Ask Paul: Why is my engine oil creamy?

Q: I am doing a 100-hour inspection on a Piper Aztec with TSIO 540 Lycomings using Shell 15/50 oil with 50 hours on the oil. They are both midtime engines on this photo plane. They fly six hours a day at low power settings. The left engine oil is black like it should be after 50 hours. The right engine oil is a light creamy color. Something is not right.

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Surprise SUN ’n FUN showing by Kitfox


When John McBean of Kitfox Aircraft announced earlier this year that the company wouldn’t be able to participate in any of the big airshows, it was a bad news/good news scenario.

The bad news: Air show attendees wouldn’t get to see the Kitfox up close and personal. The good news: The company’s success had created a backlog of orders that simply took priority over air show attendance.

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Flying Challenge debuts this week

There is something about aviation that brings out the competitor in all of us. Redbird Flight Simulations and a cadre of sponsors, including Flying Magazine, Jeppesen and ForeFlight, have thrown down the virtual Gauntlet of Challenge to those who want show they have the right stuff through the Flying Challenge Cup.

The Challenge, which debuts Tuesday at SUN ’n FUN, is a series of computer-based scenarios flown in a full-motion Redbird Flight Simulator. The challenge begins Tuesday.

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Last chance to buy ticket for P-51 raffle

Crazy Horse 1 & 2  playing aove the clouds

This is the last week to buy raffle tickets to win a ride in Stallion 51‘s P-51 Mustang. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Mercy Flight Southeast, which provides free air transportation to life-saving medical appointments for children and adults.

While pilots donate their airplanes, fuel and flight hours to complete thousands of flights year after year, the non-profit organization is reliant on donations and fundraising to arrange these flights.

The raffle prize includes a one-hour P-51 orientation flight at Stallion 51’s headquarters in Kissimmee, Florida in its dual cockpit-dual control P-51 Mustangs; pre-flight briefing, cockpit orientation, hands-on flight, post-flight briefing, flight video, photo with pilot and aircraft and flight certificate.

Raffle tickets are $20 each and the prize includes round trip airfare up to $500 to Orlando. The winner will be drawn and announced on April 5 during the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo held at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, April 1-6.

Raffle tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 352-326-0761. Entrants need not be present at the drawing to win. 

Distraction leads to crash

Aircraft: Zodiac CH 601XL. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Belmont, Ohio. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot had previously flown the experimental, amateur-built airplane cross-country to a potential buyer but the sale was not completed and the airplane did not fly for several months until arrangements could be made to return the airplane.

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