Idaho Flying Trip August 29, 2016
When I tried to use the front cabin heat over Rawlins WY on Saturday, my sensitive Carbon Monoxide detector immediately went off. So yesterday I asked the maintenance shop (DEW) at McCall airport to remove the cowling and tell me why it happened. They inspected the engine and found a crack in the weld on the left exhaust pipe where it attaches to the muffler and a fairly significant leak in one of the slip joints on the right side where the header enters the pipe. It looked like there might have been some small movement of the pipe over time that widened one side. They removed the exhaust system and took it to be welded. They will re-form the exhaust pipe to reduce the gap between the header and the pipe. It should be fixed today some time. The exhaust leak from the slip joint is what put most of the CO in the engine compartment. The low-tech Maule heater valve assembly was gummed up and when the control was pulled out, the sliding plate wasn't moving all the way up to align the heater hose with the port through the firewall. There was a small gap at the bottom letting in engine exhaust. I asked the mechanic to clean and lubricate the edges of the slide so that the hose plate would move all the way up without a gap. Today was supposed to be my first day of back country flying but we'll do about 3 hours of ground school refresher instead and fly tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be good the next few days.
|Meanwhile, here's a picture of my favorite nearby coffee shack where I get great Cappucinos. Reminds me of Alaska.||This is the main drag in downtown McCall.|
|Payette Lake from the McCall waterfront||It's a big lake. Lots of boats use it.|
|Lots of people using the beach||As of 4:00 pm the exhaust system is fixed and the airplane is packed and ready to fly in the back country tomorrow. DEW did a great job on the repair at a reasonable price in record time. I highly recommend them. They know Maules and other back country aircraft. I had to tie it down on the ramp overnight rather than use the hangar since the instructor, Gary, and I will meet at 6:30 am. The FBO doesn't open until 7:00 and the hangar will be locked until then. We hope to take off as the sun is rising to get 3 hours of flying in while the air is cool, the density altitude low and the wind calm. The wind shifted from the south today and blew smoke from the 140,780 acre Pioneer fire into our area. It may be smoky in some of the canyons tomorrow unless the wind changes. You can hardly see the mountains to the west in the picture below.|