Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Landing Gear Webinar

Tonight I decided to check into the American Bonanza Society (ABS) Bonanza / Baron Landing Gear Systems and Maintenance Webinar. While I no longer have the Debonair, I do want to keep current on maintenance of the systems.  You never know, maybe there will be another Deb or Bo in my future.
The webinar was hosted by Tom Turner of the ABS Air Safety Foundation and the keynote speaker was Bob Ripley, Senior ABS Technical Advisor - ABS Air Safety Foundation. 

The topics for tonight's presentation.

Landing gear inspection
The importance of proper rigging
The manual gear extension hand crank
Landing gear maintenance

The webinar gave a good look at the internals of the gear motor and Bob provided his expertise on the unit and inspection process.

The discussion also detailed the inspection process dealing with tensions and clearances. Excellent information and reference for the annual inspection process.

correct position
trapped behind cover
The one critical take-away was in the pre-flight process.  Now I'll preface this with the statement that I was the last person to stow the manual crank handle and cover it. However, Bob insisted that each preflight should be a physical check that the manual hand crank can be unstowed properly prior to start. If you can't unstow the crank, DON'T fly the airplane.

When I did my transition training the owner walked me through a very extensive pre-flight process. I was happy to see that what I inspected was what the webinar detailed. This is a glimpse of the POH preflight check, note 7a. The nose and right main gear didn't provide much more.

a. Wheel Well Door, Tire and Strut - CHECK
b. Fuel Vent - CHECK
c. Fuel Sump{s) - DRAIN
d. Fuel Selector Valve Sump and Auxiliary Fuel Cell

This was my typical inspection for each gear.
  • Uplock springs
    • Check uplock springs for corrosion
    • Check spring attach points for elongation or corrosion
    • Check Spring for consistent coil gaps
  • Uplock cable
    • Check uplock cable for fraying
    • Check to make sure cable cover is secure
  • Roller bearing
    • Check roller bearings rotate freely
  • Check uplock cover
  • Check Tire
  • Check Wheel well doors
  • Check strut
roller bearing
uplock cable
uplock cover

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Matching Shoes

I can now wear my own shoe and no more leg bandages!  The Doctor ordered continued progressive weight bearing (40-60lb), and out of home therapy recommended for twice a week. I can finally shower, bag free on the leg, and can soak those dragon scales of my right foot. My next visit is scheduled for four weeks and the Doc wants me at 60-80lb weight bearing.


Of course me being me and feeling a bit better I had to ask if I could drive. The answer was an instant NO, not until I can stand on my right tippy toes full weight bearing. That's going to take a while, but I'll get there. At least he gave me a goal to shoot for.

Mary drove me to todays appointment since she has been cleared to drive. My bride no longer has to wear her back brace, unless she feels the need for extra support.

With all of our progress we decided to go out and have a celebratory lunch at one of our favorite places. Me, my Bride, and my walker, enjoying the sights and sounds out together. We are once again trying to make life normal.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

First Hangar Visit

Today I ventured out to the Ocean City airport, thanks to fellow pilot Rob S (Rob's PPG Adventure).  Rob was on his way home from Soar the Shore held at Cambell Field - 9VG, and stopped in to see if Mary and I needed anything done around the house.  I have been wanting to check on our cars that are stored in our hangar, previously set up on trickle chargers by Rob himself. We were off to the airport!
Photo by Rob S.  Actually, that's Rob flying!
We rolled through the tenants gate passing below the Huey helicopter mounted for display. It brought a smile to my face, seeing the helicopter workhorse on guard.  As we passed the 100LL fuel pumps my anxiety was rising, now turning the corner for hangar bay F.  There was F7, home to our magic carpet for years.
Rob pulled his truck up to the hangar, then exited and unlocked the single door. As he stepped inside  I heard the hangar door latch spring open, a very familiar sound. I could see myself flowing through the exact routine. The door started to squeak as it road the metal rails to expose the planeless void.
Nothing but a car and a truck, it was depressing.  I exited the truck and used my walker to slowly make my way to my directors chair that Rob had repositioned inside the hangar.
There I sat, listening to all the airport sounds, my heart breaking.  Rob was very kind, giving me some time as he puttered about with disconnecting the chargers and driving the vehicles.

I gathered my thoughts and texted Mary, still at home.

It feels weird being here at the airport.  Rob is driving the all feels strange.

Mary texted back....It's great Rob is getting you out for awhile.  Are you ok?

I responded;  I'm ok, it just breaks my heart. life moves forward and I'm happy to be alive.

My Bride is the best, she then texted she was worried about me going to the airport but reminded me we have new adventures ahead of us.  I love her!

Rob returned finishing up and backing both the car and truck in, setting up the chargers once again.  With the vehicles exercised we loaded up for home.

It indeed felt strange, no pat on the cowl to acknowledge a good flight, no last look at the beacon to confirm the master is off.  Instead, the sound of the door latch securing the hangar door and closing of the single door. All while I sat in the truck......but life moves forward and I'm happy to be here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

VLOG Update

Just a quick update to keep the VLOG active on YouTube.  I sure miss posting flying videos!
I dug out the only remaining video camera I have left after the accident. I am using the Activeon CX Gold and the audio portion pretty much stinks. I will have to either secure a mic or figure some way to provide better audio.

I also added "Our Favorite Trips" under the Favorite Links section.  We are still looking through all of our posts and adding as we find special travels that provide so many great memories.  Check them out!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Urge to Flight Plan

Despite working through recovery and not knowing our future with flying, I still had the urge to weather watch and work my flight plan.  Back in September I was working the plan for Sanibel Island Florida and BACFest in Louisville Kentucky. (September Plans)

I didn't grab a screen shot of our would be departure day weather, Wednesday the 12th, but I do know it was 300' overcast here in Ocean City for the better part of the early morning. If memory serves me correct, we would have been able to head west before noon. This would have worked out very nice since KJVY would have been VFR, which always makes it easier.
Departure day in Louisville (today) would be an early start. Weather is looking good, winds 070 at 11 knots, overcast at 20k. Ocean City is once again IFR this morning but it looks to clearing around 11am.
The flight would be a three hour hop to KCKB, Clarksburg facing 17 knot headwinds. A stop and go for fuel then the last hop home of two hours and forty minutes to Ocean City.
I only wish I was flight planning for real and us actually heading home after a great time with our BAC Family. We are not sure what the future holds but for now it's one day at a time, together with my Bride.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Finally, A Positive Visit

My latest doctors appointment finally produced some positive news. After the ceremonial cutting off of the bandages, the weekly routine, we all got a look at the troublesome incision. The incision on the back of the leg healed up just fine.
The Doc was quite impressed, I even detected a bit of a smile. The last five stitches, under the yellow cover, were removed and once everything was cleaned up the whole incision was covered with new sterri-strips. I used the alcohol wipes to rub all the itchy spots and really clean up the rest of my leg.

One big positive note, no splint required. I had nothing but the sterri-strips and some sort of pad type bandage covered in two rolls of cotton type material and two ace bandages.
Docs orders, I can move to partial weight bearing. I had to confirm that and ask if that means flat foot for balance or actual partial weight. It was work up to partial weight bearing and working the ankle. Finally after two and a half months I can start to put weight on the leg. I also had x-rays taken and doc said the fracture lines are getting harder to see, which means things are healing.

It's been a long painful process. The emotional swings when I'm hurting really can drag me down but the small victory like today helps get me refocused. My back pain has increased with all the walker work and that is concerning, but I'll push through that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

BACFest Memories

It's that time of year, yes, time for the gathering of mice at BACFest

Unfortunately, Mary and I will not make it this year. What was to be a busy month of flying the Debonair with a vacation to Sanibel Island in Florida, then BACFest in Louisville Kentucky, has instead turned into a, tongue in cheek, stay vacation.  OK, honestly more like serving time.

Enough of the what if's, let's look back at all the fun we had attending the previous BACFests with a few pictures and comments.
September 2011

Our first BACFest was in Ithaca New York.  Our house was crazy busy as we were going through a kitchen remodel and the weather was not playing nice for our departure or return days. We actually gave thought to driving. Pray harder to the weather Gods!

The weather did relent and we were able to depart on schedule after dropping our Mastiff (Maggie) off at the boarding kennel. Flight conditions were clear and we made the flight in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

We had a great time with our BAC friends. The Farmers Market on lake Cayuga was fun and exploring the goodies at Life's So Sweet Chocolates made the day. Great memories of fun times and getting a chance to visit Toughannock Falls was a blast.
On departure day the weather was not playing so nice.  Temps were in the forty's when we left and the freezing level was at eight thousand.
It was a fun ride home noting almost two hours of IMC. I broke out just as I passed over the twin bridges and made a nice landing back at home.

September 2012

Bacfest 2012, what an adventure!  We had a blast making this trip and really taking advantage of the Sundowner, our magic carpet.

Our first leg was KILG to KTTA, Raleigh Executive.  Three and a half hours of VFR conditions with a quick gas and go to head for stop number two.

Our next stop was KPXE in Perry Georgia.  This leg was strange, I was given a clearance of just five miles...I still remember the "what the heck" moment as I chugged and plugged. The limited clearance was due to an inbound Cirrus on a practice approach at fifteen hundred  feet, I had been cleared to three thousand. As we passed I was cleared for the remainder of my route, as filed. This was a great flight, 3.2 hours of smooth as could be with us enjoying the tunes through XM.
Our last leg was for KJKA, Gulf Shores. This leg we saw the biggest cloud build ups EVER! It reminded us of driving through NYC and all the tall buildings. We dodged and weaved our way finally arriving at Gulf Shores.
This BACFest was all about beach time. Mary and I spent our time on the beach and in the water.
The ride home was another long day in the saddle. I monitored wx along our route and when I was closing in on our first stop, Tullahoma KTHA, I made the decision to divert to Smyrna, KMQY. Leg one was 3.6 hours.
We topped off our fuel and made a quick turn around for the next stop KCRW, Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV. This leg was 2.8 hours.
Our last leg was busy with altitude changes and hand-offs for traffic.  We also had to dodge a few build ups. It was a welcome sight seeing the twin bridges as we arrived home with a beautiful sunset view.
September 2015
After the Gulf Shores trip we were ready to stretch our wings, this was going to be the longest trip to date in 08Romeo.
Mary and I had big plans.  We wanted to fly to Dubuque Iowa, then while that far west we wanted to visit Mt Rushmore.  The trip gets better, after Rapid City we pointed to Kansas City to visit our friends before finally point 08Romeo for home.  Great memories that will last a life time! 
Our first leg was scheduled for KCDI, Cambridge Ohio.  The winds had changed and I would be dealing with headwinds and IMC conditions. When I launched off runway one-four at Ocean City I did feel anxious climbing out, right up until we entered the clag. Once on the instruments it was all business and everything felt natural.
Our next leg was to KVPZ, Valparaiso, Indiana. This was a smooth flight VFR conditions and ended with a nice landing. We spent the night and had a great dinner at Kelseys.
Thursday morning, October 1st had us departing Valparaiso for Dubuque. It was a smooth fast flight to KDBQ.
We had a beautiful waterfront view from our room at the Grand Harbor Resort overlooking the Mississippi River. Mary and I enjoy some us time walking the riverfront.
This BACFest had excellent workshops for the board and our member meeting along with maintenance clinics. We all enjoyed a riverboat cruise for dinner to close out the events.
On Sunday we continued west for Rapid City SD and Mt. Rushmore.
September 2017
BacFest 2017, what an adventure. We had just returned home from Sint Maarten on September 2nd, ahead of Hurricane Irma slamming the islands.
With the house and pets back to normal we were once again ready to travel. The plan was to fly to New Bedford, MA but weather had other ideas. Hurricane Jose was terrorizing the east coast and of course continued on ahead of us to the North East. We had great plans of visiting Mike B and his wife Kim along with our friends Adam and Jeanine and their newborn son Declan. We were also looking forward to catching up with family.
I waited out the weather and we decided that if we were going it was going to be by ground transportation. And so it goes, the pilot and his bride are driving to BACFest. The couple of hour flight was now an eight hour drive. Ughhh.
We had fun with our BAC friends as we explored Thames Street and a few museums. The annual banquet was excellent and we had a blast.
Mary and I are still recovering here at home, but this week our hearts our with our BAC family as they gather in Louisville Kentucky for BACFest 2018. I will be tracking multiple flights and watching Hurricane Florence as she moves towards the east coast.