Spring Has Sprung and More PAGE 458. 

April 27, 2021:  Today was the day I got the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccination.  I have been staying home and masked when I go out.  The restaurants where we dine out are following the CDC safety protocols.  The J&J shot should be effective before the end of May.  

April 29, 2021:  I want to start a new page which is better aligned with the calendar.  The previous web page went from September 2020 to near the end of April 2021.  My flying days were spread out across those months.  The last flight I made ended with some fiberglass damage to the "nose wheel bowl" fairing.  I have repaired this part in the past when I had a hard landing due to wind shear on landing at Wendell's grass strip.  I ordered a new piece from Van's Aircraft seen in the photo below delivered by Priority Mail in two days.  I hope I can get the piece ready for painting this weekend.  The main part of the nose wheel fairing shows signs of wear, but has never been broken like what happened to the front piece as seen on PAGE 334 back on June 26, 2010.  I was able to find all the fiberglass pieces on the runway at Wendell's field.  This time, a small piece was lost in the grass rough area at Rockledge.  That missing piece meant I had to order the new part from Van's.

May 1, 2021:  Saturday at home with the initial fitting of the new nose piece to the long fairing seen above.  It was all about getting the existing holes and plate nuts from the fairing to line up with the holes I drilled in the nose piece today.  I used masking tape to mark the plate nut locations in the larger fairing.  That allowed me to drill holes in the nose piece at the correct locations.  I have to drill the counter sink holes to accept the #6 Tinnerman washers on the new piece.  I taped the old piece together enough to show me how much of the piece needs to be removed to clear the nose wheel.

May 2, 2021:  I went over to the airport this Sunday to install the nose wheel fairing with the new nose bowl.  I did not think about taking a photo of the installed fairing.  

May 6, 2021:  I had a regular doctor's appointment this morning with my dermatologist, followed after lunch with short visit to my primary care doctor to show her how my finger is healing from the five stitches she put in back on April 13 from a minor mishap at the airport.  Since her office is only about five miles from the Rockledge Airport, I went there on the way home to take off the upper cowl long enough to take a photo of the oil filter.  It was to remind me of when the last oil change occurred.  The current Hobbs meter reading is 446.9 hours.  The time flown since the most recent oil change is 11.9 hours since January 11, 2020 seen on PAGE 454.

Spring Has Sprung (Here is the More)

May 8, 2021:  My old Rolex watch was in need of some repairs.  I had the foresight to take a BEFORE photo, and when it was returned after a full cleaning and overhaul, I took this second photo on May 31, 2021.  The two images did not have the same lighting.  The BEFORE image on the RIGHT was a result of a late afternoon exposure with the sunlight coming through the west-facing office window providing the red tint.  The AFTER photo is on the left and is illuminated by a bright white fluorescent desk lamp in the office.  The damage to the winding stem prompted the repair as the stem could not be secured in the normal position as seen in the photo on the left.  The watch crystal also had micro fractures as seen by the shadows on the face of the watch.  The threads were stripped on the case tube where the winding stem enters the body of the watch.  This is an automatic self-winding watch from the 1960's.  

I was glad to find a Rolex expert living in North Central Pennsylvania who works on about 1000 Rolex watches per year.  Here is the link to his web site:  https://www.watchdoctor.biz/ .  The web site has a wealth of information about watch repairs for more than the Rolex models.  The photo on the left shows the true appearance of my watch inherited from my uncle Earl in 1991 after his passing.  The watch was repaired around 1993 when it fell on the floor and broke the main spring.  The overhaul during the month of May 2021 is the only full overhaul performed on this Oyster Perpetual DATE JUST model.  The repair price was about HALF of what Rolex dealers here in Central Florida want to charge.

May 31, 2021:  My birthday rolled around again.  My Rolex watch came back from the shop after a cleaning and overhaul.  A new crystal face gives it the like new appearance.  The winding stem was replaced along with the gaskets that insure it is water resistant.  I found this image on my hard drive as I was adding some pages today, July 13, 2021.  I like it better than the one above on the left.  The lighting of the photo below makes the difference.

July 13, 2021:  I have been doing my day job and looking for good weather on a Saturday to get another flight in my "Starship Enterprise" which you all know as a Van's Aircraft RV-9A that I built starting in October 2002.  Building and flying that airplane is why this web site exists.  I have been editing some photos about the removal of a tree behind house near the sea wall of the east shore of Fish Lake here in Kissimmee, Florida.  Here is the link to the pages about the tree removal:  The tree by the lake - - PAGE 18.

August 4, 2021:  I finally got in another flight the other day (July 31, 2021) and managed to snap two photos in flight near the Melbourne Airport.  The Indian River separates the mainland from the Barrier Islands.

Here is the second photo taken a few seconds after the one seen above.

I kept looking at the Dynon instrument to see why I was not getting any winds aloft information.  I went down to the Valkaria Airport to shoot a couple of touch-and-go passes on runway 28 while a Cessna was also in the pattern.  After I left the pattern and climbed up to around 3,000 MSL, I took a minute to run through the GPS 296 menu to set the COM1 data to NMEA data input and NMEA output.  The Dynon and the autopilot worked again.  I really have to practice getting everything setup in my pre-flight while the engine warms up before takeoff.  As always, NORTH is up on the map segment seen below.  I came south flying on the EAST side of Interstate 95.  The departure west bound was over to Deer Park located on US 192 west of Melbourne in Osceola County.

Here is the departure and arrival today at the Rockledge Airport.  The winds at the Rockledge airport were about 8 MPH.  The winds aloft readout on the Dynon let me know the best landing could be made from the north on runway 18.  I always approach from the north with a little more speed to insure I can get through any turbulence between the trees at the north end of the airport.

August 14, 2021:  I spent the day working on the riding mower Linda has stored in the garage.  It was sitting there when I first came here in February 2019.  The fuel tank was empty, but there was some old fuel in the carburetor float bowl.  I removed the solenoid from the bottom of that float bowl and sprayed in some carburetor cleaner for good measure.  That solenoid valve was gummed up and I could not get it to work properly.  I managed to get the engine running one time for about a minute and shut it down until a new solenoid is installed in the week ahead.  The neighbor across the street came over on Saturday morning asking if he could buy this mower.  He offered Linda a good price.  The battery was not coming back to life, so Linda purchased a new battery.  That was when we discovered the fuel problem which could be resolved on Monday, August 16th.  As I update this page on August 17, the new fuel valve on the float bowl and a new spark plug got the engine running correctly.  When the cutting blades are engaged for cutting grass, the auto throttle governor adjusts the engine RPM high enough for smooth operation.  When the cutting blades are disengaged, the 15 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine idle is pulsing like a drag racer.

Here is Chase, the third member of the household caught in the middle of a yawn showing most of his teeth.  This photo was taken in the "office" room where I publish these web pages and do stuff related to my day job as I work from home.  He is a silky weighing about 22 pounds.

Here is the photo taken after his yawn with his "puppy" eyes when he wants me to do something for him.  Today he gave me the same look which is his request to go for a walk down the street in front of the house.   He will stare at me like this anytime he wants something from me.  During the nightly news each day, he makes a request for a slice of ham with his vitamin capsule contents rolled up in the ham to help his joint problem he has in his left hind leg.  He is an old man of 11 years old.

August 26, 2021:  I will wrap up this web page with a little story about meeting two very different people when I took my car to get a nail removed from the right rear tire.  I sat down in the waiting room to watch TV and discovered it had an outdoor antenna for local off-air digital television channels.  A black man was the next customer to sit down and we had a discussion about over the air television channels as I went through the channel guide listing all the signals stored in the memory of the TV set.  I explained how I knew all these things based on my history in the CATV and satellite television industry since 1971.  It helped me pass the time, and he seemed to enjoy the learning process from our conversation.  He mentioned he grew up in New York City and told me about meeting Donald Trump and his father and how he and some of his friends had worked in some of their hotels and apartment buildings.  He was happy to say he is a lifetime Democrat and that was the end of the politics discussion.  I pointed to my Van's Aircraft baseball hat and talked about building my airplane for a while.  His car was ready and he excused himself and left the waiting room.

Another man came in to the waiting room and sat down as I was finishing my conversation above.  He was a farmer from southwest Georgia who was also a pilot and did a lot of crop dusting over the years.  Due to some health issues, he no longer flies.  He stopped keeping a log book when he had over 20,000 hours in flight.  He mentioned the various airplanes he has flown, that was amazing.  We also talked about our time in the US Army with both of us enlisting for three years to avoid the draft in the Viet Nam war era.  I asked him if he used Google Earth and gave him a card with a link to my web site to see how I built my airplane and learn about Jerrie Mock and her flight around the world in 1964.  He is looking forward to getting online.  I mentioned the link to the History Channel story about searching for Amelia Earhart.  https://watchdocumentaries.com/amelia-earhart-the-lost-evidence/ He was very interested in seeing that program.

The guy on the front desk called my name to get my car.  It was parked on the other side of a van near the exit from the parking lot and out of sight from the front door.  I asked the guy at the desk where it was parked.  He came to the front door and pointed me in the right direction.  As I was paying my bill for the removal of the small nail in my tire, he pulled out his personal card and showed me his airplane, N12PZ, a two seat Grumman airplane type that I have seen a number of times over the years at various airports.  I made sure he got my web site address to explore the building of my airplane and my flight stories.

CLICK HERE for PAGE 459 (soon) Return to MAIN MENU