Q: Are there any practical, appropriate and compliant modifications that can be made to a 150-hp, narrow-deck O-320? For example, can the compression ratio be tweaked a bit, or are there aftermarket exhaust systems with less back pressure, or is there any porting/polishing possible to effect a tad more power to the propeller? [Read more…]
As a soft, bald, late middle-age, goofball who still hasn’t figured out exactly what I want to do with my life, I can say this with complete confidence: I hope for smooth sailing.
It’s what I shoot for. Of all the people you’ll meet in life, I am not the one who has a penchant for launching off into the maelstrom just to prove I can do it. No, that’s not me at all. I’m at the other end of the spectrum, entirely.
When the water is calm, the air is still, and the sky is blue, every aspect of life is more inviting. A sense of peacefulness comes over us. The world opens up. We believe we can do whatever it is we want to do. We see possibilities. We dream big. [Read more…]
Pilots not closely following Light-Sport aviation can be excused for thinking only one LSA seaplane is available.
Established LSA companies like Progressive Aerodyne and its Searey or Scoda‘s Super Petrel or Airmax’s SeaMax or any number of aircraft to which floats have been fitted may be somewhat baffled by the outsized attention Icon Aircraft‘s long-delayed A5 receives from aviation and non-aviation media.
On the other hand, most leaders of these companies do admit that Icon’s media juggernaut also brings attention to LSA seaplanes in general.
With that in mind, are you ready for one that might out-WOW the A5? [Read more…]
Q: I have a unknown four-cylinder Lycoming that only has these numbers on the case: 2299-24 and 61863 assem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Jerry [Read more…]
Often, the purpose of a column like this is to create an opportunity to begin a discussion. By opening the floor to a wide-ranging collection of potential readers, especially because many of those readers can share real insights and personal experiences on the topics raised, the community as a whole can benefit.
That sounds good in theory, but this process is not without occasional discomfort.
The ideas expressed may challenge firmly held beliefs. Practices and procedures that are recommended may rub any one of us the wrong way for a variety of reasons. [Read more…]
As I was reading coverage of the announcement that Santa Monica’s airport is to be closed on Dec. 31, 2028, I couldn’t help but shake my head. Yes, I’m sad. But reading the FAA Administrator’s comments provides a blueprint for opportunity.
When commenting on the agreement, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said, “This is a fair resolution for all concerned because it strikes an appropriate balance between the public’s interest in making local decisions about land use practices and its interests in safe and efficient aviation services.” [Read more…]
I was downwind to base, getting checked out in a light twin, when my instructor asked me if I’d done my GUMPS check yet.
Most of my flying has been in large transport aircraft, so, no, I hadn’t. I’d forgotten. I fumbled my way through GUMPS, three times, before I remembered that the “U” is to remind me to check the gear, not the, uh, the, uh…Crap. What is it again? Gas, UNDERCARRIAGE, mixture, props, switches.
I’m probably alone on this, but that’s why I hate GUMPS. Not the concept because that concept is great. [Read more…]
One of the truly unique facets of aviation that increasingly appeals to me is the expectation that pilots will perform as professionals in the cockpit.
They can joke, or not. They can talk about their favorite movie, or song, or fashion trend — or they can just stick to the requirements of the flight.
The job is to do the job, not to become best friends. If we can function in good humor, that’s great. If not, we just stick to the job at hand. [Read more…]
In many ways, the Earth is a large place. Yet in other ways, not so much.
When it comes to aviation, the world shrinks. You either look skyward longingly, or you don’t. Those of us who do share a bond and joy the vast majority of our fellow earthbound neighbors don’t, and won’t. That’s sad. [Read more…]