Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back in business

The rat fiasco put a big dent in this months flying.  I had planned to fly about 10 hours this month but now we're more than half way through and I've only flown about an hour.  The weather is finally getting interesting, we're spoiled in California with great weather all summer long except for summer advection fog.  Nearly all my IMC time lately has been bits of 2-5 minutes at a time ascending and descending through the marine layer.  The plane climbs at 2000 fpm, so it's hard to even log a lot those transitions.  Today we had some rain and I finally got out for a few hours this morning to test out the plane and make sure everything is still working hunky dory.  No squawks, plane flew perfectly.  Here is a quick video:

The plane is running great and flying down low like this it's a lot of fun hauling along pretty much in the yellow arc even with the throttle pulled back.  Did I mention that these Colemill Baron's haul ass? :)  Here is 22 inches at 2400 rpm at 4500 ft:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

LED beacon, another rat bites the dust

The other night I took my friend Dennis from OAK to Nut Tree to pick up his Cessna 180.  As I departed Nut Tree he snapped this little video from his phone.

Damn that's bright!  I've noticed it flashing before on night flights, but never really realized just how bright these LED lights really are.

I've been on a business trip this week and so it's been five days since I've been to the hangar to check the last rat trap I left.  Fortunately there were no rats in the trap left in the plane so the barrier is working.  I did find a dead one underneath the plane though.  It ate the poison pack I left and then went directly underneath the plane and died.  Lovely fun getting rid of that, but at least now I know the plane is clean and they can't get in again.   Last week I also sprayed spider killer all over the hangar and today I found about 8 dead black widows.  Better off dead, for sure!  It would be great to have a nice clean hangar though with a sparkling clean floor... I'm keeping my eyes open.  Also my friend Rick offered to help me spray it down with a pressure washer and then treat the floor with cement finish... that might do the trick too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Get that rat

Got one of em!

I came to the hangar this morning and found one in the trap I set and had left in the plane. Then pi came by and we pulled all the panels in the plane. It looks like the rat(s) went up through the left gear well and on up through the spar carry through and on inside. No damage we could find other than some chewed up insulation. Glad I caught this quick. Here are my new preventative measures...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

There's a rat in the kitchen now what you gonna do

Today I went to the hangar to load up the family for a nice 3 day weekend down to San Diego, the kids were fired up for Legoland! When Dina opened up the baggage door to put in some bags she saw little rat droppings all over the inside on my plane. Doh! The plane was closed up, the door was closed and also the storm window. The droppings were in the baggage area, the middle row and also in the front. Even a few on the seats. My last flight was a night flight, so it could have been there then and I mightn't have noticed. Checking for rat dropping is not normally part of my preflight! Anyway I decided to err on the side of caution and scrubbed the trip. The kids were so disappointed! I just don't like the idea of a rat's nest in my plane, and who knows if they have chewed on some wiring or done other damage...

I pulled the inspection panel in the tail cone and the tail looked clean from what I could see. I pulled the rug from the baggage compartment and opened that inspection panel too... no nests or rats that I could see. I pulled the rug from the middle row and pulled the inspection panel under the emergency gear extension handle, nothing. I pulled out the co-pilot seat and couldn't see anything up in the rudder pedal area either. I called my super IA Pi and he is coming tomorrow morning and going to help me do a more thorough inspection and make sure they're not hidden away somewhere wreaking havoc.  

I also put a rat trap in the plane, put rat poison around the hangar, and bought two of those electric sonic rat-be-gone devices.  I then found out from researching online that setting out poison is the wrong thing to do.. they eat the poison and then die in the plane.  So I'll pull that up tomorrow and ditch it.  I'm also looking into a new hangar, after two black widows and now the rats...  I'm also going to try the $10 CSOBeech suggestion here: Considering I just spend $40 on the rat traps, poison and sonic devices, I'll do my research first next time.