Control Yoke Maintenance Will Save Your Butt!

    By Richard Zephro

    Try to fly your plane without the yokes, and you can see the importance of having them in proper working condition. Often, I fly Mooney’s that have loose yokes. When they become too loose, they will begin to turn prior to the yoke shaft, and eventually leave deep grooves in the yoke shaft, as well as the yoke mount bolt hole, then, eventually could break off.

    This applies mostly but not exclusively to the earlier Mooney yokes. I’ve seen plenty loose 201 style yokes too, but the shaft thickness is greater on the later style yoke. There is an A.D.…

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    Glide Ratio: How Far Can I Coast Without An Engine?

    By Richard Zephro

    One of only a few complete engine failures in over 30 years of flying, happened to me a few years back. The fuel injector in this F model was full of crud from being operated out of a cow pasture with the ram air door seal rubber missing!

    The engine failed over Kentucky. But with the legendary and unequalled 12.7:1 glide ratio, we were able to make the airport at Lexington with little sweat. We greased her right on. (of course we really had to stretch the glide to make this one and ended up flying through two small leafless trees, hit the runway abutment rise, ballooned and resettled on the runway.…

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    Are You a Safe Pilot?

    By Richard Zephro

    At one time or another, luck has a lot to do with making it or not. The important thing is to reduce the element of luck by making skill overshadow and lessen the factor of luck. Luck can be construed as time and unforeseen occurrence, nothing mystical.

    What is a safe pilot?

    What has kept me alive during 30 years of flying mostly single engine aircraft has been my quick reflexes. There has been a few times that if it were not for my God given quick reflexes, I honestly believe that I would not be here right now.…

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    Say No To Ugly Legs

    By Richard Zephro

    Some of us have our planes all waxed up, shiny and ready to go. How would you feel, however, if you went to pick your date up, and she answered the door looking sharp with her tilted hat, tight slinky dress, nice new shoes, but ugly, ugly, really ugly, hairy, dry, flaky, corroded looking legs? Kind of ruins the whole thing, you might agree.
    Same thing for the other lady in your life….your Mooney!

    Is she sharp and ready to go, but has ugly legs? Let’s fix that!
    You will need a way to jack the plane up.…

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    Crosswind Landing


    By Shane Ellison

    I was on a cross country from Los Angeles to Durango, CO with my family. We stopped in FLG, AZ to fuel my ’62 M20C and let my little guy stretch.

    I was expecting the typical crosswind landing at 00C, and told myself if it was too fast I’d opt for the larger runway 5 miles East. 30 min out I listened to ATIS, a bit nervous, like awaiting sentencing. Wind and magnetic compass going awry, gusts were at 29 knots and sweeping directly across my landing path. Shit.

    My fearless 10 yo daughter was up front, my 5 yo son and wife in back.…

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