For some reason CF-KCS just didn’t want to go to Oshkosh this year.
In the afternoon on July 29 we launched off for Oshkosh. Everything was going along smoothly. We were in and out of the clouds along our IFR route just northwest of London, ON when the engine “coughed”. This is certainly not uncommon with Jacobs engines and certainly not the first time our engine has done this. But it persisted a bit more than usual and the fuel flow gauge was jumping all over the place reading on average around 15 gallons per hour, which was odd. Kurtis requested a lower altitude to get us out of the clouds and tried a couple things to see if we could get the engine to smooth out. It seemed to improve so we continued on, but a few minutes later it was running rough again and the fuel flow gauge was still jumping all around, so we turned around and headed back to our home airport (CYKF) and landed.
The rest of the evening was spent trying to diagnose the problem. Steve and Laurie Gray, who live about 10 minutes from CYKF, were gracious enough to let us spend the night at their house that night. Kurtis and Steve worked on the airplane for a few hours while I went the Gray house and enjoyed a nice visit with Laurie. After lots of work trying to diagnose the problem the only thing they could find was a damaged wire to the fuel flow gauge, which they fixed.
In the morning on July 30 Kurtis and Steve went for a test flight and everything seemed to be fixed. The engine was running smoothly and the fuel flow gauge was reading normal again. Kurtis relies on the fuel flow gauge when leaning the engine for cruise. With the gauge not working correctly the day before he likely over-leaned the engine inadvertently, which had caused the engine to run rough.
When Kurtis and Steve were coming back in to land after the test flight the tachometer failed and the dial swung down to zero. One thing was fixed but now another completely unrelated thing had broken :(. So the engine was swung again. While taking apart the tach from the panel a third problem was discovered. The 3 in 1 gauge (oil pressure, etc) was leaking oil. This was now a third completely unrelated thing that had broken! We called “uncle” and decided that it was just not our year to make it to Oshkosh.
We had been extended an invitation many month ago by the Augustine’s to join them that week camping at Killbear Provincial Park. So we decided that since we weren’t going to make it to Oshkosh we would take them up on their offer and go camping for a couple nights. Mid-day on August 1 we drove up to the Park. We enjoyed a weekend of sunny weather and visiting with my cousins!