Florida Summertime

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The summer in Florida is much worse than the winter. It is generally correct that it’s possible to fly all year long, but in winter we have almost all day, and in summer we can have only about 2-3 hours or nothing at all.

I used to thunderstorms after about 2-3pm almost every day: they are predictable, and they are visible from a long distance. I used to the fact that heavy rain right now does not mean that in about an hour the weather will become flyable again. Flight planning in summer can be very interesting.

Today it was extremely hot. The only available airplane for today was N4642J, the one painted in black. I decided to fly IFR, just for practice: the weather is good.

Preflight and runup checks were OK. In a climb I contacted ATC and activated my flight plan. At about 4000 feet oil temperature raised almost to the red zone. I cancelled my flight plan, reduced power for better cooling and turned back. Just in case I was checking fields nearby, but in case of engine failure I had about 8 minutes, which was enough to fly to a home base from my altitude.

Fortunately the engine was still alive, and even the oil temperature started to drop. At about 5 miles to the airport I started to prepare for a normal landing with some altitude margin in case of engine failure.

The engine did not quit, I made a normal landing and taxied to the ramp. But I don’t think that it is a good idea to fly this airplane without further inspection, especially for a cross-country flights, so I left a red ticket for maintenance guys.

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