[September 14, 2014]

Today I planned to fly somewhere to lunch with my dad and check out the autopilot. Well, that didn't go as planned, as when I got to the hangar I realized I left the master switch on all night when I was raising and lowering the flaps to check the trailing edge alignment of the flaps and ailerons. The voltage reading on the battery was less than 5 volts. It was going to be a long wait to get it to where it needed to be with my little 2 amp trickle charger.

The charger was working hard, but I didn't have much hope if it getting the battery to where it needed to be to start the engine to fly today.

Word quickly spread around the airport of my predicament, being met mainly by visitors coming by and making smart comments. I took it all in jest, as I am probably the most guilty at the airport of taking full advantage of poking fun at other people in similar predicaments. I was offered a real charger to increase my chances of getting in the air today - a 10 amp charging rate is a lot better than 2 amps!

While I had the top cowl off to charge the battery, I figured it was a good time to get the proper part number off of the VDO fuel pressure sensor. All summer it has been acting up reading higher than normal fuel pressure. These are the numbers stamped into the sensor.

After further analysis of the different sensors VDO sells, the stamp on this sender is "29/4", indicating it is a 0-80 psi sensor, part number 360-003 (or Pressure Sender 80 PSI 1/8-27NPTF, or VDO#918-360-003). They cost roughly $35 via Ebay.

I noticed a good amount of oil leaking out of where the dipstick tube screws into the engine case. I cleaned it all up and reinstalled the tube.

I went up for a quick flight with my friend Mike Rollison. I have known Mike for almost 10 years and he offered me my first ride in a side-by-side RV - his RV-6. It was really special to give Mike a ride, because he was my main motivator in my build. As you can see, it was a perfect day to fly.

Mike and I had so much fun on our flight, I forgot to test out the new Autopilot! I went up again about 3pm in order to test it out. Sure enough, it seemed to work great. I need to read the manual some more in order to figure out how to use the more advance features, but so far I like it. Once my test was finished, I went near the Towson, MD area to try to see the Blue Angels do their routine for the show (but at the same time keep out of the TFR). I was able to get a great view of them, plus I had a somewhat close encounter with the C-130 that had some skydivers in it.

Doh! After doing some steep banks my oil door popped open!

I got on the ground at Westminster and saw what I thought was the problem - the thin aluminum the latch engages with was slightly worn.

There was a slight burr in the aluminum, most likely not causing the oil door to sit tight against the flange.

Another shot of the wear location.

My solution was to make a thicker area for the latch to engage to and rivet it onto the existing flange.

It took some filing, but I think I got it.

Well, I was wrong. I went back up for a test flight and really put the RV through it's paces - Steep Turns, Aileron Rolls and about a dozen loops. On the last loop I did, the door popped open again. I ran out of time to analyze what is really the root issue.



Last Modified: June 24, 2024