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About skypics

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  • Birthday 01/01/1970

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  1. skypics added a topic in Avid and Kitfox parts Suppliers   

    Wing Strut Farings
    Has anyone here found a source for wing strut farings?
    I am referring to where the strut meets the wing.
    I have an under chambered MK4 and find a great amount of turbulence in this area.
    • 2 replies
  2. skypics added a post in a topic Under Chamber drag   

    Just ran some more yarn tests and to my delight I found the only turbulence to be behind the junction of the forward wing strut and the wing.
    The is very little turbulence behind the rear strut which surprised me.
    the rest of the under part of the forward wing area shoed the yarn running streamlined so now I will get back to designing a wing strut faring.
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  3. skypics added a post in a topic Borescope Rotax 582   

    We use Decalin to keep the 100LL deposits to a minimum. I also use Techron System Cleaner which keeps the carbon accumulation on my intake valves to a minimum.
    Soon we will be getting Swift non-leaded and non-ethanol on our field.
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  4. skypics added a post in a topic Jabiru Props   

    I was told by Pete at Jabiru that the Whirlwind 66" 2 blade carbon fiber prop was working well for Jab owners. They are a bit spendy, but the scimitar shape does keep the noise level down and as we know making noise does take some off your available thrust.
    The only draw back I see is that with my Warp prop that I used on my 582 I could remove the prop without disturbing the pitch. With the Whirlwind you can't do that. However, how often do you need to remove the prop.
    Mine has worked well on my Jab 2200. They are made close to where I live here in SoCal.
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  5. skypics added a post in a topic Gen 4 Jabaru   

    Jab Drivers and others...
    I have had two Avid Flyers. A model B which was totaled in a less than perfect landing on a Sierra Back Country touchdown and it's replacement a MK 4 which has extra leg room so you don't have to sit in the gynecological position.
    I have had 5 engines on the model B in the 4300 hours I flew it. One Rotax 532, two 582s and two Jabirus. The MK4 has the Jabiru 2200 removed from the model B. It went 1195 hours before a valve seat dislodged and did some damage that should not happen again due to the new recessed pistons that were installed when I sent it in for a complete overhaul.
    As you all must know, engines are mechanical and mechanical thing do fail and they will fail earlier if not installed and maintained properly.
    As Mr.  Chuck knows, there has been much discussion on the good, bad and ugly related to the Jabiru engines.
    My flight group a KAJO consists of 6 aircraft who make annual treks to the Idaho back country where much faith in a reliable engine is needed.
    Two of the aircraft are Jabiru powered and the rest are varying iterations of the Rotax 912s. These range from the 100 HP to the 140 HP Big Bore modifications.
    We have many hours around the campfire discussing who has the more reliable engine. We keep the discussions light with the help of our favorite libation.
    After many years of flying together we all realize that both engine brands have their own issues.
    Jabiru engines have gone from straight lifters to hyd lifters which was not thought out very well and caused problems. There were issues with flywheel and engine through bolts, over heating and over the years these have been addressed.
    My Rotax wingmen have had to deal water leaks, gear box vibrations and rebuilds and Sprague clutch replacements. I might add here that Rotax replacement parts are 2-3  times higher in cost than Jabiru parts which, in many cases can off-the-shelf items purchased at NAPA Auto parts.
    So we no longer razz each other about which has the best engine. We just hope it doesn't fail over one of the deep river gorges in the back country.
    John M
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  6. skypics added a post in a topic Few pics from my latest Airforce adventure   

    Joey ...You are living LARGE!
    Lil' John
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  7. skypics added a post in a topic Video since I haven't seen any in a while   

    How much extra drag did you notice with the larger tires.
    Like your vids.
    You can eliminate the prop sync by using an ND 8 filter on the lens. Don't know which camera your are using, but all the newer video cams are using rolling shutter that cause the prop strobe syndrome. The filter I mention make the shutter slow down so the prop becomes a blur.
    I may have posted this test on You Tube under skypics234.
    Lil' John
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  8. skypics added a topic in Avid fox flyers pics and vids   

    Under Chamber drag
    Hey Avideers:
    Haven't visited in a long while and would like to direct Avid Flyer owners to a video I have on You Tube.
    There has been much discussion as to how much drag is caused by the under-chambered wing on the Avids. So I did some tests with yarn trails under the wing especially at the front strut connection to the wing.
    As you will see on the video, the yarn tells fly smoothly to the rear on take off at a high angle of attack, but as soo as I start to level out the yarn tells actually turn and face FORWARD. 
    I kludged up a strut to wing fairing and as you will see on the video this minimized the under wing turbulence. I am not that skilled at fabrication so I didn't install them permanently on my Model B or on my current MK4, but am  have yet to put them on my MK4, but may do so soon.
    Also, I need to put the yarn tells all along the underside of the wing to see if this turbulence is just at the strut or all along the wing.
    These tests were done( on my model B which has since been totaled on a back country strip. I now fly a MK4.
    It is quite obvious that proper wing/strut faring would substantially reduce some drag and give a few more nano knots of speed.
    (See You Tube Skypics234 for video)
    Lil' John
    skypics234 at
    • 3 replies
  9. skypics added a post in a topic Quiet flying...too quiet...   

    You made a very good point of the fact that practicing engine out with the engine idling is much different than actually having the engine stopped completely. That can be seen by idling your aircraft with the brakes off. There is some thrust and the aircraft will move, But when the engine is dead the prop is just drag.
    Knowing this, my group of back country flyers decided to go out to one of our high desert dry lakes and set up an Accuracy Dead Stick practice.
    We selected Lake El Mirage just south of Edwards AFB where the ultimate dead sticks were done with the early shuttle.
    We set up a couple of traffic cones at the desired touch down target line and then place 100 foot markers before and after that spot so we can tell pilots haw far off they were.
    We found that after 3-5 tries we would improve from being as high as 300 yards off to actually touching within 50 feet of the target line.
    Depending on the aircraft, engine compression and prop size and pitch, some props would stop (Rotax and Jabiru) and others, such as the Maule would keep turning and give even more drag.
    With 3x 5 miles of smooth landing surface we can also practice the "Deadly Turn Back" where we determine our minimal turn back AGL combined with our skills.
    We also test different take off configurations to find the best combination for the shortest take off.
    We invite anyone in the Southern California area to join us at our monthly practice sessions.
    I have written about this practice in AOPA and EAA Sport Pilot and have presented Wings Seminars on the subject.
    We practice once per month, weather permitting.
    Interested pilots can contact me at
    Better to have skills you done need than to need skills you don't have.
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  10. skypics added a post in a topic Avid / Kitfox Accident Causes and Rates   

    I had 4283 hours on my Jabiru 2200 at the time of my recent crash...not an engine issue.
    I have had 5 engines on my Avid B STOL since 1990.
    It had a 532 rope start when I bought it. Then 2 each 582s which I had on it for 2400 hours with no major issues. Finally I got tired of the 2-stroke sound, water plumbing and fuel burn and went to a Jabiru 2200. 
    The Jab had to have the valve guides replaced on warranty at 200 hours. Then at 585 hours it sucked an exhaust valve and I dead sticked back to the airport. This was a bad design issue when Jabiru went from straight lifter to hyd lifters.
    NOTE: On 4 strokes, if you have badly worn guides replace the valves also, not just the guides.
    The replacement Jabiru had all the upgrades to address the hyd lifter change and the engine had 1030 hours on it when I totaled the aircraft.
    My friends all have Rotax 912s and all have had issues as well. One of the biggest differences is the cost of replacement parts for Rotax vs Jabiru with Rotax part running 3-4 times more expensive.
    That said there are different benefits in the Rotax and Jab.
    ROTAX: You can run a longer prop for better climb. They use less oil although you can't use common aircraft oil. The can and do run high EGTs with no issue because the water keeps the heads cooler. Recommended TBO runs 1500 hours, but they typically go over that time.  You have to "burp: the engine to check the oil.
    Jabiru: Lighter weight. Less complicated using mostly off-the-shelf items like distributors and rotors that can be purchased from NAPA. The use regular aircraft oil. Cruise at 2800-3000 RPM as opposed to 5400-5600 RPM so sounds more mellow. Parts are based on the Aussie dollar as opposed to the Euro. Easy to work on and less complicated with no water hoses, radiators, over flow bottles, etc. Direct drive so no gear box or Spraug clutches. Fewer moving parts. Recommented top ovehaul is 1000 hours.
    That said, all brands of engines have failed, including jet engines. Conts and Lycs have over 70 years of issues and engineering improvement. Rotaxes and Jabs will go through some engineering iterations and over time become more robust.
    My friends like their engines and I like mine although we do have some healthy discussions on which is the best.
    Religion, politics and aircraft engines.
    John M
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  11. skypics added a post in a topic Fatal Avid Crash   

    I didn't see any mention of it being and Avid and what I coud see on the photos didn't look like an Avid.
    John M
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  12. skypics added a topic in Avidfoxflyers General Hangar   

    Conversion from Bat wing to sytraight trailing edge
    After putting on 4200 hours on my madel B STOL with the bat wing design I have decided to recover my wings.
    The fabric has been on the Avid since its inception in 1988. I did not build it.
    After removing the fabris I noticed the great workmanship the Craig Johnson put into it.
    A friend who is very good at working with fabiric airplanes is doing the work and is using the Stewart System
    I always wondered why my fabric would be so loose in colder weather and when I took off the fabric I could see why. The trailing edge wire had gotten loose over the yeras.
    We are going to put aluminum trailing edges on to replace the wire.
    It is amazing how much wing surface this change will add.
    I am anxious to see if there is any positive performance changes.
    I'll let this forum know one way or the other.
    John M
    • 3 replies
  13. skypics added a post in a topic Raising the skylight   


    I have a model b with .060 in front and tinted .125 on top. I split it at the crossover at the top of the windshield.

    Regarding fuel monitoring:

    I can see the fuel level to the last drop through the fiberglass tank wall at the wing roots. I have no header tank.

    John M
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  14. skypics added a post in a topic If you are having password troubles   

    I am new to this forum. I was assigned a long password. How do I change it?
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  15. skypics added a topic in Introduce yourself   

    I'm new to this forum
    My name is John. I have owned an Avid model B STOL since 1990 and hav flow in for 4150 hours so far.
    I have been through 5 different engines. 1) Rotax 532 with rope start 2 & 3) Rotax 582s 4 & 5) Jabiru 2200.
    The 532 was swapped for the 1st 582 for the dual ignition feature. The 1st 582 had no starter so I hand propped it. The 2nd 582 had an E box with starter. 
    I wanted a 4 stroke and installed the 1st Jabiru 2200. They had just changed to hyd lifters and the engine had many issues and problems. I had it rebuilt after an exhaust valved head popped and destroyed the number 2 piston, head rod, etc. My dealer replaced the bad stuff and rebuilt it. 
    After getting it back from him I fired it up and it threw a rod. I was pissed as you might imagine. 
    I contacted the dealer and he said he would provide me with a brand new , up to date Jab 2200 if only I wouldn't publish my experience on the Jabiru forum. I agreed and have been well pleased with this latest engine. I have flown it for 850 hours with nary a hick-up.
    I did not build my Avid, but I have modified it to make it all that it can be.
    Removed the panel tank. Don't like gas hanging over my legs. It still carries 28 gallons in the wings.
    Removed the flberglass bucket seats and replaced with the sling seat
    Moved the rudder peddals forward 3 inches.
    Added extensions on the elevators for better pitch authority
    Split the windshield. Now it has a clear .060 front Lexan and a .125 tinted top glass.
    Changed the 600 x 6 tires for 800 x 6 x 21" Tundras for that back country flying.
    Installed a leaning device similar to HacMan for the Bing carb.
    Installed a vacuum gauge similar to that used on autos to monitor my engine health.
    Installed VGs which gave much lower stall with flaperons OFF and some benefit with flaperons ON.
    Installed VGs on pilot side of the vertical stab to compensate for the vert stab offset designed for the Rotax spinning the other direction.
    Installed gap seals on horizontal surfaces
    Installed fairings in jury struts, horizontal lift struts and tubes that go from the bungied to the axels.
    Installed a Dynon D6 for those times when you wish you had gyros on board.
    Installed fuel flow meter
    My Avid cruises at 100-105 TAS running 2900 RPM burning 2.8 GPH. Range is about 10 hours or 1000 miles...cough...cough. Bladder range is 3 hours.
    Climb is 1000-1400 FPM depending on load and DA.
    The Avid was built in 1988 by Craig Johnson
    • 6 replies