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Q-talk 126 - Nov/Dec 2007 - index

Quickie Builders Association
Together we build better planes!

Nov./Dec. 2007
Issue Number 126

Winter Flying Tips

Dave VanDenburg

We are in the middle of the cold flying season and I'm reprinting this article from a member of EAA Chapter 439 in Iron Mountain MI, Dave VanDenburg. This month I would like to discuss cold weather operations by discussing some in-flight hazards and tips applicable in the winter months. Probably the first in-flight hazard that comes to mind when we think about winter is icing. I have flown combat aircraft in a lot of areas of the world, and short of actual combat, only two things scare me in an aircraft. One is thunderstorms (which we don't see much of in the winter) and icing, which we do. If you see ice build up on your windshield or wings, change altitude or find clear air quickly. Don't be afraid to use the "E" word (emergency) to get whatever help is available from ARTCC.

If you experience a reduction in RPM (fixed pitch prop) or a reduction in manifold pressure (constant speed prop) suspect induction system icing. This could be carb ice or impact ice on your air filter. If you think you are experiencing induction system icing, apply full carb heat or select alternate air. If you have carb ice, the engine will probably run rougher (as the ice melts) but will clear up soon. I do not recommend using partial carb heat unless you have a carb air temp gauge. Partial heat may increase the carb ice problems.

If you are flying behind a constant speed prop, cycle it every 30 minutes or so to keep warm oil in the dome. A sluggish pitch change mechanism could be slow to react and result in an engine overspeed during a rapid power application. This could be real expensive (and dangerous).

Switch fuel tanks (if applicable) with plenty of fuel remaining in the tank. If you have a frozen valve and cannot select the full tank, you will still have enough fuel to land safely. If you wait until the engine coughs, and then find you cannot move the selector valve, you will probably call yourself a few bad names and join the ranks of those called "Glider Pilots."

Avoid power off letdowns. A high speed, idle, descent can result in very rapid cooling of your engine (shock cooling) and cracked cylinder heads. Lycoming recommends a maximum temperature change of 50 degrees F per minute. Keeping the engine leaned until you are approaching pattern altitude can also help keep your engine temps up. After landing, run your engine at a low power setting for several minutes prior to shutdown. This also promotes slow cooling and will reduce oil cooking if you are turbo supercharged.

Lastly, I highly recommend you carry some form of survival kit. It would really stink to survive an off airport landing and then freeze to death before someone found you. Some of the things I recommend are space blankets, some duct tape, matches, an aluminum cup, knife, freeze dried coffee, tea, signaling mirror (a CD works great) and warm clothing to include a hat and gloves. Also, carry a hand held radio.

These have been just a few ideas to consider when flying during the winter months. Lycoming has some cold weather tips in their book "Key Reprints." This book is available free online at: www.lycoming.textron.com.

Winter flying is fun and can be just as safe and enjoyable as summer, if we take a few precautions."

By: Technical Counselor Dave VanDenburg

Articles from this issue:

Where was Sam hiding? - by Doug Humble
Using A Standard Cessna Heatbox with Your 0200 - by Kevin Boddicker
Cowl Conversion for a Rotax - by Jeff Sell
Jerry Marstall completes 3 year make over of his Tri-Q - by Jerry Marstall
Sam Hoskins to do his own make over! - by Sam Hoskins
YEAR END SALE on QBA T-Shirt's - by Doug Humble
QBA on the Grow - by Doug Humble

A current QBA member may have one free ad per issue. It may be a maximum of five lines of type and will be edited to fit space available. Items advertised must be owned by the QBA member. The ad contact must be a member name. Ads will be run for two issues and then the ad must be resubmitted. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note that these ads may no longer be valid. They are included here only as part of the online archive.]

For Sale: Q2 kit- Near un-touched kit, has nearly all of the kit except the liquid epoxy and the Q-2 propeller. I paid for the Q-200 conversion parts as QAC was about T-U and got the cowl, extra plans, engine mounts and other hardware, but not the carbon fiber spars. It does have the following extras: second canopy, tinted, VSI, 2 reduced-size (Legal size) copies of the construction plans, some QBA pubs, mechanical liquid epoxy pump, construction table, heavy sheet aluminum hot wire templates, & jigs. The kit is near Marietta (Atlanta) GA; Contact Charles Wirt in Miami FL W=305-685-0000, H=305-681-4540, M=305-502-3695, Email= This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FOR SALE: Free formers, jigs, and more!

I have a full set of formers, jigs, standards, measuring gauges and limit setting fixtures used in building a Q2. These fixtures were made to be used in building multiple Q2's to be sold to others to finish. I purchased them from Bruce Patton, an old Quickie dealer.

I have all these items ready to be picked up at my home in Rochelle, IL. They are FREE to anyone who wants them. I will hold them until Jan. 1, 2008 at which time I will discard them. I do not have email, so call me at 815-562-6843 to make arrangements for pick up.

FOR SALE: Q2 kit for sale I lost my medical and I need to sell my Q2 kit. I believe it has almost all parts. Also included: new nav/com; icom and 65 Revmaster. Asking $8,500. Project located in Ste Anne, Manitoba, Canada. Call me at: 204-422-6624. Or email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FOR SALE: Q2 w/ LS1 Canard Q2 project assembled and ready to mount engine (no engine). I MUST clear my shop! Has LS1 canard. Final finish, cockpit and instrument panel not completed. Photos available. Any offer considered! 618-398-3393 Henry Hurd, Belleville IL

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Is this a sneak peak at what Sam Hoskins plane will look like after his winter modifications? To find out, see the article on page 9 of this Issue.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #126 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.