Steve Ells, A&P/IA and Cessna expert, has decades of experience working on Cessna single-engine aircraft. Here he lists the common problems and areas of concern on Cessna 182s for the third in our four-part series focusing on Cessna Skylanes.
It appears to me that you're doing a pretty good job of breaking in your engine.
The following is the Continental protocol for breaking in an engine:
"7-2.4.1. Engine Break-In
CAUTION: High power ground operation resulting in cylinder and
oil temperatures exceeding normal operating limits can be
detrimental to cylinders, pistons, valves, and rings.
CAUTION: If Nickel-Carbide cylinders, follow the break-in
instructions in SB15-6.
The recommended break-in period for Continental Motors engines is 25 hours. Adhere to
the following instructions and the Engine Specifications and Operating Limits in the
primary Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (Section 1-1.1) applicable to the engine
1. Conduct a normal engine start, ground run-up and take-off according to the AFM/
2. Monitor a) engine RPM, b) fuel flow and pressure (if equipped), c) oil pressure and
temperature, d) cylinder head temperature (if equipped), e) exhaust gas temperature
(if equipped), and f) turbine inlet temperature (if equipped) to verify the engine is
operating within the parameters specified in the primary Instructions for Continued
Airworthiness (Section 1-1.1).
3. Reduce the engine speed to climb power according to the AFM/POH instructions.
Maintain a shallow climb attitude to achieve optimum airspeed and cooling airflow.
4. At cruise altitude:
a. Maintain level flight cruise at 75% power with best power or richer mixture for
the first hour of operation.
Standard Practice Maintenance Manual 7-9
15 April 2016
NOTE: Best power mixture setting is 100°-150°F (38°-66°C) rich of peak
exhaust gas temperature. Adjust engine controls or aircraft attitude to
ensure engine instrumentation operates within specifications.
b. For the second and subsequent hours of flight, alternate cruise power settings
between 65% and 75% power with appropriate best power mixture settings.
Avoid long descents at high engine RPM to prevent undesirable
engine cooling. If power must be reduced for long periods,
adjust the propeller to minimum governing RPM to obtain
desired performance levels. If outside air temperature is
extremely cold, it may be desirable to increase drag to maintain
engine power without gaining excess airspeed. Do not permit
cylinder head temperature to drop below 300°F (149°C).
5. Descend at low cruise power settings. Avoid long descents or descents at cruise
power RPM with manifold pressure below 18 in. Hg. If necessary, reduce engine
RPM to the lower limit of the specified operating range to maintain sufficient
manifold pressure. Carefully monitor engine instrumentation to maintain levels
above the minimum specified cylinder head temperature and oil temperature.
6. Correct any discrepancies prior to releasing the aircraft for service."
By definition, a new engine is broken in when the oil consumption stabilizes. This usually takes place between 5 and 10 flight hours after 1st start. After that you can use any power settings you'd like.
According to the POH I have, 22 inches and 2200 rpm is around 64 percent power. Continental writes that the engine can be safely leaned to peak EGT when the power is below 65 percent power. So if your tachometer and manifold pressure gauge are correct you should be safe at that power setting; running at peak EGT (hottest combustion) shouldn't cause any problems at that power setting.
I have attached a file of a book titled "The Skylane Pilot's Companion." I believe you'll find some tidbits about engine operation that will be of value.
Yes, I would estimate that more Wt and Bal totals are done with full fuel than are done after emptying the fuel tanks, esp in the small airplane world.
Position the airplane so it's level fore and aft (deflating a nose tire and/or a nose strut is often the easiest way to do this; tire pressures can also aid in the lateral leveling. Get the weights on each tire (L main, R main, and nose). Then subtract the weight of full fuel minus the unusable fuel.
Full oil is part of the empty weight.
It's unusual for a 182 to have a CG that is very far aft; most have a fwd CG. In fact, sometimes the Fwd CG limit is exceeded with full fuel (LR tanks) and two hefty bodies up front.
Please fwd your new empty weight and CG; I'm always interested in this kind of data.
Steve - can an accurate W&B be done with full fuel and re-calculated W&B for empty on a 182? Like Robert we are doing an “extensive” upgrade and the shop is removing all the old gear and wires. I reinstalled the interior yesterday and they are doing a new W&B on Monday. I will get a picture of the pile of wire and racks and old gear - stormscope in the tail probably will change my CG since its so far aft!!
Steve - very kind of you to check on that. I did a Google search a didn’t come up with them. I saw one of the members said he might have his old unit. I purchased the Whelen from spruce yesterday but I might source the used one since I’m hemorrhaging cash with the panel upgrade.
Thanks again on your thoughts on the yokes as well.