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Old 12-15-2018, 11:01 AM
Aviaman's Avatar
Aviaman Aviaman is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 96
Default Don?t get marooned

What are the likeliest reasons you will be forced to stay somewhere overnight (not including WX)? IMO the 2 biggest causes are flat tires and dead batteries. Can we carry items that give us self sufficiency, where we can fix things quickly?
My idea is to carry a spare wheel assembly, so that no splitting of the existing wheel is required. That greatly simplifies the fix. A jacking method is still required. Jacking on a windy ramp is problematic, so if you carry jacking items, you may still need to move inside of an FBO hangar for an hour. The jacking equipment might be too bulky to carry, and the assistance of an FBO might be needed.
What about the battery? An external power port allowing jump starting will fix the dead battery problem. On my previous RV-6, I fashioned a welding cable and connected it to the battery in the battery box. It was protected with grommets and terminated with a trailer connector. The cable was a few feet long and kept coiled on the floor with a protective boot to preclude a short. A mating cable was also fashioned to connect to a jump starting battery source. Any other ideas or better way to deal with this, or other, out of town problems ?
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:43 AM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 721
Default Battery booster pack

I bought one of those little battery booster packs that I carry with me. My engine has no primer system so it really helps on cold days. I also installed connections to the battery to make it workable.

I realize there is some risk of fire from those high energy batteries which could be really bad in flight.

I carry a spare main tube. I'm considering enlarging the tow bar holes in my nosewheel fairing so that my plane can be more easily dragged off a busy runway by a tug in case of a flat. It happened to me once and we had to use a dolly and rig my tow bar to get my plane out of the way. Thankfully my towbar held on.

My Trutrak EFIS is no longer available so I bought a used backup. Believe it or not, I carry the spare EFIS and a little MGL engine monitor in case my engine module or EFIS fails. I can quickly install either instrument in a pinch because the wiring and sensors are in place.

A spare fuel cap and fuel drain valve can also save your bacon. John

Last edited by jpowell13 : 12-15-2018 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:50 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,127

So far, I've seen one flat tire. It actually happened to a friend of mine as he waited to leave a back-country airstrip, and it went flat while we were talking. Now that was a disconcerting experience. We fixed that with the aid of a local resident who had a ranch and some tools like a jack.

I've had no dead batteries.

I've also had one or two dead spark plugs and one spark plug lead - that took an FBO as I didn't then carry a spare.

And I've had one broken tailwheel spring, but not in an RV. That required leaving the plane tied down in the desert, a six-week delay, hitchhiking across the country in someone's airplane, etc. That was at one of the Utah desert airstrips, Needles Outpost, now no longer active, I think.

Down in Baja, at a dirt strip, I had a leaking fuel drain. Quite annoying since I couldn't stop it and didn't have much spare fuel right then. The strip didn't have fuel (yeah, I do tend to go to places like that), but a friend noticed me standing there with my thumb on the drain and whittled a plug from a stick. We duct taped it in place and that got me back to Colorado.

For spares, I carry a small bottle jack, a jackpad adapter, a tire pump and an inner tube. Plus a couple spark plugs and a spare lead, brake pad linings and rivets and the rivet set tool. There's a small selected set of wrenches and a torque wrench, as well as spare fuel drains. Also I think I have a small knee pad too. Let's not forget maybe 8 oz. of hydraulic fluid for the brakes in a small bottle and some safety wire and appropriate tools for that. I'm not including the flashlight since that's part of the regular stuff in the glove box. While I don't fly at night, I do camp by the plane.

The most important back-up is to have a friend in another airplane, or at least a means of summoning one. In the back-country, one thing that I can count on is that the phone won't work. This tends to complicate matters.

The kit is pretty heavy and I certainly wouldn't suggest it for a typical RV. But for the places I've gone and have had trouble at, it's filled the need.

RV-3B building
Cessna 180 flying
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:55 AM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,700
Default Battery

There are a variety of very lightweight compact batteries available for jump starting. I believe Sportys and Spruce both have them. There are other considerations regarding charging the primary battery once the engine is started. One possibility is leaving the jumper battery connected.
Jacking depends on the landing gear configuration. With hollow axles a vey simple jack can be easily fabricated that only weighs a couple of pounds.
On the round gear, by removing the brake caliper a lightweight scissors jack will fit under the inboard end of the axles. The jack can be adapted so that a 3/8 drive ratchet and socket may be used, perhaps saving a bit of weight. I have a variety of jacks that I use at home, my favorite is a scissors jack from a 1999 Toyota Camry. Many smaller cars have similar jacks that are probably a bit lighter.
Back to the homemade jack, a 4130 tube of at least .065 wall that is a snug fit into a hollow axle. Telescoping tubes with a threaded rod at least 1/2" diameter and a matching nut. The telescoping tubes should be square. If 4130 is used the square tubes can be relatively thin wall. Some sort of base for the outer square tube. The nut is welded to the top of the smaller square tube. This is just a general concept. Look for car jacks that jack the car from the side to work out the details.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:25 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,122

I carry a spare tube, and have been thinking about buying an Aluminum Audi Jack. I would have to adapt is somehow, but I believe it only weighs 2 lbs.

Also thinking about carrying a CO2 tire inflator like bicyclists use.
(2020 dues paid)
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:50 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,905

I recently got a new car, and it has no spare. Instead, there?s a device for injecting some kind of sealing compound, and a small compressor. Any idea if something like this would work on an airplane tube-type tire? Just to get home, of course.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:02 PM
Tommy123 Tommy123 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Naples fl
Posts: 140

Buy a C-130 and have it follow you everywhere like the Blue Angels. You really want to fly with a jump started battery? What if you run electronic ignition, a bad alternator and battery will really cut your trip short.
I agree with carrying a spare tube but if you are having battery problems after a overnight stop, you are not maintaining your aircraft properly.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:51 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 752

Originally Posted by Tommy123 View Post
Buy a C-130 and have it follow you everywhere like the Blue Angels. You really want to fly with a jump started battery? What if you run electronic ignition, a bad alternator and battery will really cut your trip short.
I agree with carrying a spare tube but if you are having battery problems after a overnight stop, you are not maintaining your aircraft properly.
Over the years I've flown quite a few airplanes that had to be jump started, usually in the winter, but sometimes after the last guy forgot to turn off the master on a rental.

If it's a mag ignition, what's the big deal?
Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing done
Fuselage in process
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:24 PM
pa38112 pa38112 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Clarksboro, NJ
Posts: 1,009

Our front tube on A models is not standard, so I carry one in the plane. The other's should be readily available with a little begging at most airports.

You can pick up the wing with your back pushing up on the spar. You can pick up the nose wheel by laying your weight across the fuselage in front of the rudder.

You can hand prop with a dead battery and fly to help unless you are fuel injected.

The best way of not getting stuck is VAF. I have seen countless posts on here of people stuck, and help arrived in short order.
2004 RV6A Flying
2002 RV6A Flying
1978 PA38-112
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:44 PM
swjohnsey swjohnsey is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Kingsville, TX
Posts: 420

The lithium jump starters are relatively light and cheap. The one I have will start the RV-3, power my ipad or iPhone or act as a flashlight. A few tools certainly come in handy.
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