Flying to Colorado for High Altitude Training and Microbreweries

    Takeoffs are still my favorite. This time was no exception. Throttle to the wall, my roll out was swift. Like a shot of nitrous, the headwinds gave me an extra boost as I lifted off. Gear up, the confluence of LA receded along with my frustrations of living among way too many fuckin’ people. I was headed to Colorado with a friend for high altitude training and microbreweries. But first, we had to get out of Los Angeles…

    Northbound, I switched my radio to Los Angeles International (LAX) Air Traffic Control (ATC) to request permission to enter their airspace. The pilot chatter was relentless.…

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    Oil Consumption: What to Watch For

    By Richard “Zef” Zephro

    I ran my 201 up to 2200 hours on a Mattituck. It was burning a quart every 4-5 hours. I had an engine shop build me a first run engine, and used Cermichrome back when it was a hot item.

    My new engine burned a quart in 4-5 hours.

    I honestly have never seen a Lyc in a Mooney burn better than a quart in 10, and good seems to be a quart in 7 or 8, unless the engine is run a really low power settings as a matter of practice. Air cooled engines use oil.…

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    10 Ways to Increase Engine Life

    By Richard “Zef” Zephro

    In a perfect world, we would all replace our engines with factory new ones. I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t want to do that. However, in the real world economics comes into play. Those who are not in the position of devoting their first born’s, college fund to an airplane engine must come up with alternate methods of keeping the engines running reasonably safely to at, or beyond, TBO (Time Between Overhaul).

    Manufacturers come up with a suggested TBO based upon many variables. We have all seen the IO-360 move from as low as a 1200 hour TBO in the 1960’s to the 2,000 hours of today.…

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    Strength of The Mooney


    1962 M20C Perched in Flagstaff

    By Richard “Zef” Zephro

    While flying out of San Antonio (SAT) to Midland, Texas to show a Mooney 201, the air traffic controllers vectored me directly into a huge thunderstorm, which I penetrated at 4,000′.

    In what seemed like a few seconds later, I was catapulted at around 10,000′ out the side of the storm. I think that flight made me about 2″ shorter due to the G forces, and the 201 had stretch rivets all along the spar, as well as the roof of the fuselage. All the paint popped around the rivets and they had to be re-struck.…

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