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   After decided the carpet in the front room was imposiable to clean James and I decided to remove it.  Under the carpet was a hard compressed layer of dirt that we had to use putty knives to scrape off.  Once the floor was scrapped and vacuumed I decided to rent a floor buffer and really clean it well. 
   Neither James or I had used a floor buffer before and having no idea how to control the device we first made cleaning a two person operation.  One person would hold the handle and power engage switch while the other person grabbed the motor to try and direct the device.  Only after we had stripped the floor did I figure out it could be controlled by tilting the buffer forward and backward.  After I figured this out I became fairly proficient at running the device even able to keep it controlled in tight spaces.  I did, however, know the leg out from under my bench holding my monitors.  They came tumbling down and a horrific crash.  So clearly my skills were not yet mastered.
   The front room has now been cleaned and waxed and looks pretty good.
James

James

   Flew today in 20 knot winds with gusts up to 30 knots.  With the winds so high we decided to postpone the take off and landings drill we had originally planned and work on some S-turns.  With the winds this strong it was very challenging.  I never did quite make the S-turn starting with a left turn although I had a little better luck starting from a right turn.  We also tried some engine failures so I could try some descents at best glide and practice the emergency landing procedures.  We also did some stalls, and then went back to the airport for a crosswind landing.  For this landing we only used 2 notches of flags rather then 3 so we would have a little more speed.  We descended crabbed using and then used a slide-slip for landing where one wheel touches the ground before the other.  One day I will have to learn to do this myself, but today I was just able to marvel at how smoothly my flight instructor executed this landing.
   Pictured is James working on a project in animal bone.

September 02, 2010

First day of class

Echo and Loryn

Echo and Loryn

   First day of class today.  I only have 2 classes, and went to both of them this morning.  However, I did not bring my camera so no pictures.  In the evening I went to sushi with Echo and her friend Loryn.  Echo didn't want to give me any faces except for "extremely constipated" so here it is.
Aisslinn

Aisslinn

   Liz came with me today for my flight lesson.  When we arrived at the airport the weather looked fair, but I could see on the METAR that airports to the west of us were IFR (Insterment Flight Rules) only.  By the time we had gone over the day's lesson, the airport had gone IFR.  We looked at the METAR and visibility had dropped to 2 miles, but we still had a 3,000 foot ceiling.  So we tried requesting a special VFR clearance from the tower to practice some touch-and-go landings.  However the situation had become worse, and the ceiling had dropped to 500 feet.  There was nothing we could do—we need a ceiling (no clouds below) of at least 1,800 feet.  Below that we might go through a cloud (and be briefly blind) during landing, and since we are using Visual Flight Rules (VFR) not being able to see is a bad thing.  Having only 2 miles of visibility isn't all that bad if you are only flying a circle around the airport.  So if that had been the only problem we could have received a special clearance.
The Box

The Box

   Did some cleaning in the sleeping box today as it had been awhile since it has been vacuumed out.  It is very dark in the box (by design) and I decided that installing some cleaning illumination might be a good idea.  I had two light fixtures left over from the Cedar Rapids box, and as it turns out enough cord on them to install them in my box here.  I placed them at opposite ends of the box and they do pretty good for providing elimination for cleaning purposes. 
   While I was at it I also decided to install the flat panel heater.  I won't need it until it starts getting cold, but at least the mounting is out of the way.  One of the things I needed to do with the heater was remove the operating lights—not much of a point sealing the box up to light only to bring in light emitting devices.  Also added some chalk in places I had missed during the widening.  There was a strap along the back wall I had put duct tape along because I had not chalked it.  Since that is an air flow source and I want the air to be drawn from the front, chalking it will force the exhaust fan to draw air in from the front of the box.
   Unlike my Cedar Rapids box, this box has a blower mounted in the box that draws air out.  My Cedar Rapids box had the blower outside the box and forced air into the box.  I am of the opinion that forcing the air in is a better system.  First of all the blower fan is outside the box reducing the noise.  Secondly the Cedar Rapids box forced air down across the heater from the rear of the box.  This brought in cool outside air, moved it over the heater and forced the warm air forward making it very comfortable.  I may have to consider redoing the ventilation come winter.
   Pictured is looking down to the end of the box.  In the center you can see the heater, and to the right is the blower fan.  To the left is the outlet used by the blower.  The bedding has not yet been returned so there are just the memory foam pads I use as a mattress.  They are so comfortable that no one ever wants to get out once they get in.

August 30, 2010

Flight Lesson--Stalls

Que and Flight Instructor

Que and Flight Instructor

   My flight lesson today was with stalls.  My flight instructor said it would be alright if I had people come along for a ride, and when I mentioned this to the Garage Crowd everyone wanted a turn.  I recommended they skip today because we were going to do stalls, but upon hearing this James insisted this be the day he went up.  So James and Maggie came along for this flight and took pictures and video.
   The winds were 10 knots out of the south with gusts up to 13 knots.  I expected and received clearance for runway 18.  This is an asphalt runway, and a little skinnier then most of the others.  I fount right away the plane handled a little different with 4 people inside.  While the nose came up at the speed I expected we didn't lift off the runway immediately.
   Once in the air we flew just south west of Orfordville and the stall training began.  I was surprised on the slow stalls how quickly it happened.  The stall horn sounded and I left the plane naturalize.  We tried it a couple times, but my reactions were not as automatic as I would have liked.  We then actually put the airplane into a stall letting it shake.  Then it was much more natural to do the correction as soon as the event took place.  The plane—not being stable at all—wanted to yaw.  Then it started to shake.  When this happens it's very natural to want to react.
   The take-off stalls were harder to make happen.  My instructor had me slow the plane down to around 65 knots, then max throttle and a heavy climb.  This time the yaw was really noticeable as the plane became unstable, and when it was time to correct [remaining article data lost]