The LT was one of only a few members who has posted more than 100 times in the Aviation Thread.I enjoyed his posts and stories in the aviation thread.
Ahhh... the Cherokee. I have some fond memories of flying that bird. Yeah, not as sleek as the Arrow, and definitely a lot slower, but it was a good handling bird and quite forgiving. The Cherokee was also the bird of one of my object lessons in the "You think you're hot shit until something happens to give you your biennial humility shot" category.
I had flown down to a private airstrip with my Dad, a retired UAL 727 Captain, B-17 Pilot in WWII, with more hours in the air than I'd been alive practically. He had been retired for some years, had let his medical lapse and was no longer actively flying since he sold his last airplane (a Tri-Pacer). Anyway, we visited with some of his friends down there and since the Cherokee was certified Day-VFR only, got ready to leave later that afternoon.
Get in, strap in, go through the checklist, start the engine. Lo and behold the engine is running rough. Rougher with a little more throttle and better at idle, but still a bit rough.
I'm thinking, "Crap, here we are out in the boonies, no A&E for miles around, with late afternoon sun fast going down in a Day-VFR only airplane." I tell my Dad, "Looks like we might have to stay here overnight and call a mech to come down tomorrow." He looks at me kinda funny for a couple seconds and with an impassive face worthy of a real Cherokee, says, "Push in the primer and lock it."
Primer had been pushed in, but I hadn't locked it and just the pressure in the line had caused it to come out a bit. Once I pushed it in and locked it, the engine instantly smoothed out and ran perfectly.
On climb-out, I'm still feeling a little sheepish when my Dad's voice came over the intercom. "Bet you won't make that mistake again."
He was right.