Helped the A&P with the condition inspection
last week, no issues.
Yesterday, I took the plane up for the first post-inspection
flight. I prefer to wait a day or so after the inspection,
and preflight the plane with fresh eyes in case anything was
forgotten during the reassembly.
Fuel float showed the tank was getting low, but still at the
point where I could fly for a bit and still keep the required
reserves. So up I went for a bit, flying over a couple of folks
houses, checking out the RC flying field, etc. Come back,
shoot some touch and goes, then land.
Noticed something as I taxied up to the gas pumps. I could
hear an irregular mechanical "bonk" as the engine idled.
Damn. Something coming loose in the engine?
I leaned forward, holding the brakes and tried to isolate the
Bonk...bonk.... then nothing for a few seconds.
I switched off the mags, and the engine spun to a stop. I
started unbuckling the seat belt.
What the pluperfect hell....? I jiggled myself up and down
Then it came to me. I was hearing the cork of the fuel
float bump into the finger strainer on the bottom of the
tank. The largely empty tank was an echo chamber, giving
the cork-to-brass thud a more metallic sound.
The builder of my plane build the filler neck of the tank a bit
too close to the axis of the finger strainer below. The
cork does clear, but there's enough play to let them
But I'd heard the bonk and immediately came to the worst
conclusion. Thought I was going to have a heart attack....
Don't normally run the tank as low as I did...usually make a run
over the car gas place and buy five gallons. But I like to
put an occasional load of leaded fuel in, and yesterday was a
good opportunity to run the tank a little lower.
For those who are wondering, it took 10.1 gallons to fill the
tank. 16 gal capacity, about two gallons unusable....