Monday, October 15, 2018

October 14th

The weather forecast is for high, gusty wind, so I decided to do some maintenance on vehicles.  I started off replacing the alternator and powered steering belts on the van, and that was actually easier than I'd thought, once I figured everything out - it's a lot easier to take the silencer off that try and work around it.

We then went out and got a party pack of viton O rings and went to lunch, and when we got home I started in on the DRZ.  I couldn't get any of the O rings to seal the fuel tap, so I've just ordered a new tap, but I think I've got one sorted for the carb.  Taking the carb out and putting it back in was a real trial, but it's done now.  I took the spark plug out and turned the engine over to (hopefully) blow all the gas in the engine all over the garage.  I've ordered an oil change kit (it's an olde-worlde dirtbike style oil filter, rather than a spin-on, so there are a bunch of O rings in there that need replacing, too).

October 13th

I started the day at the airport, cleaning up all the oil residue from the leaky banjo bolt.  I tightened that up a bit (the factory doesn't have a torque setting for it), then went and did 45 minutes of circuits (so as to be close to the runway in case of a failure) - everything was fine.  I then cooked lunch before the EAA presentation - we'd originally been having a tank from the 747 fire tanker pilots, but they've been sent home, so Scott talked about flying the Lear 60.  After that I took the plane out for an hour of just flying around.  When I got home, I went to look at a fuel leak Vic had spotted on the DRZ.  Oh dear - an O ring in the petrol tap has dried out and died, and that's let fuel flow through to the carb, where an O ring by the needle has dried out, and that's let fuel in to the engine to the point where the cylinder is full of gas.  It's probably leaked through to the oil, too, so I'll need to change that.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 7th

I didn't sleep well, so I spent the morning catching up on TV - luckily it's too windy for me to have flown anyway.  Research suggests that there are 2 different oil pressure senders - one imperial (expensive) and one metric (very expensive), but that the threads are similar enough that either can be mounted until you tighten it up - the wrong one will either not tighten up properly, or will tear the thread out of the oil pump.  When Vic got back from running around, we went to the airport so I could see which one is on my engine.  There was a puddle of oil under the rear of the plane, where the oil hose from the tank to the heat exchanger was leaking because the banjo bolt was finger tight.  Luckily Ken was around, so I showed him, and we agreed the best thing to do was tighten it up, burp the engine and start it to see if that was the entire problem.  I was - I immediately got ~60psi.  Interestingly, it's also put the oil level in the tank back to normal, so the oil had drained out of the system into the tank by the time I had thought to check the level.  Oh well.  Now I need to clean everything up, and bring a (I think) 24mm socket and find the torque specification and tighten it up correctly, then I'll mark it with paint to see if it loosens up (I can then easily check all the banjos in a pre-flight).

In the evening, we watched "Solo".  It's not a bad movie by itself, but I'm not sure it needed to be part of Star Wars.

October 6th

We started the day at the airport, getting everything set up for the Young Eagles event.  Vic was doing the ground crew stuff, and I was flying.  I pre-flighted the plane, brought it over and attended the pilot's briefing.  Erica, one of the organisers, suggested she go up with me to see what the gyro was like "for the kids", so we went out and did a quick circuit - she wasn't feeling like doing anything exciting, but at least I got to figure out where I should land to use the Golf taxiway back to the transient area where we were based.  After that I took a couple of kids up, but when I was going out for the 4th time, the oil pressure wouldn't come up above ~5PSI.  I shut the engine down and called it for the rest of the day.  The local wisdom is that it's the pressure sensor, rather than an actual pressure problem, but I wasn't taking any chances and pushed it back to the hangar.  The odd thing is that there's too much oil in the tank, making me think that there's a blockage somewhere in one of the lines.

After everything was packed away, we went home and I sulked for the rest of the day.

Friday, October 5, 2018

October 3rd

I had the day off (having worked on Sunday), so I went to the airport and installed an extra strobe on the Magni.  I then went to fly it with John, but found the fuel consumption probe reporting crazy numbers.  We flew anyway, and when I got back, I disconnected the strobe and everything's back to being normal.  As I was in Lincoln anyway, I went to the EAA board meeting.

October 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats.

Power billed

Power generated

Monday, October 1, 2018

September 30th

I was working the Australia shift today, so I went to the airport, flew a bit, then went home and worked.  Yay.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

September 29th

I went over to the airfield and pulled the plane's instrument panel apart again, so I could solder in the ADS-B out connection to the right wire (I wasn't sure which one I'd needed, so I'd soldered wire to both pins on the serial connector).  Having got that done, I went for a short flight, then requested the FAA performance report.  It works, but it's an older version of the link protocol, so it won't work for the controlled airspace requirement.  Still, it's cost me ~$50, rather than the >$1200 a compliant system'll end up costing me.  For the moment, I'm going to leave it and see what happens after the rule comes in to effect in 2020.  It's not like I fly in controlled airspace anyway (I don't have the endorsement for that yet).

September 28th

We went to the airport with Jen, so I could take her out in the gyroplane and make a nice landing.  We flew over to the Titan 1 missile silos (that I've recently found the location of) and back again, and I think that's a decent enough little circuit to fly the kids on for the Young Eagles event - I figure it's about 15-20 minutes air time, and then there's the getting in, taxying etc.

My landing was judged a 9.7.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

September 26th

I was covering our Australian support dude, so I didn't have to start work until 14:00.  I went to the airport and took the plane out for a quick flight, then came home.

September 25th

We went over to the airport and waxed the rotors on the plane.  That's not a euphemism :o)  Sadly it was too dark in the hangar to do the wiring work I wanted to look into, so I'll probably hit that at the weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2018

September 23rd

After getting some work done, I went out and bought some metric hardware at Orchard Supply because they're having a going out of business sale, then went over to the airport.  I had intended to get some work done on the plane, but ended up just flying it for a bit then going home to get some work done.

September 22nd

I got up early and got some work done (I was on call) before waving yo Vic (off to her mother's for the weekend) and headed over to the airport.  I put gas in the plane before going and working on the EAA hangar doors.  We were putting in insulation, but wanted the weatherstripping on the bottom done first.  I did the weatherstripping on the North door while others started cutting the foam sheets, then went to fly Randy's 9 year old daughter in the gyro while they got that door done.  Randy doesn't have his gyro endorsement yet, but has bought Don's old Magni, and doesn't want his daughter to have to wait to try flying in a gyro.  We waited a stupid length of time for everybody to sort themselves out so we could get on the runway, then went out in a large circle, with turns and slow flying and stuff.  She was a little worried about doing steep turns at first, but we worked up to that and she really enjoyed them.  We got back just before Randy was due to go out for his flying lesson, so he could see I hadn't killed her, but Don was running a little late.  We were chatting when Scott came and asked me to come and talk to the scholarship committee about putting stuff on the web.  Done.  When that was over, we went back to the hangar, where the first door wasn't finished yet, so I sorted out the weatherstripping on the South door, then helped with the projector screen mount.  Eventually we got to the South door, and got that all finished up.  I chatted to Chris about his gyro for a little bit, then headed home to get some work done.

Friday, September 21, 2018

September 20th

I went and lifted the tank on the DRZ (which means removing the seat and radiator side panels... jeez) and found the vacuum hose that had come off the carb.  The end was all stretched out, so it wasn't likely it'd stay when put back on, so I trimmed it off a little bit and reinstalled it.  Here's hoping it stays there, but with the larger Clarke tank, the tap is lower than stock, meaning the hose is possibly a little tighter than it should be.  Still, it's been like that for ~10 years, so meh.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

September 19th

So I set off for the EAA meeting on the motorcycle, as Vic had the van to carry stuff for her employee picnic.  After stopping for gas, I got on the freeway, and shortly ended up on the hard shoulder, as it felt like it had run out of gas.  I fiddled with the choke, the gas cap and the gas tap (turn it to "reserve"), and got it started again.  It then stopped again, and I applied my massive intellect to the problem and decided the vacuum hose that opens the gas tap when the engine's running was split or something.  Sure enough, it started and ran on "prime", and I got to the airfield.  When I got there, I found the vacuum hose was completely missing.  Well, that'd be it.

I cooked about 40 burgers, and we had an interesting presentation on the RQ-4 drone that they fly out of Beale.  I was sitting by John Tate, who used to fly them too - he had to stop when he couldn't pass the USAF medical (to fly a drone with a mouse and keyboard), so he retired to fly 787s for United.

September 18th

We watched "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom".  It was a movie.

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 16th

Yesterday I'd been talking to Tom, an EAA member, at the pancake breakfast, and his 79 year old mother-in law who's visiting from Scotland.  She was very interested in the gyro, and I said I'd be happy to take her up before she goes home early next month.  So I called them this morning and suggested we meet at Lincoln.  I pulled the plane out, we had a quick pre-flight briefing, then went out and flew over Tom's house, over to the West to go over the crashed airplane sculpture, then back to Lincoln - just short of an hour, all told.  She was really impressed.  She's walking the Great Wall of China next year for her 80th birthday :o)

I took the gyro over to Marysville and back, but the wind seemed to be getting gustier, so I called it a day at that.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

September 15th

I started the day helping cook breakfast for 31 visitors at the display day.  After I put the plane away, Tom, John and I took John's Bonanza down to Livermore to take part in a formation flypast at a veterans event.

September 14th

Jen came over and we went to the airport and took the plane out for a bit.  After a couple of crappy landings (need more practice with a passenger, methinks) we went and gt dinner.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September 11th

I went out to the airfield and took the plane out.  When I got back, Randy was tinkering with his gyro, so we talked until we were sick of getting bitten by mosquitoes.

September 9th

I dug out a couple of sprinklers that had been leaking - looked like the problem was just the roots around them that were bending them out of the way.  We also painted a lot of rocks for Victoria's Employee Picnic thing that's going on in a week or so - I just primed them, so the visitors can immediately throw paint at them.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

September 8th

I went over to the airport to cook lunch before we had a presentation on model rocketry.  After the meeting, there was a chat about the scholarship programme, which I sat in on.  After that, I took the Magni out for a bimble around the area, then went home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September 3rd

It's Labo(u)r Day, when Americans celebrate the progress of the unions (5 day working weeks, holidays - they still don't have paid vacation and healthcare for all yet...) by going shopping.

I went to the airport, and having texted Randy before I left, I waited for him to get there before we went up for a flight - he's wanted to go in the gyro for ages, but Ken sold it to me before he got his chance :o)

After that, I headed home and got some work done :o(

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 2nd

We went out and got breakfast, then went to the BMW dealer and took a used i3 for a test drive - we've talked about getting one to replace the Jeep, and I wanted to see the intelligent cruise control, which is, indeed, intelligent.  Vic wasn't used to the one pedal driving (lift off the throttle completely, and it'll start regenerative braking), but we're sure that's something she'd get used to - assuming she doesn't use the cruise control to get everywhere :o)  Interestingly the Tesla has profiles for drivers, so we could turn that off for her, and on for me.

In the afternoon I went out to the airport and took the Magni out again.  I wandered around over by Camp Far West Lake, and the lake seems to be pretty low at the moment, as do the rivers leading in to it.

September 1st

It's a new month, so here are the solar stats:
Power billed

Power generated









I went to the airport and cooked breakfast for ~20 of my closest friends, then met CJ, Gwen, Vic and Jazebra so I could take CJ up in the Magni.  Despite the poor visibility, she seemed to enjoy it - we didn't stay out too long as obviously everybody was waiting for us.

After everybody left, I pottered around chatting to people, getting in the way of others and so on until it was time to head home.

August 31st

I went out to the airport and washed the Magni, then took it out for a potter around.  The sky seems to be getting smokier again :o(

Thursday, August 30, 2018

August 30th

I took the van in for a service - it's all OK, but apparently needs a new serpentine belt.  I'll have to figure out which one exactly this needs, and I'll do the powered steering belt at the same time, as it'll have to come off anyway.

August 29th

I went over to the airfield and washed the Magni, then took the dash out to see if I could plug the ADS-B receiver in to the GPS directly.  It doesn't have the right connector to do that, so I put in back in the storage pouch in the back seat and took it out for a bit.  The sky's pretty clear, so we have 2 farmers burning their fields :o(

August 28th

I've taken a few days off to do something other than work.  I went over to the airport, and ended up helping Bob put his golf cart extension on - it now has 4 seats instead of 2 and needs heavier springs.

I then took the Magni out for an hour or so, pottering around testing the ADS-B In - it seems to work just fine, and sees traffic before I do :o)  The sky's started to clear up with the wind we've been having, and that's also helping keep the temperature down a bit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August 26th

I went over to the airport to test out the ADS-B in doohickey that's finally arrived.  I couldn't get it to work, so after flying for a while, I took the GPS unit out and went home.  Updating the GPS' software got it to connect to the ADS-B receiver, so hopefully I can test that again and it'll work.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

August 25th

I went over to the airport and took the plane out - it was hazy again, so I just did some circuits until Chris arrived and Ken got back from Cameron Park.  Having put everything away, we went and got lunch, then I went home and changed out some more sprinkler heads in the back garden.  Now I need to dig out some sprinklers to replace the barrels.

August 24th

It's Friday, which, as I worked on Sunday to cover APAC, means Saturday.  I ended up going over to the airport and taking the plane out for some circuits - the sky's all hazy again, so I didn't go out and do anything else.

August 22nd

I had the day off, and pottered around the house waiting for something to be delivered.  It wasn't.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

August 19th

Today was National Aviation Day, so I went over to the airport and took the Magni out for a bit.  I had been planning to fly around the Sutter Buttes, but having got there, I realised that time was getting on and headed back.  Once on the ground, I found that it's easy to adjust the rudder pedals, so I've brought those closer to me, to hopefully make the seating position a little better.  I filled it up with gas, then headed home to start work as I'm covering our guy in Australia today.

August 18th

It was a busy day - I started out getting the Magni out, then cooking breakfast at the LRAA display day.  Vic came over towards the end, and we took the plane out over Folsom Lake to see the early Vanagon meet up there.











We then headed back to Lincoln, and after a go-around caused by a Mooney not looking to see us on finals when he pulled on to the runway, landed and put the plane away.  We then headed home, picked up Tilly and headed to Folsom in the van.

We were there for a couple of hours until Tilly was tired, then headed home.  We ended up watching "It's Complicated" while Tilly shuffled around trying to get comfortable.

Friday, August 17, 2018

August 15th

We went to the airport for the EAA membership meeting, where I got to cook before the presentation on the trip to Oshkosh.

August 12th

I wasted most of the day, but I did go to the airport.  I took the dash on the plane apart, and worked on installing a DSub-9 connector to interface the transponder with a Garmin GPS puck to hopefully get ADS-B out.  It all seems to work, but I need to test it with an ADS-B in receiver.

After that, I took the plane out for an hour or so.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 11th

I started the day taking the gyro out in the smoke - I was hoping to fly before it got really bad, but the visibility was awful.  I did a few manoeuvres, then headed over to the river to see if things were better there.  They weren't, but I could smell the burning from the fires.  After a vertical descent, I found an inversion layer at ~750', when I got cold - that's not helping with the smoke.  There was  another guy out there, so we circled around each other at a respectful distance, and then I headed back to Lincoln.  The wind had got up to almost 10mph down the runway, so I managed to land at 13mph groundspeed :o)

I cooked lunch for ~30 people - Scott sold the last lunch I was cooking for myself on 3 occasions, so I ended up with a piece of bacon and a cookie - I couldn't be bothered to get another frozen burger out and start cooking again.

I went home, where we had an early dinner and watched "Rampage" and a series of 80s pop-culture moments mashed into a movie - "Ready Player One" :o)

Monday, August 6, 2018

August 5th

As the wind got up overnight and blew a lot of the smoke and ash away, I got up on the roof and washed the solar panels while waiting for Russ and Deeps to arrive.  Once they got here, we loaded Mum and Dad's luggage in their car, and headed to the airport so I could take Russ out in the gyro.  As it was pretty busy, I did a big circle and rejoined the circuit to let others get out, and when we landed, Russ said he hadn't minded the circuit level stuff, so we went out and did another circuit. 

Shortly after we got back, they headed back to Los Angeles with Mum and Dad.  I decided to go out and do some circuits while waiting for Chris to get over from Cameron Park, as he had a guy coming to look at his Sportcopter gyroplane.  Chris arrived as I taxied up, so I did one long circuit, then parked the gyro so I could help fix the rotor speed sensor and strobe while waiting.  The guy finally arrived and looked at the Sportcopter for a long time, but it looks like he's bargain hunting rather than seriously looking.

When he left, I left Chris getting loaded up to fly his Ercoupe back to Cameron Park in the resurgent smoke and headed home, where we watched some TV and had an early night.

August 4th

I started the day at the airport cooking breakfast for 20 of my closest friends.  I then took Mum up in the gyro again, so Dad could video the takeoff.  The smoke in the air is worse than ever, so we just did a big circle and came and rejoined the circuit and landed.

As Dad's hurt his back and didn't want to try and get in the gyro, we went home and waited for Russ and Deeps to arrive so we could meet them for dinner.

August 2nd

We went to the casino to eat at the buffet until we felt uncomfortably full.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

August 1st

It's a new month, so here are the stats:
Power generated

Power billed

July 31st

We went to the last Downtown Roseville Tuesday night thing, where we looked at the old cars and waited a long time for hot dogs.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 30th

After work, Dad and I replaced a bunch of sprinkler heads, just to see if we can cover more of the dead earth that's the back garden.  The sky is still gray from the Carr fire.

July 29th

We started the day at the airport, where I took Mum up in the Magni.  The visibility is getting worse, so we didn't do much more than just fly around in a big circle.

Dad and I went back later to help Chris put the rotors on his gyroplane.  He then taxied it around, including some faster runs down the runway with the rotors spinning.  It looked like he lifted the front wheel a couple of times :o)

July 28th

Dad and I started the day going to the airport and taking the Magni for a flight.  Thanks to the Carr fire, visibility is pretty awful.  We had talked about flying with Mum after an early(ish) dinner, but decided against it.

July 27th

After work (well, I left a few minutes early because the plane was early) I went and collected Mum and Dad from Sacramento airport.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

July 25th

I went over to the airport to help Chris put his Sportcopter into the hangar - he wants to use our 6000' runway (with lots of runoff in all directions) for practice for a couple of weeks, rather than the ~3600' runway at Cameron Park (with lots of houses in all directions).

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July 23rd

Rich, the guy who bought the Flightstar, asked me to meet him at Marysville, so rather than drive, I flew the Magni over there.  It was pretty windy - the the point where I had to stop the plane at the end of the runway and wait for the rotor to spin down.  Anyway, we went through a few things (it was too windy to do anything useful in the Flightstar), then I flew back to Lincoln.

July 22nd

It was a really hot day, so other than replacing the sprinkler valve again, I stayed in.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 21st

I started the day at the airport, where we were cooking breakfast at the LRAA's historic aircraft day.  We use that to try and get people in to the airport, and to raise money for the scholarship programme.  Anyway, a bunch of people were heading out to Oshkosh, so I got the gyroplane out, Ken got his gyroplane out and John got his Citabria out.


We ended up cooking over 40 breakfasts before putting everything away.  I then went and changed the spark plugs and cleaned the air filter, before taking it out for an hour or so of pottering around.  There was a guy in a Piper Cub and we flew around each other for a while.

On the way home, I picked up the parts to replace the bad valve, and when I got home I swapped that in.  It takes a couple of hours for the glue to dry, but when I turned the water back on, the new valve body leaks at the top, so I get to cut that back out and do it all again.


July 20th

We've had a wet, swampy area in the garden for a while, and I've made no progress in figuring out where the water's coming from - digging down a little ways usually ends up in dry clay.  Anyways, Vic started digging around the sprinkler, and it's not obviously leaking - the stupid thing is it shouldn't matter anyway, as the valve shuts it off.  I took the sprinkler apart, and watched the water level inside rising.  I turned off the water, and the level stopped rising.  I then figured out the valve's not shutting properly any more, so I cut that out, and left the water off for the night.

Monday, July 16, 2018

July 15th

After futzing around the house for most of the morning (including checking the refrigerant pressure in the AC in the van and cutting the oil filter for the plane apart to check that it's pretty clean), we went over to the airfield and took the Magni out.  I've stuck one of the camera mounts to the mast, and while there is some jelly effect, it's not terrible.  The tablet, stuck to the glovebox in the back didn't work out though - Vic couldn't read it.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all.  At least both headsets worked OK.

July 14th

I started the day kind of early doing some work on the EAA website, then headed to the airport.  I flew a little, then cooked lunch before the 3D printing presentation.  After the presentation, I went and cleaned and waxed the plane - the rotors still have some rough spots, so could do with waxing again, I reckon.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 13th

After a pretty busy week at work (a cow-orker's been out the whole week), I went to Harbor Freight and got a compression tester (and a free LED work light - there's always something) and headed to the airport.  I changed the oil filter (now I had the strap wrench I needed) and checked the magnetic pickup in the engine, but couldn't get the spark plug socket on, as it's pretty tight in there.  Oh well... hopefully I'll see Ken over the weekend and see what he has.  After that, I took the plane out for a few circuits to make sure there were no leaks.  Doesn't look like there were.

July 12th

I'd managed to catch the drinking tube on my Camelbak in the garage, and when I filled it up to go for my bicycle ride, the bladder was folded under.  I didn't realise until I was ~2 miles from home that I didn't have as much water as I usually have.  I ended up rationing myself, but still ran out ~1 mile from home.  Doh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 10th

We watched "A Quiet Place".  Not so quiet after all, what with Tilly clicking around, drinking and whining at the monsters.

July 8th

I had intended to go to the airport and fiddle with things, but in the end it was too hot by the time I'd finished running around, so I didn't.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7th

I started the day at the airport, cooking lunch for 25 or so of my closest friends.  After that, I had been aiming to go over to Marysville to fly to Sutter for their open hangar day / lunch with Rick in the Flightstar.  I was trying to decide whether to drive or fly (the gyro isn't something you can tie down like a fixed wing) when Rick texted to say he was going to drive instead.  After talking to Brad about his Little Wing, I was preflighting the Magni to fly over to Sutter and see what was going on when Bruce wandered over to say he'd flown to Sutter and there was nothing going on there.  OK, I finished my preflight and just pottered around for an hour, then went back and drained the oil.  I forgot my oil wrench, so I couldn't change the oil filter, but I did change the fuel filter.  I'll go back tomorrow and continue servicing things so I have a starting point to work from.

I did start watching "It" with Vic, but I really wasn't enjoying jump scare after jump scare, so I left her to it :o)

July 4th

Today's Independence Day, when Americans celebrate leaving the Empire by going shopping.

We spent it working on projects around the house until it got too hot to do anything :o)

In the evening, Tilly alternated between shouting at the fireworks and cowering under the bed from them.

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated










Ken was getting his wife to drop him at Lodi on her way past, so he could pick up Jamie's new gyroplane.  We'd talked about me meeting him down there, so I got to the airport early, pre-flighted the Magni and put gas in it, then found that he'd got there a lot earlier than we'd anticipated.  Fine - I flew over to Cameron Park and met him and Don there, where we took pictures of the 3 Magnis together, then eventually headed home - Don came along for a ride, so we did a lap of Folsom Lake so he could (hopefully) shoot some video from his gyro, then when he headed back, we headed off back to Lincoln.  Ken was flying a fair bit faster than me, so he showed up first, but the pattern was pretty busy, so that was probably for the best.

In the evening, we watched the end of the Hobbit movie(s).

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June 30th

We started the day going over to the airport so Vic could fly with Steve in the N3N biplane.  Other than high g manoeuvres, she seems to have enjoyed it :o)  We then took the Magni out - this is the first time I've flown it with a passenger (Ken just shooting video doesn't count, as he's a pilot).  That went well enough, too - she noticed the lack of turbulence, even though it was the middle of a ~100F day and we were flying over brown fields.

In the evening, we started watching the Tolkien edition of the Hobbit movies (it cuts out most of the stuff that's just not in the book).

Friday, June 29, 2018

June 28th

I went over to the airport and took the gyroplane out.  I did a couple of full stop landings (so I can practice the pre-rotation stuff), then went and flew over the house.  This time Vic came out and waved at me.  Apparently it's not too loud at ~900' and 4300rpm :o)  I went back to the airport, and got in quietly while a couple of Cessnas were bickering about seeing each other / cutting each other off in the pattern.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24th

After dicking around in Warcraft for a bit, I went to the airport.  The Magni wasn't leaking brake fluid, and the pressure seemed fine, so I preflighted it, pulled it out and went flying.  I had intended to do some circuits, but there were several planes appearing in the pattern, so after one touch and go, I left the circuit and went and played around elsewhere.  After just over an hour and a half, I put the plane away and went home, where I pretty much just stayed out of the heat for the rest of the day.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23rd

It was forecast to be a hot, windy day, so we went out to the airport pretty early to look at the brake leak on the Magni.  I thought the O rings were damaged, but Vic pointed out the brake fluid at the top of the brake caliper, which suggests that the problem was the fitting.  I tightened that all up.  We also swapped two of the brake cables out, to (hopefully) make my brake lever work more.

As it was starting to get hot, we went home to take advantage of Blizzard's free World of Warcraft weekend.

I waited for it to start cooling down (i.e. just below 100F) and went out and put the door back together in the Vanagon.  Then took it apart again to plug in the central locking wires that were getting caught and disconnected.  Twice.  Still, it's all done now :o)

June 22nd

I got up early and rode to the new owner's office in Sunnyvale.  It didn't seem to be a terrible ride down there, but there was a fair amount of filtering, which would suggest that driving would take a fair amount longer.  On the ride back, the traffic was a lot worse, and I managed to drop the bike while pottering at walking speed in traffic.  I'm not sure what happened, but I was suddenly trying to stop it falling, so I ended up unceremoniously put it down, stepped off and picked it up again.  There's a scuff on the hand guard, and I broke the mirror, but I still rode >100 miles home from there.

June 21st

The window regulators arrived for the van, and I got the driver's side installed.  It's... OK.  It stops from time to time, but GoWesty say they do that, which isn't great, I guess.

Now I just need to put the door back together.  I'm not sure that I'll bother with the passenger side just yet.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 20th

I rode the DRZ to the EAA membership meeting, and cooked dinner for about 25 people.

The talk was about taking a motor glider from Auburn to Sun 'n Fun in Florida... it took 3 days flying to get there, and 4 to get back, which doesn't sound too bad.

June 18th

I pulled the window regulator out of the van, then looked around in the bottom of the door for the missing parts.  One of which was all mangled, so I've ordered new regulators (might as well do both) and I'll have to leave the van alone until those come in.

Monday, June 18, 2018

June 17th

On the way to the airport, the window in the van started opening, being fully open by the time I got there.  I pulled the inner stuff off, but I don't have a clue what I'm looking at, so I just put a zip tie around it to hopefully hold it closed.

I noticed that one of the wheels is leaking a little brake fluid, suggesting I didn't do the greatest job of installing the new O rings.  Despite this, I took the Magni out for just over an hour, and got bounced around a bit.  When I got back, I spoke to Tony, and he'd had the crap kicked out of him in his Just Summit and Cessna, so I felt better about it :o)

At home, I took a look at the window regulator in the van, and I need to take it out and get a look at it.  There are all manner of things that could be wrong, and some are easy to fix, and some will require a new regulator.  Bah.

June 16th

I started the day cooking pancakes at the LRAA historic aircraft day.  We didn't have a massive number of customers, but there were a fair few from outside the airport, so we're starting to make progress.

It was a bit windy to look at flying the gyroplane, so I just went home afterwards - we went to Caroline's housewarming, where we met the guy who was Michael Douglas' young body double in Ant-Man.  He's her realtor.

Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15th

After charging all night, the battery on the van was below 12v, so that's toast.  After work, I took it out and we went and got a new one.  Oh, but that was fun... the Vanagon comes with a Group 41 battery.  They're not made any more, so I went to a Group 48 last time I got a battery.  Those  were replaced by the H6 battery, which is about 1/2" too tall for the battery space.  We ended up with a Group 40R, which is a lot cheaper than the H6, but a fair bit less powerful.  Still, less powerful is better than not there, eh?

June 14th

I'd intended to go and fly the gyroplane, but the van's battery was dead.  Odd, I thought, so I put it on charge and left it.  Checking though, the battery is almost 11 years old, so it's probably had it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 12th

We met Jen for dinner, then went and watched "Deadpool 2".  I laughed.  I cried.  I hurled.

June 10th

I went over to the airport and took the brakes apart again, this time putting them together with some special O ring grease that Jack has - I figure the problem here was lubrication, so extra lubrication should help.  I also filled the pistons with fluid before putting them back in, and didn't press them back in until they were connected to the brake lines, so there shouldn't be air in the lower system.  Jack brought his pressure bleeder, and we used that to push fluid in from the bottom, so that looked like it was done.

Tom showed up to buy some old 2 stroke Rotax parts I have, and we spent a while chatting - enough that walking backwards and forwards to Ken's hangar (so he could also buy some manifolds that Ken has) meant I got sunburn on my head :o(

I took the gyro out for a flight - I had thought about doing some circuits, but there were already 3 planes in the pattern, so I went and pottered about elsewhere.  I came back when my head was getting sore from the helmet, so I was up around an hour.  The brakes weren't dragging when I got back, so I'm calling those fixed for now :o)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 9th

We went to Richard and Sue's memorial service, and got out just in time to see the Ravens doing the "missing man" flypast.

We then went to the airport and looked at the brakes on the Magni.  We figured out that the pistons weren't coming out straight, and using the wheel to hold them in a little meant they came out straight and could be sorted out just fine.  One piston was, I thought, bottomed out on reinstall, and Jack ended up helping pop it out with air.  At first it wouldn't move, and it seems that it had got crooked, too.  Pushing it in a little further meant it came out OK with air.  I still need to bleed the brakes up, but other than that it's getting there :o)

June 8th

The O rings for the brakes on the Magni came in, so I went and fiddled with them for a while.  I couldn't get the pistons out very far at all, so I replaced one O ring and gave up for the moment.  I did manage to get the tyres turned over, so the other side of the tread'll get used.

June 7th

I went back to Marysville and did some more circuits with Rick.  It was a bit more windy than Tuesday, so I don't think we made any real progress.  The good news is that there may be a hangar coming up at Freedom Field, and Ray can hopefully teach him to fly properly.  I said I could help ferry the Flightstar over there, but if it were me, I'd get Ray to do it and log it as cross country training time :o)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June 5th

I went over to Marysville and did some circuits with Rick.  They're digging up the apron, so part of the taxiway is closed meaning we had to backtaxi on the runway.  Luckily it's Marysville, so it's never busy (despite there being a couple of helicopter movements - this is the busiest I've ever seen it there, outside the airshow).

Sunday, June 3, 2018

June 3rd

I went to the airport fairly early, and went out in the gyroplane with Ken again.  He'd played with the brakes, but they need new O rings to stop them dragging for good.  We did an hour of full stop circuits, so I could practice the pre-rotation thing as I pull on to the runway.  I dropped Ken off, he filled in my log book, and then I took the gyro out by myself.  We'd discussed it, and Ken suggested taking off and leaving the circuit, so I could space everything out, I flew over to the house and back, and was up for 35 minutes.  Nothing was too crazy, but the brakes are dragging badly again, so I think I want to get that in hand before I fly again, as Ken's pointed out that one of the tyres is flat spotted where it couldn't spin up fast enough.  We went to lunch, then I went home for a rest.

June 2nd

I went to the airport pretty early, and Ken and I did a couple of hours in the gyroplane before stopping for breakfast at the EAA hangar - it was nice not to have to cook for everybody else, but we still got to cook our own breakfasts :o)

I stood about and chatted with people while Ken did the annual inspection on Steve's powered parachute, then we went and had a light lunch with Dick and Todd.  Ken had to do a weight and balance on Fred's plane, then we tinkered for a while with a wiring fault on Ken's plane - that all got tracked down.  Tony was having a barbecue, so we went over there for a while, then went back to the airport and took the gyro out again - flying over Tony's, then going to the North to take a picture of the amphitheatre for George, who was there for a concert.  We got back shortly before it got dark, and put the gyro away.  The brakes are dragging a bit, so that's something we need to look at, but I only have 45 minutes of dual before I can finally solo the thing.

June 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated

Friday, June 1, 2018

May 31st

After work, I went to the airport and Ken and I took the gyroplane out for the first time.  After a bunch of touch and goes, we went and played around elsewhere, including flying over the house.  All in all, everything went well, so now I just have ~5 hours or so of training before I'm allowed (by the insurance company) to fly it solo.

May 30th

I'd ordered a new LED light that seemed to be incorrectly priced, and it arrived, so we installed it, and it's better than the old one :o)

May 28th

Today was Memorial Day, when Americans remember their war dead by going shopping.  I had intended to fly the Flightstar with Rick, but he couldn't get somebody to get his plane out of the locked up hangar.

Monday, May 28, 2018

May 27th

We went over to the airfield so I could take a look at the plane - I was thinking there'd be a few things to tidy up, but it all looks ready to go, from what I can tell.

I was covering for our guy in Australia, so that buggered up the rest of my day, but Ken texted me to tell me Richard and Sue had been killed in a crash in Petaluma :o(

May 26th

I had intended to go and fly with Rick in the Flightstar, but the sky was covered in big cumulus clouds, so it was going to be bumpy.  I decided against that (I'm sure he'd have gone for it, but I don't want to scare the guy just yet).

In the evening, we watched "Black Panther".

Saturday, May 26, 2018

May 25th

After work, we went to Davis to watch Don's band, The Funicellos, play.  I think they sound better than the last band he was in :o)

May 24th

Ken texted to say everything's pretty much done on the Magni, so now I need to get over there and tidy stuff up.

May 23rd

Ken texted to say he was popping down tomorrow, so I went to the airport and dropped off all the parts I've accumulated for the Magni.  The new PTT switches fit without any sort of modification, and an old hair tie takes off the parking brake, so we're pretty much there :o)

Monday, May 21, 2018

May 20th

Ken had an annual inspection to do on a parachute, so I met him for lunch, then we looked at the brake bracket he'd made up.  Unfortunately it bends in use, so we ended up drilling an extra hole on the original bracket, and that looks like it'll work OK.  There isn't enough movement to take the parking brake off, so we're going to look at playing with some springs to see if we can rectify that.  The clicky pen spring I had isn't quite strong enough.

The other push to talk switch I had was also a closed switch, but Ken found on in his box 'o stuff.  It was ever so slightly too big, so I tried turning it down a bit, but it fell apart, so I'll need to order some and see what I can do with that.  Ken's away next weekend, but we think we should be able to fly it on the weekend after that.

May 19th

I dropped the modified throttle off with Ken, then went and cooked pancake breakfasts at the LRAA display day.  We had a muted turnout, but there were a couple of people who'd been at the Young Eagles event, so hopefully we can get more word of mouth turnout in future months.

Ken came over and said he thought he'd got the throttle all sorted out, so when I was done there, I went over and checked it out - it works fine, yay.  We've started tinkering with the brake lever, and need to make up a mounting bracket for that.  Sadly the toggle switch I had to use for the radio push to talk was a normally closed switch, and we needed a normally opened switch, so I'll check in my box o' stuff at home.

John had texted to see what I was doing, and came and met us at the airport to see the gyro for the first time.

After we left the airport, we went out and had an early dinner before John needed to head home.

May 18th

I went over and met Ken and we played with the throttle for the gyro.  We have a problem in that the throttle is too hard to shut, due to springs that open the throttle - those are needed to keep the carbs in sync.  We played with various things and stuff, and I took the throttle unit home and took out a stop to allow us more throttle movement, which should hopefully help by allowing us to increase the mechanical advantage.

Friday, May 18, 2018

May 17th

The parts for the Magni have come in, so I went over to the airfield and got in Ken's way while he worked on things and stuff.  We bonded a plate with a pulley to the side - we were going to use fibreglass, but Jack showed up with some carbon fibre, so we used that instead.  While we were waiting for it to dry, we went and got lunch, then did some tinkering for a while, then I went over to Cameron Park and flew for an hour with Don in his Magni.  While my upper air work was fine, I need to work on the landings a little, as I managed to touch the tail (it's OK, it has a roller for exactly this reason) a couple of times.

May 16th

I went to the EAA membership meeting, where Dubs talked about getting back into flying after a 40 year break.  It was funny, as he had a list of web sites he visited, and one of them was mine :o)  I talked to him after the presentation, and he didn't realise that was me :o)

May 15th

We went to dinner with Jen, then went and watched "Avengers: Infinity War".

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 13th

We're still waiting for parts for the gyroplane (it seems they're finished, they just aren't here), so I spent the day doing things around the house.

May 12th

I got up early and went to the airport to help with the EAA Young Eagles event.  I explained how planes work until it was time to start barbecuing, then I helped with the taking everything down and packing it away when it was all finished.  We flew 69 kids - of the 75 that had booked, 65 showed up, which is pretty good.  We've had a lot more just not show up in the past.

May 11th

Ken had texted me to say he thought we should get a new throttle unit for the conversion, as it looks like the unit takes a lot of force over time, and is wearing out.  It wasn't new when we installed it on the S-17, and that was over 10 years ago :o)  I went over to Motion Pro, as they're based in Loomis, and picked one up at lunch.  Of course, I'd decided to take the DRZ, and it was blowing a gale, making it a bit more exciting than I'd anticipated.

After work I went over to the airport to help with the setup for the Young Eagles event, but they were all pretty much done when I got there - yay!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May 10th

The rabbit had a fit of mad running around at around 04:30, and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up and updated the EAA web site with the new newsletter.

May 9th

I'd intended to go over to Marysville to fly with Rick again, but he couldn't get the plane out of the hangar, again, so Vic and I went out and got pizza instead.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 7th

After work, I went over to Marysville and flew some circuits with Rick in the Flightstar.

May 6th

I was on call, so after that was over, I was supposed to be going to Marysville to fly with Rick, but he got a call to say he couldn't get the plane out of the hangar, so we called that off.

May 5th

I started the day at the airport helping cook breakfast, then sat in on the board meeting.  Ken's away, so there was nothing else to do, and I went home, as I was on call.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 1st

It's a new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated

April 30th

After work I went back over to Marysville and did some more hops with Rick in the Flightstar.  We did pretty well, especially in a fairly decent crosswind (the main runway's about twice the length of the crosswind runway).  It seems he doesn't have a license (I thought he was just rusty), having flown ultralights before.  I'm going to see if Ken wants to work with him, as it's not like I can sign him off to solo.  I'm going to look out for a hangar at Lincoln for him, so I could end up ferrying the Flightstar back again :o)

April 29th

After all the fun yesterday, we tried to have a calmer day.

In the afternoon, I went over to Marysville and fixed the cut off switch for the Flightstar (it was just a disconnected wire), then did some short hops with Rick, so he can say he's at least flown his new plane :o)  It's an odd setup there, as he calls the hangar owner, and they get the plane out for him, then he calls them again when he's done and they put it away when they're good and ready.  This means it's going to spend a lot of time sitting out overnight, as we generally fly at the end of the day, when they've gone home.  I'd be looking for another hangar if it were me.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 28th

I got up to find that the van meeting up at the Foresthill bridge had been deleted, so I asked Jason (the organiser) WTF, then rode the DRZ over to the airfield to get the hangar set up for the open day.  The plan had been for Vic to bring Tilly and the van over later, then we'd go to Foresthill.  Jason replied that his van was down, and that there wasn't much interest, so he'd called it off, so I texted Vic and said she didn't need to bring the van or Tilly.  I started cooking lunch, and people started to show up - Gwen and CJ brought grandma and the girls, and Vic showed up with Tilly, but in the Jeep - Tilly was worked up because she knew something was going on, so Vic brought her to let her we herself out.  Rick, who's bought the Flightstar, showed up and said he'd been taxying it around, and it wouldn't turn off... it looks like something unplugged one of the ground lines. Ken and I are a lot closer to getting the Magni converted - Jim's machining the throttle connection, but we've asked him to do a replacement pre-rotator lever, too, as that hits the throttle.

April 27th

Despite being windy, the weather wasn't too bad, so I went over to the airfield after work to meet Ken and Rick and fly the Flightstar to Marysville.  Rick came with me, and we pottered over there while Ken went and played in his 162.  As we were approaching, there was a guy landing on 14, but the wind was 10mph at 220, so we landed on the shorter 23 without drama.  My turn to finals turn was maybe a little aggressive, but Rick seemed to like seeing what you can do with the plane.  We tied it down (they have some weird setup there where they get your plane in and out of your hangar for you), and Ken and I took my conversion parts off, then flew back to Lincoln.  The 162 is a civilised little plane, but I'm pretty sure I'd lose interest in pottering about in it quickly.  I think it's much better suited to going places, and stuff like the autopilot helps there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April 23rd

I met Rick at the airport after work, and showed him the pre-flight for the Flightstar, then took him out for a bit to fly it.  I think it's going to take him a little while to get used to flying it, as he's obviously used to something with a much higher nose, so he defaults to ending up in a climb at a low power setting.  I showed him some turns and the wallow before a stall and then went back and landed.  Right now, he's buying it, and we're talking about me delivering it on Saturday afternoon / evening after the open hangar day presentation at the EAA, and the possible Vanagon meeting I had hoped to go to.  We'll see what the weather's doing at the weekend.

April 22nd

I spend the day just pottering about.  I did go to the airport to see a guy from Marysville who wants to buy the Flightstar, and we've agreed to test fly it tomorrow evening.  I'm looking forward to being able to fly when I want to, rather than after the worst of the thermal activity :o)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 21st

I headed out to the airport via the bank, where I pulled out a cashier's cheque for the Magni.  At Lincoln, I gave the cheque to Ken, then watched the LRAA presentations in their annual meeting.  After that, we peered at the Magni to figure out how we're going to convert it over so I can fly it :o)  At the moment, it sounds like I'll have a foot brake, and a twist grip throttle, but that could change.  The Magni has a 1" stick, where the Flightstar has a 7/8" - the standard motorcycle stuff is 7/8", so we're going to move over to using that to make it easier to get parts and suchlike.

I tried bending the brackets for the headlight mounts for the van using a proper brake at the airport, but the first one cracked - seems that there are different grains in some aluminium, and if you go the wrong way, it can cause this sort of thing.  I'm going to try and get some more, better stuff and try again.

I took all of my easy to remove clutter out of the Flightstar, as it sounds like Ken might have already found a buyer for it.  I'll need tools to take the conversion stuff out, and I'll do that after I'm sure I don't need to demo fly it for anybody.

When I got home, I spent some time sorting out a couple of Google Groups to do the mailings for the EAA.  It'll manage subscriptions, and have a history, and hopefully stop us getting stuff labelled as spam.

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 19th

I took the day off, and we went over the the airport to throw Vic out of a perfectly good airplane.  She seemed to enjoy it, but I don't think it's something that she wants to do regularly.



When we got home, I managed to get the grass in the back garden cut, and rotated the wheels on the Jeep (for the first time in >10,000 miles - oops).

April 18th

I went over to the airport and cooked burgers and hot dogs before the meeting.  After the meeting, we ended up painting the whole hangar floor - we're looking at a few spots (like under the plane that's parked in there) on Saturday and we're done.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 17th

I rode over to the airport to help get everything tidied up after painting the floor, for the meeting tomorrow night.  The paint looks to be pretty solid, so we're talking about getting some painting done after the meeting, then finishing up on Saturday.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 15th

I've been taking to Ken about his gyroplane, as he's selling it because the insurance company won't let him train in it.  The more I think about it, the more it makes sense (other than the cost, obviously), so we made a deal and I'm going to be the owner of a Magni M-16 in the next few weeks.  He's taking the Flightstar in part exchange - he'll just sell it, but it means I don't have to sell it before taking the Magni.  It's been a stressful few days while I talk myself into it, but hopefully once I start flying it, everything'll be great and worthwhile.  Mid life crisis here I come.

Other than that, I tinkered around in the house, fixing the drain on the patio cover (I think the downspout was installed poorly, so I've cut the hole bigger), hopefully in time to see it rain this evening and see that it was worth it.  I did some more work on the headlight mountings for the van, so I'll need to get those bent up at some point.

April 14th

I pottered around the house for a while in the morning, then went to the airport to cook barbecue for the EAA presentation.  After that, we shifted things away from the back wall and started painting the floor.  We ended up shifting everything further towards the front, and painting more than we'd originally intended.  I stood around taking to people until about 4pm, then went and did some tinkering on the plane before taking it out for just over an hour.  It was bumpy, so I stayed above 1200', but it was nothing too bad.  I got back and put everything away and then went home.

Friday, April 13, 2018

April 12th

After cutting the grass, I started fielding queries about Steve's gyroplane crash - he's OK.  There are only a few gyros at Lincoln, and Ken's off with his shoulder surgery, so people thought it might be me.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 10th

In the evening, I spent a little time updating the EAA web site.  Truly, it never ends.

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 8th

I went out to the airfield and met Steve and Don, who came over from Cameron Park in his orange Magni , then Chris arrived in his Ercoupe (having followed Don until he lost him).  Then Paul arrived in his white Magni, and Don took his son up for a lesson (Paul's not ready to sit in the back seat yet).  When Don got back, Steve and I sat down with him to go through the theoretical part of our gyro endorsement, then Steve went out for his practical test.  Ken arrived, and we did the theoretical part of my endorsement, then I went out with Don while Steve did his stuff with Ken (one instructor signs you off to do the test, and the other instructor does the test).  I felt really rusty, as I haven't flown a gyro for almost 2 months, but it all came together and I passed :o)  I've been talking to insurance agencies, and they all want me to have 15 - 20 hours of instruction before soloing, so I can now learn to fly (having learned to pass the test).  I left Ken taking a friend of Steve's up for a demo flight, and went home, knackered.

April 7th

I started the day at the airfield cooking breakfast for ~15 of my closest friends while we watched "Air America".  We had planned to get some floor painting done, but the torrential rain yesterday and overnight meant there were a few leaks.  Sadly it was still wet enough that we have to wait for it all to dry out before patching it.

I went home and hit the books.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April 4th

I went along to the EAA board meeting, as I wanted to put in my 2c about volunteer stuff, and the cooking crews idea.

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed

Power generated










I've found some LED lights that should work on the van, so I pulled the grille off and took one light out so I could get a look at the mounting bracket.  I've sketched out what I think I need to make to fit the lights, but I need to get some more cutting wheels to start trying to make something that'll work.  It actually doesn't look to tricky, so I'll play when the parts have come in.

I spent the rest of the day just doing odd jobs around the house - the annual inspection is now due on the Flightstar, so no flying for me tonight.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

March 31st

I'm feeling a bit better, so I went to the airfield to help out with the hangar work party.  On the way, I saw Steve towing his gyro (well, at first I was "WTF is that?"), so I followed him in.  He taxied it around, but isn't ready to fly it yet.












We did a bunch of sealing around the edges of the hangar, and some insulation on the walls.

After we all got tired out, I went home and installed some new LED side marker lights on the van - they're for a Mercedes SUV, and a little smaller than the VW ones, but the mounting holes line up just fine, and they're nice and red rather than the faded pink of the old ones.

I went back to the airfield, and took the plane out for a little potter around, then went home and watched "The Last Jedi".

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 25th

Still sick, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.  I got tired of my PC constantly whining about losing the BIOS config, so I took it apart to replace the battery.  I was looking on the motherboard for the thing, only to find it on a nice little vertical holder.  It's the little things that cheer me up.

We went out and filled the van with gas, and dropped some jerry cans at the airport.  I didn't want to hang around and get everybody sick.

We watched "Atomic Blonde", so it's been a weekend of watching James McAvoy get the crap kicked out of him.

March 24th

Still sick.  We watched "Wanted".

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 18th

I'm starting to come down with a cold, so I decided against going flying.  Especially after Tim wadded his Carbon Cub :o(

Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 17th

We got the 503 mounting crate all put together, and a shipping quote, so now I just need to wait for payment, and drop it off at Fedex (they want >$200 extra to come and get it, which is unreasonable).




In the evening, we watched Thor: Ragnarok, which wasn't as funny as the ads made it seem, but was still good.

March 16th

Got the correct M10x1.5 bolts for mounting the 503 to the crate, and mounted it.  I'm going to put it in the other way round (so the inlets have more space), but I want to add some braces too.

March 15th

I've sold the spare 503 engine I had, so I started cutting up the pallet that the 582 was delivered on.  Part way in, I figured that I need to get the bolts to mount it to the pallet, so we went out to dinner and I picked up 4 M10 bolts at Lowe's.  Shame Lowe's seem to think that the standard pitch for M10 is 1.0 (metric bolts aren't as easy to get as imperial, so I just bought what they had), the Rotax uses the standard 1.5.  Bugger.

March 14th

I went to the EAA board meeting, as Cherish had asked me to back her up on the sponsorship proposal.  We've been talking about sponsoring kids for the ground school, which is $400, so several kids at a time isn't a massive financial risk (they also talked about spending >$4000 on racking for the hangar).  Basically I'd rather do something and get it wrong than do nothing, and I pointed out that, for example, $2000 of flight training (should be enough to solo a new pilot) isn't really useful to a 16 year old.  It's been decided to try a couple of iterations to see how it works out.

March 13th

We went over to the airport and picked up the Rotax 503 and a shipping crate from the 582 from the hangar, as I believe it's sold, and I need to ship it to Indiana :o)

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 11th

I'm on call this weekend, and something went insane overnight, logging thousands of tickets.  I spent some time tidying that up, and getting some work done.

I went over to the airfield and got my biennial flight review sorted out with Ken.  We went to lunch, then I went home and did some more work.

Later on, I went out to the airfield and took the plane out for an hour of pottering around.  When I got back, the parachute guys were all out, so I put the plane away and went and said "hi" to them before going home.

March 10th

I'd said I was going to convert Tilly to daylight savings a day early, as she'd had her supper early yesterday, so I fed her at 7am then went out to install the dash back in the van.  When I started the engine to check the tach worked, Vic assumed I was going to the airport and got up and fed Tilly.  Again.

I spent some time finishing pressure washing the drive.

Some D-sub-9 connectors I'd ordered showed up, so I wired one of those up for a digital altimeter I've picked up, and made sure it worked.

I went to the airport to try and catch Ken to sort out my biennial flight review, but he wasn't there, so I dropped off the altimeter and headed home again to change the few clocks that don't use NTP.

March 9th

One of Vic's cow-orkers was leaving, and we were going to a leaving do in the evening.  Rather than complicate organising everything, I drove her to work and had the use of the Jeep for the day.

When I got home, I did some updating of the EAA web site.

The guy came up and collected the gearbox at the airfield, so that's something else out of the way.

When I got home, the dash wiring kit had arrived, so I installed that on the dash, then fed Tilly early and went to collect Vic.  We drove up to Auburn to a little pub where we met her erstwhile cow-orker.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March 8th

I was supposed to be meeting a guy at the airport to sort out the sale of Jack's gearbox, so he can buy mine.  It's rained on and off overnight, but I got to take the DRZ because the van's dash is sitting on my desk, rather than in the van.  On the way there, I stopped to pick up a new airspeed indicator at Chris', only to find they'd got the wrong one - I wanted the 100mph one (part number something-311), and was presented with an 80mph one ( part number something-331).  While we were talking about things and stuff, the guy called to say he'd lost his wallet, and was going to spend time looking for it, and hopefully come up tomorrow.  Yay.  After talking to the guys for a while, I went home, to find the dash wiring kit still hasn't arrived, but at least it left Sacramento this morning.

I spent some time pressure washing about half of the drive, until I got bored.

March 7th

The new dash wiring was supposed to show up, so I took the dash out of the van and removed the old blue foil wiring in preparation.

The new dash wiring did not show up.

March 5th

I've taken the week off, to have some time off work.  I spent the day in waiting for a shipment of Lift and chocolate to arrive, while watching stuff on HBO and doing another FAA online learning thing.  Yay.

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 4th

I spent a little time putting the van back together while I wait for the dash foil replacement kit.  At least I can drive it.  Well, in the daylight :o)

My biannual flight review has run out, so I can't fly at the moment - the plan was to get a rating in the gyroplane, but Ken's insurance company have told him that he can't fly commercially, so he can't instruct in it at the moment.  Hopefully this'll get sorted out quickly.

I spent a few hours doing online training with the FAA, that should help towards the BFR.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

March 3rd

I started the day at the airport cooking breakfast for about 10 people.  I have no idea how many people are coming and when, there's no pattern to it at all.

Jack and I spent some time removing the flywheel and damper from his 618, then building it into a box so he could ship it out to be fixed up.  While he was out getting a tool we needed, I changed the speedo cable in the van.  Interestingly the inner in new one is a good 1/2" longer than the old one, so I'm expecting it to work just fine.  I then decided to look at the non-functioning clock.  It works when I give it 12v, so it's the foil breaking down again.  I've previously hacked it so the dash lights work, but they've stopped working now, too, so I've broken down and ordered the replacement wiring kit for the dash.  Hopefully that'll be here in the week, and I can get it installed quickly.

In the evening we watched Spiderman: Homecoming, which was pretty good.  I think it's interesting that Michael Keaton (Batman) has lived long enough to see himself become the villain (The Vulture) :o)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:
Power billed

Power generated

Monday, February 26, 2018

February 25th

I played with my Lego set in the morning, shooting a couple of timelapses, here and here.

In the afternoon, I went to the airport and took Cherish up for a longer flight.  Jack was lurking around when we got back, so we ended up going to get something to eat on the way home.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 24th

I went to the airport and cooked lunch before the presentation, which was a lot better than the last time the guy gave it - he was talking about a crash he had, totally unprepared, in the winter in Idaho.  Last time I got the impression "shit happens", rather than this time when he actually seems to have realised that he made a series of bad decisions that lead to the crash, and last time he thanked his god rather than the 150+ people who risked their lives to save him and his family.

I had intended to fly the gyroplane with Ken, but he's had some insurance weirdness (he's suddenly been told he's not covered for commercial use), so that went out the window.  With Cherish (airport bunny)'s help I changed the grips on the joystick, then we went for a couple of pretty bumpy circuits.  Luckily my landings were OK :o)

In the evening Vic and I watched "A Monster Calls".

Thursday, February 22, 2018

February 21st

I went to the EAA membership meeting and had dinner in the main restaurant with Jack (rather than the limited menu with everyone else in the very cold conference room).

February 20th

We watched "The Foreigner".  The DVD was really scratched, so it kept barfing, but we don't think we missed too much.

February 19th

Today was Presidents Day, when Americans remember the famous old presidents by going shopping.

It was too windy to fly, so I mostly tinkered with stuff around the house.  In the evening, we watched "Geostorm".

February 18th

I started the day looking at the speedo cable on the van and it looks like I just needed to pull the outer down again, and give it more slack at the bottom.  Now I need to drive it and see if the problem's solved.  Again.

It was too windy to fly, so I didn't.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February 17th

I started the day making some updates to the EAA web site.  The newsletters always take me a while to copy the PDFs into HTML pages.

I tinkered around with the speedo cable on the van again.  Basically, it looks like the inner is too short, and I'm not sure why that's suddenly become (more of) an issue.  After playing about with it for a while, I gave up and cut about 3/8" off the end of the outer, and plugged it in again.  When I went for a drive, it worked better than it ever has (it used to jiggle, which it no longer does), but a hard turn has seen it stop working, so I think it's either broken loose at the bottom, or the cable itself has snapped where I nicked it with the Dremel.  Oh well...

I went to the airfield and took a lesson with Ken in the gyro.  The air work was fine, but my landings still need a bit more practice, as I'm rounding out slowly like you would in a plane.  Something we noticed is that he's always telling me to use more left rudder on landing, and I can never see what he's on about - well, I naturally slump to the right when I sit down, usually to take the weight of my arm off my shoulder to stop that aching so much.  I can't do this in my plane, as it has a 4 point harness, but I can slump in the gyro, so that's what I'm doing.  I need to practice not doing that, methinks :o)

After standing around chatting with various people, I took the Flightstar up for a bit (to finish this page in my logbook, if nothing else), then went home and watched "The Hitman's Bodyguard", where Ryan Reynolds basically plays Deadpool without a suit.

February 15th

I couldn't sleep, so I got up and found that the last form for my taxes had come in, so I got those finished and filed the Federal taxes online (I refuse to pay $20 to file California online too, so I print those).  $626 owed... oops.

I've modified Tilly's old adventure lead (made out of 12' of proper climbing rope) so I can use it as a slip lead, and that seems to work OK.  Crisis averted.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 14th

We walked Tilly up to Starbucks so she could have a puppacino.  It's been a while since we were there, but she remembered the way and towed me for the last bit.  She also chewed her lead up a bit, so methinks that needs replacing now.

When we got home, we watched "Snatched".

February 11th

It was still too windy to fly, so I tinkered around with stuff at home.

February 10th

Vic headed off to see her mother for the weekend, leaving me to look after the minimals.

I went to the airport and cooked about 25 burgers before a talk from an airline pilot about flying 737s to 787s.  It was too damn windy to fly, so I went home again afterwards.  Meh, I was on call anyway, so I had work to do.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

February 9th

I jacked the van up again and checked that turning the wheel makes the speedo cable inner turn.  Speedo problem?

February 6th

We went and met Jen for dinner, for a change.

February 5th

I pumped the Van up in the air and took off the driver's side front wheel, and it looks like the speedo cable is properly attached to the front dust cap, so I have more poking around to do until I figure out what the problem is there.

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 4th

I started the day going over to the airfield and taking a lesson with Ken in the gyroplane.  It's sounding like I'm making progress, so here's hoping it won't be long until I can take the test and add them to my license :o)

I went home and tinkered around the house for a bit (it looks like I've managed to break the speedo on the Van, for example), then went back to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for a while.  I was just done putting everything away when Vic showed up, so we stopped off for dinner on the way home.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

February 3rd

It's the first Saturday of the month, so I started the day cooking breakfast for a bunch of people at the airport.  After that, I went and helped Todd tinkering with his powered parachute, then took the Flightstar out for a flight around.  It was a bit bumpy, probably because I was up earlier than usual.

At home, I've noticed that the sensor array on the weather station has had a few spots where it's stopped transmitting, for example:

I finally realised that the old one was sitting on the patio table, and even without batteries, it's been transmitting a panic signal when the solar panel is in the sun.  I brought that back inside the house, and it seems OK now - I left everything outside when I was working on it because of the amount of time it took it to cool down to ambient temperature (not that it matters now that the daytime temperatures are getting into the high 60s).  Here's hoping I get my little gold star back from Weather Underground :o)

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated

January 31st

I got up at about 02:30 and put the camera setup on top of the patio cover, got it all aligned then set it off.  Something I hadn't realised was the camera reset everything I'd set up when it turned off, so it didn't do what I wanted (auto focus off, size, 16:9 etc).

Anyways, here's the timelapse I generated.

January 30th

I decided to run a timelapse of the lunar eclipse, so I spent some time setting up the camera.  It was going to take hours, so a battery was out of the question, so I set everything up using the AC adapter on my Sony NEX, and used the time lapse controller to run it.  I got everything taped to the tripod, and covered it with a hacked up plastic bag so the dew didn't form on it too badly, then went to bed.

Monday, January 29, 2018

January 28th

The new weather station sensor array arrived while I was out yesterday, so today I got it working and installed it :o)

I toddled over to the airport and went out with Ken in the gyro to just screw about - he flew, so I had to sit in the back :o(  I then took the Flightstar out for a bit - the circuit was pretty busy, so I wandered off for a while until it was starting to get dark.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 27th

I got up and went over to the airfield, taking the plane out for a bit.  Despite the tinkering I've done, I reckon the airspeed indicator is still ~5mph high.  Oh well.

I cooked burgers for the 12pm presentation, which turned out to be watching a video - I didn't really see the point in that, to be honest, but was kept busy cooking for a few late arrivals.  I'm going to guess at around 25 burgers sold :o)

Todd was talking about getting his S-14 flying again, so we pulled everything out to get it out of the hangar, only to find it leaking fuel - looks like the wings need to come off to replace everything between the tank and the engine - hoses, grommets and suchlike.  While it was out, we washed the 3" of dust off it, then put everything away again.  As it was almost getting dark, I shot about 1700 pictures and went home to create a timelapse.  Next time I'll play with the settings on the camera before kicking it off - I stopped taking pictures when the flash started going off, but there were a few frames missing where it couldn't focus on anything.  Not that you can see that on the video :o)

Monday, January 22, 2018

January 22nd

Ambient Weather (the weather station manufacturer) and I swapped email, and the upshot is that it looks like I'll need to replace the sensor array, so I've ordered one of those.  Oh well.  My weather station is going to be down until that gets here, as the old array is in pieces on the table on the patio, so is only registering temperature and (incorrect) humidity.

January 21st

It was a bit gray and miserable, so I gave up on flying and took the weather station array down from the roof to replace the temperature / humidity probe.  I decided to test the new one before climbing back up on the roof, and I'm glad I did - it was reading 140F.  I put the old one back in, and it read correctly, then put the new one back in, and it read 140F again.  Ambient Weather (the manufacturer) had a few tips, so I recalibrated it down to correct and left it to see if it was any better - spoiler, it wasn't.

January 20th

Vic was supposed to be doing a tandem parachute jump, so we went over to the airport separately - I'd intended to fly the Flightstar, but it was a but blowy, so I stood around and talked until I took the gyroplane out with Ken again.  When we got back, Vic was waiting for us - he jump had been postponed because they'd just run out of daylight.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 19th

I had a comp day for being on call last month, so I went and took a blood test thingy for some health thing at work.  I then went to the airfield with the intention of taking the Flightstar out, but Ken suggested a lesson in the gyro, which went pretty well.  After that, I played with the static and pressure hose for the airspeed indicator on the plane - I think it's still reading high.  Again.

January 15th

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day, when Americans celebrate the civil rights pioneer by going shopping.

It was a bit too foggy to look at flying, so I didn't.  We did watch "Dunkirk" though.

Monday, January 15, 2018

January 14th

We got up early and went to Ocean Beach for bURNING Van 2018.  Ben's initial count is 159 vans :o)



Dave and Sam showed up and we walked the dogs on the beach, then I handed over some goodies and they headed home again.  We left around 15:30, and got home in time to be 20 minutes late for Tilly's supper.  She's very, very tired.