 since then. I took one of my buddies along for one of them and he brought his GoPro, so enjoy this video of an XC to KIFP from KHND. Thanks guys!

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