Sunday, June 13, 2021

June 12th

I got to Randy's early to pick him up, but he wanted to haul 20 gallons of gas, so we took his truck to the airport.  We got our stuff packed up and flew to Placerville for their Young Eagles event, getting there pretty early (Judi had said the pilot briefing was 08:00, but it turned out to be closer to 08:45).

Chris joined us, and the gyros then flew 4 kids each (everybody else did 3 at most) - we'd agreed we'd fly North of the airport to keep out of everybody else's way :o)














My favourite kid was probably the last one, as he's afraid of heights, so I said we could land at any time - he really enjoyed the flight :o)

When it was all over, we flew back to Lincoln - it was much bumpier, and I guess I'd got used to having extra weight to damp out the thermals and gusts.  Still, it was like 14:00, so I'd have been at home if I was still flying the Flightstar.


Randy drove me home, and we watched "Tenet," a movie he's been on at us to watch since he saw it at the cinema.

After the movie, we went back to his place to look at his breaker boxes - he's set his mind to getting an electric car, and wants to install a level 2 charger in preparation, so we peered at things and made plans.  I'm not making up a shopping list until we've taken the covers off everything, but we want to shut the power down to the house to do that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

June 7th

Woo... my new passport arrived.  Now I can go... oh, right, nowhere.

Monday, June 7, 2021

June 6th

I pottered around the house for the morning, then went to the airport to do some work on the plane.  I did the basic torque checking stuff, then went out for a flight - I did a big loop.

When I got back, I pulled the wheels off and cleaned everything, then put them all back together again in a bid to fix the squeaking brakes.  Ken and Tony are supposed to be figuring out how to mount Matco wheels and brakes, and I'm interested to see what they come up with - it should be a lot cheaper than the $3000 Beringers.

June 5th

We got up early and flew to Placerville for their pancake breakfast.


It was supposed to be Canards West's fly in at Columbia, and they were supposed to be at Placerville, but there was only one Long-EZ there :o(  There was, however, a nice old Waco and an Austin 7 :o)


After breakfast, and chatting with people about the gyroplanes, we flew home again.


In the evening, we watched "Angel Has Fallen."

Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 2nd

We fired up the barbecue, for the first time in forever :o)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

June 1st

A new month, so here are the stats...

Power billed
Power generated


May 31st

Today was Memorial Day, when Americans honour their war dead by going shopping.

Randy and I had talked about flying early, so he texted me first thing, and I picked him up on the way to the airport.  We flew a big loop around the Beale class C airspace.

I stopped at his place on the way home, as he's trying to convince himself, and his wife, that they want an electric car.  So Elise, and then Randy, drove around playing with the regenerative braking and suchlike.  He also checked the interior leg room with him in the front seat and his freakishly tall teenage son in the back.  It passed, so they're going to carry on looking at them.

After tinkering around at home for a little while, we went and met Randy and Elise for lunch before coming home to stay out of the heat.



Monday, May 31, 2021

May 30th

I did not sleep well, what with being in a tent, listening to Randy snoring and the 05:45 fly-pasts.  We packed everything up, then did a really thorough pre-flight, where I found a broken zip tie.  I went and grabbed a couple of ties from a guy in an open hangar at the end of the runway, and everything was fine.  I've now put a couple of zip ties in one of the pockets of the plane so this hopefully won't ever happen again.

After chatting with some guys, Chris took one of them up for a quick flight, then we threw his stuff back in his plane and headed out.  Tony had told us that the restaurant at Auburn is closed for a week, so we flew back to Lincoln and went to a restaurant on the main drag - the Spitfire Grill wasn't open yet.  After breakfast, we all headed our separate ways.

When I got home, Vic pointed out a tile hanging off the roof, so we got up there and took a look at it.  It came off easily enough, as the wood it was nailed to was rotten.  I've replaced one of these bits before, but I might get somebody to come out and take a look at the whole thing and quote me to fix anything that they can show me that needs doing, as I'm not a fan of working from the top of a ladder.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

May 29th

Chris and I had decided to go to the Georgetown Fly-In, and we were going to camp there overnight.  I spent a little time getting all my stuff together, then headed for the airport.

I managed to get everything packed into the plane pretty well, and then I was early, so rather than meet Chris at Auburn, I figured I'd fly to Cameron Park and we could fly to Georgetown from there.  Just as I got to Cameron Park, he texted me to say he was running late, so I opened his hangar and waited a few minutes for him to get there.  We got t'other Chris' SportStar out, then pulled his gyro out and put the SportStar away.  The flight towards Georgetown was uneventful, but the airspace was busy there, so we got split up by other arriving aircraft.

I wondered why Chris was getting off at the end of the runway, rather than the first turn off, but when I got down there, it was because there was a plane waiting to take to the runway and back-taxi, so I had to fly a bit further and get off at the end too.

We got directed to a parking area at the front, just behind the Cal-Fire FireHawk helicopter, so we spent the rest of the day talking to people and trying to stop kids from playing with all the switches and controls.  T'other Chris flew over in the SportStar, but he was directed to park on the other side of the runway, because who wants to look at a SportStar?

When everything wound down, I went to put my tent up, and just as I got to the camp area, Randy flew over - he'd come after work, so we walked the flight line and sat around until it was too dark to do anything.



Friday, May 28, 2021

May 27th

The replacement weather station showed up and was installed.  Well, hooked to the wall - the old sensor package is currently working fine :o)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

May 26th

I managed to pitch Vic's small tent (it's hard attaching the poles to the tent while they're under tension), so I'm still planning to try and camp at Georgetown :o)

May 25th

Chris is wanting to go and camp at Georgetown for their fly-in, so I tried putting up one of my old (very old - I brought them from the UK) tents.  The elastic is starting to age badly, but the biggest problem was not being able to get the poles through the fly sheet.  I gave up and threw it away.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

May 23rd

Chris was wanting to take the RV-6A out for a proper trip, and I mentioned it to Bill, and he was interested in joining us.  The plan was initially to go to Half Moon Bay, but the weather there wasn't flyable, so we decided to go to Hollister instead, to see Chris' friend Jeff.  Part way there, Jeff texted to tell Chris he was going to Watsonville, so we diverted to go there.  We got there at 150mph before Jeff in his 100mph Cessna 140, and bimbled around the place until Chris got a delayed message from Jeff to say he was at Hollister, and the P-51 and L-39 based there were going to be flying.  So, we paused briefly to watch a gender reveal thing (they dumped blue powder from a helicopter) at Watsonville, then flew to Hollister just in time to watch them take off.



After lunch, we went and looked at the T-6 in Jeff's hangar, which is in much better condition than the very similar SNJ in our hangar, then flew back to Lincoln.

May 22nd

I picked Randy up on the way to the airport, then, as my ADS-B listener hasn't been logging any UAT traffic (again,) we flew towards the house before heading to Auburn to meet Chris for lunch.


At lunch, I checked to see if my listener had seen us, and it hadn't, so I rebooted it.  It never came back up :o(

Randy had a family thing, so we flew straight(ish) back.


I got to build a new RPi image for the ASD-B listener.  I used a different micro-SD card, as it's possible that the old one is throwing errors or something.

I have an odd wiring thing, where the socket by my desk has one always on socket, and one that's switched from the wall, so it can be a lamp or something.  The old surge protector I had was using the top (always on) socket, but I'm replacing it with a new one with two USB ports built in.  The new surge protector uses the bottom (switched) socket, so I took the whole thing out of the wall and swapped the power wires.  Obviously the switched socket was off, so I unplugged that first, then moved the always on wires to that (don't know which of my badly labelled circuit breakers goes there, can't be bothered to find out.)  I managed this without setting fire to the house or electrocuting myself (it's only 110v) in the process :o)

In te evening, we watched "Mortal Kombat."

Saturday, May 22, 2021

May 21st

Today was "stuff arrives" day - first was my new office chair that I've been promising myself for about a year, but haven't got around to buying.  It took like 5 minutes to put it together :o)

Next was the new weather station.  I was hoping against hope that it would be the same protocol as the old one, so I didn't need to get up on the roof, and it was :o)  I set it up on my desk, going through the initial configuration and so on, then unplugged it and got it all ready on the wall, where setup would be uncomfortable.  It flashed once, then showed a black screen.  Uh... plugging and unplugging it several times made no difference, so that'll have to go back :o(

Thursday, May 20, 2021

May 19th

I painted the blue wall in the office, mostly to find that the paint matches when you mix it properly :o)

Afterwards, I attended the Zoom EAA meeting with the NTSB guy again - more crashes :o(

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

May 18th

The weather station has been playing up recently, and yesterday it went all black screen of death, so I left it unplugged overnight.  When I plugged it in again, it flashed several times and there was a distinct smell of burning (and it's only 5V!)  I've ordered a new one.

I figured I'd patch the holes in the wall I'd hid behind the old console, but the paint looks different, so now I reckon I'm going to be painting the entire damned wall again :o(

Monday, May 17, 2021

May 16th

Randy came and picked me up and we flew to Auburn, where we met Vic, Tony, Stacey and John (who'd driven up from Walnut Creek) for brunch.

My radio worked just fine, but interestingly Randy said it hadn't been cutting out, rather it was getting distorted.  I'll have to investigate the resistance in the switch now.

After brunch, we wandered back.  It was turbulent in places, so I can only guess that Tony and Stacey were having less fun in the Legend Cub.



Sunday, May 16, 2021

May 15th

I met Randy at the airport and we flew to Placerville to meet Chris, who was flying a kid for their Eagles program.

Randy had to get home, but Chris and I flew to Auburn for lunch.  I took a little diversion to fly over Don's house.  He didn't come out and wave :o(

When we were done, I meandered back to Lincoln.

I've been having problems with the push to talk switch, so Vic and I went back to the airport and replaced it.  This is like the 4th one I've put in, so I've brought the old one home rather than just throwing it away, to try and see why they're not lasting.  I'm starting to wonder if it's some sort of dry solder due to the vibration it gets.  We'll see.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 12th

I went and got my second jab, so I'm expecting the mark of The Beast to start forming soon.  Still, I'm glad that's over and done with.

I managed to impress (I choose to believe) Vic by turning on the charger that she was standing by from my phone, when she'd texted to say she couldn't figure out how to do it.  It's the first time we've used EVGo, you see...

I the evening I attended a Zoom meeting of the San Carlos Flight Centre.  They talked about radio work.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

May 11th

My new laptop showed up, so I spent the afternoon trying to remember all the stuff I want to install on it.

Vic's supposed to be working part time in the office, and part time at home - this is one of the reasons I've bought a new monitor - to free up some equipment so she doesn't need to cart all her stuff to and from work whenever she's working in the office.  She's been down in the Bay Area visiting her mother, so I took her work supplies stuff to pieces and built up her office with our stuff.  Now hopefully the only thing she needs to carry back and forth is her laptop.


Monday, May 10, 2021

May 9th

Chris and I agreed to meet up at Auburn.  It was pretty bloody windy, and I left Lincoln early.  I had thought I'd run around a little hill North of Camp Far West Lake, and then run up the Bear Creek canyon, but it was a bit too windy for that.  I just pottered back South and headed up as normal.

Wings was closed, which was an annoyance.  We walked over to the bar just behind the airport, but they weren't doing food until 12.  So we walked to the golf course, and found they were doing an event at $40 a head, and we weren't really dressed for it.  So we walked back and killed time until the food truck at the bar opened.

After lunch Chris headed back to Lincoln so I could give him some Dexcool for the radiator on his gyro, and we stood and talked to Tony for a while before heading home.


Saturday, May 8, 2021

May 8th

It's the second Saturday in the month, so it was the Oroville display day.  I got up early and went to get some gas, then met Randy at the airport.  We'd expected it to be windy (forecast was ~11kts) but it was very windy, like gusting up to 30kts.  As neither of us was that bothered about going, we just had breakfast at Mary's and headed home.

I didn't do much at home, but I did manage to edit up a video of our flight over Folsom earlier in the week.


The bridge we pass is called "Hidden Bridge" because it's usually underwater :o(

I think my bright red hat is blowing out the colour in the video - I might try and find a darker one to see if it makes any difference :o)

May 7th

I had today off (it's a "Wellness Day" at the office,) so I caught up on some memes and dicked around with my work laptop.  I'd like to fix it, rather than get a new one, as setting a PC up is a PITA.

I found that it looks like the filesystem is ruined - it's saying the drive's "healthy", but "raw" rather than NTFS.  I don't know that there's a way back from that without reformatting it :o(

Friday, May 7, 2021

May 6th

My day started with my work laptop taking a dump, so I'm having to use my home desktop to try and get some work done.

The DMV are fun, aren't they?  My license expires in August, and they have this new Real ID thing if you want to get on a domestic flight.  I didn't really care, as I have to carry my green card anyway, but hey, you can scan your documents and apply online, so I did that.  "Thanks," they say, "now bring those in to the DMV and we can process your application."  <sigh>.  So, I went in, and one of the things the online application does is set you up with an appointment, so you don't have to wait.  I went in, and the guy at the appointments entry told me I needed to go to the main line, so I went and waited.  And waited.  There were only a few people in front of me, but they were all being told the wait was about an hour.  I got to the front and they asked what I was there for, so I showed them the appointment thing on my phone, and they said I should have gone to the other entry that was for appointments.  <sigh>.  Still, after about 15 minutes inside, I was all done.

Despite all this, I got away quickly enough to go to the post office and send my passport back to the UK  so I can get a new one.  I believe it'll be blue, and made in Poland.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

May 5th

After work, I met Randy at the airport and we went and flew over Folsom Lake - I wanted to see the wildflowers, but sadly they're mostly done :o(  Still, shot some video of them, and we'll see how that comes out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May 4th

May the Fourth be with you.

May 3rd

I noticed that since the last upgrade, my ADS-B listener hadn't seen any UAT traffic.  First step, reboot it.  Only it didn't come up again.  I ended up rebuilding the SD card to get it to work, then got the UAT listener to work again, so now I'm seeing data :o)

Monday, May 3, 2021

May 2nd

I picked Randy up on the way to the airport, and we flew to Auburn for breakfast - it was pretty bloody windy :o)

Bill was flying up to meet us, and Tony texted to see if we were there, so he came and joined us too.

It was pretty bloody windy on the way back (14kt, gusting 26kt) so Tony landed on the taxiway so he didn't have to taxi across the wind to get off the runway.  Randy landed and pulled off and stopped at the first exit to let his rotor spin down, so I flew up to the second exit so I could stop and let my rotor spin down too :o)



May 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed
Power generated

I picked Randy up and we headed to the airport.  Chris was there already, so we joined up to fly to Sutter for their display day.

The flight back was done at a lower level, so we didn't show up for most of it :o)

Thursday, April 29, 2021

April 28th

I'm trying a new monitor - a 32" 4K one, rather than the 2x25" 1920x1080 that I usually use.  I'm undecided as to whether I like it as yet :o(

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

April 26th

Vic's going to be taking my current monitors for her work at home setup, so I get to buy new monitors.  I've been torn between a larger 4K monitor and 2 smaller QHD/FHD ones.  We (again) took the TV from the bedroom and put it on my desk, and it's obvious that if the new monitor is much bigger, I'll need a curved screen :o(

Monday, April 26, 2021

April 25th

I started the day playing with DaVinci Resolve, and it seems pretty straightforward, even if the free version is a little crippled.  I want to try some other software before deciding for good.


Randy came over - we had been intending to watch a movie, but decided to do that next weekend as he had some family stuff going on in the afternoon.  So, we went and met Chris for lunch in Roseville.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

April 24th

The forecast wasn't great, but Randy and I tried to get to Auburn for lunch.  There were a few spots of rain at Lincoln, but it was raining pretty hard as we approached Auburn.  The interesting thing is that the chirping from the rotors goes silent in the rain - it's stupid, but I kept looking up to see if the rotor was still there :o)


Once we'd got back to Lincoln, we drove to lunch at Karen's, then headed home.  Randy's had a problem with his truck, so we looked at it - the code reader indicates a problem with the cam position sensor, and when he went and bought a new one, it's the same part as the crank position sensor.  He's replaced that before, so figured he just needed to do that again, and replaced the perfectly good crank position sensor.  Strangely enough, this didn't fix his problem, so we looked at it.  The cam position sensor has to be at one end of the engine or the other, and there was something that looked promising on the front of the engine.  We took that out, but it wasn't the cam position sensor, so we put it back.  I couldn't see any wiring between the engine and the firewall, so I went home and looked on the Google for inspiration.  It was indeed on the firewall end of the engine, and I started playing with the DaVinci Resolve video editing software and left him to sort it out.

I'm looking at new video software because mine isn't great - it's 10 years old, for a start, and Henry's videos look a lot better with pretty much the same camera.

Randy called and said he was having problems getting the old cam position sensor out, so I told him to get a new one (obviously he'd thrown out the good one he took out) while I headed over.  I couldn't reach the back of the engine, so we had to improvise a step, but I managed to get it out, and the new one in.  The truck now starts just fine :o)

When I got in, Vic was watching "Shooter", so I sort of watched the rest of that.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

April 21st

I went and got my 5G tracking chip installed in my arm.  I must say, I'm impressed with technological progress - Tilly's dumb RFID chip is about the size of a grain of rice, and this 5G chip was so small I couldn't even see it in the syringe, and it has a battery and transmitting antennae and everything.

Half way there.

In the evening I attended the EAA Zoom meeting.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

April 19th

Tonight was Henry's last night, so we went to the airport and barbecued the last of the hot dogs from last week.

Monday, April 19, 2021

April 18th

Everybody had decided to fly to Half Moon Bay, and do a lap of the San Francisco Bay, but I decided that four hours was going to be too much flying for my hand and arm sprain.

I got some other stuff done about the house while occasionally checking their progress in Flightaware.  I was surprised to see them heading from Gnoss Field to Half Moon Bay, as the weather was reported as Instrument Flight Rules.  So I wasn't surprised to see them turn back.

We went and met Randy and Henry in the evening for frozen yoghurt and heard about their long flying day.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

April 17th

Randy picked me up and we  went and bought gas.  A lot of gas.  25 gallons for Randy, 15 gallons for me and 18 gallons for Henry.  We've flown a lot this week.  At the airport, we helped Bill tinker with some new LED lights, then headed to Auburn to meet Chris and Chris for breakfast.


Chris, Randy, Chris, Henry, me

After lunch, we flew home  again.  We had talked about running the canyon, but it was gusty, so we probably wouldn't have had much fun.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

April 16th

We flew over to Cameron Park to meet Chris for a late lunch.  I did a lap of his house on the way, as it's not far from the airport.

On the way back, we went and flew low over Don's practice area, then Randy and Henry headed towards Placerville to fly down the South Fork canyon, and I headed back to Lincoln as my hand was hurting - I didn't want to push it too much harder.  I landed about 10 minutes before them, so I'd just put my plane away when I heard them fly overhead.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

April 15th

Henry wanted to fly around the Sutter Buttes, so we flew around the Sutter Buttes :o)



April 14th

I picked Randy up on the way to the airport, and we flew with Henry to Oroville for lunch.  On the way home, we flew over Table Mountain, despite the SIGMETs that had popped up for turbulence in that area.


We didn't show up well on ADS-B for most of the day :o(

In the evening, Chris flew over in his RV-6A, and we barbecued at the hangar.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April 13th

It was a little gustier than Henry was comfortable with, so I met him at the airport and we just did lunch.  Randy's around tomorrow, so we'll start the proper flying then, I reckon.

Monday, April 12, 2021

April 12th

I've taken the week off to do some flying with Henry, so I went to the airport.  He'd already had a flight out to Folsom Lake, so we chatted and looked at planes and stuff, then went and got some lunch.  Afterwards, we took the planes out for a short, bumpy flight.  Hey, it was the early afternoon - I'm sure people in fixed wings weren't having any fun at all :o)



April 11th

I went to the airport and helped Henry, one of Randy's friends who's travelling the country, unload his gyro from his trailer and install the rotor with the winch attached to the side of the trailer.  While he headed out to lunch with his brother in law, and I went for a quick flight.

In the evening, we watched "Godzilla vs. Kong", an animated movie with a few people thrown in.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

April 10th

I picked Randy up and we flew to Oroville for their display day.  Bill was opening the hangar when we left, and he beat us there in his RV-6 by about 30 minutes :o)


The wind had picked up by the time we headed home, so we ended up landing on 33, when we'd taken off on 15.  As I approached Lincoln, Steve asked if I'd mind him going past me in the T-6, and I said go for it.  He flew over me, about 100' above me, making me jump and wish I'd had the GoPro running.  Talking to him later, he hadn't seen me at all - I said it was cool, but maybe let's not do that again :o)


Once down, we tinkered with Randy's pre-rotator and control rods - we couldn't figure out the slight drag he's noticed a couple of times, but we did adjust things a little, so maybe that'll go away.


Friday, April 9, 2021

April 9th

I went to the airport, did a thorough preflight, then took the plane out for a test flight.  I did 5 circuits, then went and flew over the house before landing and putting it away again.

It also caught me playing with slow flight for a few minutes...



April 8th

I went to the airport and finished up the 200 hour service on the plane - just cleaning and greasing things, mostly.  While I was there I took a look at Randy's plane, he's had a few incidences of resistance in moving the cyclic, so we're going to take a proper look at it on Saturday - nothing jumped out at me though.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

April 7th

After walking Tilly, I settled down and joined the last bit of Auburn's Zoom meeting to hear about the planned longer runway and extra hangars, then joined the Lincoln IMC Club meeting to hear about how the ILS works.

Monday, April 5, 2021

April 4th

I flew to Oroville to meet Chris and Tim for breakfast, and we wandered over to the hangars to talk to Merle, who's tinkering with a Onex.  I also got to chat to Peewee, who's something with the EAA chapter there - they're hoping to get the city to charge cost for their avgas on their display day next Saturday.  I don't care, but that'll cheer up a bunch of guys at Lincoln who usually head up there.

As usual, I was too low for the ADS-B stuff to show up.

When I got back, I started in on the 1200 hour service for the plane.  I've done all the engine work, now I just have some greasing to do on the pre-rotator and rotor head and I'm set for another 100  hours :o)

Sunday, April 4, 2021

April 3rd

We got up early and headed over to Sutter for their display day.  We'd agreed to meet Chris there, and were running early, so I went and flew up the Feather River, rather than go straight there.


We flew back along the river, then along Bear Creek and over Camp Far West Lake before heading home.  We were pretty low over the river at the beginning (~750') so we didn't show up on the ADS-B tracking.


We tucked the plane away, then went home and got ready for Tony's wedding, back at the airport.  Having given our condolences to the bride, headed home.