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.