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PILOT'S CORNER - Featured Pilot

FEATURING DALE ROGERS AND HIS SUMMIT II

I always wanted to fly an airplane since I was a young boy. But because of the price tag I kept putting it off by making my farm business come first. Then when I was almost 60 I decided that if I didn't start by 60, 70 would be too late to start something new and by 80 I would likely stop anyway. So I bought and started flying a used PPC in April of 2006.

After flying my PPC for awhile and learning the pros and cons of the conventional PPCs I decided to try a Summit PPC as it is considerably different in design. The four point hookup, the separate seats and the full front pod or cowling are the main differences.

By September 2006 I had the used Summit repaired and up and running. Right away I noticed the better stability in the air because of the four point hookup. And because of the full front pod or cowling I am completely out of the wind when flying-except for my right hand when I reach over to adjust the throttle.

But like everything else that I buy or use I soon see where some things need to be modified or changed to suit my liking. I am not satisfied when things "work as good as new"- I want them to work better than new.

As the cooler fall and winter weather came on I soon was looking for a heater system to make flying more comfortable. It had a water cooled motor, so why not install a heater?

After considerable thinking and evaluating I decided to cut a hole in the front cowling and make a baffle to direct the air down through a heater core from a Dodge minivan. It has about 14- 1/4 inch tubes running through it and returning back to the inlet end. So I had a radiator shop rearrange it so there were 28 tubes running in the one direction so as not to restrict the flow of antifreeze. I run the one inch hose from the motor to the heater core and then back through the original radiator. However a tee with a tap at the back would be nice on warmer summer days so the antifreeze could circulate the regular way.

Another problem I have noticed with PPCs is that the hookup cables and or the little quicklinks from the chute strings can climb over the long nuts on the main quicklinks and get caught in this position. So I bought some plastic chain links from Canadian Tire that just nicely slip over the main quicklinks so as to make it impossible for the other connectors to climb over the long nuts.

Another area that I would like to modify is the steering. I would like it to steer nice and easy-like my "56 Oldsmobile". But that will have to wait for a rainy day.

 

I have enjoyed flying so far and I look forward to more hours in the sky looking down on the rest of the folks that are not brave enough to leave the earth.

~ Dale Rogers Mayfair, Sask.
For more information, please call Dale at:
306-246-4577.
  Dale is an instructor in northwestern Saskatchewan

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