First Engine Start

Well, it runs. Lessons learned:

  • Use a checklist. For some reason, I decided that because I wasn’t going flying, I didn’t need to use a checklist. Well, after twice trying to get the engine to start, I realized I should probably turn on the ignition switches. Also, after doing a complete ground run (including a minute or so at high RPM to cycle the prop), I realized I had the Lightspeed breaker pulled (the other side is a mag). I thought it sounded a little rough, but thought it could be the preservative oil on the cylinders or something else. Inexcusable, really, to not have all this stuff checked out ahead of time. On the plus side, I was surprised how well it ran on just one mag.
  • Be sure of the tachometer setting on the EMS before starting. I thought it should be 3, turns out it’s 1.5 (for the Dynon on the p-lead), so I was getting 1/2 the actual RPM displayed. This, combined with the rougher running, caused me to run a little faster than I’d have liked. CHTs maxed out at around 300, so thinking I’m probably okay.
  • Had a flame shoot out of the exhaust when I turned off the mag (to do the “mag check”, before I realized the Lightspeed was off). Pretty sure this was “afterfire” (unburned fuel/air mixture in the exhaust). Made things exciting for the people watching.

After fixing things and feeling stupid for a few minutes, I fired it back up with both ignitions this time. Ran great, lower EGTs. It was far from the perfect first engine start I’d hoped for, but I’ll take it, given everything else works. First start, on one mag: Starting it later on both ignitions: