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".