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ttabs

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  1. Thanks Shawn for the advice. I’m reading your comments carefully. OK then - converting to ELSA is at the top of my priority list. No sense in me reinventing the wheel- I’ll get it done. BTW - the G5 is (I mean .. can be) really awesome! ?. Review is errr - slightly delayed. Instead- Ive got a DAR to go find.
  2. Thanks Shawn and all for the input. I've got to get this thing switched over to ELSA. I'm just don't want to rush the decision - heck I just picked it up. Glad to see such a good smattering of replies here. Tells me the forum is active!
  3. Thanks everyone for all your replies! I somehow now get the feeling I'm not going to have too many new revelations on SportCruiser mods that have not already been tried here on the forum. (But I'm going to try ) It's always good to have a few 'salty' dogs that can give good advice on mods and/or troubleshooting. Or at least 'Been there done that' criticism. I had a huge weekend!! I learned to land. Not just a little bit either. I got it nailed. We spent the weekend in S. Seattle buzzing around airspace, squalls, rain, wind, and 1500' ceilings to get it done on Fri. Crosswinds of 10 g 20 was a challenge - but that was my intro to landing. Then on Sat we had similar conditions but with calm winds and rain - and I nailed it. Finally had my 'Ah-Ha' moment and the rest is history. Yesterday and today we buzzed all over harassing everyone including places like Olympia, Shelton, Thun, and others. Absolute BLAST - and this little plane fly's wonderfully in the rain. My check ride is in two weeks and I'm thinking of a X-country from Spokane to Wisconsin in July. Now my SHORTCOMINGS I regret to also report I took no pics and there's some really cool things I wanted to share with you guys. I ordered a travel cover from Bruces Covers which arrived and it is simply awesome! They are custom made for SportCruisers. I ordered the style that fits over both the engine cowling and canopy. I'll get a pic for you guys next time. Very nice fit and finish and it'll work well when I'm on the road at keeping the sun and rain out. At $375 delivered, I'm giving it 5 stars - stay tuned for my review but check out the link if this interests you. I also installed a Garmin G5 and wanted to rave about how well that instrument works. VERY easy to install and a workhorse of info. But - no pic so I'll give you guys a review of that thing when I see my plane next. I'm very impressed! We installed the new ASI and as I suspected - all the altitude problems evaporated - EXCEPT MODE C. Mode C continues to report 300' too high which opened a discussion as to how do you 'calibrate' Mode C? We plan on taking it into a nearby Avionics shop for testing/adj. In the mean time, we kept our altitude at least 300' below all that B airspace to stay out of trouble. I'll let you know what they find and what the fix was. The Garmin Area 660 is on it's way and will get the install. We also have a TruTrack Digi II autopilot and I want to get the GPS info to it so it'll track routes. I'll report on that project when we get to it. ShawnM - I can see now you are going to be the guy to beat on instrument mods. Not sure if my bank account (and marriage) will hold up to your stress test! Hwick - I may take you up on your hangar offer. this vids for you .....
  4. Thanks fellas - and of course I should have stated up front the aircraft characteristics. This is an '08 with 250 hrs TT. It's had a few upgrades including the autopilot, Sensenich prop, and 3rd gen nose gear. (I guess there was some issue with the older on'es cracking.?) While the log books are impeccable, we still found symptoms of this being a hangar queen including low anti-freeze, low tire pressure, a gas leak, etc. Here's what the instrument panel looks like and as you can see, there's plenty of room for upgrades .....
  5. There was more debauchery on our flight that we had to over-come. Low tire pressure, a canopy that does not always close right (and as we found out in Seattle - LEAKS), low oil and CHT temps, oh - and how do you like having those worm drive clamps on your fuel lines? All changes coming up! Also coming up - I'm going to compare/contrast the Garmin 496 vs the Aero 660. GPS wars! I'm also going to dive into a little battery talk. Hmmmmm .... what am I thinking?
  6. Another issue I had to deal with was the rudder pedals. As if being Bass Akwards from flying a trike, I also had a limp right brake pedal. You see, the reservoir for your brakes is like that on a dirt bike or ATV. It's a small fluid chamber (reservoir) located behind each pedal in the left seat that needs to hold reserve fluid for that brake line. The right seat pedals are slaved to the left seat system. So in our case, the right seat pedals worked perfectly as did the left pedal in the left seat. My right pedal however only gave me perhaps 60% braking capability and that was with the rudder pushed all the way in and me screaming for a little help on the right side! You should imagine what some of my take-offs and landings looked like when we were on the ground!!! The fix The fix required a large syringe and a 18 gauge needle, about 4 oz of aviation brake fluid, about 20 min of time .... and a wrench monkey (me). I had to crawl inverted down to the right side pedals to access the back side of the left pedals. I unscrewed the reservoir cap and injected about 3 0z of fluid into the chamber. Then I pumped the brake and wallah - problem was fixed! I filled the chamber until 2/3rds full, replaced the cap, and called it good. The only real pain of this problem was I could not fix this until we were at the shop in Seattle. It made for some interesting times at some airfields.
  7. As for our initial problems we experienced with the SC, our Airspeed Indicator blew a gasket somewhere over CA. It was reading 20 kts faster than what it should have been. We didn't know it at the time other than nearly stalling on an approach and wondering what just happened. To troubleshoot, we did a high speed run down the runway and compared our groundspeed vs airspeed. We had to use the GPS ground speed the rest of the flight and ignore the ASI. Turns out the ASI was junk. The diaphragm was probably leaking static press with pitot press cuz our mode C also was off by several hundred feet - as we were so warmly told by flight following. I should have suspected flying over downtown Houston when the controller assigned me to 4,500 ft and then asked me how high I was planning on going. I was only 80ft above the limit (at the time) but he probably saw me as being higher. Really folks, the instruments used in our SC's are from china and not cert. The old salty Avionics guy in Seattle that checked my ASI out calls them junk. I called them cheap enough at $223 to replace ... and so I did. I suspect everything's going to work just fine now ... including my mode C. Lesson learned - occasionally cross check your ASI with your ground speed on roll out - just to make sure things match up. Now on another note, check out the pic below: The ADI in the top center there also gave me fits. Never on the whole trip did I ever once refer to it. What do you think a good replacement for it would be? What would be more useful than this thing? You'll be surprised with what idea I came up with! For now - this ADI is history!!!!
  8. Hello everybody! Newbie here! I go by the name ttabs on these things and I look forward to sharing my passion of flying with you! I'm really thrilled to be a new owner of a SportCruiser and to be flying it around the pacific NW. I'm an LSA pilot currently based near Spokane WA and have been spending my last 8 years flying Trikes all over the place out here. Now - if you just said "What's a Trike?!?" .... I have over a hundred vids posted on youtube. If you're interested in having a peek - just click on this link ' TTABBS' You'll get an idea of my playground out here and the type of flying I enjoy. So I felt it's time to get into fixed wings to accent my trike flying and what better way to learn than in a SC. Eventually my flying's going to take me out into the backcountry of Idaho so stay tuned as I'm sure I'll be posting vids of my SC experience in the area I call home. There are similarities between my trike and the SC - for instance both run a 100 hp Rotax and I've been very involved with maintenance of this engine type. Perhaps I can bring a little something to the table here on my experience with this engine and things I've done with them. As for flying 3-axis, there are some totally reversed things I need to 'un-screw' in my head. For instance foot steering a Trike is 180 degrees out of sync with rudder control. And in a trike, we push the bar forward to go up and swing it left .... to go right! This is going to be a challenge! And speaking of aircraft problems - right out of the gate I already have issues with my SC from it's flight from Houston trip, so I'll use this thread to post problems, fixes, thoughts, suggestions, or pose questions for you to comment. Also who knows - you may see a video or two on here. I bought this beauty a month ago where it was located in Houston TX. It has an analog instrument panel with the old garmin 496 GPS and cloth seats. Also it's one of the few SC's that did NOT come with a BRS. I've got some work ahead of me! Pearl Tip #1 So here's my first pearl for you regarding the seats - after about two hours of flying, my butt would start to feel the wood panel underneath the cushion. The stock cushion was just not thick enough for both my co-pilot and I. We both also felt we were sitting a little low in the aircraft to begin with. What's the fix? WALMART! Yes I said the 'W' word cuz we had to do something! We bought two memory foam chair cushions at a Phoenix Walmart that were about 2" thick. The brown color matched my interior perfectly, the height was perfect for me (I'm 6'2") and my butt was spared the remainder of the flight from the butt eating wooden panel below. The seats went from being just comfortable to 1st class!! This is about the cheapest mod you'll ever do to your SC. The cushions are only about $15 - give it a try and let me know what you think! BTW - in Phoenix we visited George who is my Trike wingman. Him and his wife are snowbirds. He's 6'5" and we put him to test in the SC .... with the Wally-World cushion. It passed the George test! (and that says a lot about this little bird!!!) Pearl Tip #2 If you don't have the Bose A-20's - just get them! ... with bluetooth! You will not regret the investment! nuff said. Here's roughly our flight plan to Seattle from Houston. It was a hell of a XC and we had a blast flying into all the small airfields for gas and eats. (or do I say eats and gas? ) We decided to head up the W. side of the Sierras in CA due to poor wx in the NW. I must admit, I really wanted to cut through the heart of NV and fly through Utah and the Columbia Gorge near Portland - but hey - the wx had different plans for us and that's now saved for another trip!! My co-pilot (a good friend of mine) accompanied me on this flight - and it didn't hurt that he has a little flying experience. Such as he's a retired 747 driver, with ratings in PPW, WSC, Rotax cert this and Rotax cert that, CFI in all kinds of stuff, and for a while - was an FAA examiner. He probably has more flight hours than you and I have sleeping. And for the record, he let me fly nearly the entire trip back and I got to use the auto pilot a grand total of .... about 5 min.
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