I recently wrote about my logbook failure and received a nice number of comments in response.
A great many agreed with my regret at not drawing outside the lines.[Read more…]
EAA Chapter 229 bears a strong resemblance to a great many of its peer chapters. The membership is overwhelmingly male and old.
As I sit on the verge of turning 61 years old, it concerns me that I am one of the younger members of the group. Attendance at gatherings is low enough that meetings are only held during the colder weather months when Snowbirds move south to mix in with the natives. Even then, the hangar is never full. If a dozen members show up at the same time, it’s a big deal.
Seven miles away from EAA Chapter 229’s hangar/workshop is the local public high school. Inside that school building sit more than 150 students who are taking an aerospace course that will eventually lead to the completion of their private pilot ground school requirements. Some want to fly, some want to turn wrenches, some want to become engineers who design the aircraft of the future, and some want to do some combination of two or more of those things.
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see the irony of the situation. One group wants very much to find new, younger members who might revitalize the organization. The other is made up of young people who seek a means of getting through the chain-link fences, the barbed wire, and the Do Not Enter signs, to begin their careers in aviation.[Read more…]
It may seem like the dead of winter if you’ve already been grappling with heavy snows across America’s north. Therefore, it must be time to shop for boats, right? And if that sounds reasonable, why not a seaplane?
Saturday, Nov. 14, was the final day of the last airshow of 2019. The 2019 DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase suffered its chilliest weather of the four years it has been operating.
Nonetheless, my unscientific survey of airshow vendors jibed with numerous comments from individual pilots: Despite the less-than-ideal weather this year, sales of aircraft and other aviation gear proceeded. Show organizers said attendance was up more than 20% this year and every planned exhibitor space was sold.
Given this year’s uncharacteristic chill, the 2019 running of the Deland Showcase bore a resemblance to the boat shows I used to marvel at in my former home of Minnesota. How’s that?[Read more…]
When the Kerrville Daily Times reported “Mooney furloughs its employees, future in doubt,” the ripple across the aviation industry was near immediate.
And a good many owners — especially those who just bought a shiny new model — and Mooney fans are, I’m sure, in shock. But should they be?[Read more…]
Let’s say you and I live in a small city of 30,000 people, more or less. We drive the roads regularly to go to work, drop the kids off at school, make a quick run to the grocery store, and maybe keep a medical appointment or two. So do our neighbors. America is a car culture after all. In our hypothetical town about 10,000 of us are actual drivers.
Our first roundabout appears on the edge of town, outside the heavily trafficked downtown area. A single-lane roundabout, it’s a simple example of this traffic taming design. This particular roundabout is intended to handle the traffic at a four-way intersection where two roads cross at a right angle. Today there isn’t much there, but there are plans for rezoning that will allow commercial and industrial development in the future. The development will benefit our town’s bottom line.
All good so far, right?[Read more…]
Q: Dear Paul, could you help me solve a problem I have in the #4 cylinder of an IO-540-K1K5 engine, which is mounted on a Pillan T-35 aircraft of the Chilean Air Force?
We already checked the draft of the magnets and their fall. These are OK.
The other cylinders are working well. We checked the fuel injectors and the fuel distributor and they are also OK. The baffles and fairings are also OK, as well as the signals to the instruments.
Could you tell me something else about this single-cylinder isolated fault?
Mario Rodríguez Yáñez, Santiago-Chile[Read more…]
This past week something remarkable occurred on live streaming video for all the world to see.
Elon Musk, the enfant terrible of the tech world, introduced the public to a pick-up truck so far out of the mainstream in terms of styling that many initially took it as a joke. Surely there must be a more traditional looking model sitting in the wings, ready to roll out after we all had a good laugh at this ugly duckling.
Nope. The unfinished steel shell, blacked-out windows, and sharp angular form are the real deal. This news surprised a great many who had been anticipating something amazing, not something so repugnantly unrefined.
When the markets opened, Tesla stock fell more than 6%. The world saw and the world responded. Musk’s big reveal was a bust. The CyberTruck would be a loser of the first order.
Or so it seemed. Musk came back with fire, tweeting that his company had received 146,000 orders for the much maligned vehicle in just 24 hours, which translates to $8 billion in sales.
In the interest of full disclosure I’m honor bound to mention, one of the orders on Tesla’s books belongs to me. There will be a CyberTruck in my driveway sometime in late 2021, or 2022, or something like that. I believe in a weird, bright future.
So, what’s all this got to do with aircraft, aviation, or the price of avgas?[Read more…]
Fear is a lot like stress.
Anthropologists and other scientists will argue that human beings were designed to experience stress as a lifesaving response to an environmental factor — lions, tigers, or bears, for example.
Fear is the same thing. It’s built into us as a self-preservation agent. It helped keep us safe from predators and Mother Nature way back when we weren’t at the top of the food chain.
Now that we are, and we can protect ourselves from environmental dangers, fear is largely self-induced. What we fear drives our thinking and how we behave.
Most stress modern humans experience is based on self-imposed, generally unlikely fears. I researched the database for reports to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System related to “fear” to get a sense of what pilots are willing to admit.[Read more…]
I’d like to make a confession.
The truth is I like to think of myself as a reasonable guy, a nice guy, the kind of guy who would not just lend, but actually give away, a cup of sugar if a neighbor came by asking for one.
Be that as it may, I don’t always agree with the folks managing my local airport. They sometimes do things that make no sense to me, financially or in terms of marketing the facilities. On other occasions I find they don’t take an appropriate interest in the visionary ideas I share with them. They just don’t seem to care.
This can be tremendously frustrating.[Read more…]
Karen, a commercial pilot from Utah, asks: “Where on an airport is the “official” altitude measured? Is it the ramp, the terminal, the beacon tower, the middle of the runway? If so, which runway? I was on the ramp at Hemphill County Airport (KHHF), in Canadian, Texas, the other day and the terminal is on a hill overlooking everything and it got me to wondering.”
I confess that I never thought about where the official altitude of the field is measured from until you asked, nor do I recall any instructor ever teaching me about this back in the day.
But once you brought it up, I can think of dozens of airports that are far from flat. And I, too, have been to KHHF, with its uphill hike to the pilot relief station. And it’s the only airport that I’ve ever visited that has a subterranean tornado shelter!
Not that I was there during a tornado or anything, but finding the answer to your question initiated a whirlwind of activity.[Read more…]