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Thread: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

  1. #1
    01Delta's Avatar
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    Default New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    I am new to this forum and new to the Tri-Pacer. My first ride in a plane 43 years ago was in one, and I have dreamed of owning one as my first plane. Fortunately, life has now afforded me the opportunity to, and found a beauty 1958 in great shape. Too bad it was 980 NM away from me and on the other side of the Rockies.
    Let me back up. I got my PPL about 15 years ago, flew for two year in rental C 152's and 172's. Then...Life.
    Flying at the time was just an expensive hobby.
    I have been trying to get back for the last three years, but seemed life had other plans for me.
    Of all things, a helicopter tour in Kauai, and me bantering with the pilot, my wife finally said, why don't I, and oh, by the way, how much does a plane cost. Did she really just ask that?
    So i immediately called the local Flight school and got flying again, got checked out and signed off for my BFR, and passed my medical.
    We'll I knew the Tri-Pacer could comfortably haul us and our two kids, and finding one within three weeks of the start of the pursuit of this venture, with a 160hp and climb prop, well... must be fate?(I don't believe in that BTW)
    Flew out east, got her checked over, went for a spin with the seller, and bought a plane.
    I had to have a CFI checkout for insurance, so spent about an hour and a half with an awesome teacher in the pattern learning to land it safely. Of course there was a decent cross wind, but I look back tonight and thank GOD there was.
    I got my sign off, and took off for home.
    I had planned on book air speeds, but with that climb prop, was 10-20 knots under the whole way, with head winds for the first part of the journey. I wanted to see how far a tank could take me so I considered running the right tank out and then switching, but after two hours, I figured I had better not temp fate. My 2.5 hr first leg was an even 3 hours to touch down. Of course there was a cross wind from the same direction I practiced, and while I got i down, it was not pretty.
    Fueled up. 25 gallons. 8.3GPH, 2450 RPM, leaned out at 10,500 ft.
    Off I went to get over the Rockies next. North to near Billings, MT, follow I-90 to Bozeman, then direct to Missoula. Except I didn't make it. About 60 miles east, I was coming upon a dark wall, and did not know a convective Sigmet had been issued over this whole area. My last weather check indicated only gusty winds forecasted. Called for a weather update, and immediately started a fast decent to get into Deer Lodge, as the dark wall was heading right at me. Runway 13 had gusting winds 14-26 reported from 15. I think I touched down no less than five times trying to keep it on the runway and upright. It was an undergarment changing type of landing. Thank goodness it is a tough plane. I taxied to the small tie down area and there are no ropes or anything to tie down with, and the T-storm is coming fast. I had hoped to find and open hanger, but to no avail. Fortunately, I threw some trailer tie down straps in my suitcase, just in case. I got it secured, and then could not find a soul on the field. After a few minutes, a nice guy come up on his Harley, and parked it his hanger right in front of where I was parked. Got a ride into town and now have up to two days to kill before the weather may be passable to the west. I think I got the last room in town, and they had a special "pilot" rate!! Love it!
    So hopefully, I have not bored you all, but here are my lessons and questions.
    Lessons:
    I know you never stop learning.
    I know I will need to go fly the heck out of this plane before I give anyone a ride, so that I learn it's limits and land it reasonably well. Don't want to freak any passenger out, although the kids likely would not mind.
    Flying over the highest part of these parts of the Rockies was nothing to write home about. Very wide with lots of landing spots.
    I found out what they meant by "moderate" turbulence, although I never went negative G. I'm still feeling the turbulence hours later on the ground when I sit down.
    I am completely embarrassed about this next part, but sharing for other new owners to learn from. Accidentally forgot to switch tanks, but was within "gliding" of Bozeman. Got the tank switched immediately and never lost altitude and the engine came back to life quickly. - Never forget to manage fuel. This won't happen again. Lesson learned!
    Questions:
    #3 cylinder runs hot buy 150 degrees over the other three. I guess this common on this engine and baffling adjustments would likely help unless there is another issue. Anyone else have EGT gauges? or have solved this?
    I don't know the pitch of the climb prop. Would it be on the prop somewhere? I've seen people talk about 57" up to 70". What does that mean?
    People talk about landing it and doing final at 75 or so. In my very short experience, the plane stops flying slower than 80, but maybe I am not use to such a high angle of attack needed at this slow of speed. I assume going out and flying this will help, so I won't ask as many others have on here before, how to land it.
    Where do I find local experienced pilots who can fly with me or help me maintain it?
    Is it bad to run a tank dry on the Tri? I knew a guy who would do so in his homebuilt with a center tank then switch to his wing tanks.

    Hit me up with anything you'd like. I'm ready to learn!

  2. #2
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Sounds like you had an interesting adventure. Welcome to the group. Since we are nearly neighbors, I look forward to seeing you around.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

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    Old3pacer's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Welcome! Great description of your purchase and trip. Advice to new buyers is buy the best plane you can afford, thoroughly inspect...fix what you find, fly a lot! If you trained in a crssna, these shortwings don't float. But that can be your advantage when you want to land. At first, getting to know your plane, you probably want to keep a little power on as you approach. I often run my right tank dry in level cruise then switch tanks. But I Know several pilots who disagree with that practice. Enjoy your new adventure

    p.s post a pic of your new purchase if you get a chance
    Last edited by Old3pacer; 06-10-2018 at 08:18 AM.

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    Old3pacer's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    The prop & it's pitch are listed in the logs

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    smcnutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Congrats on the new airplane. Definitely need to post pictures when you can. I actually think it's an advantage that you found her so far away. Gives you a chance to get to know each other. As for landing, I usually keep about 1300 on the tach until the flair and touch down. It seems to help slow down the transitions from flying to landing. Once you get used to it a bit more than you can practice power off landings for the 'just in case' but I typically keeps some power in. They do seem to sink but that just takes some getting used to I guess.
    Welcome to the shortwing world!

    Sent from my SM-T350 using ShortWingPipers.Org mobile app
    “Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”
    ― Victor Hugo

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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Reading this just gets me excited! I'm going to pick up a '53 with a 160 hp in a week and a half. I can't wait!. It is only a three hour flight though, so not quite the journey.

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk

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    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Congrats. I run a tank dry on a regular basis and have had no issues in doing so. Can be bad at in opertune time though. Others can relate differential EGTs I am sure. ArenallnEGT probes even distance from the cylinder. Doesn't sound to fat off to me but I am not use to a for cylinder EGT probe.

  8. #8
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the EGT as long as that cylinder’s CHT is within 20 or so degrees of the others. EGT is a relative number. If the CHT on that cylinder is high as well, start looking for an intake leak and/or baffle leak. The key is the CHT.

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    01Delta's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Sounds like you had an interesting adventure. Welcome to the group. Since we are nearly neighbors, I look forward to seeing you around.
    We'll be flying up to the islands a lot for lunch/dinner.

  10. #10
    01Delta's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to me PA-22-160, first day of ownership, 600NM, 10 landings

    Well, I am grounded form more than just the weather. T-storms last night, and one of the flaps broke off the inboard hinge.
    I was concerned about how to best secure it, and had no gust locks, and no one around to help jerry-rig it, so kept the fingers crossed. Bummer.
    Luckily my father has a friend who has a spare complete flap, so will get that shipped to me and I'll be able to just stick it on and get home.
    I'll post pictures once I get home.
    Turning into more of an adventure than I would have liked.

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