An interesting day yesterday. First since December.
After previous stale fuel problems I fitted an easily accessible drain tap.
Drained off and just 20 litres fresh fuel in it.
It took a while to empty and refill the carburettor but eventually burst into life, ran for a few min and stopped. Possible air lock somewhere.
Battery flat, tried hand swinging, no joy, jump leads from the car, more priming and off it went, my pax on the ground, ex airline pilot, shouted, “we have a fire!”
Shut down went into “autopilot” Mix, Mags, Master, Fuel, Flee!
The fire was fuel dripping from the carb, a wet exhaust flash started it and each drip set fire to the next.
Cowling off checked everything, fitted the spare battery which we should have done before.
Left it for an hour while we had a coffee and got more fresh fuel.
Strapped in, it started on first blade. Taxi from hangar to grass and sit waiting for Ts and Ps.
After a short think and a search. “Turn the bloody fuel on!!”
I never normally turn the fuel off, so between fitting the drain tap by cutting the fuel line (fuel off) then the fire, complete brain fart.
The flight went perfectly after that. On landing, left hand cross wind, just as we touched, the left wing went up rapidly and nose pitched up, a lot!
Pax shouted “pitch” as both of us pushed and I put full power, round we went for a second attempt.
Perfect three point touchdown, a bit squirrelly on roll out but at least I’m happy that the reflexes are still working, is that “muscle memory”? Pity the brain doesn’t work the same.