Sullivan and trip home

French <LJFrench@...>

Just got back from the Sullivan Fly In and want to thank Jeff and Jill for all their effort in putting this event together. The weather made some of us nervous so we had to leave early. But it takes just as much effort to host the event irregardless of the weather. So for this - Thanks a lot Jeff and Jill. Hopefully somebody enjoyed my piece of chicken this evening.

Trip home was a complete non event...........UNTIL the last 15 miles. I climbed out to 8500 feet for the trip home and the flight was buetiful for the most part. However, as I approached closer to home, the sun, haze, and bugs were making it annoying to view out the canopy so I pulled my cap down low over my head and flew off instruments for nearly 45 minutes. With the XM Sattelite radio blaring I was basically struggling to stay awake for the last portion of this non stop 3 hour 10 minute trip. However, 15 miles from my home airport I lifted my head and looked outside to see that the sun had started to go under a cloud layer. As I looked farther ahead I could see some serious rain showers about 10 miles ahead of me. I thought - no problem, I'm this close to home I can punch my way through to the airport. Boy was I wrong. I was within 5 miles of the airport when I hit a wall of water. It was pounding my canopy so hard I couldn't see anything and knew I couldn't make the runway, but I was also worried what affect the heavy rain was having on my prop (besides the fact that my canopy is not exactly water tight). I turned a 180 and went back 27 miles to the closest airport which is where the aircraft is now. Because of the miracle of GPS, I knew that I would make it home with about 4 gallons of fuel in the header tank - this should also suffice for adequate day VFR reserves right?? Well, by time I got through messing around with this weather and getting to the alternate airport, I was glad I didn't cut it any closer. Also, I waited too long to pull on the alternate air for the carberator (i.e. carb heat). Even though I had only flown in this heavy rain for a short period of time, it was enough to accumulate water in the air filter and intake such that I was loosing power quickly. After pulling on the carb heat, it took several minutes to get the water digested before my RPMs climbed back up. So in summary:
- Thanks Jeff for another great event
- Keep your header tank full
- Don't forget that alternate air option.

Hope everyone else had good trip home.

Lynn French

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