Monday, May 23, 2022

May 22nd

I met Randy at the airport and flew to Auburn to meet Chris and PJ for breakfast.

After breakfast we flew back - I started to follow Randy to the South, remembered we were landing on 33 and corrected for an overhead join.  He'd been just doing what he always does by setting up for 15, and sorted himself out for 33.

We reinstalled Shane's instrument panel, then found one of my fuel pumps wasn't working, so replaced that with a spare.  Now I need to get a new spare :o)

May 21st

We went to the airport and had breakfast, then worked on replacing a broken terminal block on the plane.  That too (a lot) longer than I'd expected, and I also helped Shane with his plane - there's some odd stuff going on with the EIS.

Vic and I went for our monthly flight around Camp Far West Lake, then helped Shane pull his dashboard to spray contact cleaner in the EIS before going home again.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

May 18th

I went to pick up my new glasses, to find I couldn't see at all well through the left eye.  We went through the "test your eyes" process again and found that the prescription was correct, leading me to think that they'd left the old lens in that eye, but what do I know, I'm not an optician.

Monday, May 16, 2022

May 15th

I met Shane and Liza at the airport and we flew up to Auburn to meet Chris, Tim and PJ for brunch.

We flew pretty much straight back, as the wind and thermals were quite bumpy.

During Shane's annual, I'd found that the oil pressure alarm on his engine information system wasn't set up, so we went to set that up, only to find that pretty much nothing was set to alarm.  Having set most stuff up, we found the exhaust gas temperature sensor on one cylinder was reporting all over the place, suggesting a wiring issue - the engine can't heat and cool that quickly.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

May 14th

I'm resting my back before I go back to work on Monday, so I just pottered around the house.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

May 13th

I'm still feeling pretty tired, so I just pottered around the house doing small stuff that needed to be done.

We watched "Dog," though Tilly slept through most of it.  Later, we watched "Moonfall," which had me saying "physics doesn't work like that" repeatedly.

Friday, May 13, 2022

May 12th

I was just starting to settle in and play Warcraft all day when Randy mailed me and Shane to say he could do the annual inspection on Shane's plane.  So I went to the airport and got that all done and out of the way for another year.

When I got home, Vic was back from the Bay Area, and Tilly was happy that everybody's back where she thinks they should be.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

May 11th

My back's getting better, but I still didn't get anything useful done.  Sometimes it's good to just laze around.

May 10th

We were supposed to be going to Los Gatos for Vic's mother's birthday, but I didn't sleep well and my back's still giving me a lot of trouble, so Vic's left me and Tilly at home.  I mostly watched TV and slept.

May 9th

I've taken the week off to get some stuff done, so started out by hurting my back figuring out how to get the rear seats down in the rental car.  Yay me.

Monday, May 9, 2022

May 8th

I met Bruce at the airport to talk about the EAA - he's looking at trying to be an advisor to the board to try and get them back on track.  I had some feedback :o)

May 7th

I started the day going to the airport for the "Brunch with Bud" event, but got sidetracked by Shane and his friend Dave wanting to go to Karen's for lunch, then Tony wanting to go to lunch at Karen's now.  So we went to Karen's now.

After lunch, I went for a short flight - Marty had been up and said it was pretty bumpy, and it was still bumpy.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

May 6th

We went and picked up a rental car while the Bolt is in getting its battery replaced.  The choice ended up being a Spark or a Charger, keeping the electric theme (though both are internal combustion engines.)  We took the Spark because it's cheaper (even though GM are paying for it) and it's easier to live with - the Charger is a looot bigger.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

May 4th

After an email conversation with a couple of the EAA board members about an IT issue, one sent me (and the whole board) an email reply that another board member later called "condescending."  I thought "I don't need to stay here and be condescended to.  I can go anywhere and be condescended to."  So I've suggested it might be better if they do their own IT and web support.

It's been brewing for a while, as I've been getting criticism for not posting updates they haven't told me about and so on, but after almost 10 years, I'm glad to be shot of it all.

I wish the webmaster well.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May 3rd

Henry's going home this week, so we had a barbecue at the airport to see him off.

Randy's installed his new prop, so he went for a trial flight to see how that works.  It seems to be over-pitched, but he says it's a lot quieter.  It sounded the same from the ground, in my opinion.  We still plan to gather data comparing it to the stock Magni prop, as until then it's just "I can run faster in my new sneakers."

Sunday, May 1, 2022

May 1st

I went to the airport and flew up to Auburn to meet Randy and Henry, who'd gone out early to try and miss the worst of the bumpy weather.

It was pretty windy, so we all just came straight back.

When I finished being on call, I played with another video, this time of Henry.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

April 30th

I'm on call this weekend, so didn't get much done today, but I did throw together a short video from yesterday's flight to Nut Tree.

I went and met Shane, Henry, Randy, PJ and Ken (who flew in from Reno to see Henry) for lunch.  Didn't get around to flying, as I was pretty tired.

Friday, April 29, 2022

April 29th

Randy came and picked me up, and we met Henry, Shane and Liza at the airport.  We had originally intended to fly to Lampson, but as we'd had the crap beaten out of us on our last couple of cross country flights, we decided to try Nut Tree, with a divert to Sutter if it was too turbulent.

It wasn't turbulent, so we got to Nut Tree, and met Steve, another MTO pilot, from Petaluma.

Henry, me, Randy, Shane and Liza, Steve

After lunch, it was decided to stop at Woodland on the way back, and Steve said he'd fly there with us.

When we were setting up to leave, us to Lincoln, Steve to Petaluma, Steve's pre-rotator broke - it's a mechanical linkage on the Autogyros, and the link pin had failed.  We explained to him that he could manually pre-rotate, and Randy span the rotor up, to about 20rpm, and left him to run down the runway.  One of the issues with the Autogyro is that it has a pneumatic, push button pre-rotator, and it seems Steve doesn't understand how pre-rotation works, as he slammed the cyclic back and the propeller hit the rotor.  We were amazed that the design would allow that to happen.  Oh well... we found space in a hangar for him (George, a Magni pilot allowed him in,) and Randy flew him back to Nut Tree to get picked up to go home.  Shane, Liza and I flew back to Lincoln and waited for Henry and Randy to get back.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

April 28th

The weather forecast for today was crappy, so we'd declared it a maintenance day and decided against flying.  Obviously it was a nice day, but I did get to go to the optician's and do the 50 hour service on my plane.  We also installed an old digital altimeter I have in Randy's plane, mostly so he can see the vertical speed indicator :o)

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

April 27th

I went out to the airport, and Randy, Henry and I flew one of Randy's cow-orkers up to Auburn for lunch.

We flew back down the North Fork, then sat in the hangar and chatted for a while.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

April 26th

I picked Shane up and headed to the airport, where we met Randy and Henry and flew to Willows.  It was a bit of a cluster... Randy had been playing with the balance screw on his rotor, and left it so unbalanced that he turned back to adjust it again, leaving us to press on as we were supposed to be meeting a guy out of Petaluma at 13:00.  And he bailed out while we were in the air, apparently.  So after being battered by turbulence for over an hour, we got there and waited for Randy to arrive.

After lunch, we flew back via the valley to the West that's where they're going to be building the Sites Reservoir.

Monday, April 25, 2022

April 25th

I've taken the week off while Henry's here so we can do some flying.  So obviously I started the day at the Chevrolet dealer dropping the Bolt off ("is the check engine light on?" - "it doesn't have an engine") so they can look at the battery - I reckon they'll end up replacing it per the recall.

Randy picked me up when I got home again, and we went to the airport, where he, Shane, Henry and I flew to Oroville for lunch.

We had talked about going via Feather Falls on the way home, but the wind was a bit rowdy, so we shelved that idea.  I've bought a suction mount for the Insta360, so I slapped that on the side of the plane for the flight up, and when everything seemed OK, I screwed the camera to it for the way back.  It's pretty damn stable, and I'm giving Henry the footage to integrate with his footage from his 9 (!) cameras.

April 24th

Chris, Henry and Randy were heading to Half Moon Bay, and I didn't feel like getting out that early, so I pottered around the house and went out to the airport later.  I did a short flight, then changed the left hand tyre as the old one has some flat spots on it.

I was just finishing up as Randy and Henry got back - they'd only got to Petaluma and tooled around there for a while.  Chris had got to Half Moon Bay (despite the fog) but he was in an RV-12 that he's going to be helping sell.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

April 23rd

I'd offered to pick Shane up due to his scheduling conflicts with their one family car and 3 people wanting it, but my day started with the car throwing an error and saying it wanted a service.  The battery cooling system is working hard, so I think there's been some sort of event there.  So I took the van instead.

Half way back to the airport, I got paged, so we pulled into a parking lot and I spoke to a customer for a while, before agreeing to call them back when we got to the airport.

I called them back and it was obvious I wasn't flying to lunch with everybody, so they all left and I sat on conference calls most of the morning and into the afternoon.  Luckily I got off the call shortly after everybody got back, and could help Shane finish up his servicing before his annual.

I ran Shane home, then went home and finished up my day of work :o(

April 22nd

Shane's first annual inspection on his plane is due at the end of the month, and he's been getting a little twitchy about it, so we agreed to meet at the airport and make a start on it.

When I got there (early,) Henry was unloading his plane.  I know he likes to take his sweet time on everything, so I got Bill's RV-6 out and ran it up for 15 minutes to exercise the engine and get the oil up to temperature.  He's moved to Florida, and is aiming to be back in a couple more weeks to pick it up, and I'd said I'd try and run the engine every few weeks or so.

I helped Henry get his rotor back in, then Shane and I started on his service at the same time as getting everything back in the hangar.  We mostly got the pre-rotator all apart and serviced, but I'd say we're about half way done.

Friday, April 22, 2022

April 21st

One of us almost got sprayed in the face by a skunk last night.

In the evening, I attended the online EAA meeting.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

April 17th

We met Shane and Liza at the airport, then did our monthly flight over Far West Lake Reservoir on the way up to Nevada County airport - Shane and Liza haven't been there.

After standing around admiring the empty airport for a while, we flew home again.

PJ was meeting friends at Lincoln, so we chatted for a while, then went and had lunch.

April 16th

It was raining, and Easter weekend, so everything was cancelled.  Shane and I met at at the airport and put our planes back together, then went and got lunch.

April 15th

We watched "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

Friday, April 15, 2022

April 12th

I went to the online EAA gyroplane event, where they talked about aircraft in the museum from Bensens to Norman Surplus' MTO.

It was a little gratifying to have a few of my answers to questions posed to the (non gyro pilot) presenters read out verbatim :o)

Monday, April 11, 2022

April 10th

It was even windier than yesterday, so we gave up on flying to Davis.  Shane, Liza and I met for breakfast, then did a tiny amount of maintenance before heading home.

In the evening, Vic and I watched "The King's Man."

April 9th

There was a wind advisory as it was gusting over 30mph through the valley, so Shane, Randy and I shelved our plan to fly to Modesto and just went and saw Chris' new hangar and had lunch.

April 8th

We went to dinner with Bill, Jody and William, as they're heading for Florida on Sunday.

Friday, April 8, 2022

April 7th

I went to the EAA VMC meeting via Zoom.  I'm wondering if we'll get back to doing those in the hangar in the near future.

April 3rd

I met Bill and his friend Gordon at the airport, and we proceeded to lever Gordon into the plane, as he can't get into Bill's RV-6A.  We went and flew over Camp Far West Lake reservoir so Gordon could take pictures of Bill flying, then headed up to Auburn to meet Chris, Tim, Randy, Kim, Victoria and John for lunch.

We looked at some of the 800+ pictures on Gordon's camera, and some look really good - I'm looking forward to seeing the better ones when he's finished processing them.

We flew straight back, as it seems they were running late for a family meeting :o)

Saturday, April 2, 2022

April 2nd

I started the day at the airport for the EAA breakfast.  I took the car, and Vic called to say the van wasn't starting in the Togo's parking lot, so she'd got a ride home.  It sounded like a low battery, because it's been sitting in the garage for over a week, then only drove 2 miles.  When I went for a flight, I flew over it to make sure the solar panel on the roof was clear of too many shadows, and when we went to pick it up, it started just fine.

April 1st

A new month, so here are the stats.  It's funny, the power monitor thingy stopped working for a few hours, but seems OK now.

Power billed

Power generated

Monday, March 28, 2022

March 27th

I picked Randy up on the way to the airport and we flew up to Auburn to meet Shane (who'd driven.)

We wanted to talk about a YouTub video interview done by a local (ish - he's based at Nevada County) about a recent gyroplane accident.

Basically, listening to Dan's description of what happened, it seems pretty obvious that he doesn't understand how to fly a gyroplane.  Little things like saying he was pulling the stick back, when it should have already been back, and reaching rotation speed when there's no such thing in the Pilot's Operating Handbook for a gyroplane suggest he had a blade sailing incident.

Anyways, we, and a bunch of other people, are concerned that there are a couple of popular YouTubers saying gyros will magically crash on you for no reason at all.  Shane's contacted Dayton Dabbs, who's close to the accident site, and is a) far better prepared to explain what happened and b) far more photogenic than any of us.  So the plan (agreed by everybody involved) is that Juan will interview Dayton, and possibly meet us to fly in a gyroplane - I'm hoping he'll bring his son Pete after this :o)

After brunch, we flew home again.

March 26th

We went to the airport and met Shane and Liza, then took the planes out.  The plan had been to fly over the Far West Lake reservoir and video it, but the camera was playing up.  Shane and Liza carried on per the plan, but we puttered around until Vic got the camera working, so we could do the video of the lake.

After putting the planes away, we went and got lunch at Karen's, where we ran into Ken and Gary.

Friday, March 25, 2022

March 24th

I'd been asked to bring the plane to a show-and-tell event for a school's transportation class, up in Grass Valley, so I flew up there (and I mean "up" - it's at >3,000').

There were a bunch of planes there, from Gary's Cardinal to a Nanchang.

After answering the same few questions (No, it's not a helicopter.  Yes, it has wings, they're up there.  The engine doesn't need a cover, as it's not fast enough to worry about it.  Yes, it's very safe) over and over, I flew back  :o)

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

March 20th

Randy and I went to the airport and flew to Auburn, to meet Bill, Jody, William, PJ, Chris and John for breakfast.

The wind was quite gusty... John termed it "sporty," so we pretty much went straight home.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

March 19th

I started the day at the airport.  The forecast was for rain, so we weren't expecting to fly, but it was an EAA breakfast.  There were a few scattered showers, so after everything was tidied away, I headed home to waste the day playing Warcraft.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

March 16th

I went to the EAA 1541 Zoom meeting with Mark talking about building his Cozy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

March 15th

Randy called to say he'd been to the airport and put everything back together.  He flew with no errors being logged :o)

Monday, March 14, 2022

March 13th

I started the day an hour late, thanks to the clock change.  Having met Randy, Shane and Liza at the airport, we flew to Auburn in the gusty wind.

The flight back was just as adventurous... there were very few aircraft flying :o)

Back at Lincoln, I fiddled with my squeaking brake a little, Shane tidied away some loose wires from our ADS-B install and Randy dinked around with his malfunctioning fuel pressure sensor.

Now, right from the start I've said it's an electrical issue, but he was thinking he was going to replace it.

To humour me, he pulled the panel and we sprayed some contact cleaner in the EIS connector (there are 3 connections between the sensor and the display - supposedly he'd checked the other 2.)

Now a test runup had the cylinder head temperatures being high - unplugging them didn't change anything, so it wasn't the cylinder head temperatures.

We unplugged the EIS again and blew on the connector, and that seemed to have fixed that.  The fuel pressure sensor was still playing up, so we spent a long time disconnecting it - most of that cutting zip ties to see where the wiring went.

We couldn't get a couple of the crimped on connectors disconnected, which ended up with the crimps being pulled off the wires, and I sat down to pull the crimps apart to see what was going on.

What looks like the main power connector for the sensor (that I was told had been "fixed" when we'd stopped at Colusa last weekend) was almost blue, it was so corroded, so it was decided that we'd replace the crimps and reconnect it to see if that was the problem.

That took a while, and once it was done, Randy took the plane out for a test flight.  The cylinder head temperature warning went off again, but the fuel pressure was fine.

We left the EIS unplugged so the contact cleaner should totally dry out, but I'm hopeful that the problem was electrical, like I said at the beginning of this adventure.

March 12th

Everybody was out doing other things, so I went and filed our taxes, then headed to the airport to potter around for a while.

When I got home, I finally got around to updating the home theatre system to Matrix.  Seems to work.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

March 9th

I've ordered and now received a new air filter for the van, so I went through the struggle to get that installed.

I'm thinking I'll probably replace the oxygen sensor, too, as I swear it's using more gas than it used to.  The last smog test looked fine though.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

March 6th

I went and met Randy, Shane and Liza at the airport, and we headed out for Colusa.  The plan had been for Shane to practice a landing there before the big fly-in later in the month, so he didn't have to worry about doing a go-around in front of a load of people, but we turned back as Randy's fuel pressure warning went off.  He cycled the pumps, and it looked fine again, so we carried on, but stopped to take a look at the wiring.  We found a loose connector, then carried on our merry way to Willows, where we met Bill, Chris, Tim and PJ, and met an Autogyro MTO pilot called Steve from Petaluma.

After lunch, we headed back to Lincoln, making pretty good time with a tail wind.

When we got back, Jarron was out in his Air Command, and we heard him coming back on the handheld radio I've just recently left in the hangar :o)  We all went out and watched him land, then chatted while I went over my left carb that seemed to be leaking when I looked at it at Willows.  Everything looks fine, so I changed the choke gasket as it looked like that might be the problem, and it pressure tested OK.  Hopefully that's fixed.

March 5th

I started the day picking Randy up on the way to the airport, where we had breakfast and peered at the sky.  It was pretty cloudy, and even raining from time to time, so we gave up on flying and went home.  Obviously it brightened up later, but by then I was playing Warcraft.

March 4th

The weather's been a bit off, so I spent some time finishing up our taxes.  Now I just need to figure out how to pay the bill :o(

Friday, March 4, 2022

March 3rd

As the weather's changing, I just played Warcraft today.  Randy's back from Disney, so we did go and put gas in the planes for (hopefully) flying this weekend.

In the evening, I went to the EAA Zoom meeting.

March 2nd

Continuing my streak of actually achieving things in my week off, I took the van in for its annual (well, it's been over 2 years) going over at Stephan's Auto Haus.  While Travis was complaining about the state of the air filter (I blamed all the smoke last year), I got to look over Wunder Bread, Stephan's 24 hours of Lemons racer.  I'm thinking it's got a bit more than $500 in it, but it's quite the piece of equipment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

March 1st

A new month.  Here are the stats:

Power billed
Power generated

I went to the airport and got the annual on my plane all finished up, then took Gary on the test flight to make sure everything worked :o)

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

February 28th

I've taken the week off to get some stuff done, and spent the day at the airport making a good start on the annual inspection for the plane.  Randy says it'll be good to go tomorrow, so I'll be set until the end of March next year (I'm trying to move the annual towards the summer so there's less chance of it being miserably cold when I'm trying to get stuff done.)

February 27th

Dave and Sam came to see Tilly, and brought me some Lift as all good guests should.

February 26th

I'm on call this weekend, so after clearing out the queue, I went and flew to Auburn to meet Bill, John and Chris for lunch.

When I got back to Lincoln, I got in Bill's way as he finished up changing his oil - he'll be flying to Florida in the next couple of months, and doesn't want to have to change it en route.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

February 21st

Today was President's Day, where Americans remember George Washington's birthday by going shopping.

I met Shane and Liza at the airport, where Shane flew Katarina, a cow-orker, and I flew Liza before we went and got lunch.

At home, I got to spend a couple of hours playing with cable modems to discover (with Comcast's "help") that the new modem doesn't work.

February 20th

I went to the airport and did the 25 hour service on the plane.

I also worked on my left brake - I'd intended swapping the wheels side to side, but I wasn't comfortable jacking it high enough to put on my jack stands.  I blobbed more RTV in and put it all back together, then waited for Chris to arrive.  We took his RV-6A to Auburn for lunch :o)  I flew part of the way - it's very light on the controls.

February 19th

We started the day at the airport getting breakfast at the EAA hangar, then flew to Cameron Park, which was funny because Chris, PJ and Damon had flow to Lincoln from Cameron Park, and they were then going on to Woodland.

Judi had pressganged me in to flying a couple of kids - the little boy's 8th birthday was today.

After flying the kids, we flew back to Lincoln via Camp Far West Lake reservoir.  It looks a little lower than it did last time we were over that way.

My left brake is still bloody squeaking :o(

Thursday, February 17, 2022

February 16th

I went to the EAA membership meeting.  Hopefully this is the last time we'll do this by Zoom for a while :o)

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

February 15th

It looks like I've been roped into flying some Young Eagles on Saturday, so I went and added some more RTV to the wheels on the plane to hopefully stop them squeaking once and for all.  We'll see what they're like when they've dried.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

February 13th

I met Chris at the airport and installed his new brake pads on the left wheel (we did the right wheel months ago).  He was playing with his instrument panel for a while, and then we installed the cyclic tie down strap that I got him months ago, and flew to Oroville with Randy, PJ, Shane and Liza.

After lunch, we flew up to Feather Falls (video when I get around to it) on the way back to Lincoln.

My brakes are still squeaking on the left wheel, so I guess I'll look at that one again.  The right wheel seems better.

February 12th

I met Shane at the airport and we flew up to Auburn to meet Bill and William for brunch.

Shane's looking at replacing his proprietary Microavionics intercom with something more normal, so I wore my (David Clark based) helmet, and he wore Randy's (Lightspeed based), and we swapped on the way back.

I ran into Kirk, somebody I used to race with - he was flying a Piper Tomahawk, but was very interested in gyros - apparently we fly over his house from time to time.

Shane's the heaviest passenger I've taken for a while, so I wasn't really ready for the 500'/minute climb rates :o)

Back at Lincoln, I took my brakes apart again - I was thinking about it, and I reckon I misunderstood what Greg was suggesting with the RTV on the back of the brake cones - I thought he wanted to glue the cones to the hub, when I now think he wanted to change the frequency of the cones enough that they wouldn't resonate.  So I blobbed more RTV in there, and we'll see if that fixes the brakes' squeak when they're being used, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

February 9th

I went to an EAA mothership meeting about air traffic control.  The presenters talked as fast as air traffic controllers, because they're air traffic controllers, so I don't think I got much out of it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

February 8th

I went to an EAA (mothership) presentation about their XP-51.

Monday, February 7, 2022

February 6th

I started the day tinkering with a video from me pointing at Shane, where he's posted the video of him pointing at me.

Then I met Randy at the airport and he, Marty, Dave and John joined us in meeting Chris for breakfast at Auburn.

I was pretty tired from flying so long yesterday, so Randy and I flew down the American River canyon and up and over the observatory, rather than the length of the lake on the way home.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

February 5th

I picked Randy up on the way to the airport where we met Shane and Liza to fly to Willows for lunch.  On the way, we flew around the South side of the Sutter Buttes, and around the North on the way back.  It was pretty windy, so I ended up hover taxying almost to the end of runway 31 before landing in a few feet :o)  And then I had to wait a while for the rotor to spin down.

We were too low and in the middle of nowhere, so the ADS-B didn't catch most of the flight :o(

Shane and Liza were playing with my Insta360, as they wanted some footage of Thunderhill raceway, but they also got a few shots of me.

February 4th

We watched "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

Friday, February 4, 2022

February 3rd

I met Shane for dinner so we could talk about a bunch of flying type stuff.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

February 1st

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

Power billed
Power generated

After work I scuttled over to the airport and took the wheels off the plane.  Greg at Magni USA suggested putting some RTV on the brake cones, as they're probably resonating like a bell and causing my squeak.  I had thought I was going to have to take the wheels apart, so took a compressor along to air them up afterwards, but the cones unbolt from the back, too :o)