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About 80% of general aviation aircraft fly using Lycoming engines. Clearing the trees at the end of the runway. Leaving 4500ft for 6500ft. Maintaining airflow and generating lift across the wings. All are impossible without a reliable engine. Lycoming powers my training aircraft and so fuels my quest for a private pilot certificate. This blog is a record of my thoughts and experiences on life, flight, and learning.

30 August 2007

DA40 Gross Weight Increase!

It was 1150kg, now it's 1200kg (2646lbs)! Diamond issued a new Service Bulletin (OSB-057/1) found here this month. No modifications needed to the structure, since our DA40 had the 18mm MLG struts, all we needed was a couple of bushings installed to limit the elevator travel. 1 hour of work later, and we've got another 110lbs of useful load! Thanks a lot, Diamond! Now, we've got 930lbs useful load....let's see....that's two 200lb adults in the front, a 200lb adult and a 150lb adult in the rear, PLUS 27gals of 100LL. That's enough for 2.3hrs of flying with 45 minute reserves!!! But, only if you lean back to 8gal/hr. Now, where to go....

28 August 2007

Flying the Junker

Not the Junkers JU-86, mind you.....just a 1969 Cessna 172K. After many hours in the DA40, it is a big difference to strap on the narrow aluminum airframe of the cessna. I really miss the visibility, but I'm extremely comfortable with the flight characteristics of the 172. It's really a good airplane. I logged 2.1hrs in that ol' familiar aircraft yesterday, flying up to Youngstown to take the DA40 up to Winner Aviation for the 200HR check. I took off before Dad, and was about 3-4 miles off the end of the runway as he took off in the DA40. We flew at the same altitude, and it took him about 20-30 miles before he caught up with me and passed me. We were chatting in the air, Dad was getting 116kts ground speed and I was only getting about 102kts. Needless to say, I was second on final at Youngstown. The visibility was great and CAK approach was friendly - thanks guys! I picked up three full stop landings, including a nice slipped approach, so I'm current for the next 90 days.

23 August 2007

McHale's Navy

I have rediscovered a real gem of a TV show. McHale's Navy used to be on TV right before dinner when I was growing up, and I loved watching the adventures (and mis-adventures) of the crew of the PT-73. Years later, I have found DVD eposides of this show on Netflix, and have been glued to the tube ever since. I'm really surprised at how watching these episodes clears out the cobwebs from the corners of my brain and I remember sitting on the floor with my brothers while Mom makes dinner and Dad comes home smelling like t-butyl-whatever. Good memories of many many years ago....who said TV is a waste of time?:)

13 August 2007

Flying the NIght away...

Picked up my night currency on Saturday night, er...uh....sunday morning... It was the first clear night which was cooler than 80°F for a week, and I hadn't flown for about 2 weeks, so I was having some serious withdrawals. After my brother Sam's wedding, I picked up James and Metnick for some night time flying. We flew into Port Columbus, full stop landing, and then over to Ohio State University Don Scott airport, where we saw a Gulfstream corporate jet on the ramp, then a take-off back home to Coshocton. We thought that it was the night for the Persied Meteor Shower, and saw a few shooting stars, but it wasn't. Apparently that was the NEXT night.

Sunday afternoon, Beth & I headed over to Washington Courthouse to visit the Outlaws. We spent a pleasant afternoon with them, had a wonderful dinner of Donatos Pizza and headed back to the Airport for some rides. My nephew Adam went for his first two airplane rides and absolutely loved them. He was pretty excited....kind of how I feel inside everytime I fly:). That was pretty much the highlight of the trip for me....always fun to introduce someone to the joys of flying....

11 August 2007

Not now, Johnny - Daddy's busy shooting the ILS!

08 August 2007

A Thespian trapped in a man's body

In other news, I have taken a the role of Roger/Gary in a local community theater production of Noises Off! It's really a funny comedy to see, and a funny one to be involved in. It involves a lot of physical comedy and rather witty dialogue....and it's the first play that I've ever been in. It's quite the experience - I'm really behind the script at the beginning...where to stand, when to come in, when to stop talking, where to look, what to say, what to hold, what to put down. It's kind of like the first time I pushed that throttle forward and started off down the runway with my brain about 500ft behind the plane. All that to say, if you want to have a fairly accurate picture of what small-town community theater is like, you must watch the Christopher Guest mockumentary, Waiting for Guffman. It's like he went to Coshocton and researched this movie - it's hilarious, mostly because it's SO true...Okay, back to practicing my lines....

03 August 2007


Dad & I flew in to Oshkosh. Landed ON the green dot on Runway 27. Boo-yah! It rained all night on Thursday. Thank you, REI.

We flew 6.2hrs around the weather. It was the quickest way to Oshkosh.

The clouds around Cincinnati were purty. Purty high. We had to fly around.

Happiness is a P-38 rescued from the depths of the Greenland Icesheet, a Dove Bar, and the sound of a prop cracking 200ft from your tent at 7AM.

The Mystery Ship. Very cool 1920's replica racer.

Bloody aftermath from flying the Ripon/Fiske approach into Oshkosh. We slaughtered about 20,000 of Wisconsin's finest mosquitos.

Brigadier Gen. Chuck Yeager tellin' it like it was...and like it is. Amazing to hear this man speak.

Heritage Flight with the F22 and Glacier Girl taken through the poor man's telephoto (a pair of 8x50 binoculars pressed up to the camera lens).

The Rubber Chicken Pitot Tube Cover® Now available from Sporty's!

What Oshkosh is all about. Homebuilts and the best of the best fighters.

Sean Tucker pulling a snap roll out with yet another amazing routine in his Pitts. This guy is the best showman I have seen.

One of my favorite jets - a gleaming F-86. I'm getting some Dual in this plane next year....now to find an instructor....

Can you hear the roaring drone of 20 big radial engines passing overhead? Only at Oshkosh you can....

A beautiful P-51 Mustang getting ready for the show. I love hearing these things start up.

Sean Tucker with a full-deflection rudder slip past the crowd at the end of his act.

Tragic P-51 crash on Friday. The airshow was shut down for a couple of hours, but no one complained. It is a sobering reminder of how important safety in the air is.

Leaving Oshkosh on a beautiful clear day. Most everybody has gone home, but still plenty of campers staying through the weekend. We'll be back!

Alaska Flying

I ran across this blog recently of a guy that flies bush planes in Alaska and takes some phenomenal photos. I really need to fly in Alaska...maybe John Graham will let me borrow his Husky for 4 weeks or so?

02 August 2007

DA-50 at Oshkosh

I was at Oshkosh last weekend, and had the chance to yank and bank (on the ground) in Diamond Aircraft's new DA50 Superstar full-size mockup. I sat in the Cirrus SR-22 G3 Turbo (think Ford Taurus), and the Columbia400 (think Porsche sports car), but to sit in the DA50 Superstar.....I was thinking...the luxury appointments of a Audi or Mercedes Sedan, with 6 cylinders of 350HP Teledyne Continental and a four-blade prop under the hood. All I can say is WOW. This is the airplane that the DA40 was supposed to be and the airplane that Cirrus and Columbia should be taking notice of.

Let's talk about size - the DA50 has about the same wingspan, but is about 30cm longer than the DA40, lending it a little more stability in flight. I had the rare opportunity to speak directly with Manfred Zipper, the designer of the DA50, who was a large Austrian man about 6'2" tall. His size played into the design of the DA50 cockpit, and I'm very glad. There is a huge amount of legroom and headroom in this cockpit. I would expect that someone that is 6'-8" tall would be able to fit into this cockpit, which is quite a feat for any airplane! Also, the extremely comfortable seats recline, which would be very nice for those long cross-country flights. The cockpit is very nice, with a G1000 PFD for each front seat, with a 12-inch MFD stuck in between. The FADEC single-lever engine control is very nice, and grasping hold of it, I can only imagine what the power feels like as the throttle is advanced. Let's see...power rudder pedals, power stick adjustment, circuit breakers on the overhead panel. It feels like you're in a Gulfstream corporate jet! The conversation with Manny was also interesting, because I got to hear his perspective about some deficiencies that he wanted to correct from the DA40. The landing lights on the DA40 are really on the weak side, and Manny didn't have a specific design for a light yet, but he definitely was looking into a brighter light for US night VFR flying. He couldn't really say what the cruise speed was going to be, but felt very optimistic that the target of 230kts would be acheived and perhaps exceeded. Good luck with your new aircraft, Diamond - there's a lot of work between now and 2009 when certification is scheduled!
Manny Zipper and his DA50!