Saturday, August 15, 2009

BAPA July Meeting Minutes

Members Present: Bill & Kate D; Ron & Diane H; Bob & Dino R; Peg & Jeff L; Dick S; Fran & Alice L; Ralph & Betty K; Dave Kalwishky; Mark B; Ralph B.

Guest Paul Kimble was present who presented the program. He is with Wycliffe Bible translators in Brazil. He is a missionary pilot and mechanic with JARS.

The June meeting of BAPA was called to order by President Bill D.

The June minutes were presented and approved. Moved Fran, seconded Dino. Passed

Treasurer Report:
Income - 0 (dues)
Interest - .07
Expenses – zero
Balance on hand - $2,802.70
$120 of the balance on hand belongs to the Destination Iowa Flying Event (half goes to the winner and half goes to BAPA).
The finance report was approved.

Old Business:
1. Destination Iowa update. Mark has visited 59 airports to date.
2. Peg reported that Suzanne Richmond will be our October program. She teaches her aviation program every spring. Dave K. suggested that we combine this with the IA Aviation Promotion Group. They hold periodic IA Aviation Youth Camps. AOPA also has a youth program curriculum for such an event. It would also be nice if we could give airplane rides through the Young Eagles program. Dave left some printed information at the meeting regarding all these resources. There is a certificate that is available from the DOT of IA to show that the kids have gone through the program.
3. Dick reported on the patch order. He sent around a sample of the patch he ordered. Bill reported about vinyl stickers. A 4X6 inch sticker would be $5. They can be scaled to any size and the price would be accordingly.
4. We could use the vinyl sticker as a banner for BAPA when the next Farm Progress Show comes to Boone.
5. Two people (Jeff and ??) will be going to Decatur, Illinois to this year’s Farm Progress Show. They will be representing Boone there. They are looking for give a ways to promote Boone. They are short some funds to send the two people. It will cost about $900 to send the two. It is Sept. 1-3.

New Business:
1. Fran is taking names of people who would like to go to the Beads Lake Museum on August 16th at 2 PM (Saturday). Anyone who wishes to go needs to get their name in to Fran soon.
2. Fran reported a three day outing at the Alexis Inn Alexis Park Inn hotel at Iowa City near the end of August.
3. The week end of August 22, the Ankeny airport is holding a flight breakfast and the Ford Tri Motor airplane will be there.
4. Special mention was made about the Able Island airport pot luck fly in event. It is on the Mississippi river 2 miles north of Guttenburg on August 29th. The time is noon.
5. The August 18th meeting of BAPA will be a flying event. We will fly to Anita to eat at the restaurant there. Plans are to meet at Anita by 6PM in order for the return flight to be during daylight. Check with the Boone airport by 3 PM in case of bad weather. In case of bad weather, we will BBQ at BNW as usual on the 18th.
6. Future programs ideas are air to air photography and the new on line wings program.

Upcoming program schedule:
August – Ron Harland
September – Bob Baird
October – Peg.
November - open
December - Holiday party

Respectfully submitted.
Diane Harland

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Hours of Operation at CY Aviation

CY Aviation has new hours of operation as follows:

Monday 09:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday 09:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 09:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday 09:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday 08:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 08:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday 08:00 AM - 5"00 PM

We may be closed when the weather is below IFR minimums (less than one mile visibility or a ceiling lower that 400 feet).

For services at other times, call Connie at (515) 795-2306.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Interesting comments on Sullenberger and the Airbus

Some interesting reading forwarded by a former A-6 pilot. It was sent to him by a commercial airline pilot.

The press is having a field day turning "Sully" Sullenberger into a Lindbergh-like hero. I attended his welcoming home reception in Danville, CA last weekend... me and the estimated 3000 other attendees. All credit is given to him and his crew, but they will be the first to tell you, "they just did their jobs." They did them well, but when your job entails holding the lives of hundreds of people in your hands every time you fly, then doing your job well is the minimum acceptable standard.
I don't, and I doubt if more than just a handful of other pilots, begrudge Sully his day in the sun. What I am concerned about is how the real cause of this accident is being glossed over and, on the part of Airbus Industries, actually lied about. There are stories circulating now about how the flight computers helped "save" the aircraft by insuring the ditching was done properly. The stories themselves are absolute nonsense and the contention that the flight computers ensured the proper attitude was maintained for ditching is pure fabrication.
So what's wrong with Airbus wanting to steal a little glory for their computerized drones? There is a good chance it was the computers that put the aircraft into the water!
I readily admit I heartily dislike Airbus because of their design philosophy, I will never set foot in an A-380 (the superjumbo) as I consider it a really bad accident looking for a place to happen. I am not much happier with the rest of them but especially the A-320 which has killed several folks, while the engineers try to perfect software that can replace a human brain that has a talent for flying... something that I, rather naturally, don't believe possible.
It is well known that I love Boeings. I love to fly them. Beyond the sheer joy of just flying the Boeing, I also believe in their design philosophy that the last word has to be with the pilot, not the machine. No pilot, no matter how hard he tries, can turn an A-320 upside down. It just won't do it. Airbus believes it has designed a computer that is smarter than a pilot (the evidence of dead bodies scattered around Mulhouse, France to the contrary) and gives the last word to the computer. If a pilot moves the controls so as to turn the airplane upside down, the computer will refuse.
I can turn the B777 upside down. Once I get it upside down, if I let go of the controls, it will turn itself right-side up (smart airplane). I don't believe I will ever be in a situation where I will need to turn the airplane upside down, but I feel good knowing I have the control to do it. That's why I'm not really kidding when I say: "if it ain't a Boeing; I ain't going".
What follows is an e-mail from a retired US Air Pilot who has flown the Airbus A320 just like the one that ended up in the Hudson. It was written in response to a friend asking him if he knew the pilot who did the ditching. It is most illuminating and worth the read...
Dear Chuck,
I don't know him. I've seen him in the crew room and around the system but never met him. He was former PSA and I was former Piedmont and we never had the occasion to fly together.
The dumb shit press just won't leave this alone. Most airliner ditchings aren't very successful since they take place on the open ocean with wind, rough seas, swells and rescue boats are hours or days away. This one happened in fresh smooth water, landing with the current and the rescue boats were there picking people up while they were still climbing out of the airplane. It also happened on a cold winter day when all the pleasure boats were parked. Had this happened in July it would be pretty hard not to whack a couple of little boats. Sully did a nice job but so would 95% of the other pilots in the industry. You would have done a nice job.
Don't be surprised if the Airbus fly by wire computers didn't put a perfectly good airplane in the water. In an older generation airplane like the 727 or 737-300/400, the throttles are hooked to the fuel controllers on the engine by a steel throttle cable just like a TBM or a Comanche. On the Airbus nothing in the cockpit is real. Everything is electronic. The throttles, rudder and brake pedals and the side stick are hooked to rheostats who talk to a computer who talks to a electric hydraulic servo valve which in turn hopefully moves something.
In a older generation airplane when you hit birds the engines keep screaming or they blow up but they don't both roll back to idle simultaneously like happened to Flt. 1549. All it would take is for bird guts to plug a pressure sensor or knock the pitot probe off or plug it and the computers would roll the engines back to idle thinking they were over boosting because the computers were getting bad data. The Airbus is a real pile of shit. I don't like riding on them. Google the Airbus A320 Crash at the Paris Airshow in 1998. Watch the video of an airbus A320 crash into a forest because the computers wouldn't allow a power increase following a low pass. The computers wouldn't allow a power increase because they determined that the airspeed was too low for the increase requested so the computers didn't give them any. Pushing the throttles forward in a Airbus does nothing more than request a power increase from the computer. If the computer doesn't like all the airplane and engine parameters you don't get a power increase. Airbus blamed the dead crew since they couldn't defend themselves. A Boeing would still be flying.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Joe Condon's RV-9A (N647JC)

The construction of N647JC began in my garage in Woodbury, Minnesota, June 2002. Being a computer programmer, I had no experience building airplanes but I had just starteTd taking flight lessons and I thought building an airplane would be an enjoyable and practical project.

 Before starting the project I spent several months researching kit airplanes and considered several makes and models including composite, fabric and aluminum construction. I decided on Van’s RV-9A for several reasons, aluminum construction tends to be less messy than composite and more temperature tolerant which can be a problem working in a garage in Minnesota. I also thought the RV-9A (considered the more docile model of the RV series), would be the best fit for me since I would probably still be a low time pilot by the time the project was finished.

 The RV-9A kit airplane is typically purchased as 3 separate sub kits starting with the empennage. The empennage kit went together fairly fast although I didn’t work on the project that winter because my garage was just too cold and difficult to heat. The empennage kit is fairly inexpensive and lets the builder get some good hands on building experience before committing substantially more money for the wing and fuselage kits. After completion of the empennage I decided I was enjoying the building process and would continue on with the project. I decided on a quick build wing kit which would speed up the building process and avoid the dreaded fuel tank assembly which I had heard can be quite messy and difficult.

 The quick build wings were ordered that spring and received August 2003. Because they were quick build, there was not a lot of work to do on them and I completed the wings in January 2004. I ordered the quick build fuselage a few months after receiving the quick build wings. Van typically builds and sells the quick build fuselage and wings as a matched pair since the fuselage center section wing spar had to be matched to the wing. Since I purchased the wings separate from the fuselage I now had to return the wing center spar section to Vans and they would then assemble the quick build fuselage around it. Because of this extra step I did not receive the quick build fuselage until June of 2004, about 7 months after ordering.

 I worked on the fuselage for about 5 months until November of 2004 at which time it started getting cold again and I put the project on hold until spring. I didn’t get back to work on it until April of 2005 and I was able to work steadily on the project all summer up until October. That summer I had an opportunity and decided to move from Minnesota back to Des Moines, Iowa where I was originally from and in November of 2005 I made the move to Ankeny, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines that has a very nice small airport. One of the requirements of my new home in Ankeny was a heated garage with a shop area so I would be able to work on my project in comfort year around.

 It wasn’t until April of 2006 that I was able to get back to work on the project, moving can be quite disruptive. I continued working on the fuselage that spring and summer through October at which time I got pretty burned out and decided to take a break for a while. I guess getting burned out on a project of this size is not uncommon. I had been working on the fuselage for over 2 years and still had a long way to go before completion and I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to stick with it a couple years more. I considered selling the project but after a little inspirational pep talk from Keith Campbell at W&C Aircraft Works I decided to stick with it a bit longer. It wasn’t until the following spring, April 2007 that I got back to work on the project.

 Work continued in my garage for the next 14 months including hanging the engine (a new Lycoming O-320), designing and building the instrument panel, wiring the fuselage and installing the interior. Finally in June of 2008 there wasn’t anything more to do except fit the wings and paint the project, neither of which I planned to do at home in my garage so,  time to move the project to W&C Aircraft Works in Boone.

W&C is a very unique and valuable resource to all RV builders in the area, they have a large hangar at the Boone Municipal Airport and they rent floor space to local RV builders for the purpose of construction, they offer a lot of experience and assistance if needed and they also have a paint booth, everything I needed to complete the project. Once the project got to W&C I continued on with the help of W&C fitting the wings and finishing up some remaining fiberglass work.

A couple months later In September the paint booth and Keith Campbell both freed up and painting the project began. I liked the paint scheme of Vans RV-9A demonstrator airplane so decided to do a similar scheme on mine. I’m not sure Keith was totally sold on the paint scheme or colors but he went ahead with what I wanted and we all think it turned out quite well. The painting process took approximately one month and Keith did an exceptional job as expected.

I spent the following month of October on the final assembly of the aircraft and getting it ready for the FAA airworthiness inspection. In November Tim Mahoney FAA DAR came down from St Cloud, MN and inspected the aircraft. There were no problems or issues found and I received the airworthiness certificate. The following 3 weeks were spent putting the aircraft back together after the airworthiness inspection and double checking everything to make sure the airplane was ready to fly.

At the end of November, Keith Campbell who has logged a few thousand hours in RV aircraft made the first flight of N647JC for me. The flight lasted 40 minutes and no problems were found. Keith was quite pleased with the aircrafts performance and handling. Because of a scheduling problem, I was late getting my transition training which I need before I can fly the airplane. The 5 hours of transition training is required by my insurer and is just a good safe idea, after 6 ½ years of building, waiting a few more weeks to fly the airplane was not a problem. I have since completed my training and am looking forward to my first flight.

From start to finish this project took approximately 6 ½ years and a total of 2,240 hours of effort. There have been many RVs built in much less time but I never intended the project to be a race against time but rather a hobby that would keep me occupied for a few years. I originally estimated the project would take 4 years but I never committed to a completion date or deadline because then the project would become a second job rather than a hobby.

 All in all, the experience of building my own airplane has been quite enjoyable and rewarding. I have not only acquired new skills and knowledge but more importantly I have made many new friends. The Boone airport including W&C Aircraft Works, CY Aviation and Cleaveland Aircraft Tool Co. has been a great resource for me and completing this project without them would have been very difficult if not impossible. I’m now looking forward to many years of enjoyable flying in my new RV-9A and who knows, maybe another airplane project in the future but not right away.

Joe Condon