Prop Straightening

Continuing with the home office/study/library build, I found some decoration via a damaged airplane propeller. I was able to straighten it out using the press and some 2×4 blocking. The aluminum is springy so the key to getting it flat is to bend a bit past flat, just enough so that when it springs back it’s straight.

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There was a possibility that the amount of bending needed would create cracks. Based on prior experience with aluminum, I would expect for the paint to flake and for the surface underneath to turn white just before cracks occurred and I was looking out for this. If cracking had started, the plan was to heat the area with a torch until it was annealed, then continue bending – this would also have required repainting, so I’m glad it wasn’t needed.

For mounting it to the wall I cut a circle of 3/4″ plywood on the bandsaw. The circle is just small enough to fit into the prop hub, but too big to go through the smaller hole of the inner hub. Long cabinet screws then secure the plywood to a stud, sandwiching the prop in place. I plan to make another circle, paint black, and fit it into the hub to cover the structural piece.

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Summer Update

It’s been a busy summer with a number of miscellaneous trips. To keep with the recent aviation theme, I’ll share the photo below that I took on a recent commercial flight of an Antonov 124 – a large russian transport plane that you definitely don’t see everyday. It’s the smaller version of the world’s largest airplane, the AN-225 Mriya.

Antonov An-124 Ruslan

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BBQ Flight

This weekend we headed south to a small airport with an on-field BBQ restaurant. It’s an hour and a half drive, but only 20min by air.

The pictures of the light sport plane landing give a good representation of the between-the-trees approach. This is not uncommon at small airports; it’s a bit intimidating at first but is not a problem if you stay on center-line and are ready to make a go-around if something doesn’t look right.

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Archer Transition Complete

After another flight I was signed off to fly the Archer and we took it out this weekend for a scenic/practice flight. It was a nice, relatively clear, day and Christina got lots of pictures.

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(and for anyone that notices – I’m not flying a plane with no tail number, that would be very bad. I just edit it out of the photos the same as I do with license plates or any other identifying info)

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“Fly-in”

We drove down to the coast this weekend for an aviation conference. It was very rainy but the worst of it passed by mid-morning. We went to a number of great classes and learned a lot. There were several military helicopters and an Osprey that were there and open to free tours. Christina got a lot of pictures.

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Piper Archer Transition

After a busy winter and uncooperative weather I’m finally back to doing some flying; first the usual Cessna 172 a few weeks ago and then this weekend a new type: Piper Archer. The Archer is roughly the same size but ‘low wing’ rather than ‘high wing’ like the 172; other than that and cruising a bit faster (~145mph vs ~135mph) it basically works the same way. After another hour or so of adjusting to the differences I should be cleared to go solo with it.

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First Passenger Flight

Christina and I went for a short cross-country flight today. This was the first flight that I wasn’t either solo or with a flight instructor. It was a bit bumpy, but extremely clear and Christina got a lot of pictures.
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Checkride Passed!

I haven’t updated in quite some time; summer was very busy with work, travel, and the occasional practice flight. I documented a number of these things with the intention to later post, however I failed logging into my phone one too many times and it deleted all photos.

Bus: Only minor work done on the bus, mainly more wet-sanding & polishing.

CNC: I created a homemade drag knife for cutting out vinyl/cardboard/paper. This is still a work in progress as are accuracy refinements and fine tuning.

Aviation: I passed the Private Pilot check ride! This generally means I can now fly any single engine land airplane (that does not require a Complex, Hi Performance, or tail-wheel endorsement) to/from any airport (besides the obvious: military/etc); and I can now carry passengers that aren’t flight instructors. I should be getting the official plastic certificate (There’s no such thing as a “Pilot’s License”) card in the next few weeks like the one below.
Private_PilotIn practice, switching to something other than a Cessna 172 would require a little bit of transition training and there are time limitations to renting the trainer plane. So not sure what’s next with this hobby, but there’s a lot to learn and it’s still very interesting…

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Long Cross-Country Solo

Today I completed the “long cross-country solo” part of the the private pilot requirements. I made a big triangle over the middle of the state with legs of 104, 61, and 56 nautical miles. Along the way I spoke with approach control of two different class C airports, everything went great.

LongSolo

 

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Controlled Field Solos

This afternoon I completed the controlled field solo take-off and landing requirements; 3 take off and landings to a full stop. There’s plenty left to learn but altogether this went fairly smoothly; some of the intimidation factor is now gone and that will be a big help for future flights in controlled airspace. Here’s an old photo of the airport (guess which) where I did this:
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I may have only a handful of flights left prior to the checkride: a night cross country (dual), a long solo cross-country, some more practice, and then the mock checkride.

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