Claire and almost had a Christmas flight too, but were denied! Given that wife and son were sick as dogs, wife with bronchitis and son laid up in bed with the flu, we gave up on driving to visit my father this year, so Claire and I thought we'd just fly down to my father's farm and bring him lunch. Well....we were late getting out of the house, and I had to play 100LL / autofuel / Marvel Mystery oil games, rearrange flight bags, tools, find a place for a chocolate pie, etc, then I noticed one tire was awfully low (less than 20 psi, and therefore subject to "snakebite" on hard landings) and had to fix that, etc. But I persevered, despite high crosswind predictions at both ends, and the fact that I'd likely have to get fuel for the trip back due to headwinds, and the low temps and blustery winds would have been bad if forced down somewhere. So we finally packed into the stock width KR2 and taxied out to the runway. After I swung the plane around to the preflight checklist, I noticed the wonderful MGL iEFIS was completely blank! Swapping power to backup and main power buses had no effect. OK.....I'm done, that's it....the last domino to fall before I scuttle the flight. So I taxi back to the hangar, shut it all down, flip on the iEFIS with backup power (just for kicks), and it comes right up. Great, no way and I still flying now!

This was reminiscent of a previous trip to the farm, where it worked fine all the way to my father's farm, but when I got ready to leave the screen was blank, with no indication at all that it was functioning. I was getting ready to yank it out to return to MGL but thought I'd give it a shot, and it fired right up! I checked the Hobbs meter and it had run on the flight back, and engine and flight data had been recorded....just a dumb blank screen in the process! Go figure.

At the very least, the moral of this story is do a thorough preflight the night before such a flight, but it was a spur-of-the-moment thing that turned out to be a bad idea. Well, at least I have the rest of the day to do constructive things in the basement....

Mark Langford

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