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.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

October 31st

I went and met the guys at the airport.  When Randy S got there, we checked my carb balance (as the carbs were rebuilt on Tuesday) and then Randy O took him out for a test flight from his carb balance.

Chris showed up, and we changed his fuel filter, then Randy S started work on his annual inspection.  Randy O and I got bored, so we went for a flight in the gyros before he had to go home for the kids' Hallowe'en.

After Randy O went home, Chris, Randy S and I went and had lunch, then headed back to finish up Chris' annual.  We checked the weight of the floats (has to be under 7 grammes per carb) and they were fine, but we were having a lot of trouble putting the float bowls back on - there were always fuel leaks on the right hand one.  It was getting so Chris couldn't fly home as it's be dark when he got back to Cameron Park, so we were figuring I'd take him back to Cameron Park.  Then his wife suggested he stay, so he could fly the gyro home in the morning, so I said he could crash with us - worst case he sleeps on the sofa bed with Tilly :o)

We eventually gave up, as the gasket looks to be stretched, and even leaving it in the fridge for a bit didn't solve that - if it didn't leak when the fuel pump was running, it'd leak when the engine was running.  Chris is going to order a new gasket, and I took him back - via the house so I could drop the van off and take the car.