Ma Blog‎ > ‎2005‎ > ‎


Aug 30th I had another flying lesson this morning - mainly circuits and bumps at Lincoln, as it was pretty blustery.

Aug 29th I finally plucked up the courage to start drilling holes in the plane. I still have a bit more work to do, but the trim kit is nearly finished :o)

Aug 28th I spent the morning revising, then in the afternoon I went and took my Sport Pilot written test. 93% baby, 93% :o)

Aug 27th I spent an hour or so at the SPCA, then went and briefly met Mike at the airfield before going on to Jackie's 5th birthday party.

Aug 24th Sorted out the new hangar tenant, and made a start on fitting the trim kit to the plane. No, I haven't started drilling holes just yet. I'm scairt, Pa.

Met up with Jason for a ride in the evening. We met a bunch of other guys, and rode down 193 heading for 49. It was dark, and I was last in the little train. When everybody disappeared around a corner, I had to slow down because I couldn't see a thing. Jason was having trouble without a full beam, so we bugged out before we got to 49. Just as well, really, as my little 50hp Hawk was having trouble keeping up with a CBR1000RR, GSXR1000 and an R1 :o)

Aug 23rd I had a flying lesson, and we went to Lincoln and did a few circuits and bumps before a full stop landing, when we got my plane out. Ray flew a low hop, then a circuit, and said the plane flies really well. I don't get to fly it until I've done a few more exercises, which sucks, but at least the thing isn't a grenade :o)

Aug 21th Luckily, Brett had a spare strut for his S-14, so we replaced the strut in Mike's plane in the morning. I then went over to Lincoln with Vince to do a weight and balance on my plane - I thought it was tail heavy, but it turns out that it's nose heavy by about 1", but we're not worried about that at the moment... I can sort that out with a small weight on the tail if I can't just trim it out. I filled the plane up, and taxied around for 20 minutes (seeing as it was almost ready to go).

I then went to Scott and Becky's for a barbecue and to relax a bit :o) What a weekend

Aug 20th We went over to Lincoln in the morning, so Mike could watch me taxying, and tell me how close I am to lifting the tail. We must have made a funny picture, me in the plane, and him sitting on a ladder with a pair of binoculars watching me. He says the tail's skipping along, but not quite getting up. I've decided to get a weight and balance check done.

We helped Jim, in the hangar opposite, screw around with his brakes for a while, but we didn't get them working any better. I'm pretty sure there's air in the system somewhere.

We then went over to Freedom to get Mike's plane put back together after welding up a bracket in the tail that was cracked. We got that done and he did a few fast taxies, then took off. When he got back (this is the first time he's flown it), he said it took a long time to get off the ground - we pointed out that he'd taken off downwind. He said it was cruising at 100mph, and we said the airspeed indicator was over reading. We filled the thing up with gas. Then he went off for another flight, and in a full flap approach at an indicated 60mph, when he cut the power the thing fell out of the sky from about 8 feet up. It landed with enough force to bend one of the axle struts. We agreed that his approach was kind of slow for 60mph, and still believe that the ASI is reading high.

Aug 19th

Again, I spent a little time fast taxying the plane up and down the taxiways at Lincoln. I've been trying to get the tail in the air, but I've been up to 25mph, and getting the main wheels in the air, but the tail's not coming up. Oh well. Just as I was leaving Lincoln, Mike called to say he was in the area, so we met for dinner. Afterwards, I got to work on his stupid PC for a while.

Aug 18th Hey, I found Hangar 18 with Google Earth, it's at 37*14'07"N, 115*49'03"W :o)

I managed to find a can of paint to sort of match the plane, and sprayed the trim tab green. It's called "Jewel" or somesuch. Now I just need to pluck up the courage to drill holes in aluminium and cut holes in fabric. Coward? Moi?

Aug 17th I went over to Lincoln to screw around with the plane a little. I mainly wanted to turn the tickover down from ~2,750 to a more manageable (and factory recommended) 2,000 rpm. After that, I did some more taxying, getting up to 20mph (into the roughly 8mph wind). It's a little weird steering at that speed, as I need to remember the prop wash - not something that had such an effect on the Thruster, that being a tractor rather than a pusher arrangement.

I spent some time playing with Google Earth. Egads, the back garden looks sad... I think the pictures are from summer 2003.

Aug 16th I got the time to go over to Sacramento and pick up the remote control and owner's manual for the HD receiver. Shame I don't need it now the HD TiVo is here. Oh well :o)

I managed to get some more work done with the trim tab for the plane, now I'm going to try and find some paint that looks green enough to spray the thing up so it matches a little :o)

Aug 15th Went for a cycle today and realised why it's been cooler - it's bloody windy! Still, 5 miles in the wind and when it was with calm, I hit 25.4mph :o)

Aug 14th I got up early, even though the weather's cooled down a lot this weekend, and took the new forks apart so I can clean everything and change the seals.

Then I went for a bit of a mountain bike ride - 12 miles, as it wasn't too hot.

I went and bought a rivet gun, and put the trim tab together... it looks like I need to spend a few hours working on the plane, including drilling holes in aluminium and cutting holes in fabric to get the thing fitted. Eek!

Aug 13th I spent the morning helping Jeff build frames, dig out and lower part of his front and rear gardens, so he can pour some new concrete during the week.

I'd brought the rear KLX wheel over so he could make the new wheel hub sit centrally, to find that the spokes were laced up wrong, so that'll need to come apart again :o(

In the afternoon, I took the front off the KLX so I can start looking at fitting the new forks and wheels, and installed the lowering links in the rear suspension, to match the amount the front's about to be lowered.

I also started looking at the pitch trim kit upgrade I'd bought for the plane, only to find that I need a rivet gun. Oh well.

By now I had the TiVo rebuilt and running, so it spent all evening downloading a software upgrade. It's running fine, and has the maximum 120 hours of recording time. I've replaced the stupid satellite receiver in the bedroom with this one, so that I can pause live TV when I'm watching in bed. I don't really need the recording time, but the 160Gb disc was such a good deal that it seemed stupid not to get it :o)

Aug 12th I started screwing around with the new disc for the TiVo - I left it doing a low level disc check of the old disc to try and get the data back, but after 6 hours, it still couldn't be backed up :o(

In the evening, I went over to Jeff's to try and get the rear wheel together. Again, I'd laced it wrong (or so we thought), so we laced it right (or so we thought).

When I got home, I bought InstantCake, a TiVo rebuilding image, and left that downloading :o)

Aug 11th I got up very, very early and installed a UHF aerial in the roof for the over-the-air High Definition, then went and picked up my new TiVo and got that all working.

Then Jeff called to say that the rear rim for the KLX was in. He had to go over to Mark's anyway, to drop off a bike, so he picked me up on the way. I picked up the rim, and a pair of forks to solve a disc mounting problem I have with the new wheels. We then went to drop off a quad for Mark. There were a few problems with it, so we fixed those and made a run for it before anything else showed up :o) When I got home, I laced the rear wheel up. Incorrectly, it would seem.

Aug 10th I called Vince and asked him to come and look at the Rans' engine. I explained what I was doing, and it seems that "on" means that the switch is grounding, so I was basically flooding the engine, then trying to start it properly. Bloody thing started after 2 or 3 pulls.
Vince helpfully wrote "run" on the front of the switch mount with a Sharpie. The man's a comedian, I tell you. I then taxied around the hangars a few times.
I need to figure out somewhere to put the radio, and then I'll look into flying the thing :o)

Chloe and I went to the vet's so she could have her 3 yearly anti-rabies shot, and they made a fuss of her and gave her a new medal for her collection (it's the new rabies tag, but she can't read, so doesn't know that).

It was at this time that I noticed the 40Gb hard disc in the TiVo being a bit loud, so I decided to back it up before it crashed. I took it out, and couldn't back it up. I did a bit for bit copy to a new 160Gb disc I'd bought, but that wouldn't boot up. Neither would the old disc any more :o(. I had a long talk with DirecTV, the result of which was me getting a new High Definition TiVo for more or less the cost of a reconditioned one.

Aug 9th I went back over to the airfield, checked the carb out (looks fine) and discovered that I can't get the plugs out because of the cylinder head temperature probes. Bugger. I tried the same starting procedure without luck.

Aug 8th I went over to the airfield and tried to start the plane again. Now, I set the switch to "on" and yank on the starter until I'm tired. Then I try the switch in "off". No dice. Screw this, I'm going home.

Aug 7th I went and picked up a used high definition tuner for the princely sum for $25. Now I just need to sort out an antenna and we'll see what the over-the-air high def stuff looks like. Oh, and figure out the codes for a universal remote, because this one didn't come with one. No worries.

I did some tidying in the garden, including starting to poison the weeds in the lawn. I'll just redo the grass when I've killed all the weeds, as the weed killer by itself isn't working.

Aug 6th I got up early and washed the car for the first time in ages.

I went to the SPCA for a while, then on to the airfield, where I was going to try and get the plane started. Unfortunately, it wouldn't start, and I didn't take any tools with me. I have a feeling that the float in the carb is stuck, as there's some fuel spilling out the bottom from somewhere.

Aug 2nd Chloe had the staples out of her face today. They said she was very brave, but I'm thinking she was too busy chasing treats to notice as usual :o)

I then went to the airfield to check that the radio worked with the new headset in my helmet (it would seem that it does). I had planned to get the plane out and try taxying, but my instructor was doing touch and goes with another student, so I had an early night. I just don't want the attention at the moment :o) Oh well, some other time.