Thursday: How to make your head explode

Canada and back in a CTSW

“I started blowing into the pitot. I don’t know what an embolism is but if it’s what I think it is, I came close to having one. I went very dizzy and sat down”

SO windy that walking in it was a struggle. Bought more chocolate for my friends and went into the huge hangar to sort out the lack of airspeed readings.

With water in the pitot system I was getting readings above 70kt but pretty much nothing below.

I’m quite good at landing by feel, but when you factor in winds coming from both ends of a runway, cold and fatigue, it made sense to resolve the problem.

The tiny problem was that I’d seen the process of fixing it twice but had never actually done it myself. You take off the front instrument panel and kind of rest it on the stick, with a towel underneath it so it doesn’t bite into the pseudo leather.

You’re then presented with the back of the Dynon, the piece of kit that tells you everything you need to know. That has three output jacks.

You disconnect the correct one, get out of the aircraft and blow down the pitot tube to clear the rainwater out of the tubing.

Unfortunately I wasn’t 100% sure which jack was which. The dilemma was that I’d potentially lose all data if I guessed wrong.

I figured it was the cable with the red tag, so I texted two knowledgeable chaps in England to reassure myself I was doing it right. Both guys sent a text back saying they thought I was correct.

Wrapping an extra piece of towelling around the disconnected tube in the aircraft cabin, I started blowing into the pitot outside.

I don’t know what an embolism is, but if it’s what I think it is, I came close to having one. I went very dizzy and sat down. Then I got up and went for a sit down inside the aircraft.

A certain amount of water was now in the towel. Mission accomplished. Brain injury avoided. I reattached everything and left the hangar vowing to never do that again.