Wednesday, November 27, 2019

ATP-CTP

Finally got around to knocking out the ATP-CTP and the ATP multi-engine written exam.  I chose FTI in Denver since it was the cheapest option, includes the written, and Denver is the least objectionable city of availability in my opinion.  If you plan to do the ATP, just get Sheppard Air and follow their process.  I scored a 98% with not too much effort.  The class was super boring and I basically just worked on my computer the whole time while being shown videos of airline accidents I already knew about.  However the sim portion was actually pretty cool for a simulator geek like me...  and I got to learn how to fly the 737, just in case the crew ever decides to eat the fish...   now I just need to do a type rating and combine that with the ATP ride.




Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Nice weather

It was just a beautiful weekend to fly around the bay.  I never get tired of it!




Friday, September 27, 2019

Knobster 3D printed case

I use touch screens on my home flight simulator.  It just makes it much more configurable and easy to manage, however doing things like twist the knob on a 530 is difficult using a touch screen.  Enter the knobster!  I use a product called AirManager for the touch panel, and it supports a device called the knobster.  I built my own knobster following the instructions here: http://www.simwarekits.com/diy-kit-builders.html



Here is the 3D printed case file which took me forever to find:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1a7QU1-9voTyuzC6qOdeoDTqEeja56Svs and I used a service called Sculpteo to have it printed since I don't have a 3D printer.  Awesome!




Friday, September 6, 2019

Aircraft coastal corrosion map


People from other parts of the country sometimes ask about corrosion in California since we're right on the ocean.  Non issue! Excepting a few airports right next to the ocean like KHAF, Bay Area airports are about as good as it gets. We have a very moderate, desert climate and sea air is a non issue. basically you've got temperate dry climate as soon as you're a few miles from the ocean, even in proximity to the bay, as the above map shows.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Twin Bonanza Shoulder Harness 337

A few people have asked me for the Twin Bo shoulder harness 337 which can be used as a basis for a field approval for install.  Here they are...

DH-165 Shoulder Harness 337
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3zlp36cVxI8OUowME5PeHN2cnM

FAA 337 D50 INSTALLATION
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dimBvlucjjWU5S5seOd4lBueOBSNbler




Monday, August 26, 2019

Highly contagious Tbone disease

Looks like we've got a major outbreak of Tbone disease at KCCR, does any other airport have 3 Tbone's based there? Well we do now! My buddy Ben closed yesterday on Tom Leatherwood's beautiful D50A. Todd Thacker, Ben and I flew down in my plane to rescue it via ferry permit from PRB, where it has sat for the last 2 years unflown.

Thankfully, it was kept in a nice spacious hangar just patiently waiting to be adopted. Todd did the prebuy inspection and for the most part, the old girl looks to be in great shape. The 192 hour engines fired right up and sounded perfect. Todd flew her over to MOD where she will get a thorough annual. There are some good Tbone's out there waiting on a good owner for a little TLC.  Next patient please!!

A few videos and shots from the adventure, a great way to spend Sunday!










Saturday, August 3, 2019

Pirep: Ecotric electric folding bike

I've been looking closely at the electric "last mile" revolution in personal transportation and thinking about getting something for the plane that folds that I can toss into the back of the Tbone.  Electric folding bikes are fairly expensive however, running $2500+...  for family trips it's kinda hard to stomach 10k+ for destination transportation..  I found some positive reviews of the Ecotric folding bike online and decided to give it a try.  I ordered from the website and it was $780 with free shipping.  That's about as cheap as it gets in an electric bike.  Here is the link:  Ecotric folding bike

My first impression of the bike is... it's really awesome fun to ride.  My boys and I rode around on it for about 30 mins before it got dark and we were all having a blast. It really accelerates nicely and you can pedal along leisurely even up hill and the assist kicks in to keep you at about 15 mph.  The bike is bigger than I thought and bigger than it appears in the photos. I fit okay on it and I'm 6'4", but it was easy to adjust to fit my 10 and 12 year old boys.  It definitely doesn't fit me as well as my XL road and mountain bike, but considering it's a folding bike it's not bad at all.

The bike as shipped comes with huge 20x4.0 inch knobby wheels which are heavy and just create a lot of drag for road riding. To test it I took the bike up Mt Diablo with those tires and decided it's just not a good bike for that. I'd much rather ride my Santa Cruz on the mountain and just huff it out and get some exercise. The Ecotric folding bike is not a good mountain bike.  Unless you have a flat rutted out or muddy field to ride through, I don't see the value in the stock tires. So I ordered a set of 20x3.0 cruiser tires off eBay (Wanda brand) and installed them. These seem to suit the bike much better and are good for path or road riding, or light off-road or fire trails would be fine.  it's a fun little bike now and that shaved about 1 lb off the weight (reinstalling the rear wheel was a bitch though). I rode it downtown for lunch and beat my wife and kids in the car.  I rode it home as well, in 100+ deg heat up the hill at 15mph... no sweat. It's a great little folding bike but I may end up going the electric scooter route for the plane. Those are really fun too. Hard to beat this Ecotric for an $800 electric folding bike though.