Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 Airports

The weather was cold and clear. Winds were gusting less than 10KTS which meant it was a flying day. I put my coffee in a Dixie cup and microwaved an egg sandwich, grabbed my gear and got out the door. Kids were still at the school bus stop. I got to the hangar about 8:00am.

My first chore was to pull out my home made preheater. A paint stripper heat gun with about 6' of heater hose (SKEET Ducting) attached to the nozzle with a hose clamp. I wound that under the left cylinder heads, under the prop and under the right cylinder heads and threaded the open end to point at the oil reservoir.  I covered the engine with a tarp and returned to my warm car to eat my breakfast. I let it run about 45 - 60 minutes. The news said MH370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

I disconnected everything and pulled Sally out into the sun to finish my preflight. All checks complete I climbed in and turned the key. Smooth start, the oil temp read 45°. We taxied down past the old silo to let her warm up to 122° while I completed the ground checks. Ducks were landing on the pond. It wasn't frozen over anymore.

My objective was simple: Landing practice. A short 'round robin' that would allow me to enter the landing pattern and once again get comfortable landing the airplane. Nearly three months on the ground let my skills atrophy so I wanted the exercise to get back in shape.

  • KPTW Heritage (formerly Limerick) has a right hand pattern due to the nuclear cooling towers south of the field. My pattern was lousy (too low abeam) so I dragged her around the whole way. yuck.
  • KLOM Wings: Sally provided a lot of distractions with terrain alerts and low RPM warnings, but the pattern was better and the landing was fine.
  • KDYL Doylestown: The only airfield with traffic today. Nice pattern and landing (getting stronger).
  • KUKT Quakertown: Best landing of the day.
  • 7N8 Butter Valley: Acceptable.
You can view the video here: Irregular Pentagon

I also had the opportunity to fly with Mike at Quakertown. He is the airport manager there and expressed an interest in Light Sport. So I taxied over to the office and he got in and we chatted for awhile. Then we took a short hop in the local area for him to feel the controls. He liked Sally. However, from a business perspective he can't quite see the ROI in buying an LSA when he can buy 2 (or 3) C172s for the same price. I provided some material that might help him see some benefits he may not be considering. It was a good flight, but I made a lousy landing (#@*^&!) He said it was great for me to demonstrate how Sally could handle student landings.(#@*^&!)

Video Notes:
Virb mounted in center of rack

This turned out to be an endurance test for the Virb. It didn't have a full charge at takeoff and I didn't check the phone app to see what endurance was predicted, but it lasted for nearly the full flight (2+ hours). It shut down nicely and saved everything when the battery did dissipate just prior to landing at Butter Valley.

  1. I like the overlay in this video. It provides all of the information I want to keep and displays it in a clear presentation. I may adjust the colors a bit but overall I think this will become my default.
  2. This was definitely a "set it and forget it" kind of flight. I didn't even try to play with any settings. I'm pleased with the results.
  3. Post processing took awhile but completed without any crashes or hangs. 
  4. All video effects were done using Camtasia. I'm still learning the best way to utilize that software.

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