A wise man once said, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then you have evidently not grasped the gravity of the situation.”
We live in a rural community and I have been elected to the township board for the last few years. A couple of years ago, the board applied for a grant to replace all of the traffic signs in our township. We won the grant and received the new signs.
A few weeks ago, I got a call from a representative from the company that has the contract to install the new signs, and they wanted to set up an appointment for us to select new signs for our township. I tried to explain that our township had already received the new signs. The representative said that was ok — they would just go ahead and replace all of our new signs because it would not cost our township a cent.
I did not handle this reasoning well and immediately called several county and state officials and got it changed. I am old fashioned and believe that wasting even federal government money is still a waste.
This immediately brought to mind the program to replace 100LL with an unleaded product. Here the federal government and others are spending large sums of money to solve a problem that does not exist except in their minds, but will create real problems in general aviation with their “solution.”
Now that cold weather is here, I get asked quite often, “How long should I warm up my engine before I drive/fly off?”
As always, there is no simple answer.
When I started to write this post on unleaded avgas, I sat down to read about the upcoming evaluation program for four candidate fuels. The more I read the more questions it raised.
For instance, why does Swift Fuels have two candidates?
But the biggest question concerned the percentage of the piston aviation fleet that the new candidate fuels will satisfy. A few questions arise, like which engines are the most critical, under what conditions will they knock, which airframe, propeller, operating conditions are most critical, and on and on.
A few weeks ago I received an email with a cartoon of a mature lady sitting back with a glass of wine. The caption read, “Another perfect day, and I never had to use algebra once.”
I smiled a little, but then got to thinking about how much we use math and science in our everyday life. And I started to wonder why people look down on their time in school taking these courses as a waste of time, because, in actuality, we use math and science many times every day. [Read more…]
I am a creature of habit. I have been watching the national and local evening news on TV most every evening for more than 50 years. The local news informs me about the weather and other things, and the national news keeps me informed on some of the things that are going on in the world.
In the past, the national news was more or less factual and informative. But now with several cable all-news networks, the news business has become more theater than informative.
As many of you read this, you may be on your way to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, slated for July 28-Aug. 3. I hope to be there this year and may see some of you.
I always enjoy Oshkosh, but one of my best memories is of the 1993 Aeroshell Speed Dash and the world-renowned cow poster. If you have not seen a cow poster, you’ve missed the absolute peak of general aviation advertisement. How it happened is another story.
Whenever I give talks I usually put in a few slides about grease. In discussions on this topic, questions mainly fall into three areas.
The first is why is it so critical to use only the grease that is approved for a certain application. A lot of people think grease is grease, so they should be able to use whatever is available.
An important point to remember is that grease is not really thick oil. It is base oil that has a thickening agent mixed in, much like my mother would mix corn starch into thicken the gravy.
I have recently received several inquiries concerning the use of aviation fuel and lubricant additives. To start a discussion on additives, I’ve looked into any and all approved additives.
In the ASTM D-910 spec for 100/130 low-lead avgas, there are only two fuel additives approved for aircraft owner addition to the fuel: Isopropyl Alcohol and Di-ethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether. Both are fuel system icing inhibitors.