900 hours as pilot in command.

We look forward to flying with you Ben.

We look forward to flying with you Ben.

Vance..fly the I8 corridor to buckeye and you can stop in for a visit to Yuma. I would fly wingman for a portion of your trip!

Hello Ben,

We are looking forward to flying with you and it would be an honor to have you as our wingman.

The flight direct from Yuma (KNYL) to Buckeye (BXK) is 107 nautical miles and is a little longer to go around the R2307 and R2311 MOAs.

The flight from KNYL to Gila Bend (E63) is 99 miles so I would still need some extra fuel capacity to feel comfortable but it looks like a friendlier route with easier navigation than direct to BXK.

I will probably be flying out of Buckeye for several days if you can make it up that way.

This is still in the early planning stages and may not come to fruition.

I just used it as an example of my improved chart reading and flight planning.

I love the drive along US 8 and imagine I would enjoy it even more from above. I suspect that flight will have to wait until Mariah Gale is finished.

Thank You, Vance
Vance, do you use avgas only? If you can use 91 octane the gas station at Dateland is right at the halfway mark. They are gyroplane friendly and I have permission to use them.
Ben S


Vance, do you use avgas only? If you can use 91 octane the gas station at Dateland is right at the halfway mark. They are gyroplane friendly and I have permission to use them.
Ben S

I appreciate your tenacity Ben.

I don’t know what the ethanol would do to my fuel injection so I am inclined to stick to aviation gas.

Building another tank will add a lot to The Predator’s capabilities.

Luggage space and range are the two primary reasons for Mariah Gale.

Thank you, Vance
Vance the rubber components in the fuel injection system will not handle the alcohol in gasoline. Also the compression ratio of the Comanche engine precludes the use auto fuel.
Watching my six!

Watching my six!

Thank you for looking out for me Jeff.

I have had such good luck with the IO-320 B1A I am cautious about changing her diet.

We had a lot of challenges with Harleys as the lead went away and then again when the alcohol showed up.

We have some strange additives because of the California Air Resources Board that seems to attack all kinds of soft goods.

It is hard for me to imagine that the octane of automotive premium would not be high enough for my 8.5 to 1 compression.

Brown 91/96 or blue 100LL avgas is what the manual calls for.

Part of my pre flight is getting a sample from the gascolator and checking it for water, contaminants and color.

I have only had two in flight engine outs in more than one thousand hours of rotorcraft flying and both were with a Subaru on the same flight to Gila Bend at night when I pushed to talk in a SparrowHawk.

I turned the O-290 Lycoming off once because I thought I had lost my oil pressure. It was a sender connection problem.

I also had a simulated engine out landing become an engine out landing from carburetor ice with the O-290. It was my mistake, I was taught to pull carburetor heat when I reduce power. It was a 70 degree day; I was flying in shirt sleeves and was not thinking about ice.

Thank you, Vance
Vance although your engine is a mild compression compared to automobiles, the problem comes the large diameter of the cylinder. The larger the cylinder the bore the more likelihood of detonation.
Good Counsel!

Good Counsel!

I understand what you are saying Jeff.

An eighty cubic inch cylinder is a very big cylinder.

They don’t seem to have made much of an effort in the design to mitigate the challenges of uncontrolled combustion.

I feel the low rpm, good cylinder filling, mild cam timing and fixed ignition tend to exacerbate the problem.

I feel the reduced cooling of the piston because of the big skirt clearance adds to the challenge.

I am surprised at how much I can lean her out without running into a problem with uncontrolled combustion.

I am amazed at the boost they can run.

Thank you, Vance
Something else to think is the octane rating of the fuel.

Automotive fuel is graded by (R+M)/2 (Pump Octane Number). As the name implies, is determined by adding together a fuel's RON and MON ratings and dividing by two. This is the common rating found on pumps in North America.

Aviation fuel is graded by RON (Research Octane Number). It is determined by burning fuel in a test engine running under mild and low load conditions, and comparing the results to the reference fuels.

By comparison Aviation 100LL is testing out by the weight measures division as 105 to 115 octane automotive pump rating.
Mogas vs. 100LL

Mogas vs. 100LL

As always you are a cornucopia of knowledge Jeff!

I have spent a lot of time researching fuels.

There are a slew of nonsensical rules about what gas you can run for a record at Bonneville.

Some of my road racing bikes were octane and temperature challenged.

We usually ran them close to the edge of uncontrolled combustion.

We found that too much octane was not a happy thing either and sometimes found other ways to destroy parts.

The effects of Tetraethyl lead are not all positive. Aero Shell oil has a complex additive package to deal with the lead and my spark plugs are not happy about the effects of lead.

The effect of ethanol on soft parts in the fuel system and it’s affinity for water is enough for me to keep mogas out of the Predator’s fuel tank.

I hope anyone considering a change of gas in either direction will consider all the ramifications.

I feel in an emergency mogas would be fine in The Predator’s IO-320B1A.

Part of what I am trying to learn as my hours build is how to not have the emergency.

I admire Ben’s willingness to think outside the constraints of typical aviation.

My 900 hours as pilot in command helps me to recognize and respect boundaries.

My experience with internal combustion engines helps me to respect their limitations.

I used to have several 55 gallon barrels filled with evidence of my ignorance of these limitations.

Their memory is the foundation of my knowledge of engines.

Often touching the parts carefully months after they stopped operating as designed would help me to achieve confusion on a higher level.

I struggle with overconfidence and my own desire to push the limits.

Thank you, Vance
900 hours as PIC that is a major accomplishment in such a short period of time!

Way to go Vance and thank you for sharing it with us!!!!

And thank you Jeff for all the great information. I love this site!!!

Also Vance can you make a fly-in at Borrego Valley airport L08 on February 17th - 19th 2012.

It's actually a group of FW'er = "Ultralight Squadron of America" Fly-out on February 17, 18, 19th 2012, with a WEATHER BACKUP DATE of February 25th and 26th 2012, at Borrego Valley Airport L08.

However PRA31 is joining the party. We were already rejected from the Power Parachute's at the Salton Sea Fly-in on the 12th but so far we haven't gotten a no from the Ultralight folks.

Will let all of my friends here know more as soon as possible.

Ben... Break out the trailer! It's a party!!! :party:
Easy to get lost

Easy to get lost

Also Vance can you make a fly-in at Borrego Valley airport L08 on February 17th - 19th 2012. :

Thank you John,

It doesn’t seem likely that we can make it to L08 in February.

There is a lot going on.

It is 228 nautical miles to L08 with some complex airspace in the way.

I feel I am not ready to fly that corridor until I have a better GPS.

Flying to Cable taught me how easy it is to get the freeways confused.

Thank you, Vance