Monthly Meeting Minutes – May 2021

Pancake Breakfast – A special THANK YOU Tom and Deanna Thibault and all the volunteers who pulled everything together to provide our first chapter pancake breakfast in well over a year.  We sold about 65 breakfasts and received a number of “keep the change” tips from generous members and guests.  We also want to recognize several young folks from the Glider Club (Mason Vickers, Andrew Ingersoll, and Justis Lindsey) who showed up early and stayed late to help with setup, serving, and clean up.


Dick Keyt called the meeting to order.  This was another hybrid in-person/virtual meeting with at least one person attending via Zoom.  We counted 80 members and guests.

Safety Minute – (1) Charlie Adams noted there is a proposed AD for Grumman Traveller horizontal stabilizers.  He recounted a recent incident where a stabilizer partially separated in flight.  The pilot was able to return and “land” (the airplane was severely damaged) and walk away.  Lesson learned was that a more thorough preflight would likely have detected the problem.  (2) Dave Smith brought up an “anomaly” with 406 MHz ELTs in Alaska where 33 units in an area activated at the same time.  The government and military aren’t saying much, but it is generally thought this may have been caused by some sort of EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse).


  • Lawrence Ryan is making good progress on his Corvair powered Zenith 750 Cruzer.
  • Keith Thomas has started work on the wings on his CH 750 STOL scratch build.  Elevators, stabilizers, rudder, and flaperons are done.  His airplane will have a Viking 130 engine.
  • Jordan Normark updated the Brazos River Glider Club progress.  Everything is now covered on the Schweizer SGU 2-22 and painting is underway.  Don’t forget to drop by and show your support (or roll up your sleeves and help out!).  Mentors and the youth members generally start about 9:00am every Saturday at Jordan’s hangar located at 9611 Taxiway.  BTW, a 3rd airframe project (a Woodstock) was recently donated to the club.  The Schweizer trainer will be ready to fly very soon.  THEY NEED A TOW PLANE.  So, if you have any ideas…
  • Jimmy De La Garza said his new panel is installed and tested.  The new firewall is next on the list.
  • Dick Keyt’s Bonanza engine with 2,890 hours since overhaul has been pulled for rebuild.  It was topped at about 1,000 hours and again at 2,000 hours.

Donation Offer (Lancair 360 Project) – The project, which is located in Fredericksburg, is near completion and comes with 2 engines and props.  Without objection, the chapter will move forward with inspection and acceptance of the donation if warranted.  Larry Henney has agreed to help Dick Keyt assess the project.

Fly-In and Car Show, 25-26 September – Dave Smith (thank you Dave!) is leading the charge again this year.  Planning for a successful event needs to start now.  Please let Dave know ASAP how YOU can help.

Ignition Systems
Kevin and Leah Herrington
Aircraft Ignition Services (AIS)

Please visit the AIS Website or call 903-378-7205 to learn more or have your magnetos inspected, repaired, and overhauled.  Kevin and Leah are located in Honey Grove, Texas.

I learned a LOT during this presentation.  Here are a few bullet points I jotted down.

  • Slicks in particular need timing checked every 50 to 100 hours.  Contrary to what the manufacturer publishes, wear is uneven.  Especially check E-gaps which require magneto R&R to verify.  Lube and E-gap every 100 hours or annually at a minimum.
  • Impulse Couplers cost about $600 to replace and will rust and fail, especially if not flown regularly.  Bendix couplers have an oxide coating and will last longer than Slicks.  On 4-cylinder engines, the coupler is exposed to the accessory case, and any mechanical failure requires an engine tear-down and inspection at a minimum (ask Don Christiansen about his experience with a failed coupler on his RV-8).
  • Lube – Bendix mags are more susceptible to drying and require regular (annual) lube of the cam follower, distributor block bearings and oil lite bushings.  Slick cam followers need to be greased every year, else the E-gap gets out of time internally.  Hard starts, especially hot, are common when this happens.
  • Bendix Single-Drive Dual Mags – AIS no longer services these due to inability to obtain parts.
  • 500 hour Inspection and Overhaul are essential.  Pressurized mags need this at 250 hour intervals due to moisture introduced by pressurizing.
  • SB1-15a for 4-cylinder distributor gear assemblies should be an AD in Kevin’s opinion.  At some point, Slick started using copper instead of all monel “fingers” which leads to these failures.  [BTW – Ask Kliff Black about his in-flight failure due to a copper rotor leading to cross-firing at only 310 hours on his mag.  Kliff agrees these things need immediate R&R.]
  • SB1-81 orange color coil premature failure due to cracking.  These must be upgraded to new style black coil or a Tempest (now made by Kelly Aerospace) red coil.
  • Internal gears on factory Slicks are often found to have been improperly assembled with the rotor set too “high”.  This leads to wear and failure.
  • Internal carbon tracking often occurs due to excessive dust from soft carbon brushes, especially in Slicks.  AIS will not use Champion brushes.  Unfortunately, the Kelly brushes are only a little better.
  • If feasible, perform a harness high-tension test at annual.  Most last about 1,000 hours and can last to engine TBO if properly routed and supported.  Be sure to “flow” the wires avoiding sharp bends, and use high-temp Nomex tie-string rather than zip-ties.  [NOTE about Electronic Ignitions such as the SureFly SIM – Do NOT high-tension with the harness attached to the ignition.  This will destroy internal electronics.




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