Because I often deal with the non-flying public in venues where my affection for aviation becomes a topic of conversation, I’ve become fascinated by the limits people put on themselves. I often talk to people who profess to want to fly. They wish they could. They dream they can. They imagine the wonder of it all. But they don’t actually fly. [Read more…]
Q: I recently purchased a high hour O-320-A1A in an RV-3. The rocker arms were out of limits and I had them rebushed and sized.
The description for the exhaust valve is confusing on Lycoming Service Instruction No. 1451A. Under the cautionary note, the exhaust valve is “identified by the oil drain hole located under the valve end.”
However, the hole that I see is located under the push rod end.
I know I removed the rocker arm with the hole from the exhaust valve, but I do not see how the oil from this hole will lubricate the valve.
This is all probably moot since the engine has been running for 2,200 hours.
A variety of sources detailing the Wright brothers’ research methods and conclusions prior to the successful first powered flight note their study of birds.
From that study, they observed and identified the ways soaring birds changed their wings’ shape to control the flight path. That data led to conceiving and implementing wing warping, mimicking the birds they observed.
Never mind that wing warping isn’t as efficient or mechanically simple as ailerons, flaps, and other devices humans now use to change a fixed wing’s shape. The important part is the Wrights observed how birds established and maintained control, and transferred that knowledge to a mechanical object. [Read more…]
Q: Because of medical problems, my IO-720 has not run in six months. While always hangared, the hangar is sometimes damp. The question is what to do in re-starting? Do we open it up and clean, or change the oil often? [Read more…]
In many ways I’m a creature of habit. Of course, some habits are more obvious than others. For instance, I eat every day. More than I need to, in fact. That’s a habit. Not a particularly good one, and not one that I am proud of, but it is a habit, so I include it on my list.
Another is that I write my General Aviation News column every Monday morning. You can count on me being at my desk bright and early, putting fingers to keyboard in an attempt to find some nugget of truth, or insight, or entertainment to share with you.
Today, that didn’t happen. It’s late afternoon now. I frittered away my morning in search of excellence. And I’m happy to say I may have found it. [Read more…]
The nation appears almost hypnotized by the ongoing spectacle of this year’s presidential debates. Sometimes these highly watched broadcasts have real substance to them, but many describe them as political theater, an apt term when a clash of personalities drives ratings as much as discussion of important current events. [Read more…]
In this political season, like every political season, we see divisions forming.
In many cases those cracks in the American facade happen between people who would be better served by a united force.
Each candidate has their followers. Every point of view has an advocate. Parties square off for battle, often over problems that will only be exacerbated by the head-on assault.
This is nothing new. It happens on a major scale every four years, to a lesser extent every two years, and to a diminishing degree annually. But it happens, as it always does, and we as a people are worse for the bickering.
Aviation can and does rise above all this petty caterwauling. [Read more…]
Deep within the hearts and souls of those who fly is a desire to repeat the experience. Whether our last flight was three days ago, three years ago, or three decades ago, the flame still burns. We want to fly. We occasionally dream of flying. And we plan to one day, someday, fly again. [Read more…]
“The department continues to be bullish on new technology,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a Feb. 24, 2016 release about the FAA’s efforts to expand the safe integration of unmanned aircraft. “We recognize the significant industry interest in expanding commercial access to the National Airspace System. The short deadline reinforces our commitment to a flexible regulatory approach that can accommodate innovation while maintaining today’s high levels of safety.” [Read more…]