A DAN Adventure

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BkFlyer
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A DAN Adventure

Post by BkFlyer »

My bird had its first engine overhaul earlier this year. Immediately following that, my partner took it on a coast-to-coast cross country loop for several weeks. Of course that much use in a short time pulled out all the major post-overhaul failures (hopefully). One of those was the prop governor, which needed to be repaired at our overhaul shop, https://www.watsonaero.com.

You can read about all of the above in various posts by my partner mhoran who is a more prolific DAN poster 8-). What I want to share is the story of my in-person adventure with dmloftus, the nicest guy on DAN.

The plane's prop governor repair was complete, and I had to get the plane... fast! One week out was my family's annual trip to the Outer Banks of NC, which couldn't be moved. OBX is impractical to get to from NYC other than flying into MQI (Dare on Roanoke). It would be an entire day roadtrip (~12hrs w/stops) with an infant and toddler. There are no commercial flights into anywhere close. Chartering was about $5,000 each way – no thanks. Add to this I needed to leave time to refresh my IFR which was about to time out.

So fine, go get my plane right? Watson Aero is a great engine shop, but difficult to get to. If I can get down the nearest town, Augusta GA, the shop owner could drive me an hour to the field, but his timing didn't work for my needs above and connections to Augusta take all day. On a whim I messaged Atlanta-based dmloftus, who was able to help out a fellow DAN member on short notice.

The next day I hopped on flight to Atlanta, and at 6am on the dot the following morning, I met dmloftus in person. He drove us to his local field and off we went to 2J3 in Louisville GA. Flying over the rolling hills of Georgia at sunrise in dmloftus's well appointed DA-40 was a really nice experience. Nearing 2J3 it became apparent that a thin overcast layer was going to add a wrinkle to our well-laid plans. He got an IFR clearance and let the WAAS-backed automation take us down. This was the closest I have ever come to minimums with a successful approach... The REILs were visible no sooner than 5 feet above minimums (~255 AGL) as I recall!

We spent an hour touring the shop facility with James, the owner of Watson Aero, and even met the mayor of Louisville. After parting ways, I I began the long journey from 2J3 in Georgia to LDJ New Jersey, stopping along the way at SouthTech for a minor repair. As it happens, I ended up shooting two more hard IFR approaches on the way home, and was once again IFR legal through my upcoming vacation.

Thanks for the lift David!
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dmloftus
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by dmloftus »

My pleasure Adam! Thanks so much for the kind words. Happy to help a fellow Diamond owner. You, Matt, and other members of DAN and the newer DPA have been incredibly valuable to me since I bought my first plane in June 2020. I'm glad I was able to help you get your plane back in time for your family vacation.
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Mjwatlanta
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by Mjwatlanta »

Simply not surprised by dmloftus’ hospitality. He lent me his entire hangar one time. A true backbone to our DAN community.
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Colin
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by Colin »

What was the minor repair?
Colin Summers, PP Multi-Engine IFR, ~3,000hrs
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mhoran
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by mhoran »

There was an issue with the cabin heat SCAT hose. We have an early model Power Flow that was "upgraded" to the latest model when inspection found a crack in the collector. The new collector has a 3" cabin heat inlet, but the old collector and incoming air duct has a 2.5" inlet. When installed, the 3" SCAT hose was just hooked up to the 2.5" inlet, but this caused the SCAT to crack. PowerFlow had provided a reducer that had not been installed. It now looks like this:
PXL_20230904_162517105.jpg
Unfortunately the governor is still leaking and the plane is at Take Flight with the governor sent back to Sensenich Propeller Service for repair, again. Take Flight's Jim Markey found that the adapter plate between the governor and case was warped. Not sure how this happened on a newly overhualed governor.

Take Flight also found that our rudder had been installed improperly the last time it was taken off the plane -- and there may be damage. Waiting to hear back on that.

Finally, I do need to make another trip to SouthTec sometime this fall as the heat paint on our lower cowling at the tailpipe has peeled off again. I've had this repaired three times since the fire paint was redone in 2021.
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DerekM
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by DerekM »

The heat paint is a horrible and expensive solution to a very rare problem. It flakes off very quickly no matter what. Annoying. Reformulated paint that will stay on or a more permanent heat shield solution would be so much better.
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Steve
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by Steve »

mhoran wrote: Sun Sep 17, 2023 3:45 pmTake Flight also found that our rudder had been installed improperly the last time it was taken off the plane -- and there may be damage. Waiting to hear back on that.
That is interesting - the rudder is affixed with two nuts and two washers - hard to imagine it being done incorrectly. It should be removed at every Annual Inspection according to the Diamond checklist.
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mhoran
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by mhoran »

Hard to imagine indeed. Yet here is our rudder installed with four washers. Not sure how this made sense to anybody. Now I am left wondering what else is wrong.
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Steve
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by Steve »

Mark:

Looking at your photo, there could be some rub marks just below the blue stripe. I wonder if the rear edge of the vertical stabilizer was rubbing the rudder at the extremes of travel? I could see someone (incorrectly) putting a couple of washers between the rudder and bracket to move the rudder aft by a half millimeter to clear. But that would be a recipe for disaster...
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mhoran
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Re: A DAN Adventure

Post by mhoran »

Rudder is properly reinstalled and works fine. However there's some damage that will likely have to be fixed next annual. Super frustrating.
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