Sunday, July 14, 2019

July 13th

We got up early and headed to the airport to meet Ken and Jamie, wait for Chris then head out to the Colusa fly-in.  It was a fairly uneventful flight over, but there was a lot of activity with people arriving once we were near - a group of Piper Cubs all landed at once, and I head "finals, number 7" at one point.  Luckily everybody was down by the time we got there, and I pulled off a great landing in front of the crowd :o)


We had breakfast (pilots don't have to pay :o)), then Chris won a case of oil he can't use and some rice in the raffle.  Luckily we ran in to Bruce and Scott, and Bruce offered to take it back to Lincoln for us.

After looking at the planes for a while, it was obvious that people were starting to head out.  We flew back to Lincoln, and Chris to Cameron Park.  After I put the plane away, we chatted to Dan who'd flown over in his RV-10, but turned back when he saw how busy it was :o)


Sunday, July 7, 2019

July 7th

I went to the airport nice and early to fly up to Auburn to meet Chris and Rob for breakfast.  Randy was supposed to join us, but found that his front tyre was showing the cords, and the spare he'd bought was the wrong size.  Doy.

After breakfast, we flew back to Lincoln and stood about chatting with Dan about John's RV-6A that he's helping build.

July 6th

I got up early and went to the airport to cook breakfast at the EAA hangar - we ran out of eggs, there were that many people there, so that was nice.

Afterwards I sat in on the board meeting as I was already there, then went home and updated a few things on the web site.

Friday, July 5, 2019

July 5th

I got up early and headed to the airport, where I flew to Georgetown to meet Chris.  It's the first time I've been there, and there wasn't anybody about, so I landed on 17, as the wind sock seemed to favour that.  The runway drops off into a ravine, and I found it a little disconcerting to come in and land there, as everything just looks odd.  Chris arrived while I was spinning down the rotors, and I told him there was pretty much no wind, so he landed on 35.  We took off on 35, while a guy not on the radio looked like he was downwind for 17, but he turned away.  I was shooting video, so I thought about running low off the end of the runway, but figured I'd have to worry about hitting Chris, so I just did a normal takeoff.  We circled round over the airport, then headed towards Tahoe, dropping down in to a couple of canyons.

Despite a whole discussion about being warm enough, Chris decided he should have worn a jacket by the time we were at about 5,000', so he landed on a fire trail to stop and get his jacket on.  I just flew around him in circles until he took off again, and we headed back towards Tahoe, flying over a couple of lakes and ridges before getting there.  By the time we got there, I was a little concerned about gas, as I was between 1/2 and 3/4 of a tank, and we were expecting a 15mph headwind on the way back, so we flew for a short way along the coast of the lake before heading back.  At least I've now had the gyroplane over 10,000' (previous record for me was ~4,500').  Of course, we didn't have a bad headwind on the way home, and going downhill meant I got to Auburn with just under 1/2 a tank.


We had brunch while waiting for Randy to show up from Lincoln, then waited for a paint match guy to show up and scan Randy's white and Chris' 2 different red paints, then we split off and went home - I went straight back to Lincoln, Chris went back to Cameron Park and Randy took his daughter on a short sight seeing trip on the way home.  Just under 3 hours, on about 13 gallons of gas isn't too bad - I usually fly a lot slower than Chris, so I usually burn less gas than that.


July 4th

Today was Independence Day, when the Americans celebrate treason by going shopping,  barbecuing getting drunk and setting off fireworks.

As the neighbours (and Sun City, we think) started their fireworks stuff last night, and Tilly hates fireworks, we were pretty beat all day.  Luckily I was covering work, so I checked in a couple of times while pottering about the house.

We spent the evening throwing the ball for Tilly to distract her from the noises outside, which went on past the 22:00 cut off that I guess I'd imagined.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

July 1st

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

Power generated

Sunday, June 30, 2019

June 30th

I didn't sleep well as there were fireworks being let off last night, getting Tilly all upset.  I pretty much dragged through the day, then we went over to the airport.  It had been our intention to fly for a little while, then take Chris to dinner, but he got out of his ground school class early, so we skipped the flying and just went to dinner.

June 29th

I got up early and flew the gyro to Auburn to meet our friends from Columbia airport for breakfast.  Chris was doing his ground school, and Randy was in San Diego, so I flew back and did a little maintenance - I'm at 975 hours now, with the rotor bearing inspection coming up.

In the evening, we watched "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald".

Saturday, June 29, 2019

June 28th

Today was the last day of the Kids' Camp, so we took them all flying.  I flew 3 in the gyro, and the rest flew with Bruce (Cardinal)  and Dan (RV-10).  Richard with the Starduster was out, so we were expecting to have to keep an eye out for him, but he ground looped it (we think) on one landing.  Luckily it was off the side of the runway, so it didn't close the airport.

June 27th

I went to the airport for Kids' Camp, where we talked about lighter than air aircraft, then had them trying to get the weighting just right on helium balloons.

June 26th

I went over to the airport, dragged the Piper Aztec out of the EAA hangar, and taxied the gyro round and put it in the hangar for the Kids' Camp talk.  It seemed to go OK, and then Dan had them flying drones - I took the gyro out of the hangar for that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

June 25th

I started the day fixing the broken sprinkler, then went to the airport to help with the Kids' Camp.  Kids are a lot of work, aren't they?

After that, I took the gyro out for a few circuits, then went home.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

June 24th

I went over to the airport and set up for the Kids' Camp, then joined everybody else in corralling the 7 kids (7-12) as we took them on a tour of the airport.  It was interesting to see some people actually working, and Byron (bless him) suggested I start teaching for Skyways.  I'm not a CFI :o)

When I got home, I took the guts out of a new sprinkler valve and put it in the old sprinkler valve, so I didn't have to cut it off the pipes.  While it's fixed that leak, it looks like I still have to dig up one of the sprinklers and fix its leak.

In the evening, we watched "Captain Marvel".

June 23rd

I was pretty tired after a long day in the sun yesterday, so I decided against flying.  I looked at a problem with the sprinklers in the garden, and found that one of the valves was leaking, and worked on a presentation for the Aviation Kids' Camp next week at the airport.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

June 22nd

It's the AOPA Fly-in at Livermore, but that's a) insanely busy and b) controlled airspace.  Chris had flown down to meet up with some gyroplane guys on Thursday, but neither Randy nor I have a controlled airspace endorsement (yet), so we'd been talking about driving down.  The thing is, it's at last 2 hours each way in the car, so we'd pretty much decided not to go. 

Randy came up with a great idea - we'd fly to Byron, Paul would pick us up there and drive us to Livermore.  I got to the airport early so I could clean my air filter (it was out of oil, so it was due), got the plane out and was all ready to go when Randy arrived.  We were going to have a decent tail wind all the way down, and I took off first - I was at about 750' by half way down the runway, so I did an early crosswind and headed South.  I called McLellan to let them know I was passing to the East at about 2,000', then carefully threaded my way between Sacramento Executive and Mather's class D airspace, then pointed straight at Byron and started listening for Randy.  I was constantly telling him where I was, but he never really told me how far behind he was.  When I passed the 2,000' towers, I slowed down to ~65mph (airspeed) and told him not to run in to me.  As I was approaching Byron, he said he was 21 miles from Byron - I was about 10 miles from Byron at that point.  Oh well, at least he got to practice navigating by himself rather than just following me :o)  I was looking on the map, and at the hills in front of me, and thinking Byron must be on the other side - the tallest peak nearby was listed at 2,200, and I wanted to be comfortably over that because of the wind, so I was climbing towards 4,000' when I saw Byron.  This side of the hills.  Doy.  I descended (a lot), joined the pattern and landed.  I was getting off at the first taxiway and there was a glider towing up - I stopped to allow them past, but they wanted to get on the runway on the taxiway I was on, so I ended up taxying around a bit to get to the parking area.  I parked, then waved Randy in to park next to me (2 gyros takes up way less space than 1 fixed wing).  The Patriots jet display team are based at Byron (I didn't know this), and 2 of the jets were going out - I went out and waved at them, and they popped smoke back at me :o)  Paul showed up while I was chatting to a fire marshall, we loaded everything up and headed to the show.  The show was interesting - we watched the STOL demonstration (the highlight being Draco and Yee-Haw) and met up with a bunch of gyro guys who were in town for the show.  I got to sit in Peter's bright yellow AR-1 that he'd flown up from Los Angeles.

As everything started to shut down, Paul drove us back to Byron, and Chris flew from Livermore and met us, before heading out.  We headed towards Cameron Park, and once we'd got almost past Mather, Chris headed home, and Randy and I headed towards Lincoln.  After a while, I noticed Randy was drifting off to the West, so I followed him - he thought he was heading back towards Lincoln, but after we'd landed, we figured that he'd told his GPS to go to Lincoln, but we'd carried on to avoid Mather's airspace, and he was then headed back to get on that original track rather than using the heading bug at the top of his screen :o)

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Friday, June 21, 2019

June 19th

After work, I rode the DRZ over to the airport and cooked for the EAA meeting.  It made it all the way there and back without a problem, which is nice.

Monday, June 17, 2019

June 16th

I started my day around 01:00, getting called out for work.  It was a French customer, who'd left a callback number that went to a message in French.  I had no idea what that said, so I mailed a bunch of people there and pointed out that we needed a direct number.  An hour later, I gave up and went back to bed.  He replied with the same phone number around 06:30, so I got up and reiterated my need for a direct number, which I finally got, only to see that it was a problem with them not managing their servers, and not something that we should be doing for them.  Triffic.  I'd given him my direct number, so I hung around the house expecting the promised call back.  They didn't call back.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June 15th

I was on call, so I got up and cleared out the overnight stuff, then headed to the airport to cook breakfast for the LRAA display day.  When everything was put away, I went over to the hangar and got the plane out, then flew down to Columbia to meet Chris and Steve (passenger) for lunch - there was a fly-in there that we'd been invited to by Kim and Victoria, a couple we met up at Auburn a few months ago.  They had a temporary tower there (interestingly there was no NOTAM that I could find), and they told me to call overhead at 2000'.  The runway's at 2100', so I assumed they meant 4100', so called that when I was above.  The controller told me to fly North and to expect a right downwind join for 17.  When I was about 2.5 miles North, he said I could head for downwind, but that seemed odd as I was upwind of the airport, so I suggested I just do a straight in approach, rather than tie up the runway for that long (they'd been racing cars up and down the runway when I flew overhead).  I got him to agree, so I just turned in and flew to the threshold - he wanted me to take the first turn off to the right, on the grass, and I could see that a fair way down the runway, so I flew low until near the turn off, with the controller getting more upset that I hadn't landed - I landed and stopped right by the turn off, then followed the marshall to park just 2 spots up from Chris.  I got out and sorted everything out, and Chris and Steve arrived having watched me land.  We wandered about a bit looking at the stalls, then ordered a pizza and went to see Kim and Victoria at their hangar while we ate.  Chris had to get home for his wife's birthday, so we headed out just after 14:00.  We had to wait for the car races to finish, then crossed the runway to the taxiway, then had to wait for the car races again before we took off, pretty close together.  The controller asked us to do a low pass, so we came back around and did that before heading North West towards home - they dropped off towards Cameron Park, and I headed back to Lincoln - it seemed to have been a long day, but it was less than 3 hours flying.


June 14th

Having worked Sunday, I had today off.  Obviously I had a conference call first thing, as I found out too late to cancel it, but after that I pottered around the house doing things and stuff, then headed to the airport to take the plane out for a while.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June 11th

Vic drove the van to work, and I got the windows tinted in the Bolt.  Oooh... first mod :o)

Monday, June 10, 2019

June 9th

I was working covering Australia in the afternoon, so by the time I'd got myself all sorted out, it was too late to go and fly.  Oh well.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

June 8th

I pottered over to the airport to cook lunch before Dan's ADS-B presentation, then talked about GPS displays with people and "helped" Tim and Darren with their throttle cable replacement.  Chris had been talking about flying up to Redding, about 100 miles away, to look at a plane, but there was a 25-35mph headwind, so I figured we wouldn't go because of that - it didn't occur to me that it was because the guy couldn't fly in that much wind :o)

We ended up meeting at Auburn for their "Soaring Saturday" thing, and as the only people to fly in, we ended up in the display with the old biplanes and Jim's Quickie Q200.  The wind wasn't an issue taking the gyroplane out, but it was a pain taxying crosswind with it trying to blow the rotor over - this was with the rotor stopped.  I crabbed the whole damn way to Auburn, where the wind was a lot lower.  Coming home, I was crabbed the whole damn way back to Lincoln, and when I turned downwind I saw my ground speed as 108mph, where my airspeed was 70mph.  After landing, I sat on the edge of the runway and let the rotor spin down before taxying crosswind - it's not like there was anybody about that I was getting in the way for.

Friday, June 7, 2019

June 6th

I took the car in to get the dashboard worked on.  I'd arranged to have a loaner car so I could get home and do some work, and they gave me a (white) 2018 Volt.  It's not as nice to drive as the Bolt, as it seems a lot more claustrophobic, and the regenerative braking... doesn't, really.  It's also worrying to see it say "38 miles range" when you get into it.  I got it home, put it on charge, then took it back at the end of the day without using any gas :o)  It was nice bringing the Bolt home again, but I'm not convinced that the problem's fixed, but whatever, it's over.

June 5th

After work, I went out to the airport and took the gyro out for a couple of circuits, then just went and pottered around for a bit.

Monday, June 3, 2019

June 2nd

We headed out to the airport, met Randy and flew up to Auburn to meet Chris for brunch.  He strapped my camera to the side of his gyro with one of his GoPro mounts on the way home, and we'll see how that worked out compared to my mast mount.

In the evening, I was bothered that the air conditioning wasn't cooling anything.  I took a look outside and the fan in the cooling tower wasn't turning.  At first I thought it could be the starting capacitor (again), but it was actually that the breaker panel was labelled incorrectly, so when I'd turned off the "Dryer" to see how many wires there were going in (3, so no easy 250v car charger upgrade for me), I'd actually turned off the AC.  I didn't bother turning it back on again, as we don't have a 250v dryer.

Just as well we didn't have a 4 wire connection there that I'd then have tried upgrading to a NEMA 14-30 socket, eh?

June 1st

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

Power generated








I started the day at the EAA hangar doing some wiring for the ceiling fans.  I wasn't about to get up on one of the scaffolds to work on the roof, so I ran out of stuff to do around the time that Randy showed up, so we got the planes out and waited for Chris to arrive.  We'd been talking about going to Sutter for their display day, but figured it was probably too late, so we ended up flying up to Auburn for lunch.  We flew back down the canyon, then tinkered around at Lincoln for a bit before all heading out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May 27th

Today was Memorial Day, when American remember their war dead by going shopping.

I put the DRZ back together, put oil in it and started it up.  Well, it still runs.

Other than that, I was on call, so I pretty much just checked work from time to time.  We did wash and wax the car in an attempt to get some greasy crap off it.  I think we were less successful than we'd hoped here.  I'd planned to go flying, but a bad night's (no) sleep meant I didn't really feel up to it.  There's always next weekend.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

May 26th

I went to the airport and bummed a ride with John to Livermore, where we flew the weather plane for a Memorial Day flypast of a military cemetary.  Once we saw it was possible to get there, we joined at the back of the 15 ship formation, and flew past Travis Air Force Base and the cemetery before coming home.


May 25th

I drained the oil out of the DRZ, as it's got a load of gas in it, and changed the filter.  When I get around to it, I'll put it all back together.

We took the car over to the dealer to replace a little plastic part on the dashboard.  After a while trying to fix it, they discovered a service bulletin saying that the whole dashboard needs to come out to fix this.  And that'll take 4 hours.  During the week some time when the parts come in.  Yay.

I went over to the airport and got in John's way working on his RV-6, then waxed the rotors on the Magni and took it out for a quick flight.

May 24th

We watched "Ant Man and The Wasp" to try and get up to date with the MCU.

Friday, May 24, 2019

May 23rd

We got  an energy efficiency roundup from Chevrolet about the Bolt.

Electric Economy: 28 kW-hr/100 miles
MPG Electric: 119 MPGe
Miles this Report: 888 miles
Estimated Gallons of Fuel Saved: 39 gal
Estimated CO2 Avoided: 749 lbs
Odometer: 1,570 miles

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

May 20th

Kerry and Dan got to play with Tilly after putting their dog, Tembi, in the car.  As they were only staying the night, we didn't really have time to catch up or introduce the dogs properly, so we just kept them apart.

May 19th

After work, Jen came over and we watched the last episode of Game of Thrones.

Kerry and Dan were driving from San Diego to Corvallis, and stopped to say "hi" and crash the night with us on their way past.

May 18th

We were supposed to be cooking breakfast at the airport for the display day, but the weather wasn't cooperating, so that was called off.

I ended up going to the airport to meet Chris to look at a Europa and go for lunch.

After that, I worked on the DRZ - I figured out that I could test the flat valve for leaking by blowing in the fuel hose, and that seems to be working OK.  I took the tank off and fixed the throttle cable, then put everything back together.  I still need to change the oil again, as I'm pretty sure it's contaminated with gas, but for now I think we're getting there.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

May 17th

I took the day off to take the car to the dealer and get the license plate mount installed, a little dent worked on and a paint chip fixed.  While I was there, I pointed out a little interior panel that's not sitting properly, and it's apparently broken, so they've ordered a new one.  Yay.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

May 12th

I took the car over to the airport to meet John around lunchtime.  I did a couple of circuits, then tinkered around with stuff for a while.  When John arrived, we flew up to Auburn, to find that the Google was wrong, they weren't open until 14:00.  So we flew back to Lincoln and took the car to lunch instead.

In the evening, Jen came over and we watched the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones.

May 11th

I started the day at the airport, where I flew in the morning, then cooked lunch before the presentation - we talked about the Young Eagles event, what worked and what we thought we could do better.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 7th

I was working late, so I had the morning to potter around.  I installed a second garage door opener thingy, so now I can open either door from my phone.  Yay.

Monday, May 6, 2019

May 5th

I started the day going to the airport and flying with Randy and taking his daughter up to Auburn for breakfast with Chris and Jackie.

I spent the afternoon working on the EAA website and doing stuff to kill time before Jen came over to watch Game of Thrones.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 4th

Happy Star Wars day!

We went to the airport and helped out for the Young Eagles event.  Chris had come over from Cameron Park, and we started off slowly - we were the last to be hooked up with passengers, as we wanted people with jackets while it was colder, and sunglasses to protect the eyes.  Still, after that we were really busy, I believe I flew 8 times, including one of the parents (he's been bringing his daughters to events for a few years, and we were in the calm between storms), and one of the volunteers I was going to fly last year when the oil leak occurred.


When we got home, we were both too tired to do anything, so we watched "Deadpool 2" and had an early night.

May 3rd

I'd taken the day off (well, I still had a meeting to attend), so I went to the airport and swapped the tyres on the plane as one was showing some cracking.  Once I had the tyres off, I could see a couple of bulges, so they were definitely due to be changed.

Chris came over from Cameron Park, and we changed his oil, played with the GPS and looked at his bald tyre - we couldn't figure out how to get the (Beringer) wheel off, and apart, so we decided to leave that.  We also installed a silencer that Don gave him, to hopefully make it a bit quieter for climbing out of the airpark.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed

Power generated









So it looks like the car used an extra 200KWh (roughly $20), where the Jeep would have been about $200 in gas.

Monday, April 29, 2019

April 28th

Chris and I had agreed to meet up at Auburn to fly up to Truckee, so I got to the airport early and got the plane out.  I headed out early, thinking I could take my time making a 25 minute flight in 45 minutes - I was over towards Folsom Lake and about 10 miles from Auburn heading North when I heard Chris call in at 5 miles from Auburn, so I hustled over there and landed a few minutes after him.  It usually takes us a bit of time to get to the restaurant, as people are stopping us and talking about the gyros, but the Trimotor was up there, meaning more people, meaning a longer walk to the restaurant.  We saw Brad on the ramp, and he told use they were at ~300 passengers so far (remember, we set the record 4 years ago at >800), but that's still pretty good.  Chris ended up taking a short flight with his instructor in one of his students' (another Chris) Zenith 750.  We were talking to a couple from Columbia, Kim and Victoria, and decided that while we were waiting for breakfast, I'd take Victoria for a quick flight in the gyro, landing and walking up to the restaurant just in time to sit down for breakfast.  After breakfast, we'd given up on getting to Truckee, and Chris took his instructor up in his gyro, and I took t'other Chris' daughter up in mine.  We borrowed a headset from the flight school, but it screwed up my intercom, so I couldn't hear anything (I could hear people were talking, just not what they were saying).  After a quick flight down the canyon, we headed back and dropped everybody off, at which point we unplugged the borrowed headset and everything was fine.  Chris and I flew back to Lincoln to do a little work on his plane, but he realised that he was running out of time, so he headed home so as to not get a whipping for being late.

In the evening, Jen came over and we watched Game of Thrones.

April 27th

I went to the airport in the morning for the hangar work day, and ended up working on the ceiling fans - they needed the poles extended, so Tim and I cut those and extended them.  I then worked with Jim,  Scott and Amy to get them all put together and wired up, but we'd managed to cut 2 of them too long (well, it beats the alternative).  I took everything apart on those 2, and got the poles cut to the right length, but we weren't on the back side of the hangar anyway, so they haven't been hung yet.

After that, I went and cleared up some oil on the floor (from changing it, when it spurted out and got to places where I didn't get to, to clean it off), and took the plane out for a couple of circuits to test everything out - no problems, so we'll call that good.

In the evening, we watched "Cooties", which was suitably stupid.

April 26th

I had the day off, having worked Sunday, so obviously I had a load of work meetings to attend in the morning.  After that was all over, I went to the airport and did a bunch of maintenance on the plane, and helped Randy rotate the tyres on his plane.  I had a little trouble with the quick drain oil plug I've installed, as it's being blocked by the baffles in the oil tank, so I just ended up removing it and putting the stock drain plug back in - I had spare crush washers.  Investigation shows that newer tanks (no specification, just "newer") require an extended, so I've ordered one of those.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April 23rd

The lever for one of the toilets has broken (hey, it's >20 year old plastic, I'm not bothered), so I figured I'd replace them both, and the fill valve for the one that occasionally changes itself.  I took the car over to Lowe's and picked up everything I needed (I had thought about changing the tap on the water hose, but that'd need me to turn off water to the house, and to have measured the input pipe, rather than just assume it's 1/2").  I changed everything out, then noticed that the tank would occasionally fill for a couple of seconds - the old lever had the arm bent, where the new one doesn't, meaning it's putting a little sideways pressure on the system and allowing water through, albeit very slowly.  I was going to bend the arm (with a little heat), but then I figured I'd just put a zip tie on it and see if that works.  It has, so I'll leave that until it causes a problem :o)

Oh, the fun, it never stops...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

April 22nd

Jen came over to watch Game of Thrones - she and I were working last night, so we rescheduled :o)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

April 21st

I met Chris at the airport and got the plane out - his plane's off to Fresno with the other owner, so he drove his Miata over.  We flew up to Auburn to see if the grill was open, and despite the "Open" sign in the window, it wasn't.  I had a guy run up behind us when we were on finals, and he got a bit huffy at having to go around because we were still on the runway when he wanted to land.  He shouldn't have turned base leg so soon after us, really... we'd extended slightly to allow a Mooney to land in front of us.

We flew back above the canyon (not right down into it) so Chris could (hopefully) take some pictures, then headed back.  Due to the Northerly wind, we lined up to land on 33, then got off the runway to allow a guy to take off on 15, despite the other plane waiting to take off on 33.  It was one of those days.

We went to Subway for lunch, and Ken joined us, then I went home to cover the Australian timezone.

April 20th

I  started the day cooking breakfast at the LRAA display day at Lincoln.  It was bloody windy, so there weren't a lot of people out, so I got nagged into getting the gyro out - I pulled it out and put the car in the hangar and put it on charge as I was going to be a couple of hours.  I had originally planned to go flying afterwards, but it was gusting around 30mph, and while the gyro would have been fine with that, I decided to just go home.  I was on call anyway, so I could clear out some stuff in the queue.

We went to pick up some things and stuff, and plugged the car in at a free charging point near Chipotle - it's the first time we've left it charging outside the garage, so it was nice to see that the car thought it would be fully charged (at 6 or 7 Kw/h) pretty quickly.  I even debated changing the charge limit to 100% to suck up even more free power (we charge to 90% as we don't need maximum range, and that allows the regenerative braking to work as soon as Vic leaves the house - I think she's forgotten what the other pedal's for).

In the evening, we watched "Glass".

Monday, April 15, 2019

April 14th

I went out to the airport and took the plane out - there's a wildflower bloom up by Oroville, so I flew up to see it.  It's an interesting flight, and there were a lot of people in cars looking at the flowers, so I didn't get too close.  I flew back along the other side of Beale Air Force Base, so I've now flow all the way around it in one day.  I took the GoPro, and the battery ran out just after I'd got back, and was in the hangar, so that's almost 2 hours - not too bad at all.

I went home and tinkered with the DRZ - the throttle cable's come out of it's holder, so it's been holding the cable a little bit too taut, and that's why it's been ticking over at 5,000rpm.  I'll have to take the tank off (again) to fix this, so I'll do it when I'm feeling stronger.

In the evening Jen came over and we watched the final series premiere of Game of Thrones.

April 13th

I went to the airport, where we got everything set up for the "Airport Fun Day".  I pulled the gyroplane out and parked it in the line-up, then cooked hot dogs.  So many hot dogs.  Occasionally I got to go and tell people it's not acceptable for their children to climb on the aircraft, and talk about the gyroplane.

After everything was packed away, I took the plane out for an hour or so, then headed home, where we watched "Welcome To Marwen".

April 10th

I tinkered about with the DRZ again, basically just installing the quiet insert into the exhaust, as California's supposedly going to be cracking down on loud exhausts.  I don't know if it'll make a difference, but the DRZ was quieter than a Harley with the noisy insert.

April 8th

I went out and ran the DRZ, and it was running incredibly fast.  I can't really see why, and I don't want to take the bodywork off, so I'll leave it for the moment.

Monday, April 8, 2019

April 7th

I went to the airport to clean the plane a little before heading out to meet Chris and Randy at Auburn for lunch.  We had intended to fly to Oroville, but Chris had a carb problem, so we went back to Lincoln and (hopefully) sorted that out instead.

When I got home, I put the carb on the DRZ back together.  Now I just need to figure out a test to see if it's (finally) fixed - it takes a while to drain the carb into the engine usually.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

April 6th

I started the day at the airfield cooking breakfast for 20 or so of my closest friends.  After that I went and did circuits for just under an hour, then showed up at the end of the board meeting just in time to get given a few things to do.  Then I went and helped Randy change the oil in his gyroplane, and went home.

I'm on call, so I did some work and played some Warcraft.

I also managed to take the carb apart on the DRZ (from the bottom while on the bike, so it wasn't as bad as taking it off) and replaced the float valve O ring).  I've found that the new fuel tap leaks in the "on" position (it's vacuum operated), but not the "reserve" position.  Joy.

In the evening we watched "Mortal Engines".

Monday, April 1, 2019

April 1st

A new month, so here are the power stats:

Power billed

Power generated








We turned off the hot tub at the end of the month, but started charging the electric car, so it's going to be interesting to see what that does to the bill.  I'm hoping that next year we can look at adding more solar panels, as Roseville won't give you a permit for more power than you use.

March 31st

We took the Bolt over to the airport and flew to Auburn to meet Chris for breakfast, via Folsom Lake and the Foresthill bridge.  Our small gathering got bigger and bigger, and at one point there were 9 of us at the table :o)

On the way back, we flew over the canyon, but not down into it, and toddled back to Lincoln.  I've now done 100 hours in gyroplanes, so hopefully that'll help with the insurance bill when that comes due.

After pottering about at the airport for a while, we went home.  I'm getting the hang of the regenerative braking in the car - it stops pretty quickly from freeway speeds, so you have to keep a little throttle on or you'll stop before your exit :o)

March 30th

I'd ordered a replacement window regulator for the van - not an aftermarket part, just a used VW one.  I sprayed it full of degreaser, cleaned everything out and filled it with lithium grease before putting it all back together.  It didn't take long to strip the aftermarket one out of the van, and looking at them, the VW part is curved where the aftermarket one is straight - I'm wondering if this is why it binds.  Anyway, I got it all back together, wound the window down, then heard a fuse pop winding it back up.  After a lot of digging, I found the fuse on the input to the window switches, and that I'd trapped one of the wires to the motor behind the window - going down that wire was obviously ground, so going up... Anyway, I got everything all back together, it's just a 1 hour job took me closer to 3 hours.  Oh well.  We took the Bolt out to get lunch, then I went to the airport and took the gyro out for some circuits.  The pattern wasn't too busy, and I managed to fly in just a jacket, rather than my flight suit for the first time this year :o)  7 landings later, and after chatting with John for a bit, I headed home.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March 25th

Vic surprised Tilly and me getting home - we're used to hearing her drive up :o)

Monday, March 25, 2019

March 24th

Vic and I flew up to Auburn to meet Chris for breakfast.  While Vic went and put our name on the list at the grill, we talked to Jim, who owns the Quickie Q200 we keep seeing and gawping at.  It took some 16 years to build, but he's won all manner of awards, including a Lindy at Oshkosh.

After breakfast, Chris went home to play tennis, and we flew to Watts-Woodland.  The local GM dealer there was supposed to be meeting us at the airport with a Chevy Bolt, but somehow managed to go to Yolo.  After several phone calls, he arrived and we did the paperwork - Vic drove him back to the dealership, and then home, and I flew back to Lincoln (after talking to Mike, one of the local RV pilots, for about 20 minutes).  I was in the hangar talking to John when Vic got home to find that we hadn't thought to bring house keys or the garage door clicker - doy.  I offered to open the garage door from the airport using the "stupid little gadget" I'd installed a month or so ago, so all was well.

When I got home, we went out for a little drive so I could see how the car handles (it's a couple of years since I last drove one).  I managed to go around the long block without using the brakes once, as I had it in the max regen mode.  Yay :o)  It's going to take a little getting used to for both of us, as it's a totally different sight picture than the Jeep.  Or the van.  I'm going to get a level 2 charger at some point, but for now it looks like we'll be able to get by with the 110v charger.

Jen came over on her way home from work to pick up some Game of Thrones DVDs, join us for dinner (we drove - we usually take her Golf as it's easier to all get in and out of), then sit in the hot tub with Vic before I turned it off for the summer.

When we got back from dinner, I plugged the car in, and it said it'd be fully charged in about 5 hours - we probably won't use it much more than it got used today most of the time.

March 23rd

I went over to help Chris with some tinkering on his gyro - it was a little screwed up from the start, as he didn't have the card key to get in to the airport, so we used the pedestrian gate and carried tools down to the hangar.  We then found that he didn't have a scissor jack to get the plane up in the air to take one wheel off (to turn the tyre around).  We also didn't have a jiggle hose to empty the fuel tank - I'd originally suggested we use the fuel pumps on the plane, but we tried siphoning it out for a bit, then went and got a hand pump.  When that looked like it'd take all damn day, we plugged the hose we already had in to the fuel line and pumped the tank out.  We then changed the fuel filter.  Score 1.  Interestingly we both thought the tank would have a couple of unusable gallons in the bottom, but when we took out the drain, we found maybe a cupful left inside.  We replaced the (leaking) drain.  Score 2.  We then pulled the dash out, as the oil temperature probe has been playing up, and Dayton had suggested it was a connection problem.  We couldn't see anything wrong, so we went out to lunch and got some electrolytic grease and neoprene washers, then put washers under the larger instrument mounting screws (where they're starting to crack the carbon fibre panel), then put everything back together.  Well, it still runs, and everything still seems to work.

While I was at Cameron Park, the remaining Jeep parts were collected, so yay.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

March 21st

Well, the Jeep's gone.  Paul texted me and said they wanted to surprise their daughter (who the car's for), so they were going to pretend they were coming to me to pick up a car part.  They knocked on the door, Tilly barked, I said "let me come out, so she doesn't bother everybody" and we wandered out to the drive, where the Jeep was parked.  I opened the garage door, and pointed at the pile o' stuff from the Jeep, and Paul asked his daughter what she thought of the Jeep.  She said it was cool, so I gave her the keys and said "here, have it".  She was like "whatever" until they said it was hers, at which point she pretty much collapsed on the floor :o)  She and her mother drove of in it, and Paul and I did the paperwork, then he left to join them at lunch.  Yay.

March 20th

I agreed the sale of the Jeep - basically they're buying it as a gift for their daughter, so they want us to hang on to it until the weekend.  Sure, we can do that.

March 19th

I got up early and advertised the Jeep.  I started getting interest almost immediately, which is a good sign :o)

In the evening we finished tidying it up, and took all our stuff out of it.

March 18th

We spent some time cleaning the Jeep up and getting it ready to sell.  Yes, it's been almost 9 years, so it's time for something more practical :o)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

March 17th

Chris and I were going to meet up at Auburn to run down the canyon, and video ourselves doing it.  I left early, and he was running late, so I flew over towards Folsom Lake and up the river to approach Auburn from the South for once.  Of course, the wind was blowing from the east, so I couldn't do a 45 join, and had to do an overhead join, just in front of Chris.  We compared notes, started cameras and headed out - it's the first time I've taken off on 07 - usually we're on 25 by the time we get around to leaving.  We ran down the canyon and a good time was had by all - my video is here.

As I approached Lincoln, there was a Rans Coyote behind me, and I figured he'd be going faster than me in the circuit, so I slowed right down and let him pass, then toddled on.  I was on finals and offered to let Andy get out in front of me, but he said he wanted to watch me land.  No pressure then :o)

When I got home, Vic and I went out to lunch, and she suggested going to the Chevy dealer so she could see just how f*ck off bright lime green "Shock" is on the Bolt.  They didn't have one on the lot, but offered to drive over to their storage lot and get one - we went along for the ride and Vic drove it back.  We then asked for the numbers, and spent a couple of hours dealing with their nonsense before I gave up and said it wasn't going to work out.  I fully expect a phone call in the week.

March 16th

I'd agreed to meet Chris and Randy at Auburn airport for lunch, but I wanted to dink about on the way.  Of course, you talk to one person and then another, and then another, and you end up rushing to just get there on time.  After lunch we ran down the canyon to Lincoln, as Chris wanted to talk to Ken, who'd already left.  Oh well.

The window winder thing broke again on the van on the way home, so I think I'll need to find a stock VW regulator to replace the aftermarket one.  In the meantime, I might convert it back to a manual window.

Monday, March 11, 2019

March 10th

Vic and I went over to the airfield and took the plane out to shoot some video - the image stabilisation works excellently.  I took off on the same runway as everybody else, despite the ~8mph tailwind, and listened to the people in the pattern finally sorting out using the correct runway.  We flew up the canyon (a bit higher than usual because it was blowy), turning back when I started to see water on the windscreen.  There was a point where I'd throttled back, put the nose down to the point where we were doing 80mph, and we were still getting sucked up at 600' a minute, so we headed back to Lincoln.

March 9th

I went over to the airport and sanded down the epoxy I'd put on the nick in my propeller.  I then noticed how bad previous repairs were, but I think I'll ignore those for the moment.  I made sure the new mount was going to work for the GoPro, stuck it on the mast and went over to the EAA hangar and cooked lunch for about 30 people.  As it was alternatively raining and blowing a gale, and I was on call, I went home and played Warcraft.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

March 3rd

It's still crappy weather, so I played a bunch of Warcraft, then went to the airport and put some goo on a nick in the prop - once it's dried, I'll sand it smooth again and look at putting some prop tape on it to hopefully protect it from small nicks in the future.

I was working in the afternoon, so I... worked.

March 2nd

I went to the airport and cooked breakfast for 20 or so of my closest friends.  It was throwing it down with rain on and off, so I wasn't going to be able to fly, and the van was blocked in, so I stayed and heckled the Board meeting.

March 1st

A new month, so here are the power stats - all the rain recently hasn't helped any.


Power billed
Power generated

Thursday, February 28, 2019

February 27th

My new GoPro arrived, and I quickly found out that 4K video takes a lot of space - ~2Gb for 5 minutes of Tilly running around.  Also, I'll need a bigger computer and newer software to really edit it (the GoPro Quik stuff... isn't good).  I ended up downshifting everything to 1080p so I could throw together this.  Of course, the weather's going to suck this weekend so I doubt I'll be able to do any shooting from the plane to see if it fixes the vibration problem.

Monday, February 25, 2019

February 24th

The weather wasn't as nice as I'd hoped, so I decided to stay in and fix things around the house.  I also installed a smart garage door opener controller, so I can now open the garage door with my phone.  The controller supports IFTTT, so I'll have to look into that at some point.

In the evening, we watched "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Sunday, February 24, 2019

February 23rd

We went to Costco to buy cheese and Dr Pepper.  After that, I went to the airport and took the plane out for a while - I played with the calibration of the instruments a little, as they seem to be overreading.  After landing, I did a little maintenance, then headed home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February 18th

Today was Presidents Day, when Americans celebrate George Washington's birthday by going shopping.

Of course, the weather sucked so I couldn't fly, so I wasted the day.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

February 16th

It was  on and off windy, cloudy and sunny, so I gave up on flying (plus I was on call) and worked on some updates to the EAA website.  I also went out and looked at the window regulator on the van.  I took the door apart so I could get the regulator out, then took that apart.  I think the problem was that it was assembled dry, so I put a load of white lithium grease in it and put in all back together.  It seems to work better, so let's hope it's fixed.  If I'd known what I know now, I'd have used the new regulator to rebuild the original Volkswagen one.

February 13th

I've been playing with cameras on the gyroplane, but vibration makes video unusable :o(  I've been looking at getting a new, image stabilised camera (we bought the Contours for hang gliding, after all, and they work great for that), and noticed that GoPro are doing $50 off the new Hero Black 7.  With a free hat and memory card.  Sold.  Wait a minute, they have a trade in program, where I can send them one of the old, broken cameras I have lying around, and they give me $100 off the list price, so I'd be paying $50 for a 64Gb card and a hat.  I've decided to go that way, and pay $25 for a 128Gb card and live without the hat.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out on the gyro.  And to getting the Contour mount off the mast.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 10th

The window in the van stuck again, so I think I might have to take the regulator out and figure out what's going on there.

Vic and I flew to Auburn to meet Chris (who flew in from Cameron Park), Jack and Marianne (who drove) for lunch.

February 9th

I ended up at the airport, cooking burgers for the EAA.  Despite the rain, there were a load of people there.

February 8th

It was a grim looking day, so I stayed in and played Warcraft.

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 7th

I went to the airport and took the plane out for a bit.  I had been intending to do circuits for a while, but there was a helicopter practicing auto-rotation emergencies, so I left him to it.  I figure he's paying something like $450 an hour, I'm just dicking about.  I did think of telling him he needs a gyroplane, as that's always auto-rotating :o)  After over an hour, when I practiced turns and stuff, I headed back.  I was doing an overhead join, looking out for Jamie in her gyro who'd called a 45 degree join, only to find her about a mile North of the runway, where she called an extended base entry.  OK, I powered up and flew over her, then did a long final approach.  She said she was having trouble spotting the airport, so ended up further North than she thought she was.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

February 6th

I got up early and headed to the airport to fly to San Carlos with Bruce and George, so we could practice our radio work into controlled airspace.  When we got back, everybody had stuff to do, so I took the plane out for an hour or so of just playing around.  Randy landed shortly before I took off, and when I got back I found out he'd just finished his cross country, so all he has left to do is the flying test :o)


February 5th

I spent the afternoon looking at the cumulus clouds and deciding not to fly.

February 4th

I've taken the week off, so obviously the weather sucked today.  I stayed in and played Warcraft and caught up on TV.

Monday, February 4, 2019

February 3rd

It was another awful weather day, so I spent some time on the EAA website and a Powerpoint presentation for BRuce.  I also swapped out the Sony radio in the Jeep for the original one, as we're talking about replacing the Jeep and want to get it back to stock.

February 2nd

I started the day at the airport cooking breakfast - the weather was terrible, but we had a load of people show up, including a new guy who brought his grandson.  He wanted to see the gyroplane, so I took him over to the hangar and showed them.

I spent some time talking to Bruce about controlled airspace radio work, in preparation for a (hopeful) trip to San Carlos.

Friday, February 1, 2019

February 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed
Power generated

In the evening, Jen came over so I could look at her computer, then we went out and got something to eat.

January 31st

When we got back from bURNING vAN, the driver's side electric window crapped out.  I took the door apart, and it was one of the little plastic gears in the window mechanism.  I dug around, and found that the electric window manufacturer makes a fitting kit with the part I needed.  Yay!  They no longer make them.  Boo!  I spent a while checking with everybody who has them listed on their website, and finally found somebody with the fitting kit in stock.  So I ordered 2 of them (that's 4 replacement gears - surely enough to tide me over).  Today, they showed up, and I got the door apart again and installed it.  Everything once again works as it should.

Monday, January 28, 2019

January 27th

I met Chris and Randy at the airport, where we flew Randy's kids up to Auburn for breakfast.  It was decided that we'd go straight there, but come back down the canyon when it was hopefully warmer.  It was also decided that I'd lead, so I headed out, constantly updating them on where I was.  I turned left and ran down the canyon with the occasional ADS-B hit from somebody in front of me.  It was them - Randy had followed the wrong river, so got to Camp Far West Lake before me.  Oh well, it just meant we landed last, rather than first :o)

January 26th

I got up and headed to the airport.  A couple of the guys were talking about going to Petaluma for lunch, but the forecast had said it was going to be misty there, so I'd been toying with flying with John in his Citabria.  The AWOS at Petaluma said the weather was just fine there, so I bundled up and took my plane - it took about an hour and ten minutes, with a bit of a tailwind.  When we were joining the pattern, there was a guy who joined just after me in a (much faster) Cardinal, but he let me go in front of him to land, rather than me extend out to Seattle so as to not clog up the pattern.

Coming back, there was a headwind, so it took an hour and a half or so, but we landed with lots of daylight left.  Enough that I flew over to Marysville to do a quick touch and go with Randy.


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

January 21st

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

I had the day off, and it was a nice day, so I went to the airfield.  Chris was coming over from Cameron Park to see Ken, and we were going to lunch, so I got there a bit early thinking I'd fly before he got there.  I ended up a bit later than I'd hoped, so I was taxying out as he approached.  I did a couple of circuits, then toddled over to see the guys.  Chris was leaving his gyro for Ken to replace an EGT probe, so he jumped in the back with me and we flew to Auburn with Randy to meet Tony and Stacey for lunch.  When we got back to Lincoln, we puttered about talking Randy through planning a cross country, then we all headed home.

Monday, January 21, 2019

January 20th

Yesterday was beautiful, so we went to the coast, but today was cold, wet and windy, so we stayed in.

January 19th

We all went to Ocean Beach for bURNING vAN 2019.  Tilly was so tired heading out to come home that she had to be helped into the van :o)  Just as we got home, there was an awful noise when I tried to wind the driver's side window down, so I'm hoping that's not me needing to replace the window regulator again :o(

January 18th

Due to working the Australian shift, today was my Saturday, so I had the day off.  Of course, it was rainy and windy so I couldn't fly, so I spent the day playing Warcraft.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 13th

We met up at the airport early - Randy and I, and Chris came over from Cameron Park.  For want of anything else to do, we went for a flight over my newly discovered canyon.  Randy's allowed to solo, but not land elsewhere yet, so we headed back to Lincoln, where it was decided that Randy would ride with Chris up to Auburn for lunch.  Just after we'd landed, a couple came over and said "weren't there three of you?" - it seems we'd flown over their house earlier :o)  After lunch (in our flight suits, as we were on the patio in the cold wind), we headed back to Lincoln so I could drop the gyro off and head home to start work.  I left Randy and Chris heading out to get gas, so for all I know they're still flying :o)

January 12th

Randy wanted to go flying, so we met at the airport early, got the gyros out and went along the canyon I flew yesterday.  After an hour, we landed and I went to cook burgers for the EAA barbecue.  Chris came over from Cameron Park, but too late for lunch.  We sat on the EAA board meeting until he had to head back, then after the meeting was over, I went and "helped" John with the wiring in his RV6A.

January 11th

Today was my Saturday, as I had to work on Sunday covering Australia.  So, after playing Warcraft for a while, I went to the airport and took the plane out for a flight.  I ran up a canyon from Camp Far West Lake reservoir towards Auburn, over Lake of the Pines and home again, and it was an interesting flight.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

January 6th

It was another cold and wet day, so I started out playing Warcraft until I started work (I'm covering Australia for the next 2 weeks).

January 5th

I got up early and went and cooked breakfast for about 20 of my closest friends.  Despite the awful weather, a fair number of people showed up.

I changed out a dried out fuel vent line on the gyroplane, then went home.  We went over to Cycle Gear to look for some boots and a jacket for Vic, and other than that, stayed in out of the wind and rain.

In the evening, we watched "The Predator".  It mentions the earlier movies, but I think it would have been cute to see a cameo by one of the stars of the original.

January 4th

Jen came over for me to look at her new laptop - basically get the backup stuff set up, and figure out what we need to put a hard drive in it (it has an SSD, and a slot for a hard drive) - it needs a disc tray.

We went out and got dinner while it was backing up :o)

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 2nd

We watched the Tom Cruise "The Mummy".  Well, that's a comic universe that isn't going to happen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

January 1st

A whole new year, so here are the stats:

Power billed

Power generated










I met Chris and Randy at Lincoln, where we tightened up Chris' parking brake cable, then we headed out.  Randy decided to go with Chris, as it was pretty windy - gusting 20mph.  When I pulled the rotor back to get the wind through it, I actually started going backwards, so I had to push it forward a bit to get enough ground and rotor speed to take off.  We flew to Nevada County, where it was a lot warmer, and not at all windy.  There was nothing going on there, other than a guy who's at Lincoln a lot pottering around in his RV-6A.  We didn't even get out, and headed off to Auburn, hoping to get lunch there.  We detoured on the way and played around over the Rollins Reservoir for a bit.  When we got to Auburn, the cafe was shut, so we decided to just go back to Lincoln and go to Subway.  At Lincoln, we fixed a broken bracket on Chris' plane, washed out his air filter and left it out to dry, then went to lunch.  When Chris and I got back to the airport, we oiled and installed his air filter, then he headed back to Cameron Park, and I headed home.

December 30th

I went to the airport and took the plane out for a bit.  It was a lot hazier than yesterday, so I didn't go anywhere, I just pottered around.  When I got back, I did a couple of small wiring tasks on the plane, mostly getting the ADS-B receiver moved to the front, thus freeing up a 12v socket for Vic's heated gloves if necessary.