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Thread: Hand Propping

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Isn't this the point where we all tell 'those stories' about how this same thing happened to 'our buddy'? lol

    Web
    Not my buddy, not me, but back in my late 'teens (now in my '60's), just after the old man showed me how to hand prop his 180 ("always tie the tail off"...), I was at the old strip that used to be midway between the Glenn / Parks Y and Wasilla, when I saw a hand prop event gone bad. Someone clearly: 1) didn't understand their throttle settings; 2) relied on brakes; and 3) didn't (don't know why) ask one of the bystanders to sit in the seat of the cub. It fired up with gusto and began doing circles on the ground as one tire more-or-less held position. The propper tried to hang on to the strut for about 2 revolutions but couldn't keep up and got run over by the rear-ward part of the cub (then ran away).

    End result was that the cub was running at significant throttle, going in fast (ever slightly growing) circles for quite some time. After the bystanders were losing the battle to be able to move nearby plans out of harms way, they brought a dozer in and ended up letting the tail slam into that ...not pretty and I don't know what happened afterwards (other than someone was brave enough at that point to get in and shut things down) but there were Palmer, Wasilla (or ???) Fire Department, and AST personnel present, so that solution must of had some backing.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    Not my buddy, not me, but back in my late 'teens (now in my '60's), just after the old man showed me how to hand prop his 180 ("always tie the tail off"...), I was at the old strip that used to be midway between the Glenn / Parks Y and Wasilla, when I saw a hand prop event gone bad. Someone clearly: 1) didn't understand their throttle settings; 2) relied on brakes; and 3) didn't (don't know why) ask one of the bystanders to sit in the seat of the cub. It fired up with gusto and began doing circles on the ground as one tire more-or-less held position. The propper tried to hang on to the strut for about 2 revolutions but couldn't keep up and got run over by the rear-ward part of the cub (then ran away).

    End result was that the cub was running at significant throttle, going in fast (ever slightly growing) circles for quite some time. After the bystanders were losing the battle to be able to move nearby plans out of harms way, they brought a dozer in and ended up letting the tail slam into that ...not pretty and I don't know what happened afterwards (other than someone was brave enough at that point to get in and shut things down) but there were Palmer, Wasilla (or ???) Fire Department, and AST personnel present, so that solution must of had some backing.
    mage
    electronic mags

  3. #43
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    Pulling my battery and starter for three months is how I ending up learning the ropes on prop starting. It was a good way to learn and I recommend it to anyone the feels like I do that this is an essential skill in the Backcountry. But time has also made me a fan of jump packs. Reading this thread and others it seems the sentiment for the EarthX jump pack has changed over time. I do remember some stellar posts in the past about the little packs performance jumping all kinds of stuff. I wonder what changed.

    I have had MicroStart packs from the start and I'm still a big fan. But another member to the jump pack pile is the NOCO GB50. It was a gift from a friend that submerged it by carrying in his float compartment so it had to be resurrected from near death to include the over discharge of it's cells. Even with it's handicap it's amazing in so many ways. Has twice the throughput capability of the MicroStarts. It charges via 5V input, so a small backpack solar panel will pump it right back to full power on a sunny day. But the real big plus is it runs continuously in Boost (override) mode whereas the MicroStarts override is on a timer circuit of 30 seconds as I recall. This is handy for things like running air pumps, water pumps and the like. Other than that I just hooked it up to a 400 V8 in my 1982 F350 and it started it like it was glad to see me.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  4. #44

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    Primer for Injected as Well

    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Anyone who’s lived with a big bore carbureted Continental for a winter or 30 knows the value of a primer and learns very quickly how to apply it.
    Agreed. That goes for injected big bore Continentals as well. Primers were an option on 185's just for that dead battery scenario.

  5. #45

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    electroni mags

    [QUOTE=bubb2;809951]Agreed. That goes for injected big bore Continentals as well. Primers were an option on 185's just for that dead battery scenario.[/QUOTE

    my 180 hp cub is getting electro mags is geiting elevtonig mags as soon as send the trailblazer pr0pto . 135 compliance with all data to make it legal.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    Reading this thread and others it seems the sentiment for the EarthX jump pack has changed over time. I do remember some stellar posts in the past about the little packs performance jumping all kinds of stuff. I wonder what changed....
    Jerry
    Apparently they fizzle out. I've had one for almost two years and have used it to start a garden tractor and two cars. So it still works. I just wonder when it won't and why they discontinued them.

  7. #47

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    Still have a few. They’re friggin’ awesome. I also have a Noco. Not as good.

  8. #48
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Still have a few. They’re friggin’ awesome. I also have a Noco. Not as good.
    No challenge here. Just wondering why? I've never owned an EarthX Jump Pack. What do you like about it over the NOCO GB?

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  9. #49
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    Drifting from hand propping a bit, but since someone asked:

    I've had a couple EarthX jump packs die on me. Dead cells. One was replaced under warranty, one wasn't. I've had mixed success with their phone/email support.

    I rolled the dice again and bought one of their new 12V/24V jump packs at Oshkosh this year. I've got some projects where a good portable 24V supply could come in handy, and the new USB-C port was a big selling point for me. The first one they gave me wouldn't take a full charge, so I walked it back to their booth where they very quietly swapped it with a different unit. Seems they are pretty responsive to support requests when there are potential customers within earshot. Unfortunately, the USB-C port won't charge my iPad or Macbook. No response to my email asking about it. Haven't bothered to try bothering them again.

    When they work, they're pretty great. I was impressed when it jumped my old diesel truck in winter. Not impressed when it wouldn't turn over a much smaller vehicle a couple months ago. Just not reliable in my experience.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    No challenge here. Just wondering why? I've never owned an EarthX Jump Pack. What do you like about it over the NOCO GB?

    Jerry
    Each Jump Pack I’ve owned has easily started what I wanted it to start several times between charges. Rock solid performance. Never a single disappointment, and I use them a lot. The NOCO doesn’t have as much longevity for multiple starts and to me it didn’t seem to have the punch of a Jump Pack on the initial start. And I like that EarthX comes in a zippered case instead of a soft bag. I still have both types and will undoubtably use them this weekend. Very handy tools!

    My big Yamaha snowgo has an issue that’s eluded me. That battery gave up quickly so I switch to using Jump Packs to spin the starter. The Jump Pack lasted longer than the NOCO in that demonstration but the motor still won’t start. I have no ill will toward NOCO. I’ll continue to use it. It’s in my day pack now.
    Last edited by stewartb; 09-03-2021 at 07:43 AM.
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  11. #51
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    Stewart,

    It sounds like you need to look into finding better “installed” batteries rather than stocking up on jump packs….…

    Joking…believe me, I know the pain of electrical problems in cold. For several years Aviat installed an absolute POS battery in Huskys. It was a sealed gel pack that they also installed in the Pitts. Terrible battery, especially in cold. I hand propped those planes a number of times out in the pucker brush…..no “jump packs” of reasonable size available back then. The advent of the Odyssey battery fixed all those issues.

    But, I carry a jump pack now in everything I own. Trying to use jumper cables to start someone else’s car from my car spooks me with all the gizmos in modern cars. Jump pack is safer.

    MTV

  12. #52

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    The reality of owning lots of electric start equipment that gets used occasionally. I could add battery disconnects but I mostly haven’t. Jump Packs are easier.

    And for the record? Odyssey batteries aren’t what they used to be.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    The reality of owning lots of electric start equipment that gets used occasionally. I could add battery disconnects but I mostly haven’t. Jump Packs are easier.

    And for the record? Odyssey batteries aren’t what they used to be.
    So far, I’m still having great service from Odyssey’s, but I’ve been hearing stories.

    MTV

  14. #54

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    What about 3-bladed props? I've seen video of people hand propping them, but ISTM that that missing 60 degrees puts the approaching blade a LOT closer to the back of my hand.

    I've never done it. Is it as bad as I worry it is?

  15. #55

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    I propped a 200 horse RV8 when stranded on a deserted ramp after a fuel stop. It was a constant speed hartzell with some mass and didnt lose any fingers
    I tied the tail down and it took a bit of effort on a heat soaked fuel injection

    I had a RV 6 with a 3 blade Catto that was quicker spinning up that i was too nervous to prop


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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuBob View Post
    What about 3-bladed props? I've seen video of people hand propping them, but ISTM that that missing 60 degrees puts the approaching blade a LOT closer to the back of my hand.

    I've never done it. Is it as bad as I worry it is?
    Ive propped IO-520 with three blades, to verify I could do it. Just be careful where you touch the prop, and move hand away from prop quick.

    Not something I’d do for fun. But if I’m stuck in middle of nowhere….

    MTV
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    So far, I’m still having great service from Odyssey’s, but I’ve been hearing stories.

    MTV
    I've had great experience as well, but also that Odysseys (and PowerSafe) do not like deep discharge. They do not come back from a severe discharge.
    There are three simple rules for making consistently smooth landings. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

  18. #58
    Dave Barras's Avatar
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    With an Odyssey on my welder I left the switch on once for a week and killed it. It was 2 years old. I had drained it
    pretty low a couple times before.
    Not even indicating 1vdc I thought it was toast and didn’t seem to want to take a charge.
    with a 6amp automatic charger it took nearly 3 weeks and then lasted another couple years.
    My experience in the plane is usually at least 6+years, the last one devolved a large lump protruding out of the bottom
    but still starting the plane when I noticed it, and installed a new one.
    Dave


    YOU NEVER KNOW

  19. #59

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    On every floatplane we never turn the beacon off so its pretty hard to walk away and leave the master on. Saved quite a few dead batteries over the years. Cubs are pretty easy to hand prop as others have stated. Had a chronic starter problem on one that got us well practiced up. 3 blade on those big Continentals the worst for me. You wouldn't have probably suspected but the Beaver is the easiest of them all.
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  20. #60
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Slip a rope loop over the prop tip. Pull the rope fast while offset at 90* to the blade track so it don't slip too much. If it slips at first make a loop that can be tightened around the blade. Avoid rope if it starts.

    Gary

  21. #61
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    Tie the tail down!!

    My old Champ required a bunch of throttle to fire, especially when warm. I could pull it over for an hour if the throttle was not open enough... it needed air! Problem was if it was open that much it wanted to roll. I tied it down!

    Got retrained on starting the 985 this year. No throttle pumping, just primer. No backfiring ever.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  22. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Tie the tail down!!

    My old Champ required a bunch of throttle to fire, especially when warm. I could pull it over for an hour if the throttle was not open enough... it needed air! Problem was if it was open that much it wanted to roll. I tied it down!

    Got retrained on starting the 985 this year. No throttle pumping, just primer. No backfiring ever.
    Supercharged, therefore low compression large engines turn through easy as can be. And, long props offer leverage. The 985 is my all time favorite engine!

    MTV
    Last edited by mvivion; 09-04-2021 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Redundant

  23. #63

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    Always entertaining……
    https://youtu.be/viiIBz1AEnQ

  24. #64

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    Here's my hand propping story. Get the Cub out for an early morning flight to take a customer out to look at his fields. Stupid mistake #1, left the master on so dead battery. Stupid mistake # 2. Had a very busy day lined up so I don't have time to walk the hundred feet to grab a chalk for the bush wheels. I show my customer where the brakes are and ask him to push down both while i hand prop the plane. I use the two hand pull down and swing away method to start the Cub as the momentum has you step away from the prop and has served me well as I have repeated stupid mistake # 1 on several occasions. Plane starts on one pull so I go around to get in.I notice that my passenger has his feet on the rudders instead of the brakes. Glad that I had the throttle barely cracked as the bushwheels roll pretty easy at low RPM's. Haven't had to hand prop since then but next time i will use the chalks or set the parking brakes myself before hand propping.
    Mick Capouch
    PA-18 150 N6TD

  25. #65
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Some of the best lessons are learned when no damage is done. ...... Providing you are paying attention.
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  26. #66
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    How come people are propping a cub from the front in the videos? The nice thing with the split cub door is being able to reach everything from behind the prop. Hand on the door frame and foot on the gear leg. One of the many useful things I learned from jay Baldwin in Alaska while getting my tailwheel endorsement


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  27. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    How come people are propping a cub from the front in the videos? The nice thing with the split cub door is being able to reach everything from behind the prop. Hand on the door frame and foot on the gear leg. One of the many useful things I learned from jay Baldwin in Alaska while getting my tailwheel endorsement


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    I'm with Tom on this, i can't figure out why anyone hand props from the front when its easier and safer from behind.
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  28. #68
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    If you use chocks the rope where it exits the chock should point towards the other chock with the lead laying in front of chock and extending back to the tire. That way when you pull the rope the chock will rotate 180* with very little effort. With the ropes pointing out they get stuck from the tire pinching it.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  29. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassackwards View Post
    Here's my hand propping story. Get the Cub out for an early morning flight to take a customer out to look at his fields. Stupid mistake #1, left the master on so dead battery. Stupid mistake # 2. Had a very busy day lined up so I don't have time to walk the hundred feet to grab a chalk for the bush wheels. I show my customer where the brakes are and ask him to push down both while i hand prop the plane. I use the two hand pull down and swing away method to start the Cub as the momentum has you step away from the prop and has served me well as I have repeated stupid mistake # 1 on several occasions. Plane starts on one pull so I go around to get in.I notice that my passenger has his feet on the rudders instead of the brakes. Glad that I had the throttle barely cracked as the bushwheels roll pretty easy at low RPM's. Haven't had to hand prop since then but next time i will use the chalks or set the parking brakes myself before hand propping.
    Can not trust an inexperienced passenger at the brakes or throttle when hand propping. They could panic or even accidentally move and hit the throttle.

    I always told passengers not to move or adjust headset or touch controls while hand propping my J3 or PA-11. I always prop from behind for quick access to controls too. Had one passenger adjust their headset and their elbow hit the throttle half open… Another passenger stepped on the brake peddle getting in and it broke off completely when pressed and they didn’t know. Passengers generally are excited or nervous so never know what they will do…

    I often got “experienced” pilots offering to hand prop, but some are not physically capable any more so just kindly thanked them and propped myself. Had a few nervous moments in the past where wasn’t worth the risk in accepting the help. Some of the older pilots no longer had the balance to hand prop even if intentions were good…

    Best to stick with your routine too so don’t accidentally forget to pull throttle back after clearing flood. I miss flying my PA-11. Going to sell the Husky and see if I can find another Cub. Working on moving back to NE too.
    Last edited by DavePA11; 09-05-2021 at 10:51 AM.

  30. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    I'm with Tom on this, i can't figure out why anyone hand props from the front when its easier and safer from behind.
    Same reason people do 3 point landings instead safer wheel lands. "That is the way I was trained"!!! Its raining out so figuring I would stir the pot some. I have done it both ways. I would do behind the prop if alone. Sometimes traction/ground is better in front. The key is to have a plan once the engine fires. To hope the plane won't move is not a plan by the way.
    DENNY
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  31. #71
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Always fun to talk/write about hand propping. The first airplane I owned was a 90 hp J-3, which lived on floats a big part of the year. As Paul noted, unless you are a lot Holy-er than I am, propping a seaplane from in front is tough.
    So, since that's the way I learned.....

    As to tiedowns: I guess Mr. Bertorelli has apparently never parked his Cub someplace where there IS nothing to tie the tail to. I have. My last "hand prop only" plane was a PA-11. Both that plane and the J-3 I owned many years ago were equipped with Marvel carburetors. When I bought the 11, the mixture control was wired "full rich". First thing I did was install a mixture control.

    So, when starting, I primed the engine, then selected "Idle Cutoff" on mixture. Then, prop it.

    With the mixture at cutoff, the engine would start, but I had to get to the mixture pretty quick or the engine would die.....perfect!!

    So, I tied down when I could, but I ALWAYS started that plane with mixture control at Idle Cutoff. I also realize that some engines don't offer that ability.

    I've propped planes on skis, floats and wheels, and almost always from behind. As Paul noted, make yourself happy there, but....

    If you're going to prop one of these airplanes, try doing so with mixture to idle cutoff. Assuming you can get to the mixture control fairly quick, it is another way to minimize risk while propping.

    MTV
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  32. #72
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    Every small continental I have been around (65 thru 0-200) the primer shoots the gas into the intake spider. So what’s the difference between priming or pumping the throttle. I know most 65s75s and 85s and even 90s don’t have an excelerator pump in the carb But the primer gas still goes into the intake. just wondering


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  33. #73
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    Some of the cylinders for small C's are tapped for a primer. Does help.

    Gary
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  34. #74

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    8.50’s will jump a 4x4 chalk with little too much throttle so I always double and triple check hand propping if I can’t leave it tied down. I would like to find a tow hook to mount on my tail wheel, the glider ones look nice but I can’t afford one of those… Tim

  35. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Budd View Post
    Every small continental I have been around (65 thru 0-200) the primer shoots the gas into the intake spider. So what’s the difference between priming or pumping the throttle. I know most 65s75s and 85s and even 90s don’t have an excelerator pump in the carb But the primer gas still goes into the intake. just wondering
    I don't think there's anything wrong with priming into the spider. If the throttle is closed then the fuel just pools on the throttle plate and then you prop a handful of blades with the mags off to suck the fuel up into the cylinders to prime them. Works like a charm on my C85 with Stromberg (no accel pump).

    In terms of securing the plane while hand propping, Scott parking brake valves are a life saver.
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  36. #76
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    ^^^^ Yes , but the challenge is determined by engine temperature. The closer to freezing or below the more likely the primed fuel will not vaporize as readily and tend to cling to cold metal in the intake system. The longer the path between the primer's outlet and intake valves the less fuel for starting gets delivered. Hence cylinder priming versus induction spider. My experience only.

    Gary
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  37. #77
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    Oh absolutely 100% cylinder priming is the best way to go if possible but there are about 20k J3's out there, probably close to that number of BC12's and many other planes running small Continentals with spider priming. It's certainly not the best way to go but it functions adequately. In cold temps I go 3 shots of primer instead of two and get good results. The true believers in the Stromberg carb note that it has a priming circuit built into it so it's not supposed to need to be primed. If the intake and carb is well sealed you just give it 4-8 blades with the mags off and throttle fully closed and the idle circuit primary vent hole (there are two above the throttle plate in a Stromberg) vents atomized fuel into the spider and primes the cylinders. Doesn't work on my engine but my brother's 65hp Tcart it works like a charm.
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  38. #78

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    Leave your beacon or strobes lights on at all times. Hey idiot you're master is still on. The lights switch is your idiot switch. Leaving your master on happens to the best of us idiots...

    Quote Originally Posted by NunavutPA-12 View Post
    Well, it finally happened! 100-miles from the nearest human and I had a dead battery (left master on - will I never learn?) and a defective Earth-X jump pack (those fuses blow so easily!).

    On floats now. My arms are not long enough to hold onto the doorframe with my left and crank with my right. Not much to hang onto otherwise. My balance is nowhere near good enough to use my two arms/hands on the prop. I would have ended up in the drink - or worse.

    Anyway, thanks to the liberal use of many four-letter words, I managed to start the beast (O-320-160) but it wasn't easy. Left mag only seems to be the best method. I was worried that I would over-prime the engine so I didn't use the primer, just a couple of shots of full throttle seemed to be enough (50 degrees F.)

    I found that getting the prop past the "bounce" of the compression stroke is the hard part.

    It's a very satisfying exercise when it finally kicks off and you know you're homeward-bound. This is actually the first time in over twenty years that I've had to put theory into practice.

    I'm looking for any useful tips on hand-bombing that might help me if there's a "next time".
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  39. #79

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    Thats a great idea to use the mixture cutoff when hand propping. Never thought of doing that. Would save quite a few wrecks over the years.
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  40. #80
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterdillon View Post
    Thats a great idea to use the mixture cutoff when hand propping. Never thought of doing that. Would save quite a few wrecks over the years.
    Works great on Cubs. On a Cessna, you have to be REALLY fast getting to the mixture control....door gets in the way. Same with anything you have to get aft of the strut. But, I have done it on a Cessna, and caught it in time....just barely.

    MTV

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