Saturday, 8 June 2013

(Short) Circuits

After my last flight it is now back to proper training and today, it’s circuits.  When I go to Redhill an engineer was working on the engine of the aircraft, not a great sign I thought.  Anyway, after about half an hour the engineer had topped up the engine coolant, was satisfied it was OK and released the aircraft for flight.
Once everything was ready it was over to the aircraft for checks and start up.  As the engineer had been working on the aircraft I was taking special care to check the instruments.  Everything looked fine.  Again a long taxi out to holding point G1 for Runway 08R and then after the various power and pre-flight checks I was cleared for take-off.  I was slightly nervous as it had been a year since I’d flown circuits.  Take off was fine and as I was climbing out I noticed the oil temperature and the cylinder head temperatures were a bit high and rising.  Continuing the climb and turning to the left, I commented to the Instructor that there was a vibration in the engine and that it was running hot.  Instructor agreed so I turned downwind (still following the standard circuit pattern) and requested permission to land.  The engine was cooling a bit on the downwind leg as the power was reduced but I was concerned about it getting hot again if I attempted another circuit.  I turned onto base and then final, was cleared to land and did a sort of OK landing.  Then it was taxi back to the hanger, go through shutdown checks (everything seemed normal by now) and report the aircraft as having an overheating problem.

That was the end of flying for the day and I only got to fly a single circuit.  My circuit work was Ok but I need more practice before progressing further.  I hope the weather holds up.

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