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Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by denverpilot, Mar 15, 2016.
Kinda fun. Or not. But it's something to do. Ha.
Well that was a pain in the butt. Departed Runway 28 to do some right seat pattern work at APA, and the right side PTT failed. (On our airplane the left side PTT won't help without moving the headset plugs over there.)
So there I am at 400' AGL moving the plugs to the left side to answer the Tower who's saying "I heard a couple of clicks... did you want Runway 28 or Runway 17 Right?" LOL. Then reaching for the other yoke to answer radio calls. Hahahaha.
Like a monkey doing untoward things to a football...
Fly with right hand, throttle and whatnot with left hand, and left hand reaching all the way over to the left horn of the left yoke to transmit.
So there's my one minute of NORDO for the day!
Landed it and looked at all the connections while I still had some daylight and nothing appears amiss. Traced all the PTT wiring from the yoke into the bundle and wiggled butt splices and obvious stress points. Nothing.
(Have I mentioned that getting yourself upside down and backward in the seat to put your head under a Cessna panel, suuuuuucks?)
Will have to see if the right side PTT circuit works correctly with an Aux PTT switch in the mic jack -- I think I still have one of those PTTs from back in the bad old days of portable intercoms.
And if that works, probably drag the multimeter with the tiny probes out here to see if it's the switch by measuring at the butt splices. Or some tiny stripped solid wire to push in there.
Anyway. Any bets? I'm betting the switch failed internally. It still physically clicks just like the left side, but the way it went intermittent first, I'm putting money on switch failure. If so at least that's simple to replace.
Can fly it from the right seat, but you have to use the left seat PTT and plug in the headset over there. LOL. Not ideal for pattern work. So I'm done for the night.
Hmmm. Now that I think about it, that Aux PTT may be buried in my flight bag. It would be in there for the handheld. Going to go look. But I think it's in a drawer at home.
Well... the good news is... at least I wasn't circling looking for light gun signals! LOL. Oh...
And that was my first solo landing in the right seat of my airplane. I guess I won't forget that! Haha.
240@15G30 and it was nailed. Squeak squeak.
Funny how the "distraction" made me stop worrying about the landing and just make it, while I was thinking about how to reach to the other side yoke to talk to the tower. LOL.
Fly the plane.
Haven't had time to go mess with the airplane but my CFI "freebie" license for WingX showed up. Took about a week.
Seriously disappointed in ForeFlight in that regard. They'll do 33% off if you join NAFI or SAFE and prove it, but after you subtract what it would cost to join, it's an $8 discount. LOL.
(Not saying a membership in NAFI or SAFE would be a bad thing or that thy don't offer other discounts, but Net/Net, WingX's deal is $0 and ForeFlight's deal is -$8. That's a pretty dang compelling reason to try out WingX.)
Since I still have whatever is left on a six month freebie from Garmin, I should probably do a head to head on all three of them before that runs out. Probably best done in it's own thread.
Looking forward to reading about it.
Got out to the hangar today and confirmed the PTT problem is past the crimps under the panel that transition from the wiring bundle to the coiled cord that goes to the yoke.
So it's either that cord or the PTT button. Have a call out to the local avionics guy.
Also couldn't find my old school Velcro on PTT but co-owner decided to order one so we tested it and it works. So we have a temporary right side PTT and I can get back to practicing in that seat.
Hmm haven't updated.
PTT got officially FAA repaired for $208 for two pieces of six inches of new wire and four solder joints. Yay FAA.
Haven't flown. At all. Been working making money.
Co-owner flew to OSH and back.
Plan is to fly butt off starting next week.
Monsoon season is here and it's been insanely wet for CO. Lots of clouds and rain. But shouldn't be a real problem.
Also got more quotes on GTN 650 and GTX 345 install. Will start thinking about when to schedule that in.
Had first discussion about maybe quitting IT altogether with spouse. Not convinced it's a good idea yet, but kinda like the idea. Not pulling the trigger on that one any time soon, but we like to talk and plan. "What do you want to be doing in ten years?"
It ain't patching Windows servers and upgrading firmware on switches. I know that.
So... in a year and a half, you haven't done anything to progress your career? You're still patching Windows servers, but nothing to do with flying?
Dude, you need to get it together!
Will happily transport you back from KALS if that's your choice.
Oh good lord, no. Those are just the lame little things that go along with IT engineering at a small company. We do it all.
This year has mostly been AWS stuff, ansible, and being the wise old owl peering at the youngsters making the same old mistakes over and over they've all made for twenty years of watching the industry do it and telling them about Deja Fu... you know, that feeling you've been kicked in the head like this before...
IT stopped progressing toward any sort of "excellence" quite some time ago. Aviation calls since not ALL pilots keep crashing the airplane or attempting to, every time they sit in it. Developers? same crashes, over and over and over, they're like crash test dummies.
"Oh goodie. You're going to switch from THAT tool to THIS tool which is as badly written as the last one, but it promises it fixed all the problems... greeeeeeat. I think I heard that about C, and C++, and Pascal, and ... etc... on up to PHP, Perl, and Python..."
And of course, some buzzword bingo mixed in to make it all sound fresh. LOL.
Looking like it will be. Not sure when, though. Lots of good comments, even from his competitors.
Co-owner got stuck in Nebraska for a number of hours waiting for a benign wet stratus layer to warm up and lift, and got some Actual with another CFII on the way out, and I think he's convinced he'd like to do his Instrument ticket now.
I probably should have taken him out and shown him a climb to on-top sooner! It really is a neat sight and makes the utility of the airplane jump dramatically for travel -- until it doesn't.
I recently changed my LinkedIn one-liner from something very senior-techie-engineer-type to "attempting to educate the next generation of software engineers"
I will fail, of course, but teaching at a local university is a lots less demanding (in all ways) than trying to meet stupid schedules because the customer is clueless and the TPTB screwed up both the requirements and the contract. Lots less money, but lots less aggravation. And I have 5 days a week to fly.
I hear ya both! Spent 8 hrs yesterday yelling at our corporate support group who has taken ownership of everything, including much of what I managed, with privs gone as well. They have a Domain Controller that has a replication problem in my data center that for some reason causes the last 4 gdsob Windows gdsob servers that I foolishly left Oracle on to slow down, go comatose and then roll belly up.
Then when SOMEONE FINALLY responds to my SEV 1 ticket (after pinging every manager in the support group multiple times), and restores service, the databases can't find their storage array mounts.
I'm ready to tell them to shove it. But, unlike Nate, I don't see myself as a CFI, so I guess I'll bite my tongue limp along a while longer.
I'm teaching databases this fall at the university. The Evil IT Empire won't stand up a system the way I want so the CS dept is doing its own servers with Oracle ( which I always teach ). I don't trust that either, so Day 1 of class everyone will standup a LAMP stack with other apps on their laptops. We won't be dependent on the dept, on IT, nor any network issues. Be fun, since none of them will understand the concept of command line.
I don't trust anything relating to computers. Yes, I'm a Type A personality, altho I do try to keep it under control.
Flew 0.8 today. Still having a sight picture problem in the right seat of the Skylane but working it out. Gusty right crosswind kept me honest. Seeing s tendency when in the right seat to use too much aileron and not enough rudder. Can see myself doing it and wondering why as I am doing it. It's interesting.
Anyway, usually when I whack up against something off like that, it means a few hours of just plain old slogging through it will make whatever I'm doing wrong "click" and then it'll be good. So this week is "fix whatever the hell I'm doing wrong in the Skylane right seat" week.
Talked to instructor. He's absolutely slammed. Said the other instructor has some openings. Told him I'll go figure out this landing weirdness first and then give them a call to go beat me up some more for ride prep.
Airwork to knock any rust off of that stuff will be interesting if the monsoon doesn't slow up here soon. Low clouds and plenty of them, but I'll catch a break in them every few days that'll work for a climb up to do stuff.
Well that was fun. Short XC from KAPA to KAKO because they have cheap(er) gas.
Went and did three landings (plus the one full stop when I got there) from the right seat by day, including a power off 180, and a really short field with the STOL kit. Decided I've figured out the sight picture weirdness enough to head back in the right seat as the sun went down.
Had a Kit Kat and a Coke Zero from the machine at AKO and headed home.
Five stop and goes at KAPA in the dark including one power off 180 and a couple real short short fields. By the end no problems with tracking and landing on centerline and while I still feel like the sight picture is goofy from the right seat, I have figured out how to correct for it. Yay. Little more practice and that'll be all happy.
Loaded up on the cheap gas, so 59 gallons on board for the rest of this week's adventures.
My instructor's pickup truck was at his hangar so he must be out doing a night our flight with a student who needs night XC in the twin. He's just slammed right now.
A lovely 2.7 hours total. 1.0 straight out, bought gas, and then 1.7 with all the pattern work coming back. Nice tailwind coming home too. Cracked the magic 150 knots groundspeed in the 182 which doesn't happen much. That was probably in a descent but it's fun to see.
Played with WingX on the way out, switched to the familiarity of ForeFlight headed back. WingX isn't bad. It's a little less polished but all the stuff I wanted was there other than aircraft performance predictions. Maybe I haven't found that yet.
Heh. Looking closer at that photo I just noticed their hardline on the tower flapping in the breeze. Wonder if they just painted the tower? If not, naughty. Those should be attached to a leg running up.
On the way out yesterday I also played with my A/P just for kicks. Yep. It sucks. You like all those jagged lines? Haha.
Well I see that FlightAware's "share" button in their app is broken. LOL. Lame. URL doesn't work. Oh well
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the venerable Cessna 200 A/P tracking a heading using only the turn coordinator in light turbulence. LOL.
The straighter line to the northeast is VOR tracking to AKO. It looks better, but it really wasn't. It makes for a nice wing rocker and I had to pull out the knob and put it back on course a couple of times during that as it wanders off 10 degrees off of the heading chasing little movements of the needle.
Hey! That's the best R's, C's, D's, and op amps money could buy!
Heck, I don't need an autopilot to fly like that. Amateur.
I wouldn't call what the autopilot was doing, flying. Haha. I was just playing with it. I do that once in a while to remind myself why I would never even think of powering it on in IMC.
It's free airplane wash day at Centennial Airport! Well, not really. Not on the ground anyway. But it's raining. Cleans the bugs right off the leading edges! Only got a little wet putting the airplane away. 0.8 and the landings look NICE from the right seat!
Got it nailed thanks to Mark Kolber! @midlifeflyer
Damn Mark, you know if you just put the centerline under your butt cheeks and forget about the airplane looking crooked from the right seat, amazing how well that works. Thanks for the tip. What a marooon I was. Haha. Feet connected to RUNWAY sight picture not cowl or side window or whatever I was looking at!
Last landing was a little bit "yee haw". Prevailing wind is out of the northwest today with downslope (which is what's causing the rain and also why he ceilings aren't lowering) but when the leading edge gust front arrived it flopped the wind for a minute and Tower had me do a 180 to rejoin for 17R.
By the time I was on final looking at the sock, it had come back around to the northeast. Okay, just hold it off and it's going to look real fast... don't be fooled. Glance at the airspeed indicator all the way over there. Yep. Pitch plus power still equals airspeed. Lookie there. 65 on the dot.
But felt solid. "In the zone" as the kids say. (Do they say that anymore?) Saw he first taxiway turnoff go by while decelerating and thought... yeah that was a seriously downwind landing.
No directional control issues and I think I've got my sight picture problem from my right seat nailed.
Asked tower after I rolled out what it had changed to... 330 @ 21. Yup. That explains it! I was prepped for a go-around but it was stable and airspeed was good. Groundspeed was just whipping stuff by. Ha.
Putting the old girl away for the afternoon. She didn't quite need to shake off water like a dog once in the hangar. I'll go wipe off her windshield with that nice soft water and no spots!
Two words....north up
LOL. Normally it is. I think I flipped it messing with it going to AKO because it was really easy to see when the A/P was screwing up.
It's funny I have the 430 set track up but the tablet is north up. For some reason the 430 is okay maybe because it ties to heading. But when looking at a chart I expect things to look "right" which means north up.
I was also playing with the fancy new vector maps on FF which supposedly keeps all the info "upright" even when flying south, since I popped for one more year of "all in" with them, and I'm still messing with WingX to see if I'm happy with it.
Jus' sos you know the airport markers are dry holes for the most part...
Yeah, they finally caught up with Garmin Pilot with the vector maps. I was going to get Garmin for that reason until FF did that. Ended up getting a 10.5" Pro and putting FF on it. Haven't done the geo-referenced plates or synthetic vision yet though. Just the basic plus package.
I did the Pro package for two reasons. Originally it offered to let me stay on the old Pro. When I realized I needed to do something else so I closed it and came back to the website the next day, it no longer offered it to me. (I think I literally expired on that day. Kinda made me mad.)
But secondarily... well hell... it's a write off on taxes for a budding CFI. So I decided I didn't care for one more year. LOL.
I got home and uploaded my exciting 12 seconds of video in the downwind for 35L at KAPA.
Shows the rain and also toward the end the "Cessna whistle" or "Cessna howl" starts up as the airplane accelerates. All Cessnas seem to do it in visible moisture. Always been a cool thing to me.
That giant building on the right is IKEA. LOL.
The markers look like dry hole markers on oilfield maps
Oh! Dang, you're right. They do! LOL. Been a while since I've seen those!
What are the markers for? I assume you're talking about the purple/magenta circles with 4 spokes?
Yeah. Uncontrolled airport vector graphic looks a lot like the "unfilled in" graphic used on oil well maps to indicate a well that didn't produce.
Bad news for me, but not terribly bad. I'll probably be putting my flying stuff on hold for at least a couple of weeks.
Boss/Longtime friend at work has been having eyesight problems. Diagnosis: Granuloma wrapped around pituitary gland. Decent prognosis, but surgery scheduled immediately, at the Mayo Clinic.
So I'll be mostly going to the office on weekdays to cover, and I'll just "coast" a bit on finishing up the SE add-on, until the schedule is more firm. His schedule gets priority, obviously. No point in me pushing a checkride into the schedule real hard while he's out. Just causes other problems for everyone in our team.
I'll switch over to being a weekend warrior again with flying just to keep from rust build-up on landings and maneuvers, and kick the brain back in to studying mode just to make sure stuff isn't falling out...
Oh... and this week, the weather has sucked anyway... monsoon... wet... rainy... crud... so the "plan" before this came up was to look at the end of the week for doing some airwork prep, contacting a different CFI, and polishing some stuff... maybe start some oral prep again just to knock the rust off of that, and see what DPE schedules looked like... but I'll probably push that at least two weeks now with this going on.
We'll see... I'm kinda the "senior guy" with him out, so I don't want to leave anyone feeling like the sky is falling and they need to wait a few hours for me to land somewhere to fix something. If all is going smoothly, and friend's recovery is going well, may start pushing to schedule so the checkride falls right about the time he comes back to work. If he's struggling, will wait a little longer.
Too bad. I need a flight review. Sorry to hear about your friend's medical problem. Recovery might be lengthy on that particular surgery.
Yeah, it can be. The "stumbled into some good luck" part for him, is that he already has a Mayo Clinic patient ID number and they know him from a previous medical thing, so he was literally able to call up and have tests done and surgery scheduled within the week... with the Doc listed as the #1 guy for that sort of thing, ahead only slightly of another Doc at John's Hopkins.
So... I'm just entertaining him via text message asking him if when he takes his HGH in the future if he'll grow a huge forehead like Peyton Manning, and stuff... just to keep him entertained... sitting in a hotel waiting on surgery day sucks, but getting to fly out within a week of someone figuring out it was an optic nerve problem near the pituitary to the best Doc in the country, doesn't suck.
Our medical insurance at the company isn't great for such a thing, but it's also not bankruptcy-inducing. So that's helpful. I suspect the Doc gets paid pretty well... just a guess.
We'll never updated here so...
Surgery went better than expected, Doc thought he got the entire tumor. Tests and what not to come.
Serious complication last night but he's okay.
Started leaking cranial/spinal fluid after he was already awake and recovering last night -- the patch they put in place to seal up the brain cavity had worked loose.
So a middle of the night emergency surgery to plug that up, but he said he feels almost back to normal tonight after that and a second shot at being under general anesthesia to plug up the leak.
I asked him if this light came on.
The news that they may have gotten the entire tumor is the best part. That was about 50/50 going in and the recurrence rate if they can't get it all out mechanically is pretty high, even with radiation treatment, from what I've been reading.