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.