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sfGnome last won the day on September 17 2012

sfGnome had the most liked content!

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About sfGnome

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  1. Took the camera up to the strip today for a bit of a play... No, there aren't any aircraft in this one. I just liked the picture.
  2. Don't have any pretty pictures of my last two flights, so you'll have to put up with a description. Talk about chalk and cheese. First one was supposed to be on Boxing Day from Cessnock to Mt Beauty. Sydney weather beautiful, southern weather not so (wife was driving down the same day and said the rain was so heavy she couldn't see the traffic in front of her on the highway and the lightning was spectacular). Following day, southern weather lovely, Cessnock weather crap. I had two choices; out west and then turn left, or down through Sydney and across past Canberra. Area forecast had high winds and turbulence down the coast, and clear weather out west, so I took the western route. Area had cloud bottoms at 1000', so that should have been OK for the half hour to get out from underneath. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the clouds, and I'd barely got to Singleton before they were down to 500. Damn. Back to YCNK. Re-re-check the weather. Area had just done a new update indicating that things would clear in a few hours, so by watching the rain radars and checking with my son back home, I was able to leave and take the Sydney route only an hour and a half later. What a ride. Bumpy as hell under the cloud, but even when I cleared Sydney airspace, it was still too solid to climb through. Just as it was breaking up, I had the Canberra steps coming up, so I still couldn't climb... Finally (finally!), I cleared Canberra and started to climb to clean air, only to find that the cloud bottoms were at 6,500, and the tops were at 8,500. As I was on an 'evens' track, I had to suck it up and go back under the clouds again until I got a clear run for the last 30 miles into Tumut, and thence to YMBT. Stopped at Tumut for a splash of fuel, and demolished a couple of sandwiches; it had been just too rough to eat and fly and it was now mid afternoon. By comparison, I took a mate for a late afternoon mosey around the Victorian alps today and it was smooth and the views spectacular (albeit somewhat hazy) and we were in no hurry to be anywhere or do anything. Just magic, and wouldn't miss it for quids! :)
  3. Sorry to maintain the thread drift, but this reminded me of some that really surprised me recently. My son took a photo of me checking the oil during the preflight, and posted same on facebook. One of the comments (from a paraglider pilot, of all people) was "that can't be good if he's looking under the bonnet!". It had never occurred to me that an onlooker may consider that inspecting the engine would be an indication of something wrong rather than being good practice, but now I explain *why* I'm "looking under the bonnet". Oh, and two other things. If I have someone who's never landed in a light plane before, then long before I get to the airport (generally around the 10 mile inbound call) I talk about how I slow the plane down a lot in the circuit and demonstrate how it doesn't fall out of the sky when the engine goes to idle. Last thing I want is someone getting a sudden shock and reacting badly at circuit height. The other is that I always start my pax briefing with "I'm required by law to tell you that smoking is not permitted in this aircraft, and in the event of an emergency, the exits are there and there". It always seems to relax them and then they listen to the real briefing. :)
  4. Got a happy surprise to see 4669 in amongst the photos. That was the aircraft I learned in. It was converted to Rotax when Paul had something like (I think) 4 engine failures in 2 years. Cost a bomb to do because he had to go the full engineering route to maintain its '24' status. Good to see it again. :)
  5. This dipstick managed to leave our calibrated dipstick on the wing during the preflight yesterday. Sadly an extensive search of the surrounds didn't locate it, so I'm faced with the task of making a new one. To hopefully save me from laborously draining and refilling the tanks, does anyone have a marked dipstick for a Sierra with 100L wing tanks. If so, could you please tell me the measurements of the markings? Thanks!
  6. Well, I just downloaded it on an iPad, opened it in iBooks and it's all good. It's only slightly smaller than a page of the printed version, and it's easy to zoom if required. No problem.
  7. Sadly, my wife almost always refused to pillion. She reckoned that there was no point looking at the back of my head when she could be riding her own Super Sports...
  8. Thanks Kaz. Sadly, it looks like I'll have to wait another 2 years before I give it a shot. I'm gunna get there one day!
  9. Doing a bit of idle Sunday night dreaming/scheming/planning... If I were to fly from Bairnsdale to the Avalon east for the airshow, is it better to come via Portsea to the reporting point at Clifton Springs, or via the coastal route under Moorabbin and around the top of Port Philip to the other entry point over Point Cook? To explain a little more, lots of "personal minimums" thinking has left me with a distinct desire to not fly over water - exiting a low wing, bubble canopy aircraft after it flips when the wheels touch the water doesn't seem like a terribly likely prospect. Anyhow, the south route over Clifton Springs requires travel over between 5 and 8nm of water at 1000ft which doesn't sound good. The apparent alternative - the coastal route south of Melbourne - at least allows up to 2500ft, but I suspect that there is precious little to glide to along there without landing in someone's front garden. I guess I could also skirt around to the north of the class C steps, but that would add a lot of time that I wouldn't really have to spare. So, for the aquaphobic, which is the better solution? Is there one? p.s. I presume from the lack of detail on the VTC that the coastal route is not as heavily prescribed as Sydney's Victor 1 route?
  10. Why do I fly? Perhaps this may provide the answer... I was reading a message from our daughter on my wife's phone (with her permission, I hasten to add) when I noticed a message that my wife had recently sent to her. "You father's grumpy because <blah blah>, but he's going flying this afternoon so he'll be OK". Think she knows me well??
  11. There's an important difference between normal battery chargers (be they lead acid or NiCad or whatever) and iPhone/Pad chargers. In the former case, the charger is driving a constant current (up to a certain voltage limit) directly into the battery. In that case, the charger is, indeed, in charge. However, in the case of the phone and pad (and many other small electronic devices), the "charger" that we have been discussing is actually just a constant voltage power supply. The part that is controlling the battery charging is built into the phone, because lithium batteries are too dangerous to leave to the great unwashed to connect any old charger to... :)
  12. As the wise man said, "Opinions are like arseholes - everybody has one. However, unlike arseholes, you should get yours out every once in a while and give them a thorough examination under a strong light". Simplistically, you can always supply a lower-drawing load from a higher-capacity supply. This is because the high capacity is merely a measure of how much current it can supply before the voltage starts to droop. If a supply is rated at 2.5A, that doesn't mean that it forces 2.5A into the load; merely that it can supply it if the load wants. In the case of your phone, it doesn't want to draw more than 1A, so that's all the supply will give it. Now, before the smart folk leap in with a 'yes-but', yes, it is possible with a really (really!) poorly designed power supply that under-loading it will cause it to go unstable, but even with the poorest of poor, the load has to be in the order of under 10% of rated (ie in this case, under 250mA) before it would start playing up. If you're using such a supply, your phone is going to die from the high transients that the crappy supply lets straight through when your motor starts or stops, so instability is the least of your problems. What to do? Start by purchasing a charger from Apple (they're actually made by Belkin) and make sure that you don't buy one on super special from a dubious source. Then, if you really want to be sure, unplug the phone/iPad while you start and stop the motor. If you're lucky, your 12V outlet will be switched on your avionics switch, and you always turn it off when starting or stopping the motor (don't you? ).
  13. Morning or afternoon? I went up at about 6:30pm for a little sight-see with a mate over Newcastle and the coast, and it was still really hot until we had climbed sufficiently. For all that, the air was relatively smooth - better than expected anyway. :)
  14. During my last BFR, I took advantage of having a CFI on board and spent some time doing power-on, climbing, slipping stalls and power-on, climbing, skidding stalls. Apart from being lots of fun (with an instructor!!), it also clarified and confirmed lots of stuff I'd read about how the plane - and the pilot - should react.