Monday, March 8, 2021

March 7th

I got to the airport early to work on replacing my push-to-talk switch on the plane.  It's been playing up, and I have spares, so I figured I'd just swap it out.  Well, one of the wires I'd soldered to the old switch was looking like it was close to breaking, so that was probably the problem rather than the switch, but then I found that there was a nick in the coating on the wires where it comes out of the stick, so I figured I should cut the wires there and extend them.  So it took me a bit longer than I'd anticipated.  We were supposed to be flying to Placerville to pick up a friend of Randy's, so I told him to head out, and I'd be about 15 minutes behind him.  The plan was that I'd meet them in the air as they left Placerville, so I wasn't going to land or anything.  I flew over there, listening on their frequency, but didn't hear anything from them at all.  I slowed down and loitered to the West for a little bit so as to not get in the way of the guy there doing circuits, but still heard nothing from Chris or Randy, so I figured I'd missed them and they were in front of me.  I headed to Auburn, which was where we were supposed to be having lunch, flying so I could see into the South Fork canyon in case I saw them, but I didn't.  There were a couple of planes leaving Auburn, so I was being quite chatty on the radio so nobody hit me, and when I was 3.5 miles out, Chris called to say he was 10 miles to the South.  I landed and chatted to Tony while I waited for them to get there, then we went and waited for the very busy restaurant.

I'd originally planned on flying back to Placerville with Randy (Chris went straight home) but it was getting later than I'd anticipated, so I ran the North Fork canyon then headed back to Lincoln.

When I got home, Tilly had been to the dog park, so was hobbling around, but it seems the van was making an awful squealing noise.  I started it up and peered at things, to find the alternator tensioner pulley seemed to have moved - I took it off and it looks like the bearings had seized, so it had heated up to the point where the lip that stops it moving had melted enough to come off.  This meant the pulley was rubbing against the tensioner arm.  At least, I'm hoping that's the extent of the problems, and I'll replace the pulley and see if that fixes it.

In the evening, we watched "Greenland".

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