Trusting the checks…

Had been invited to fly down to the Isle of Wight with another group member today

Glorious weather, planning and NOTAM all done, genned up on the new phraseology and as he was flying the first leg I was staring reasonably aimlessly out of the window until:

“That’s not much of a drop.”

I watched as he repeated the carb heat test. In fact it was no drop at all that either of us us could detect.

Back to the apron to investigate.

Cable snapped. Broken clean off at the point where it connects to the little moving lever arm that presumably operates whatever it is that changes the incoming air source.

Mildly alarming given that we’d been about to pile off on a hour and half flight, the first 15 minutes of which would be spent over the Bristol Channel.

Sunny day but hazy, I’m pretty certain there was enough moisture about to have really ruined our day.

After the fact I find myself wondering what I’d have done alone. We were both wondering as we taxyed back if we were over reacting. I hope I’d have made the same decision.

The part in question is easy to see with the cowling open and I do tend to give it a tweak. I didn’t do the walkaround this time and the other chap didn’t know which part that was so we’re really not sure at what point it broke.

The connection is via a sort of clamp held with a nut and I could turn the nut with my fingers when I investigated which I doubt is normal. I wonder if the fact that it was loose might have caused fatigue in the cable if it was moving in a back and forth instead of in and out direction (does that make sense? maybe not).

Anyway a salient reminder to me that a) power checks are there fr a good sound reason, not to be taken for granted, and b) it’s worth knowing what’s connected to what in that gobbldegook of cables under the cowling!

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