Friday, May 29, 2009

video
Jim Fackler came out to hangar Tango-4 at El Monte airport to perform a dynamic prop balance on the Cherokee 140. Most props are balanced off of the airplane and that's just fine and dandy. But if you perform a dynamic balance with the prop on the airplane and spinning, you can balance it to include all the rotating parts.

Jim hooked his sensors up to N6794J and then attached his Vibrex 2000. He had Ron run the engine up (I think it was 1000 rpm, then 1500 rpm, then 2000 rpm) and then analyzed the results.

He added a small weight to the outside of the spinner (temporarily) and then ran the engine again. The computer told him what needed to be done, and then he added some more weight in another area. When he was done, the balance was within 0.02!

Jim then took the spinner off the prop to mount the weights on the inside...only to discover that the prop's bulkhead (backing plate, some call it...or dam, others call it) was cracked! Rats! Now the airplane is grounded until we can get another one. Several attempts ended with the part being shipped from the east coast, arrival in 3 days (since we paid the extra 50 bucks).

Jim Fackler Dynamics, 626/358-7568, jfdynamics@verizon.net

DYNAMIC PROP BALANCING






Jim Fackler came out to hangar Tango-4 at El Monte airport to perform a dynamic prop balance on the Cherokee 140. Most props are balanced off of the airplane and that's just fine and dandy. But if you perform a dynamic balance with the prop on the airplane and spinning, you can balance it to include all the rotating parts.

Jim hooked his sensors up to N6794J and then attached his Vibrex 2000. He had Ron run the engine up (I think it was 1000 rpm, then 1500 rpm, then 2000 rpm) and then analyzed the results.

He added a small weight to the outside of the spinner (temporarily) and then ran the engine again. The computer told him what needed to be done, and then he added some more weight in another area. When he was done, the balance was within 0.02!

Jim then took the spinner off the prop to mount the weights on the inside...only to discover that the prop's bulkhead (backing plate, some call it...or dam, others call it) was cracked! Rats! Now the airplane is grounded until we can get another one. Several attempts ended with the part being shipped from the east coast, arrival in 3 days (since we paid the extra 50 bucks).

Jim Fackler Dynamics, More photos






More photos

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pilot Group at The Art Of Manliness


The Art Of Manliness
www.artofmanliness.com

I’ve been paying attention to the web site www.artofmanliness.com for awhile now and they always have interesting articles (How To Dress For An Interview, What A Best Man Should Do, that sort of thing). Recently they added groups to their site so that guys (and girls) can share info/photos/videos with people of like interests.

I started a group called Pilots. I think you should go to The Art Of Manliness and join the Pilots group. Right Now. Do it.

1-Year Anniversay of Flying37 Blog!


Today marks one year since I started this blog and I'm very happy about that. I love having a place to talk about my aviation experiences and share photos and videos with others who love flying. I posted 109 times in the past year. I'm going to keep on going and add more posts. I'm currently deep into the process of learning how to fly on instruments so I can get my IFR ticket and fly through the clouds.

Today was a perfect example of why I need the IFR rating. It was cloudy down to about 1500 feet, making it practically impossible to get out of the airport and get anywhere without encountering clouds. But, the tops of the clouds were at 3500 feet. Which meant, with an IFR rating, I could have just taken off, popped through the 2000-foot layer of clouds, and then gone anywhere I wanted to. I'm hoping to have it all wrapped up by my birthday on June 29. We'll see....stay tuned!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Renting A Plane


I've been training for my IFR certificate in Ron's Cherokee 140 but, unfortunately, the airplane isn't capable of lugging me, the flight instructor, and Ron all at the same time (none of us are under 200 pounds...not by a long shot).

So, in order to give Ron a taste of what the IFR learning environment is all about, I rented N38700 from Universal Air Academy at El Monte Airport. This Cherokee 180 can carry all three of us with room to spare. We headed over to the Chino ILS 26 (with the course reversal) and then back to El Monte for the VOR-A approach.

It was interesting to fly IFR in a different airplane (gauges are located in different places) and it was a lot of fun. Now, back to N6794J for the serious training.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Landing at Santa Ynez, California

video
Flew with Ron to Santa Ynez. We landed straight-in on runway 26. You won't find many more beautiful places. Both of my kids (independently of each other) said, while they were watching this video, "that looks like it was in the 1900s."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

video
Taking off on runway 12 at Whiteman Airport (KWHP)in Pacoima, California, heading toward Burbank.

View Limiting Device


This is the hood I wear when learning how to fly the airplane with reference to instruments only. I've had about 5 flying lessons with my instructor so far.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Simulator Class Final Exam


The final exam for my IFR simulator class was held last night under the watchful eye of the instructor (and department chair) Jerry Houser at Palomar College. The test was to take off from Burbank airport, navigate to the Van Nuys VOR, fly out on a radial to the Canoga intersection, perform the course reversal, land at Burbank airport...well, not exactly land, as you were then to perform the missed approach proceedure. When it was all done Jerry said, "That was flawless."

Monday, May 11, 2009

OUCH!



When N6794J's owner Ron went for a pleasure flight with a buddy, he let the buddy fly left seat on the way home. Ron, in the right seat, didn't put his seatbelt on. The buddy didn't notice (hey, isn't that one of the jobs of the PIC?) and they took off with the buckle outside the door. About 1/3 of the way home then heard a noise and wondered what it was...figured it out and decided to continue on home. Look at the damage the buckle caused on the side of the airplane!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer




I was searching on the internet for a syllabus for the Instrument Rating and I came across a good one written by Darren Smith. That led me to check out his web site and I saw that he had a book called Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer. Darren's web site is very complete and I was convinced to buy the book. I was not disappointed. His book is exactly what I need to track my progress while working toward the instrument rating. You can check out his stuff at http://www.geocities.com/cfidarren/

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

100th Post!


With just 20 days to go until my 1-year anniversary of starting this blog, this post represents the 100th post I've made. I've enjoyed getting my thoughts and photos out into the world. Most of the posts have been aviation related, but a few were strictly about me, my family, or my world (gotta love the "Happy Ho" song from Christmas). I expect the same ratio to continue into year number two.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New P-38





Lightning Aviation at El Monte airport has been working on their P-38 for quite some time. It's a slightly scaled down version of the original. They will make it into a kit and then assist the owner in building his own.

Monday, May 4, 2009

IFR Training In The Airplane


Now that I have almost 15 hours in the simulator with a CFII I am transitioning into flyhing IFR in a real airplane. Ron let me use the Cherokee 140 to go "get some learnin'" with CFII Steven Wilson. Here we are in the mighty N6794J about to go out for our first lesson. We kept it simple, just tracked VOR radials, flew assigned headings, maintained altitude, constant speed climbs, constant rate decents, and more...ok, so not SO simple...but really just the basics of IFR flight.

In The Simulator



I've been training in the ATC 610 simulator at Palomar College in San Marcos for a few months now. It's a fully FAA authorized simulator so when I have a CFII with me I can log the time. I can log up to 20 hours in the simulator and I am already at 14. My CFII (Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument) is Diane Hager and she has been great. She lets me do the flying and she lets me make the mistakes...THEN she adds a comment or two to help me understand why I got into trouble. Although I must say I've only been in trouble once or twice. Mostly it has been about fine tuning and gaining a higher level of understanding.

Most people say that the simulator is harder than an actual airplane and that's fine with me. My thinking was to tackle the hardest thing first. Theorizing that if I could master the simulator first, when I got into the airplane it would be far easier and I wouldn't be wasting any valuable air time. The reason people say the simulator is harder is because you don't get any sensations when flying it, no "seat of the pants" feel. I think that's a bit odd to worry about since one of the biggest things about flying on instruments (especially when you are in the clouds) is that you've got to train yourself to ignore the sensations and trust the instruments. Many times in an actual airplane, in the clouds, you will get false sensations and can really screw the pooch if you don't lock on to the instruments and interpret what they are telling you.

So, I've been able to fly the simulator without having to fight any wrong sensations and I've learned to fly solely by what the gauges are telling me. Next up: Getting into a real airplane and putting on a "view limiting device" while flying with a CFII.