Category Archives: CAF

That Feeling When – February 17th

That feeling when they’re trying to figure out at the hangar who needs to get training on using the AED (automated external defibrillator) in case anyone has a heart attack because we apparently need to have a minimum number of people trained and when your name comes up everyone immediately pretty much agrees that you’re the last person that should be trained simply because you’re the one most likely to NEED the AED used when YOU have a heart attack, not to be the one using the AED on someone else.

Mixed feelings about that. It’s great that I don’t have to take the training since my plate is full to overflowing and I really can’t spare the time. The logic used to reach that decision is a bit…disturbing. Not saying it’s wrong (although I feel fine – strong like bull! smart like tractor! smooth like brick! ook! ook!! ook!!!) because I can see their point.


Aren’t I something of a “spring chicken” in that group?

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Filed under CAF, Health

A Study In Blue & Gold

Playing with the new iPhone camera with our PT-19 trainer as a subject.

She’s a tail-dragger, something I haven’t flown yet (although I have flown in her).

The open cockpit is a hoot to ride in. The tube & fabric body is quite a change for those accustomed to aluminum and titanium.

The cockpit is simple and you can see just how basic the tubular structure of the body is.

The prop is wooden, but it gets the job done.

The brightly colored tail is rakish – the color combo is spectacular. (It also makes you easy to spot after an “off-field” landing, a good thing if you’re a training aircraft!)

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography

Pro Tip – February 03rd

After a very long, somewhat brutal in spots, 12-hour day at the hangar (this is the “relaxing” day after the long week(s) at work), do not drink that truly fine Ace Hard Pineapple Cider if you intend to get any more work done after your 21:00 dinner.

This is not to say that the adult beverage was a bad choice. Not at all. One could successfully argue quite the opposite.

But if there were a deadline tomorrow (and I’m not saying there is), best you be getting a six-pack of that Ace Hard Pineapple Cider and giving it as a peace offering to whoever’s expecting that deadline to be met.


Filed under CAF, Deep Thoughts


I’ll be up late tonight, but not late enough to catch a little portion of the start of tonight’s “Supermoon Blue Moon Blood Moon” eclipse. For those of you on the North American west coast who are going to get up early – have fun….

I was out at the hanger on a late-night run earlier and did see this Pre-Clipse view as the moon was headed toward the Earth’s shadow (which would have been to the lower left of the moon I think, not that you could see it).

Those clouds might also be a good reason to not exactly hustle out of bed at 04:00. I’m thinking that not getting into bed until after 01:00 might be another excellent reason!

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Filed under Astronomy, CAF, Photography

The Winds Blow Again Tonight

It’s dry as a bone and the winds are starting to howl again in SoCal.

At the hangar today, the buildings creak and groan, the giant steel hangar doors flexing and scraping against each other with every gust. The entry and exit doors threaten to rip out of everyone’s hands with each use. When someone opens the door, all of the ceiling tiles in the office pop and rattle.

Tonight as I sit here working, the rose bushes bash irregularly against the window, and there’s a steady draft through the never-properly-blocked-off doggy door. (It needs to be blocked, even when we had dogs, lest it become a skunk door, raccoon door, rat door, opossum door…)

The vent on the fire pit in this room sticks up about ten to twelve feet – it’s also creaking, rattling, and swaying.

I’ve decided that I’m not a fan of the wind.

It might be yet another long night. And this windy spell is expected to last into late Monday.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be hiding under the covers.

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Filed under CAF, Weather

The Ramp At Sunset

A final set of subjects from Saturday night’s sunset at the CAF SoCal hangars.

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Filed under CAF, Photography

The Fires Continue

We’re fine – still nothing that close to us, although another new fire has apparently started up over to the east by Monrovia.

Being Saturday, I was out at the hangar in Camarillo. The first big fire in this current sequence of six or seven fires started not too far from there and is still burning.

Map from Google.

For reference to assist those not familiar with Southern California, this is Ventura County, just to the north of Los Angeles. We live at the far west end of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County – on the right-hand border you can just see the edge of the dot that indicates where. The Camarillo Airport is just under the “101” icon between the words “Oxnard” and “Camarillo.”

For scale, from my house to the airport is about 35 miles on the freeway, almost exactly 25 miles as the crow flies. From my house to Carpenteria, on the far left edge of the map and just south of Santa Barbara, is about 50 miles directly.

This is not a small area. It’s “local” by Southern California standards, but it could cover the better portion of several states in New England.

Here’s what’s burned in this fire (which is in turn, as I said, one of about six going on right now):

Map from Google and CalFire. Scale is similar to the one above.

The fire started near Santa Paula on December 4th, spread toward Ventura, and is now moving up into the mountains and up the coast toward Carpenteria.

What’s that look like from the ground at Camarillo Airport?

On the far left you can see the smoke plume from the main fire up toward Carpenteria. Straight ahead you’re looking up toward the Santa Paula and Fillmore area. When I got there this morning things had started to die down a bit overnight, but the winds were starting to blow again.

By lunch we were looking at 30 mph winds with gusts to 45 mph. In the mountains and canyons where the fire was, it was worse. Naturally, this led to a number of flareups.

Looking toward Carpenteria.

Looking toward Santa Paula

I also learned that two of our CAF SoCal members lost their homes, burned to the ground. One of our members got out with literally just the clothes on his back, managing to get out in his wheel chair in the middle of the night when he woke with the house burning, finding his cars on fire in the driveway, and saved only because a neighbor saw him as they were bugging out and drove him to safety.

The winds are supposed to continue into tomorrow and then start dying down in the next week, but there’s no rain in the foreseeable future and these fires are now pushing up into the mountains where they’ll be very difficult to fight. There’s a lot of brush after a very wet winter last year and most of these areas haven’t burned in decades. These fires may still be burning well into 2018.



Filed under CAF, Disasters, Photography, Weather