Posts

Fuel Leak, found and fixed

Image
A few weeks ago we noticed a strong fuel smell in the cockpit. We had smelled fuel before, but dismissed it. It was probably some fuel left in the fuel sampler that we keep in a side pocket.  Anyway, it was bad enough to investigate further. We took out the side panels off the center console and discovered a leaky fitting. It was on the back of the booster pump. It is not under high pressure, but it leaked anyway.    The leak was minor, and the source was hard to detect, but it was bad enough for some fuel to pool on the cockpit floor. The leaky fitting is in a very awkward place and we did not have the tools to fix. So we decided to cut off the existing crimp fittings with a diagonal cutter and replaced them with adjustable hose clamps that we can tighten with a screwdriver (see below). This MacGyver fix worked good enough to stop the worst of the leak.We were able to fly the plane back to TAF in Torrance, CA. They determined that the fuel pump had an incorrect fitting. Just to be sur

Pretty up the fuel stickers!

Image
The standard fuel stickers for our Sling TSi are ugly, specially on a dark background. So I decide to replace them with custom lettering. Much better. Still legal, but prettier, and they've stayed on just fine. I ordered the new lettering for both tanks from letterring.com  for $52 (1.24"x3.72", gray, cast vinyl, cut out and removed). You can customize it any way you like.

Recess the G5!

Image
One of the customizations we made to our panel is to recess the G5 (courtesy of Midwest Panels ). Since it is positioned next to the prop controls (also recessed) we thought that would look nice, and it does.  Recessing the G5 is easy using a $60 mounting bracket from Aircraft Spruce . The GTN 650 is mounted right below the G5, so it is now easy to rest your fingers on the top of the GTN650 while twirling the G5 knob during turbulent times!

IPad panel mount

Image
A few weeks ago I got the new Apple iPad mini. The smaller form-factor is perfect for the Sling TSi. However, I don’t want it to be floating around on my knee, so I have been looking for a good way to mount it somewhere so that it is hands-free and does not obstruct the view or the instruments. I think I have found a good solution.  I  got a tablet mount on Amazon (link   here ) with a short adjustable arm and   attached the mounting point to the left of the panel (see below). The panel is made of aluminum, covered in leather. I used self tapping screws with plastic washers, but you could use rivnuts. Here it is with the arm attached.   I don’t like the tablet holder that came with it (too bulky), so instead I used another mounting point (Amazon link here ), and some Velcro to attach the arm to back of my iPad cover. That works great, it does not come off easily, it is height adjustable, and it does not take up much space. I also added a small metal tab to hold back the front cover, so

I made a tiny POH

Image
To be legal we need to carry a POH in the plane (Pilot's Operating Handbook). I obviously have a hi-res electronic copy in my Foreflight documents folder, but I'm pretty sure you need to also carry a hard copy just in case. So I decided to make a booklet out of it. This was a bit harder than I thought. It is not simply a matter of printing the PDF double sided. Here is what I did to prepare the PDF on my Mac: Download the latest POH from the Airplane Factory. Use Preview to annotate the Front cover and first page with the Aircraft details. To create more space for binding, save the PDF to a new file scaled down to 80%. Download an app called "Booklet" from the App store ($0.99). Use the Booklet app to create a booklet PDF (use default settings) Print double sided, collated on the short edge. Finally I cut, laminated and bound the booklet at my local FedEx store (don’t print it there it is ridiculously expensive). See, that was easy...

And we are done! (almost)

Image
This weekend we flew our plane from Torrance airport to our home base in Palo Alto. It is finally done. There are a few outstanding issues that we need to resolve during the first 100hr service, but it flies great! The pilots are happy!