The Planning – Airplane

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Adventure

The airplane must be prepared for this trip.  There are three parts : Airframe, Engine and Avionics.  We will change the tail number of this plane for this trip, from N20TC to N1078R as the latter was my number when I was at PAF College Sargodha….

Airframe: Just prior to departure, we plan to replace all tires and tubes, new brake pads,  check all lights and bulbs, swap out the single yoke for a dual yoke and check all the control cables etc., to make sure everything is in the best shape possible.  We plan to remove the rear four seats and the rear baggage compartment to reduce load and to add the collapsable fuel tank.

Engine: Since this is a newly overhauled engine, turbo normalizer, (new) alternator and (new) standby alternator, it requires about 150 hours on the engine to work out the bugs, if any.  The operation of the various other pieces, parts and components must also be checked out prior to departure.  We plan to carry one spare vacuum pump, one set of correctly gapped spark plugs and some basic tools with us.  We plan to carry oil and filter for at least the first oil change, for the subsequent oil changes, I plan to ship the oil in advance to the location of choice.

Avionics: Since the plane has original steam gauges, we plan to install either an Auracle 2100 or JPI 930 engine analyzer.  But we also want to retain the old steam gauges for the time being – to be removed upon successful completion of the flight.  This plane is equipped with a Garmin 530W GPS with only the US maps and charts.  I have already started a conversation with Jeppesen, who will provide me with international charts for the GPS.  We are also looking for another unit for redundancy, maybe something like a Garmin 430W to supplement or act as a backup.  At the time of departure, we will have the global positioning (406 MHz) personal locator beacon, satellite phone, HF radio (ICOM 7100), one spare handheld UHF radio and backup charts stored on the Ipad.  We are also planning to install a second (whiskey type) compass for redundancy.  The new engine analyzer will be very important and critical to the safe and successfull completion of this flight.  The fuel totalizer must be tested and calibrated to within 0.1 gallons of accuracy before our departure.  This would require the GAMI Injectors to be properly calibrated and tuned as well.

Enroute Calculations: Upon start of each leg of the flight, we will have to keep a very close eye on our Indicated Air Speed, Ground Speed, wind direction/speed, Fuel Burn, Point of No Return (PNR) and halfway points.  Prior to each departure, we will also have to have our reporting points substantially selected to submit our position reports to the responsible air traffic control authority.  This will be backed up with the InReach tracking system.

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