Last updated 2022-07-07
Was it the dingy room or the thoughts of an engine not in best shape, or potential weather ahead of track? Something was clearly was on my mind because after about 03h20 this morning I’d been unable to get back to sleep, eventually getting up at 04h30 to check weather through to the Toronto and Ottawa areas. It looked like I could get out today and, once past WaWa and inbound to Sault Ste. Marie I’d be good for continuing into the Toronto area. But the following few days didn’t look good.
I arrive at the Bear Skin hangar just as the 19:00 – 07:00 shift was finishing. A couple of the staff came over to look at the Chippie and when I explained my concerns and intention to do an engine run they were so enthusiastic they pitched-in. We soon had the under-cowl off, the engine washed-down, the side cowls secured and the plane out on the ramp ready to fire-up. As I ran it the guy got underneath the engine to observe where oil was coming from. His anlysis was blow-by on cylinder #2 with the consequent presure inside the crank case forcing oil out from the places it could be see – crank-case cover seal, #2 valve sleeves. We got the plane back into the hangar just as the rain I’d been wanting to keep ahead of came past and continued straight down my route.
That and the diagnosis brought me to a state or pragmatism and responsibility (places I never really like to be) and I determined that with the prospects of being able to achieve what I’d been hoping to do in the Toronto and Ottawa areas being no better than 50-50, I needed to think about getting the Chippie somewhere where she could get attention … and that meant heading south of the border.
I’m very fortunate to have friends in the Chipmunk community who will do all they can to help, whether it is advice, loans of spare parts or a bed (and/or hangar) for the night.
After a couple of calls I’d arranged for an IA to look at the plane the next day and for a roof over both its head, and mine too. After filing a flight plan (then cancelled, so the details were on record for the morning) and also filing an eAPIS manifest (that’s a whole other story) I was needing an hotel for the night. Seldom have I ever appreciated being in a Comfort Inn room as much as I did that afternoon – the absolute epitomy of comfort!