We have a wonderful two-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback that we adopted from Ridgeback Rescue US. My wife recently came across another puppy with the same foster family in Minnesota. Suri spent the first 12 weeks of her life with her littermates in a 5í square box with essentially no human contact. In her two weeks with a foster family Suri began to socialize and my wife and the foster family thought Suri would be a good fit for us. Plans were set in motion.
We reached out here on VAF and on Pilots and Paws looking for some help flying Suri part way to New Mexico. Winter weather in Minnesota is challenging, especially from a New Mexicanís perspective. Forecast after forecast failed, and then on a Sunday Morning, it appeared that the Minneapolis area would be VFR for most of the following day, with great weather enroute. The timing was too tight to coordinate with others, especially for a weekday, so we decided to do the whole trip ourselves. We immediately packed some bags and by 12:30 were headed NE to the end of the VFR weather.
About 20 minutes from our planned overnight at KLBF (North Platte, NE) while running LOP up high, I began to notice some intermittent engine roughness. Enrichening solved the issue, but I noticed cylinders 3&4 were indicating high EGTs with attendant low CHTs, pointing to a probable ignition problem on those cylinders.
With lightspeed ignition, each pair of opposing cylinders share a coil, so I suspected a coil issue. I waited until over the airport and then did an ignition check. Sure enough, one ignition was very week on cylinders 3 & 4. Iíve been using Lightspeed ignitions without failure since 2008 and dual Lightspeed ignitions (with redundant electrical systems) since my second mag failure in 2010. Nonetheless Iíve learned from others and carry a spare coil. In this case it was un-needed. One of the spade connectors to the coil was loose with a bit of arcing visible on the tab. I cleaned and tightened that up and a runup showed the problem resolved. The yellow connector on the coil labeled 3T, 4B was the culprit and I was re-cowled within 20 minutes of landing.
Trego Dugan Aviation at North Platte Regional Airport, North Platte, NE was amazing. They helped us tie down, listened to my fueling instructions carefully, and loaned us a mini-van for the night. We checked into our hotel and headed off to the local pizza place where we ordered enough pizza to last for the remainder of the trip.
We moved slowly the next morning. KFCM (Flying Cloud, Minneapolis area) was low IFR with ice to begin with, forecast MVFR under an overcast later. This also gave time for the beautiful sunshine in North Platte to melt the frost of the wings. At about 11:00 am FCM was MVFR, the icing airmet over FCM had moved East and the pireps were indicating ice-free transitions through the layer. We were off on what would be my longest flying day ever.
Twenty minutes after takeoff we were over a solid undercast and making good time:
The approach into FCM was easy, penetrating about a 500-1000í thick overcast into MVFR conditions.
RV-8a Built, Enjoyed, Sold
Two Kids: Built, Enjoying
RV-10, Bought, Rebuilt, Enjoying
Build / First Flight Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f9HXzZT1dE
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