SavvyAnalysis Puzzlers

Every month, we post a new SavvyAnalysis “Puzzler” that challenges you to look at some engine monitor data and see if you can figure out what it’s saying. Here’s an archive of past Puzzlers…

Foreshock – Savvy Analysis Puzzler October 2020

I live in California. I moved here from Chicago in 1983. I think it’s safe to say that every day Californians think about earthquakes. Most days it’s a fleeting thought and you go about your life. But when you feel a rumble it becomes top of mind again. I’ve been part of conversations that began…

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Could Be a Case of the Sniffles – Savvy Analysis Puzzler September 2020

I’ll go out on a limb and say that priming the engine is not a precise science. Every POH has instructions, but experience often suggests that some engines like a little more and some a little less. What happens to the excess fuel if the pilot over-primes? Cylinder manufacturers thought of that and included sniffle…

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Sims and Haptics – Savvy Analysis Puzzler August 2020

Thanks to the virus, I think we’re all logging more flight simulator time lately. I was talking with a game-designer friend about sims and haptics. To save some of you running to the dictionary, haptics are kinesthetic cues given by electronic devices. Like when your phone buzzes if the ringer is muted. Or when the…

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Baffles Are Often Baffling – Savvy Analysis Puzzler July 2020

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that we use the same word for a piece of silicone that directs cooling air over an aircraft engine – and a state of bewilderment. In the world of sound it’s also used to describe the box that contains a speaker. Maybe it’s just cruel irony at work. As the Danish…

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grok – Savvy Analysis Puzzler June 2020

I was talking with a friend recently and he said “I understand it intellectually, but I’m not sure I’ll ever grok it”. I haven’t heard that word in years, maybe as far back as reading Heinlein in high school. (I was more of an Asimov fan in those days.) But it got me thinking about…

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Fail Harder – Savvy Analysis Puzzler May 2020

Much of the award-winning advertising from the last several decades was produced by Weiden + Kennedy. As they grew and pushed the creative envelope, their motto became “Fail Harder” – if your failures are small you’re not trying hard enough. As pilots and airplane owners it would be nice if nothing ever failed. Since that’s…

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Infographic – Savvy Analysis Puzzler April 2020

I’ll be honest. Writing this month’s column about engine data as thousands continue to die from the virus seemed – trivial. Then two things came to mind. First, you’re probably reading this to get a short break from the news. Second, so much of the story – the hockey-stick spike in unemployment, the colored maps,…

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Magnetude – Savvy Analysis Puzzler March 2020

If you can have latitude in your attitude, then a properly-timed set of mags can have – magnetude. I guess it can have magnitude, too, but this column’s about the good, bad and ugly of mags and ignition spark. The EGT pattern of a perfect mag check can be a beautiful thing. But the analysis…

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Untold Riches – Savvy Analysis Puzzler February 2020

The flip side of a cylinder running too lean is one that runs too rich. If it’s too lean the usual suspect is an injector clog for those with injectors or an induction leak for carbureted engines. When it’s too rich it’s often because of something all too common – an injector misplaced into the…

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De Masterbus Non Est Disputandum – Validating the Data – Savvy Analysis Puzzler January 2020

Yep, I’m angling for the award for best mis-appropriation of a Latin maxim. The real phrase – de gustibus… – translates literally to “regarding tastes, it should not be disputed” which in common usage has become “there’s no accounting for taste.” If we took it literally, a lot of film, music, food and other critics…