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Old 07-03-2018, 03:46 PM   #132
woofa.express
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 649
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

A Remote chance of Good Luck

When I was in business I appointed 2 agents, both farmers in their respective areas. For the Oaklands area it was Peter Kerr who thoroughly enjoyed the job. Organising other farmers and being general assistant to us. He was great to work with.
About midday Peter arrives at the airstrip which was really a paddock of last years stubble just as I was touching down. I pulled up at the loader for the next load and Peter tells me to shut down. I was losing oil.
Now skip back to the previous night. We had changed the oil and the bottom collector tank plug was not tightened. I will explain how the lubrication system works, basically anyway. The engine is a single row 9 cylinders. Always an odd numberfor each row. Thus a 2 row may well be 18 cylinders but each row remains an odd number. Number 1 cylinder is at 12 o’clock and they are numbered in an anti clockwise direction looking from the front. You will notice a small collector tank between numbers 5 and 6. This collects oil from the top of the cylinders which lubricates the valve rockers and valve guides. From this collector tank oil is pumped back to the reservoir which is an airframe component and holds 9 or 10 gallons. To drain the oil one drains the reservoir and this collector tank. The bottom of the collector tank has either a quick release valve or a brass screw. Mine was this brass screw that was not tightened.

Now back to Peter. He had seen the plug fall out on touch down and oil spilling from the collector tank. He also knew where to find the plug which wasn’t difficult anyway. Just follow the oil slick just like Hansel and Gretel followed the rose petals.
We screwed the plug back and checked the oil quantity. Lost very little.
Now what a great coincidence. Plug lost and observed. Lost on landing and not in flight. Saved an expensive engine and potentially the airframe.
I had a R1340 engine pump the entire oil overboard some years previously. That’s another story. The oil loss came to my attention by the odour of heat and I made a landing, did destroy the engine though.
Every farmer asked me how the crank worked. Simple. Maybe I’ll do a story about it. Anotherday. Perhaps tomorrow.
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Last edited by woofa.express; 07-03-2018 at 03:55 PM.
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