Saturday, July 25, 2015

A big apology and a major update

Well, its been well over a month since I last posted and I have to apologize to the remaining 3 people that still read this blog.  I have been very busy flying and taking very few pictures so I haven't felt like I had much to post but having just returned from Oshkosh I figured I better post something if for nothing more than something to read when I get too old to fly...

So, that said I think my blog posts will be more topic based from now on.  I do plan on building another airplane in the not too distant future so who knows I might pick up the pace once again some day.

What has the summer been like since my last post?  Well its been a whirlwind of aviation activity.  So far I have put just over 160 hours of time on the airplane which is really a huge number.  Most people barely fly 100 hours a year let alone 160 hours in four months.  The airplane is so much fun to fly and I still make minute changes to it in hopes of one day actually finishing it.  I have a list of at least 10 items that still need to be done including paint, a few fairings, some electrical modifications, and some interior work.  All in good time.  Now that the airplane is at the hangar which is about a 45 minute drive with no traffic (and we all know there is always traffic in the Seattle area) it's much harder to get any major work done without endless driving.  Staying home and doing nothing is not an option either so I figure I might as well start building another airplane.  Granted it will be at a much slower pace than the first one.  Still not 100% certain which plane I will build but I am leaning strongly toward the RV-8 which is a two seat tandem airplane with the look and feel of a fighter.

My IFR lessons are coming to a close and I am getting close to doing my final check ride.  This will allow me to fly in the clouds which is something I feel is very important if I want to fly in the PNW.  I have a big cross country flight planned for this coming week and then its just getting comfortable with the entire process before my checkride.

I finally got to do some airplane camping as well this month.  The Arlington airshow was the first time and the Oshkosh this past week.  Arlington was fun and the tent/sleeping arrangement was very good.  The weather was a bit cool but overall I enjoyed the show.

Oshkosh really deserves a post of its own so I will do that next.  In the mean time here are a few pictures of some of the things I've enjoyed the past month or so....

Here is a picture of the Spruce Goose as it sits in the McMinnville museum.  Jeff, Harry, Chad and Jeffs dad and me flew down to this museum on father's day.

Another picture of the Spruce Goose from below.  Hard to believe those are actually full sized planes under its wing.

Chad H, Harry N, Jeff B and his father...the McMinnville trip group.  Here we are standing in a missile silo replica.

This is an odd picture but it shows the "coking" of oil buildup on the vacuum valve in my exhaust tap.  I expected this but I am amazed at how quickly it built up.  This was taken at about 140 hours on the airplane.

I tried to clean out the coking and this is what it looked like when I was done.  Not perfect but at least its open and clear.

Dad and I sitting at the airport watching airplanes and drinking cold beverages.  Couldn't resist the chance to take this picture.

Ah yes, the PBY.  This airplane is a WWII relic that was being restored here at Thun field.  Jeff and I got a unique opportunity to fly chase as it flew its last major flight.  It was destroyed a week after this picture was taken.  Long sad story but as I heard it the PBY started taking on water after a hard landing and the salvage crew basically broke it into pieces as they were attempting to lift it onto a barge.

Here is my RV-9A sitting under the wing of the PBY as it was being fueled for its final voyage.  We didn't know it was its final voyage at this time.

This is a rather fun picture for me to post.  I have been doing some formation flying with the Cascade flight group out of Thun.  In this picture we (Marv, Andy, Randy, me) were flying over a cub scout camp (aviation related) as the "Grand Finale".  The significance of this flight is it was my first actual event.  The red arrow points to my airplane as we flew over in Fingertip formation.

And here we are again this time in diamond formation.

Jeff, Lane, Chad and me setting up camp at Arlington.

A panorama of the Arlington camp site.  This was early on Thursday so not a lot of airplanes had arrived yet.