Oil Leak Fixed….. Yesterday
I was at Baraboo Dells airport at exactly 8am, this is the time I was told Tom from TC Air Care would be there. I needed the help of a professional and I wanted to make sure to get on his Monday Schedule. Tom was there and I explained my problem, he told me to bring the airplane over and we could get to work right away. I taxied the airplane over and told him I could remove the cowling (lots of practice lately) and I would ask him to take a look once everything was exposed. I expeditiously went to work and in 15 minutes I had the cowling off and I was about ready to pull the engine mount bolts. I knew the next time I pulled these bolts they were going to be trash, I asked Tom if he had any replacements and in a couple minutes he produced two new bolts, Tom was already a lifesaver. If I had to order these very large special bolts it would have guaranteed me staying another night in Baraboo.
I pulled the bolts and folded the motor forward with Tom at my side. To my surprise, as I went to point out the puddle of oil, there was nothing there. Wait a second, this is where the puddle was yesterday, I still had oil on the bottom of the airplane, time to take a closer look. Once I took a few seconds to scan the remainder of the firewall I realized there was no oil. Upon further inspection we determined that the oil on the side and bottom of the airplane must have been seepage that penetrated all of the seams. I found a telltale location for the oil to get from the front to the back of the firewall and that seemed plausible for the amount of oil that still remained on the belly.
Tom took the spray gun and mineral spirits to everything for the next five minutes and soon I was tasked with putting everything back together.
As soon as Estelle was back together I pushed her back to the taxiway and let Tom know I was going to take her for a test flight. I fired up, taxied out and departed runway 01 at Baraboo for what I hoped was the last maintenance test flight. I stayed within gliding distance of the airport and circled for the next 20 minutes. After I was certain I had flown enough to expose the leak if it was there, I took her back in. I taxied up to Tom’s place and crossed my fingers. When I stepped out of the airplane there was only a little oil still streaking down the bottom, nothing close to what I had seen previously. Tom took a look and gave me the thumbs up, I was going to be on my way again. I called Ken and told him to get to the airport, we were mobile again and I was excited to get going.
From Baraboo we flew due East and landed at a town called Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Just a few miles down the road was Kohler, Wisconsin. Yes, Kohler like toilet and we went to tour the Kohler showroom. I had no idea that Kohler started out casting iron farm equipment and one day turned a horse trough into a bathtub and from there an entire fixture line, now I do.
From Sheboygan we flew up the West coast of Lake Michigan to Door County Cherryland Airport where we found another ice-cream parlor and a place to sleep. The flight up the coast was amazing, it is hard to believe that a body of water this big could be a lake. We saw resorts, people playing in the sand, lots of boaters and a couple kids flying kites. This adventure through America’s heartland has been amazing, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.