Local Flights Near Chattanooga · · PAGE 230.
October 7, 2006: This Saturday was a lazy one, with a departure around mid-day to fly 44 miles down the valley just into Alabama. Wendell and his friends took off in his Cessna 182 this morning for the Flying M Ranch (AL32) near Cedar Bluff, Alabama.
I was probably the last airplane to arrive. I noticed one airplane
departing when I flew overhead, with another one in the runup area at the south end of
runway 4 (2,600 feet long). Wendell arrived early and was the fourth airplane on the
field. When I arrived, I was the 63rd airplane to arrive. Our host John Myers
had provided a golf cart and driver to be sure I got across the field to the sign-in area
and lunch. Along the way, Wendell called to me for a look at another RV-8 to get
more ideas to incorporate into his RV-8. After looking it over and talking with the
builder/retired airline pilot, I managed to get some of the fish prepared for lunch.
This was the time of day when a number of departing aircraft took to the sky.
I sat down to have my lunch with the three friends that had flown down here in
Wendell's 182. I made it a point to seek out John Myers to thank him for the
hospitality, etc. I took this photo from the East side of the airfield, just before
Ron Noles flew back to Folks Field with me. (Ron was the pilot who gave
me a ride back to Collegedale Airport last year on the day I moved my RV-9A to Wendell's
airport.) Aircraft had been parked on both sides of the runway here at Flying M
Ranch. The RV's were all on the other side near the food, etc. Since I got
here late, I ended up in one of the vacated spaces from the two airplanes that departed
during my arrival. The airplanes present today included everything from a Fokker
Tri-Plane replica to ultralights.
Ron flew the airplane not long after takeoff. His comments were about the sensitivity of the RV's compared to the Cessna he usually flies from the Collegedale Airport. The winds were gusting when we returned to Folks Field. As I approached the runway between the trees, I had to pull up a bit to avoid a hard landing. I got a small bounce into the air, but still managed to plant the wheels early stopping easily before reaching the hangar.
October 9, 2006: This is the federal holiday "Columbus Day" in the USA, although that "real day" is October 12th. Oh, well. I had the day OFF from my day job, although I planned for the possibility there would be some customer calls. I took my company cell phone and log book with me to the hangar while I worked on the airplane.
I opened the access hatch on the RIGHT side of the airplane to gain access to
the rear of the radio stack and added some new features to my panel. I will get some
touchup paint to clean up the edges of the removable panel before it gets re-installed.
I also found two of the screws securing the cover were not AN6 screws, but regular
flat-head screws. I was looking through my tool box of additional screws and found
two correct screws that were already painted gold.
I had recently updated the software on my GPS 296 and the Dynon D10-A.
The GPS 296 now uses the second serial port to send VHF radio information to my
SL-30. I tested that today and it works fine on KCHA information, showing the
frequencies for ATIS, ground, clearance, tower, approach, unicom, etc. The other
part of the modifications today were to the Dynon unit, and will not be tested until I can
roll the airplane out of the hangar and get some real GPS signals. Visually, there
is one new switch added to my panel. It is the new one between ICS mute and the
speakers switch. The new switch is a DPDT center-off switch that selects either the
number one serial port NMEA data from the GPS or the course and glide slope data from the
SL-30 NAV receiver for display on the new HSI screen on the Dynon D10-A. The
center-off position of the switch will be used when it is time to update the software to
the Dynon unit. Otherwise, the Dynon will create an HSI with course and vertical
guidance on the new screen. Dynon showed this feature at the recent AirVenture 2006
convention in Oshkosh. I will get a chance to try it out in the next few days.
You can also see the Hobbs meter in this photo confirming 209.4 hours total time on the engine and air frame of my RV-9A. And yes, the entire left side of the instrument panel was removed for the new wiring to be added today. I also had out the blank panel between the SL-30 NAV/COM radio and the Garmin GMA-340 stereo audio panel. The blank panel with the switches and V-speed chart was also removed for drilling of the new switch hole and mounting of same. I need to reprint my label to include the new switch functions. UP will be the GPS selection to the Dynon HSI display. Down will be the VOR/ILS selection to the Dynon HSI display. And the "center-off" position will be used when I want to program the Dynon unit with new software upgrades.
Since this was a new feature added to the airplane and not maintenance, I am logging another 6.2 hours of construction to the airplane and updating my builder's log book. The home page of this web site will also show the extra hours.
October 12, 2006: I took a can of gold spray paint to the hangar tonight and compared the color to the airplane. My next work session on the airplane will be about the touch-up of the paint on the instrument panel access door and getting it sealed to the fuselage again. You can see the missing paint by looking at the second photo above this text entry. I also inspected work done by Wendell on his RV-8 in the past two days and provided guidance for his next tasks. Photos and text about that session are on his PAGE 30.
October 15, 2006: Sunday afternoon was the time to do the touch-up on the instrument panel access door. I used a Scotchbrite pad to scuff the area that had lost gold paint and sprayed it with the paint I bought recently. It was not a match of course, but it is better than bare aluminum around the bottom edge of the door. I also sealed the door with clear RTV again, then took the airplane out for a short flight around the local area.
The total flight time when I got the airplane parked back at the hangar was 0.8
hours. Wendell had stopped by the hangar as I was getting ready to roll my airplane
outside. He helped me park his 182 down by the edge of the runway. He also
said I did not have to worry about putting the 182 back in the hangar after my return.
He would use his golf cart to push the heavy bird (uphill) back in the hangar.
The photo below shows where I usually taxi my RV-9A into position before pushing is
back into the NE corner of the hangar.
Here is the GPS ground track of today's local flight. It began with the
departure from Chickamauga International, then East toward the Whitfield NDB to begin the
ILS approach to KDNN. After a quick touch & go at Dalton, I then turned north
for a flyover of the private grass strip at Prater's Mill, then circled a friend near
Cohutta. That "turn around a point" looks pretty good when you see the GPS
ground track. I made one touch & go at Collegedale on 21, then home to the turf
at Wendell's field with no bounce at all on the landing. The winds were calm to
light at all three locations and made for a short and pleasant flight.
October 17, 2006: I went over to Wendell's shop tonight to do my usual coaching on his RV-8 project. I took the cowl off my airplane again to give him a good view of the routing of my EGT and CHT cables, and how the starter cable and alternator power cable are secured to the engine enroute to the firewall areas, etc. I did not take any photos of that stuff, but I have posted new pictures of his work on his NEW PAGE 31.
October 21, 2006: I had a Saturday morning session with Wendell to check his work and provide guidance for his next work session on Monday. After lunch with three of his hangar buddies, I got into my airplane in the hangar, removed the main instrument panel, and confirmed that the wiring to the Dynon unit is correct. I used my VOM to check the continuity from the GPS through the DPDT center-off switch and it is correct. I also checked the other side of that switch from the Garmin SL-30 NAV radio. I also verified the GROUND wire connections from both units to the Dynon connector. The HSI screen still does not recognize either serial connection from the GPS or the NAV receivers. That tells me the problem is software related with the Dynon unit. Why you say? The Dynon software on my laptop can talk to the D10-A and get replies. I tapped into the serial cable going to the laptop to make my connections to and from the DPDT center-off source selector switch. The NavAid wing leveler "Smart Coupler" serial data INPUT port also shares this serial port connection and it still works fine. I tried it out during my flight last Sunday. I will be sending an email to the tech support folks at Dynon to check out the software issues.
October 23, 2006: I discovered online that the released version of Dynon software is not yet fully functional to the level I observed at AirVenture 2006 in July. What I saw was a Beta test version of the software. The new release is due out very soon. If all goes well, all I have to do is program my D10-A with the new software now that my wiring is in place. If need be, I may have to move the input to the Dynon unit to the second serial output port from my Garmin GPS 296. I did notice that one of the Beta testers is using his 296 with the D10-A and it is working fine. Stay tuned to these pages for the report on the new Dynon software with HSI when it is released.
November 6, 2006: I have been remiss in publishing anything here since I have not been doing much flying or work on my RV-9A. All my web site publishing has been about Wendell's RV-8 project. I have usually been updating this web site on Sunday of each week.
There is some news on the Dynon software front. The HSI revised software for the D10-A is now released and installed on my unit. I took it out for a test flight on Saturday, November 4th for a short flight over to Dalton. The ILS worked well on the HSI display. My Garmin AT SL-30 serial data was displayed as intended by the programmers at Dynon. When I flipped the switch to select the GPS 296 serial data stream, all the data there was displayed correctly including winds aloft by speed and direction. I am satisfied with the performance in both modes.
My test flight was on Saturday for just over half an hour to test the new Dynon software. I spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon to clean off all the bugs from the airplane, and polish the windshield and canopy. After that, I went into the shop to update the software on Wendell's Dynon D10-A, but the software reminded me to run the program with the remote magnetic sensor connected. We agreed to wait until the airplane is nearly completed to make the software changes.
November 19, 2006: I have updated my family pages to add some photos from my visit last weekend with my son and his family in York, PA. It was the beginning of a road trip across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina as part of my day job. The weather was changing all week and as a result, the airplane stayed home and I took my old Caddy, which got better than 26 MPG on the way up there (air-conditioning not needed).
To sum up the week, Monday had three meetings at Carlisle, Annville, and Horsham, PA. Tuesday had a follow-up meeting with two short training sessions in Horsham, PA. After that, a couple of customer visits were in order in Warminster, PA and Princeton, NJ at the university. While I was on the way to Princeton, I discovered that my Verizon cell phone had stopped working with my plug-in headset. Many states require the use of hands-free headsets with cell phones when driving. I had a similar problem on my last trip to the northeast and Canada back in September. This time, it proved to be the phone malfunctioning. I checked my headset in my other cell phone and it was fine. I stopped by a Verizon office Tuesday afternoon to get the phone exchanged under warranty. The first phone they gave me had the same problem right out of the box - dead to the headset, but worked fine otherwise. Finally, the second phone came out programmed with my directory numbers and it was fine. They had pulled the back off my original phone to put it on these units since I had a holster button stuck on the cover.
Since I lost several hours on Tuesday afternoon at the Verizon office, I got a room nearby and avoided the rush-hour traffic that was starting to build up in the Philly-Camden area. I headed south the next morning toward Raleigh, NC. I racked up $8.00 in tolls getting from NJ to Baltimore. If I keep going up to that way often enough, I may have to get an EZ-Pass for my car. It works on all the toll roads, bridges, and tunnels in the northeastern states.
Thursday morning started with a visit with a former Olson employee who now owns his own fiber optics business. After that, I stopped by a computer repair facility in Cary, NC to get a new screen installed in my IBM laptop computer - the one I use to create this web site. I then headed across to Asheville, North Carolina for my next meeting on Friday in nearby Waynesville, NC. I spent most of Friday morning in the hotel online doing company business for an upcoming equipment bid with a major customer. After that, it was a short drive to my appointment. Three hours later I was heading for home through the mountains of Western North Carolina. I got home late on Friday evening after dark.
I had volunteered to fly three Young Eagles with my local EAA Chapter 150 for Saturday. I called the chapter President Friday evening on the way home and discovered that he had not heard from them. I slept in late on Saturday morning to be awakened by the chapter President to tell me that one of the young people was at the airport. This was also the day of our monthly EAA fund-raising breakfast at the airport, but I did not have to work the event, ergo - - get more rest in bed. Before I could get out of the house to head for my airplane at Wendell's, I received a second call saying that another EAA member came to the airport to fly additional Young Eagles he brought with him. With that call, I decided to do some other much-needed chores around the house even though the weather was severe clear outside -- NICE.
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