Friday, May 30, 2014

Sigh...

After many days of crummy weather, tonight finally broke beautiful. The air was calm, the clouds were non-existent, and the temperature was just comfortably warm. It was perfect flying weather.

Out to the airport I went, all set for a couple hours of flying therapy, the perfect mental health break to cap off a lousy week. But alas, it was not to be. One of my cowl plugs was out and the birds had gotten back into the engine and built another nest, this one even bigger than the last one and farther back, too. It was all up in the plug wires and the air intake way to the back of the engine compartment and the only way I'll be getting rid of all of that flammable straw and making the plane safe to fly again is to go back with tools and pull the whole cowl.

They're in the tail too, and I have no idea how I'll get them out of there since I can't very well take the elevators off.

So now I'm watching the sun set from my deck. It's pretty, but I should have been watching it from 5,000 feet above the Blue Ridge.

Oh well. At least I can have beer here.

9 comments:

  1. Beer is good. Sorry you couldn't fly today--I always look forward to your pictures.

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  2. Dang. Sorry to hear that. What Midwest Chick said!

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  3. That sucks. Here in north Texas, the mud daubers are a huge hazard to GA aircraft. The little bastards just love to build nest in cowls, and especially in air intakes if they can slip by.

    Not-a-good.

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  4. Could you place little cloth bags of mothballs in and around the plane when you are not flying and take them out when you are ready to fly? I know that mothballs will keep birds from nesting in your porch eaves and have always used little mesh bags like the ones onions come in. Sorry if this is a stupid suggestion, I know absolutely nothing about planes. Hope you are able to fix the problem!

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    1. That's actually not a dumb idea.

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  5. Well, if you had someone small and flexible, you take the back of the baggage compartment off (apex #2 bit, or in a pinch, phillips screwdriver), and send the smallest person in the shop back to clean it out of the tail.

    ...don't ask me how I know this... And you're a little too far way for me to come demonstrate. And making ribald remarks about the view you get as you hold down their ankles to help stabilize 'em while they're twisting and turning to get the scraps, well, I think that come with the territory.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like experience talking. ;-)

      Problem is, the nesting is inside the horizontal stabilizer, and that doesn't come apart. If I took the elevator off, I could probably remove the straw, but alas--that's an AP thing and $$$ to boot.

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  6. PS - given you're not doing this in a taildragger, don't forget to prop the tail up. It's easier in a 185 than a 172!

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