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Topics - Tom

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Hangar Flying / Magnetometer mounting
« on: April 24, 2011, 11:32:56 PM »
Hi Folks,

Im going glass and was wondering where people have had luck mounting their flux valves?  (magnetometer)


Hangar Flying / Navaid Autopilot woes
« on: January 16, 2011, 02:31:41 PM »
Hi Folks,

My VE has a navaid AP,, and it has been working great.

Recently I changed out the servo with a NEW unit (the old one was starting to show wear in the main shaft bushings and gears) 

I cant seem to get it to settle down, all it does is shake the stick! 

I have the feedback trim pot set correctly on the proper "Null" and all other settings dont seem to help.

The system gain, even when turned down all the way doesnt seem to help,

Any suggestions?


Hangar Flying / Broken exhaust/CO in the cockpit
« on: October 09, 2010, 08:29:59 PM »
Hi folks,

Just thought Id share with everyone the "fun" I had flying today...

Long story short, I had an old fitting that was welded on my right hand side exhaust break off in flight,then the exhaust began dumping exhaust fumes into the cowling. Well in about 2 mins, I was nearly useless in the cockpit due to the CO!   I dont really know where the fumes were entering the the cockpit, but double check to make sure your firewall is COMPLETELY sealed up! 

The fitting broke off, and went through the prop, luckily causing minimal damage, I didnt even notice anything when it happened in flight!

Today was the closest I have ever come to crashing my eze,, all due to some silly little issue..  As I write this, Im still a bit sick from the CO..

I'll try and post some pics of the damage.


Hangar Flying / Navaid servo arm/linkage
« on: April 09, 2010, 05:25:58 AM »
Hi folks,

I wound up with a nos navaid autopilot (this one even has the built in smart coupler).  Anyway the servo is set up for a bridle/capstan and I want to put it in my ve.    Does anyone have any old parts kicking around. Or for that matter some photos of the navaid setup for the ez?   I know it's an older ap but it's brand new and the price was right :)

Ps the plane is still for sale as well.   Small vid here.


Hangar Flying / Early Lightspeed ignition
« on: February 03, 2009, 12:21:24 PM »
Hi Folks,

does anyone have a copy or some insight on the early lightspeed ignition? Specificly
the one that uses the MSD ignition amplifier?



Hangar Flying / nice pic!
« on: June 24, 2008, 06:57:18 AM »

FYI I was doing just under 180MPH around the pylons

Hangar Flying / Helmets!
« on: May 01, 2008, 08:50:31 AM »
Does anyone know where I can get a decent surplus HGU-55 helmet?

The size needs to be X-large, and the avionics dont really matter as I can get them for cheap.



Hangar Flying / Varieze Prop needed!!
« on: March 31, 2008, 09:45:47 AM »
Hi Folks,,

Im in need of a new prop (ASAP) for my 0-200 VE,

I have (had) a great american 56x68 and would like something similar,

Anyone have anything sitting around?

Looking to purchase ASAP!!



403 607 8457

Hangar Flying / Wiring a Second com without an audio panel
« on: March 04, 2008, 09:06:00 AM »
Hi folks,

Id like to add a second VHF comm, but I dont want to install an audio panel,

Any Idea how you can combine/isolate the audio from 2 radios? The transmit selection is pretty simple, (just switch the mic key) but Im not sure what to do with the audio out,



Hangar Flying / FYI
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:18:55 AM »
Not really good news, but I thought I would post it.


Use of Non-Aircraft Parts in Critical Systems in Amateur-Built Aircraft
An aviation safety information letter from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).

On July 20, 2005, an amateur-built VariEze departed Runway 12 at the Lethbridge, Alta., airport on a visual flight rules (VFR) flight to Airdrie, Alta. The aircraft was observed to be trailing smoke as it departed on the downwind leg for Runway 12, and one minute and twenty seconds after takeoff, the pilot advised the Lethbridge flight service station (FSS) that the aircraft was on fire. The pilot subsequently attempted to force-land in a grain field approximately five-eights of a mile to the northwest of the airport. After touchdown the aircraft nosed over, struck the shoulder of a secondary road, and came to rest inverted on the road. An intense post-impact fire ensued and the pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. (TSB Class 5 occurrence A05W0148.)

The aircraft had been modified shortly before the accident, with the installation of a turbocharged, liquid cooled Rotax 914 UL-2 pusher engine (serial number: V9144874), which replaced the original Lycoming O-235 engine. This was reportedly the only VariEze flying at the time with this engine configuration. Post-impact examination of the airframe and engine indicated the aircraft had sustained an intense, in-flight engine fire. This was consistent with witness observations. The short duration of the flight and degree of in-flight fire damage to the engine and cowlings indicated the fire was fuel-fed from within the engine compartment.

In addition to the engine installation being unique to this model of aircraft, the engine itself was also highly modified, with the addition of an intercooler on the induction system and higher compression cylinders and pistons. A major repair or alteration to an amateur-built aircraft requires re-licensing and issuance of a new airworthiness certificate and operating limitations. Although the original Special Airworthiness Certificate that was issued to the aircraft specified that no changes could be made without notifying the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the recent modifications had not been reported to the FAA.

A piece of detached, heat-damaged tubing, complete with clamp and remnants of a burned rubber hose, was recovered from an unburned area of the wreckage trail. The tubing was submitted to the TSB Engineering Branch to determine if it was a fuel system component (see Figure 1) and the mode of failure. Examination of the fracture surface of the fitting did not identify any signs of a progressive failure; however, the fracture surface displayed fire damage. As the tubing, clamp, and hose were recovered from an area of the wreckage trail that was not exposed to the post-impact fire, the fire damage likely occurred prior to impact (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Heat-damaged tubing, hose and clamp recovered from the wreckage trail

Visual and dimensional comparison of the tube fragment indicated it was the inlet post of a NAVMAN fuel flow transducer. Information provided by NAVMAN revealed the fuel flow transducer was designed for marine applications, and not for use in aircraft. At present, there is no FAA or Transport Canada (TC) regulation that precludes the installation of non-aviation parts in critical systems in amateur-built aircraft.

The major portion of the fuel flow transducer was not recovered. Due to the extent of fire and impact damage, the precise location of the transducer was not determined. The engine fuel system utilized a fuel pressure regulator that bypassed surplus fuel back to the fuel tanks; therefore, the transducer would most likely have been mounted between the fuel pressure regulator and the carburetors within the engine compartment so as to accurately record the amount of fuel actually being consumed. The transducer was designed to be mounted on the suction side of a fuel pump, rather than on the pressure side. It was manufactured from a composite glass FORTRON material. It had a published maximum operating temperature of 50°C and a component failure temperature of 509°C. Fuel flow transducers used in aircraft applications are normally mounted within the engine compartment, and transducer housings are usually made of stainless steel. The engine compartment would see temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius during normal operation, particularly near the turbocharger, and if the transducer was mounted in the engine compartment, it could have been exposed to temperatures that exceeded its maximum designed environmental temperature range.

Figure 2: Close-up of heat-damaged fracture

The airframe and engine were fire damaged to the extent that no component testing or leak checks could be accomplished. While the occurrence is consistent with the aircraft having sustained a fuel-fed in-flight engine fire, the exact reason for the fire could not be determined.

There is a potential risk related to the use of non-aviation components in critical systems in amateur-built aircraft. Failure of a critical fuel system component, such as a non-aviation fuel flow transducer within an aircraft engine compartment, could result in a pressure-fed fuel leak which, if ignited, would generate an intense in-flight engine fire. Builders must consider the application, environmental exposure, and consequence of component failure when installing components that are not produced under a production certificate, a technical standard order (TSO) or a parts manufacturer approval on an amateur-built aircraft. While investigators were unable to directly link the origin of the in-flight fire to the marine fuel flow transducer in this case, there may be other situations where the use of non-aviation parts in critical systems present an on-going risk in the amateur-built aviation community.

Procedures in the event of in-flight engine fire in single-engine aircraft

The TSB issued a second safety information letter as a result of this occurrence. As noted above, the aircraft sustained an intense, in-flight engine fire. While the exact cause of the fire was not determined, the short duration of the flight and degree of in-flight fire damage to the engine and cowlings indicated the fire was fuel-fed from within the engine compartment.

Fuel was supplied to the engine through two electric boost pumps (one main pump and one auxiliary pump) and a fuel selector. The electric fuel pumps were capable of pumping fuel at rates in excess of 30 U.S. gallons per hour. Wreckage examination determined that the fuel selector handle was in the vertical position, which indicated it was selected to the auxiliary fuselage tank, and the fuel boost pump switches and magneto switches were in the ON positions at impact.

The standard emergency procedures in the event of an in-flight engine fire in a single-engine aircraft include placing the fuel selector and boost pump switches in the OFF positions, placing the magneto switches in the OFF positions, and performing an engine-out landing in the most suitable available area. If the fire does not extinguish quickly, a pilot may dive the aircraft in an effort to find an airspeed that will provide an incombustible fuel/air mixture. The VariEze Owner’s Manual states that in the event of an in-flight fire one should: determine the cause—if electrical, all electrical power off; if fuel, fuel off and electrical power off—and execute a precautionary landing as soon as possible.

The accident occurred within approximately three minutes of takeoff. The fire appeared to have burned with increasing intensity from the time the aircraft was first observed to be trailing smoke to the time of impact. While the pilot was able to maintain control of the aircraft up to the point of touchdown in the grain field, there was no evidence that he had taken the immediate actions necessary to stem the flow of fuel to the engine. Allowing fuel to continue to pressure-feed into the engine bay significantly increased the intensity of the fire and likely precluded any possibility of self-extinguishment.

Although generally rare events, in-flight engine fires are serious and time-critical emergencies. In this occurrence, non-actioning of the emergency procedures necessary to stem the flow of pressure-fed fuel to the engine may have contributed to the severity of the accident. Vital immediate actions—including selecting the fuel boost pumps, fuel selector and magneto switches to the OFF positions—are necessary to reduce the intensity of, or extinguish, an in-flight engine fire as soon as possible. Pilots must be familiar with the procedures to handle uncommon but critical in-flight emergencies, such as engine fires, and must respond accordingly in order to reduce the risk of structural failure, post-impact fire damage, or loss of control and destruction of an aircraft with related occupant injuries or fatalities.

For Sale/Wanted / LST assembly for sale (nose gear shock strut)
« on: December 13, 2007, 04:31:36 PM »
Hi Folks,,

I built 2 of these, used one, and now have another for sale.

This is brand new, made from aircraft quality parts and methods. The only thing not included are the rod ends (you could use yours ) The spring installed is slightly different than the Burt specified, but not enough to make any difference.

The steel parts can be either nitrided or cad plated. I nitred mine, and it looks good, and will last a long (pardon the pun) time!

The aluminum parts are virgin finish, but could have them anodzied if you desire! (left mine virgin finish- Looks good!)

If you are interested drop me a line via a private message or at ezetom (at sign)telus(dot)net

Sorry for the goofy email,, but it keeps the spammers at bay!


Hangar Flying / Dimensions for the Brock Spring NG strut
« on: December 07, 2007, 10:26:14 AM »
Hi Folks,,

Im currently doing a minor rebuild of my nose gear assembly..

and I thought that since I have everything removed,, that I might try to find, and install the Brock Spring strut,, well I havent had much luck in finding one!!!

I have a pic of one,, and now Ive made a 3d model in soldiworks,, but Im not 100% sure of the correct dimensions,,   Can anyone measure theirs and give me some pointers??

Also does anyone know the length of the spring uncompressed?  I have a bunch of springs to try,, but Id like to have everything similar to the Brock unit as it has been well proven!!


Hangar Flying / Changing the nose gear "NG6" bushings on a VE
« on: November 20, 2007, 10:39:14 AM »
Hi folks,

My winter project this year is to replace the worn out trunion bushings on my nose gear,  (the bronze bushings in NG6)

Anyone have any tips or pointers?

Also, what can anyone tell me about the kit sold here:  (this is the bearing NG6 replacement)



Hangar Flying / C-85 Pistons/ O-200 Excellent!
« on: October 29, 2006, 06:38:02 PM »
Hi Folks,,

I thought I would take a couple of moments to describe the excellent results I have had in adding c-85 pistons to my O-200 powered Varieze.

First off, if you have an O-200 VE CHANGE THE PISTONS NOW!!

The pistons can be purchased from Fresno airparts along with the rings, and all the other required parts (ie Base seals) should be no trouble to track down.

Depending on what cylinders you have, you may or may not need to modify the pistons to fit. it seems the older cylinders are the ones that have clearance issues. The mod is fairly straightforward and consists on a quarter inch(or thereabouts) chamfer at about 30 degrees from the top of the piston. email me for a pic of the modified piston.

After installation and re timing the mags to about 26 degree btdc I fired it up, and it sounded great.  I ran it on the ground for 10 mins or so and checked for leaks.  Everything seemed good so on with the cowls and away I went.

The plane was like it was on steroids, I picked up 100 rpm static and more importantly, seat of the pants acceleration. My top speed has increased roughly 10mph and Im almost considering buying a prop with more pitch (I have a Great American 56x68) as I can almost touch 3000rpm in level flight!

This was the best money ( less than $500 btw) spent on my plane since purchase, and I would recomend it to any other VE or O-200 powered owner!

If anyone has questions regarding this mod, email me and I'll do my best to answer you.

Happy flying.

Hangar Flying / Cracks in my prop!!
« on: February 25, 2006, 06:04:28 PM »

Hopefully someone can help me here,, Upon removal of my prop, I found a couple of cracks stemming from the bolt holes outward,, they arent that big and only in one lamination,but still I'm not sure if the prop is firewood or not.


The prop is a great american 56x68 on an o-200 VE



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