It wasn’t a hung start, exactly, but it wasn’t a normal start either. The N2 spun up smartly and fuel flow was normal. The engine began to accelerate, but then it hesitated. The interstage turbine temperature, which had been rising normally, had a sinking spell. Before I could think to do anything about shutting off the fuel, the engine began to accelerate again and started normally. The facts at hand were not encouraging. The starter generators had just been recently overhauled. These Williams FJ44-1A jet engines are expensive. (When I bought the airplane, the broker said, ”You are buying two engines and a maintenance program; they throw in the seats and pressurization essentially for free.”) No question, guidance was required. “Better call Hector” was my first and only instinct.
You don’t own an airplane for very long before you become acutely aware of an intimate relationship among the airplane, its owner and competent maintenance. This lesson was obvious early in my ownership journey. I had just gone with a shop on the field (Midway International Airport in Chicago) to do an annual on our new-to-me Cessna 210. During the inspection, the nose-gear doors were “adjusted.” On a post-maintenance test flight, the nose gear doors got stuck and the nose gear failed to deploy. The sound of the fuselage on runway concrete is never to be forgotten. Silver lining? I met the first “real” mechanic of my airplane wing life, John Daraska, and the insurance broker I have used for the past 45 years, Wenk Insurance.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
When you see what you expect to see
Segment your departure and climb for safety.
Steve Jobs and the GTN
Why the ubiquitous works
We Fly: Cirrus Vision Jet G2+
Hot and high and connected
SkyCourier Visits Oshkosh
Serial No. 1 makes its very big debut.
Rescue Dogs and Airplanes
A good dog and a good airplane make for a good life.
Cotton Candy Sunrises
Reconnecting with my inner wanderlust after a year and a half at home
Break the Error Chain with Your Tablet
Just a little nudge will do it.
Hot or Not?
On the handling of ambiguous emergencies
Approachable Aircraft: Piper Cherokee Six
The versatile, load-carrying single keeps on trucking.
SHOWOFF SERIES STAGE II
NO SHORTAGE OF TEXAS TRUCKS!
My Endless SEARCH for American FASHION
When I started my career, I saw the potential for an American style that was beautiful, uncomplicated, and singular. Where has it gone?
LAST SCREAM OF THE JIMMY
In 1954, when Oliver needed a powerful diesel to one-up their competitors, they went to General Motors.
E3 The $500 Billion Bias Problem
How an unfair property-tax system blocks the building of Black wealth
A Certain Southern Gothic
STATE POLICE DROPS PHONE APP THAT MAKES TEXTS DISAPPEAR
The Michigan State Police told officers to remove a phone app that keeps no record of outgoing text messages, a newspaper reported this week.
This Budget-Built Nova Turned Into a Pro Touring Terror.
Detroit pivots to next-generation mobility and other new industries.
What Is Cylinder Head Swirl and Tumble, and Why Is It Important?
We think of electronic engine management systems and multiport electronic fuel injection (EFI) as primarily responsible for the improved air/fuel distribution and performance as Detroit clawed its way back in the mid 1980s, but—good as they were for that day—initially the new electronics were just Band-Aids grafted onto carryover engine designs. The big change started in the 1990s, when the OEs started tinkering with cylinder head design to induce swirl and tumble in internal combustion engines.
DETROIT RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT TRAFFIC CAMERA EXPANSION
Detroit officials’ plan to install 200 more traffic light-mounted cameras at city intersections is facing community resistance amid privacy and racial discrimination concerns.