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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.

26 January 2008

$400,000 Mortgage, anyone?

The head of the Government Accounting Office (GAO) describes how the future obligations of our country will cost about $400,000 per household. Oh, and you don't get a beach-front vacation home for the cash. Just a failed war in Iraq, a bunch of people on welfare, Social Security, and a host of other programs that we really don't need. Vote Ron Paul 2008!

24 January 2008

Freedom to Fascism on MSNBC?

It's actually a fair interview by MSNBC. If you haven't already - watch Aaron Russo's "Freedom to Fascism" Then, click here and give Ron Paul $50 before it becomes worth $42. Go Ron Paul 2008!

22 January 2008

Good as Gold

I can't believe that a UK newspaper allowed this article about the fallacies of fiat currency to be printed! It sounds...almost Austrian! (dare I say) Perhaps I have underestimated our english-speaking brothers. We need more "hands across the sea, and all that, what-what?"

20 January 2008

Central Planning, anyone?

Good article on the fallacies of central planning by Jim Fedako. I live in a rural area where a new ethanol plant has just started grinding corn to make ethanol for fuel. I've heard of the oil for food program, but food into oil? Good thing that we can't figure all this stuff out on our own. I'm so glad that the government is here to help us make sense of our lives. What would I do with all that freedom? I'm sure that I would waste my life doing something unproductive like flying....

Crosswind Landing Practice

It had been exactly 1 month since my last trip in N470DS, and I was feeling the winter blues. Work had been piling up, and the clouds had been scudding their way across Ohio. Friday morning dawned bright with the promise of clear skies and brisk winds. A perfect day to brush up on the landing skills and work on some tricky cross-wind landing skills. Did I mention that it was windy? At 7500MSL, I picked up a 40KT tailwind, just so that I could get feeling of speed. Not a personal speed record, but still up there. I need to see if I can acheive membership in that exclusive DA40 200KT club...of course, that will require 60KT tailwinds. Fastest winds I've ever flown in have been 50KTs. So, when I see 60KTs, I'll try to see if I can head up in the air....then maybe I can also register a groundspeed of 0KTs as well as that 200KT speed record. Well, my purpose for flying was not to set any speed records, but to practice my landing skills. Since my flying has become infrequent of late, I knew that I really needed to get out and do some serious practice, especially if I wanted to carry passengers this winter. Winter flying has its own share of hazards without me failing to execute safe landings.

Conditions were perfect for a challenging crosswind landing practice session. I contemplated flying west to get into more clear air, but I decided that the gustier conditions in Eastern Ohio, near the Ohio River would give me a better educational experience. Plus, there's lots of hills to create ground turbulence. I've landed in flat land with signficant cross-winds before, and it's just a question of the proper rudder-elevator cross-control slip down to the runway. It's a totally different situation, when you're bouncing in gusty ground turbulence. It's a lot more fun, for starters.

First stop was at Carroll County (KTSO), Ohio, but unfortunately, the wind was straight down the runway. No challenge whatsoever. Just keep the groundspeed up, and angle of descent right, and you can land in 500ft. So, I flew over to Steubenville (Jefferson County 2G2), OH for a more challenging 60degree cross-wind landing practice. There's no AWOS at Jefferson County, so I didn't know what my landing conditions were, but the GPS told me 14kts at 60degrees right before touchdown. The approach was challenging, because this airport is on a bluff and has a lot of ground turbulence right at the touchdown end of runway 32. It seemed to be a fairly nice airport, and I waved at a few guys working on the erection of a new terminal building. I'll have to stop over next summer when it's completed. 5 landings later, I was done with Steubenville, and thought that I would head south to Wheeling (KHLG), because then I would get to talk to someone. I flew over to the Ohio River, and circled the very cool asymmetrical "Veterans" Weirton-Steubenville cable-stayed bridge. It's really a striking piece of engineering and architecture, especially when viewed from the air.
Further on down the river, over Mingo Junction, OH, I flew over a super-cool steel mill, run by the Wheeling-Pittburgh Steel Company. It basically took up the entire river bank, and was a massive operation, albeit not as big as the USX Steel mill in Gary, IN. Apparently, there is a lot of hot-rolled coiled steel in thicknesses up to 3/8" produced here. I'd like to get a tour.
I continued down the Ohio River and headed into Wheeling Class D airspace. Funny how your radio skills get rusty when you don't practice radio communications. I asked the tower controller if he minded me doing a bunch of touch-n-goes - "Nope. There is absolutely nothing happening today", he responded. Wheeling had 14kt winds at 70 degrees from the runway heading, gusting to 18kts - it was fun. Not my personal maximums, but healthy enough for some serious crosswind practice. Like all airports along the Ohio River, Wheeling is on a high bluff over the Ohio River, and it was bouncy and turbulent all the way down to the threshold. I punched out 6 landings on the 100ft wide runway, and had a great time, but it was soon getting to be time to head back. Back in Coshocton, I practiced another couple of landings at the home airfield, and then put 470DS back in the barn with a full tank of 100LL. It was a beautiful day for flying. Now, just to get my night currency again!

05 January 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Here's a question for you: Given the choice....which one would you pick?

Don't worry - this isn't some Florida Presidential Ballot....just an honest question. I have to say....I'm leaning toward the one on the right. What's that they say? "You can sleep in a plane, but you can't fly a house" It's truly a blessing that I don't have to decide. Both are part of my life. Yup. That's right, Beth & I are building a new house - it's pretty exciting to see it come together. I have to say, however, that after tasting the sweetness of cruising at 145KTAS and 9500ft, I'd give it all up to have my own DA40XLS. Hey, lots of people live in trailers!

Ron Paul on Bill Moyers

Click HERE to watch Bill Moyer's interview of Ron Paul. Simple to understand, huh? Why don't more people get it?

Go Ron Paul 2008!