Tuesday, December 29, 2020

December 28th

As I'm stuck at work for the rest of the year, I was thinking back about the year.  It seems like the individual days have dragged, but the months have flashed by.  Other than working, it seems all I've done is fly - over 130 hours this year.

Monday, December 28, 2020

December 27th

Randy and I flew over to Cameron Park to meet Chris for lunch.  We had talked about flying the American River canyon so Chris could try his new 360 degree camera, but it was really turbulent.

What that doesn't show is just how damn bouncy it was:

After lunch, Randy and I headed back to Lincoln.  It was a lot smoother, so we even played about over Folsom Lake a little, until we spotted a Piper Cub doing the same thing.  He followed us back to Lincoln, but had gone by the time we were all packed away.

December 26th

I'd hoped to go flying, but the weather was just too changeable to bother loading up the van and heading to the airport.  So I didn't.

In the evening, Jen came over and we watched "Wonder Woman 1984".

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 25th

I'd hoped to go flying, but it spent the morning threatening rain, then rained on and off all afternoon into the evening.

We watched "The War With Grandpa".

Friday, December 25, 2020

December 24th

Today was a holiday at Proofpoint, so I tinkered around with some soldering while waiting for the fog to lift.  While it still didn't look great at Lincoln, Randy and I went and got lunch, then went over to the airfield to sit and look at the fog.  It finally lifted, so we went out for a flight.  We flew down the North Fork of the American River, then went and flew around Chris' house before heading home.

When I got back,  I trimmed up the hyperlapse video the GoPro had shot, cursed that it was in 4:3 rather than 16:9, then uploaded it to YouTube.

Oh, and testing my soldering in the evening showed there's a problem somewhere that I'll need to figure out :o(

We watched "Love and Monsters" before finally allowing Tilly to go to bed.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

December 20th

I started the day in the garage finishing up the stand for Randy's wheely thing and the frame I'd started for the board I'm working on.  After lunch I went to the airfield and took the plane out for a bit - the visibility was doing some odd stuff, so I didn't hang around in some places as long as I'd originally intended, but I took the long way around the airport rather than doing an overhead join for 33.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

December 19th

I started the day with bad news about somebody we were in the Scouts with - after a month in the hospital with the COVID, he passed away last night :o(

I went to the airport and met Randy, then we flew up to Auburn to meet Chris and Vic for brunch.

We sat outside in our winter flight suits, and were quite warm.

After flying back to Lincoln so Chris could try riding Randy's wheely thing, we went and let Tony show off his new computer controlled lathe - it's pretty impressive, and I think I'll have to come up with a list of things he can make for me.

Back at home, I cut up some wood for a couple of projects before putting the van away.

December 18th

Chris obviously bunked off the afternoon, as he took the RV on a looong, circuitous route to Placerville...

And back again...

I guess it's working fine again :o)

December 17th

After Tilly's supper I drove over to Cameron Park and helped Chris install the fuel tank back on his RV-6A.  We also buttoned up the rest of the cowlings and fairings, so now we believe it's ready to test fly.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

December 16th

I attended the EAA members Zoom meeting.  It was a presentation on updating a Cessna 182, but I got a phone call as we got to the avionics part, which was the bit I really wanted to see :o(

Monday, December 14, 2020

December 13th

Another crappy weather day, so we met Randy and Chris for brunch before returning home to just do stuff around inside.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

December 12th

It was raining, so I drove over to Chris', and we tidied up his fuel tank for the plane.  The Pro-seal we were going to use wants a temperature of 70F +-5F, so we left it in his utility room and went to the airport to install the repaired exhaust header and put the cowling back on.  After lunch, we went back and Pro-sealed the tank.  Now we just have to leave that for a couple of days before testing it to see if the leaks are fixed.

December 11th

The weather looked grubby, so I wasted the day tinkering around indoors :o(

Friday, December 11, 2020

December 10th

I started the day tinkering with a video of yesterday's flight while I watched TV and waited for it to warm up.

I went to the airport and did a little maintenance on the plane, then took it out for a flight.

I flew over the house, but Vic didn't come out and wave, so I flew over Chris' house, but he didn't come out and wave, so I flew over Don's house but he didn't come out and wave, so I flew home.

In the evening, we watched "Fatman."

Thursday, December 10, 2020

December 9th

I got up and met Randy at the airport.  The visibility was fine, so we decided to go to Oroville.

We flew up the Feather River, and for whatever reason the ADSB tracker didn't pick us up the whole way.  Did have to avoid a helicopter who came around to look at us at one point though.

The ADSB tracker saw even less of us on the way home along the other side of Beale Air Force base.

When we got back, I was at the point where I need to do a service, so I changed the oil (it needs to be warm) and called it a day there - I'll do everything else tomorrow, methinks.

I did get a little time to tinker with some stuff in the garage :o)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

December 8th

I decided to do some maintenance on the Bolt, meaning that I filled the washer fluid bottle.

I figured I'd wash the worst of the crap off it, so I pulled it out and did that.  Then Vic made me feel bad for not washing the van, so I pulled it out and washed it too.

I went to the airport and flew for a while, but the visibility was awful - Auburn said 5 miles, Lincoln said 7, but with the haze you couldn't see much.  As I was toddling towards Folsom Lake, I watched an unidentified aircraft on the ADSB display approaching from the South - it turned out to be a Blackhawk, and he flew around behind me, then alongside, about 3/4 of a mile away before heading back South :o)

In the evening, we went over to Randy's for cherry pie - he gets it from a place where they're so busy you have to order it :o)

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

December 7th

What's all this about winter is coming?

I've taken the week off to do things and stuff, and I kicked off the day by taking Tillamook for her annual inspection.  She was very happy to get into the van, less so when we pulled up at the vet.  You call in and tell them you're here, and the vet tech calls back for a chat, then they come and get her.  You then play Flappy Bird until the doctor calls you back for a chat, and then they call you and deliver her back so she can grumpily ride home again.  She got a couple of vaccines, and was feeling sorry for herself for the rest of the day, but they said she's in great condition for being 13 years old.  They did point out the muscle wastage on her back legs, which is due to the arthritis, and took blood so we can look at NSAIDs if necessary in the future - they're hard on the liver and kidneys so she'd be getting blood tests every 6 months or so.

I ran around trying to get some stuff done, but mostly ended up getting a package of Oreos and posting some fuel valves back to Aircraft Spruce.

I went to the airport and took the plane out for a bit - I timed it perfectly as the GPS flicked into "night" mode while I was on finals (I'm allowed to fly to the end of civil twilight - usually about 30 minutes more, but I like putting the plane away in the light.)

As it was dark when I got home, I could see that some of the neighbours have their Xmas decorations running - while Tilly ate her supper, Vic and I went and watched them for a little while.  My phone didn't pick up the sound as well as I'd hoped, but whatever.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

December 6th

Randy was supposed to be looking after the kids, and Wings was closed, so I flew over to Cameron Park to fly friends of Chris'.

So it looks like I wasn't on the ground long enough to take it as two flights :o)  On the way there, I flew over Chris' house, and watched him drive down his driveway, so I flew back out towards the lake, then went and landed at Cameron Park so I didn't have to wait for him.

We flew his friends over the lake and back to Cameron Park, then tinkered around with his RV-6A for a while - we've taken off the exhaust that has a crack in it, and the fuel tank that has a slight leak, so hopefully things can be done to rectify both of those.  Then I flew back to Lincoln, meandering around to look at things.

December 5th

Randy and I flew up to Auburn for breakfast.

Randy was flying slowly when we left Lincoln, so I flew alongside to make sure he was awake, then cut back behind him.  He'd been peering at his EIS, as the warning had come on for the EGT - we think it's a bad connection or a bad sensor.

Wings was closed, so we flew back down the Bear Creek canyon, then had lunch at Mary's.

I shot some video using the digital zoom on the GoPro - I don't think it's as sharp as the wide angle, but you can see more of Randy.

December 2nd

We had the EAA IMC meeting via Zoom.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December 1st

A new month, so here are the power stats:

Power billed
Power generated

Sunday, November 29, 2020

November 29th

I got up and went to the airfield and met Randy - we then flew to Auburn to meet Chris, Tony, Stacy, Bill, Dave, Vic and Jen for brunch - Vic and Jen drove, everybody else flew in :o)

Afterwards, Randy and I flew back down the Bear Creek canyon.  We couldn't be seen under the lip :o)

We all scurried out of our hangars to see the Piaggio Avanti taxi past :o)

I headed home to do some chores around the house, then played about with some video of recent flights.

The first one is chasing Chris and Randy down the North Fork of the American River last weekend.  I decided against using the telemetry from the GoPro :o)

The other one is from today, in the Bear Creek canyon.

November 28th

I went to the airfield and changed the wheel bearings on the plane.  I've noticed a slight flat spot starting to form on the nose wheel, and it's because the valve makes the wheel heavier on that point, so that's always where the tyre touches down first, so I rotated the tyre 180 degrees while I was at it.  I have a spare tyre, it's just there's no reason to replace it just yet :o)

I took the plane out and just flew around for a bit - I had intended to fly up the Feather River further, but there was a helicopter coming towards me, so I turned away when he was about 2 miles in front of me and headed towards home.

Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27th

We went to the airport early and flew to Cameron Park to meet up with Chris - we weren't on the ground long enough for the tracker to see it as two trips :o)

From Cameron Park, we headed South to look at some of the ridges and valleys, before heading back towards Auburn for lunch.  We flew back down the North fork of the American River to Folsom Lake (below the rim, so it's a straight line here), then back to Lincoln, where we chatted with a bunch of people before heading home.

November 26th

Today was Thanksgiving, ie a day off work.  I flew over to Cameron Park.

It was pretty windy, so I managed to take off in about 30'.  I was at about 800' by midfield, so I turned an early crosswind and headed South East - I managed to hit almost 100mph on downwind, but was tacking across the wind the rest of the way there.  We tinkered about with Chris' plane for a bit, and even had it fired up and running.  We've found an oil leak :o(

I flew back into the headwind the whole way, I meandered along looking at things.

Did I say a headwind?  Here's what I mean:

While I was 3 miles to the East, there was a guy on finals for a straight in landing - he was a little worried that I'd be in the pattern as he landed, and I told him I was showing less than 40kt ground speed.  He landed as I came over the airport.  Again, I was really fast downwind, and I landed at about 13mph ground speed and let the rotor spin down before taxying back to the hangar.

At home, we had turkey and watched "The Iron Mask".

Sunday, November 22, 2020

November 22nd

I met Randy at the airport, and we flew to Auburn to meet a bunch of people for breakfast.

After lunch we flew down the North Fork of the American River to Folsom Lake on the way to Cameron Park.

As always, the straight line is where we were under the ridge, so couldn't be seen.  We did see a sand bar that looks like somebody landed and took off there.

At Cameron Park, Chis and I did more work on his RV-6A, and Randy rode around on Chris' wheelie thing.  Hopefully he's pretty much done with his annual now :o)  We flew back to Lincoln before it got dark.

Back at Lincoln, I jacked the plane up and pulled a wheel off to get the bearing number so I can order new bearings while Randy rode around on his new wheelie thing :o)

November 21st

Nobody was about, so I managed to run some errands before going to the airport.  Randy had sent me pictures of my tyres on the plane being flat, so I went all ready to change the inner tubes.  Flat they were indeed, to the point where I had to put air in the tyres to get the jack under the plane to lift it up.  I discovered that the dust cover on one of the bearings had come away, so I guess I'll need to find new wheel bearings too.  I also cleaned and oiled the air filter, then went out for a flight.  I ran the canyon down Bear Creek, so there's a long straight line where the plane was invisible :o)

Monday, November 16, 2020

November 16th

I had the day off today - Friday was a company-wide "wellness day", but obviously we can't just shut down support to customers, so I got Monday off instead.

After tinkering around at home, I went and picked up Randy for lunch, then we went and looked at the planes.  Randy had balanced the pitch on his prop, so we checked mine and decided we'd probably make it worse if we tried to make it better - we're talking like 0.15 degree of difference here.  We then took the planes out to fly along the Feather River and up Bear Creek to see if the trees are changing colour yet - they're lighter green, but the oranges and reds aren't out yet.  We decided to run up the Bear Creek Canyon to almost Auburn, then head home... again, the straight line on the track is where we were under the lip of the ridges, so couldn't be seen by the ADS-B receivers :o)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

November 15th

I met Randy at the airport, then we flew up to Auburn to meet Vic (who drove) and Chris (who flew the gyroplane) for breakfast.

After breakfast, we flew down into the North fork of the American River and then up to Cameron Park.  The lines are straight, because we were below the lip, so the ADS-B receivers couldn't see us :o)

Chris and I worked on his RV-6A for a few hours, while Randy amused himself riding Chris' electric unicycle.

Before it got dark, we flew back to Lincoln... I deviated a little to fly over Chris' house, but Jackie didn't come out and wave, then we flew over Folsom Lake for a bit.

November 14th

The day started all foggy, and it didn't look like it as going to burn off particularly quickly.  Chris was gloating that the weather was great at Cameron Park, but I pointed out that he's 1000' above Roseville.  I drove over there to help him work on his RV-6A.  We seemed to make a fair amount of progress, but had to give up when it got dark.

Funnily the Bolt said I had 164 miles of range when I left Cameron Park (having driven uphill all the way there), but 168 miles of range when I got home (having driven downhill all the way).  The guess-o-meter that does the range bases it on your recent driving, so it was funny watching the range going up as I drove home :o)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

November 9th

Randy got it into his head that his carbs needed to be rebalanced, so we went out to the airport and checked them.  They were fine :o)

In other news, it looks like winter's here.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

November 8th

I met Randy, Chris and Tim at Lincoln, and Chris had Ken's old prop.  Randy and I flew up to Auburn (through some smattering of rain), and Chris and Tim drove up with the prop.

We got the prop installed on Chris' gyro, then went to lunch, wit Chris being concerned about his "new" prop needing balancing.  Well, Randy went home, as he was taking the kids to lunch.  While Tim and I were waiting for a table, Chris was talking to Ben, who owns the hangar his gyro was stored in overnight, and it turns out he has a fiend who can balance props.  Chris wandered off to get his prop balanced, and Tim and I had lunch, then met Chris with his lunch in a takeaway box.

While they pottered away getting the prop all set up, I headed home, as I still needed to clear stuff out for work.  Again, rain on the way out of Auburn, and a lot of gusty wind getting back in to Lincoln.

November 7th

I started the day early, going through tickets at work, as I'm on call this weekend.  Then I went to the airport, pulled the plane out and meandered over to Cameron Park and picked Chris up, then flew back to Lincoln.  I wasn't on the ground long enough for the flight tracker to see it as 2 flights :o)

He finished up some paperwork, then we flew up to Auburn for lunch.

When we got there, a nick in his prop had opened up into a full-blown crack, so he found a hangar to store it in and started looking in to buying a new prop.  After lunch, I remembered that Ken has a prop that might have some damaged blades from his M-24 - one of the windows burst and went through the prop on its way back from Texas.  So, Chris is talking to him about using the whole prop, or maybe one blade or something in the middle.  I flew Chris back to Cameron Park, then flew back to Lincoln to put the plane away.  Again, it's showing as one flight :o)

Thursday, November 5, 2020

November 4th

Chris' gaskets came in, so after work I went to the airport and installed one in the float bowl that had been leaking.  I ran the fuel pumps to check it wasn't leaking, and everything seemed fine, so I was just starting to get the gyro out so I could run it when Randy S showed up.  We ran the engine up to temperature, and there were no leaks or stumbles, so we plugged in the carb balancer and made sure the carbs were balanced, before safety wiring everything up and reinstalling the carb drip trays.  Annual done - Randy went home to do the paperwork, and I tidied everything away and headed home too.

Monday, November 2, 2020

November 1st

A new month, so here are the power stats:

Power billed
Power generated

I got up and changed the clocks, then went and met Randy at Lincoln, and we flew up to Auburn for breakfast.

We were there pretty early, so it didn't take long... Randy had things to do, so we went pretty much straight home.

I spent a while tinkering around with soldering some stuff to perfboard.  Have you ever done that?  It's miserably difficult.  Maybe I should look into wire wrapping... anyway, Randy suggested an evening flight (bearing in mind that it now gets dark at 17:00.