Category Archives: Flying

…I’ll Troubleshoot Buggy Apps That Don’t Work

Yesterday I wrote “In My Copious Free Time…

Tonight I saw that and said, “The heck with it!” (or words slightly less PG-13 but with the same meaning) and sat down to open up the first lesson on the refresher software that I had bought.

And it doesn’t work.

Of course.

Because, of course, because.

There’s no sound. I can see people’s lips moving and there are the occasional graphics – but no sound.

Phone’s not muted. Sound’s turned way up. Check all of the usual stuff. No joy.

Try a different lesson – same thing.

Uninstall the app. Re-download and re-install the app. Same thing.

Reboot the phone. Same thing.

Try it on my iPad. Same thing. Go through the same troubleshooting steps on my iPad. Same thing.

Look on both devices for any kind of control or setting that might explain the problem or offer a solution. No joy.

Log onto their website and download one of the lessons to run on my desktop system. Works fine – yes, there IS supposed to be sound when those lips be flappin’! But one of the reasons I spent $350 to get this package is so that I could watch the lessons and take the tests and track my progress and have the material as reference on my mobile devices! It’s informational that the videos work when streamed from their website, it’s just not particularly useful for me.

Send an email to their tech support and wonder how many days it will take them to get back to me. Let’s hope their customer service is better than that of the running gear / shoe store that pissed me off so much over the last two weeks.

In my copious free time…I’ll troubleshoot buggy apps that don’t work.

And write about it.

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Filed under Flying, Paul

In My Copious Free Time…

…I need to be hitting the books, aka the “rusty pilot” training video series that I ordered about five weeks ago and have yet to crack open.

As of today, another hurdle overcome to get back into left seat up in the pointy end of the plane. I now once again am the proud owner of a FAA Third Class Medical Certificate. Legally, today I can fly again. Practically, that’s not a good idea unless the zombie horde has the airport surrounded and they’re looking at me as an appetizer. Almost four years will leave your skill set a bit “eroded.”

Nothing that a handful of lessons with an instructor won’t cure, and once I’m safe to work on my own, building some hours in pursuit of the perfect $100 hamburger.

Once I run through those refresher videos and brush up on my radio skills and sectional map reading…

…which will happen in my copious free time…

…after I find that final boss in the most boring video game of all time (aka, converting our CAF SoCal Wing accounting books to QuickBooks Online, aka one of the top [bottom?] ten most slow and frustrating and useless programs ever written).

The daily data entry sessions with QBO now take on a bit more urgency with the extra prize at the finish line.

Excuse me, I have some accounts payables to post!

Mmmmmm – payables!

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Birthday Present For FedEx

I wasn’t privvy to many details, but from what I heard there was some sort of anniversary or birthday party that FedEx was throwing for itself down at their LAX facility. That facility sits atop what was once one of the primary North American Aviation factories during World War II, back when LAX was known as Mines Field.

We happen to have two magnificent examples of that particular North American factory, our P-51 Mustang and our PBJ bomber.

They asked if we might be able to send those two aircraft down for the party. To the best of my knowledge we’ve never had our planes at LAX before, nor are there many that ever go in there with the big aluminium tubes from the airlines. So we went.

It was a nice day for flying in SoCal. (Not that I got to leave the ground – someone had to pay the bills today.)

It’s great to have our P-51 flying again after being down over a year with a complete engine rebuild, and the PBJ is going strong and hitting her stride after her first flight last year following a 23-year full restoration.

Coming soon to an airshow near you, especially if you’re on the West Coast or in SoCal. If nothing else if you’re in SoCal, the 2017 Wings Over Camarillo airshow will be at our home base on August 19th and 20th. Come out and see our facilities and planes! (I will not be there for the first time in years – it’s a total solar eclipse weekend for me.)

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Filed under Photography, Flying, CAF, Airshows, Video

No Joy For Cassini

I had mentioned a couple of weeks back that I had applied for another NASA Social, this one at JPL in September for the Cassini finale. I had also mentioned that there were 25 spots available and I wouldn’t be surprised if they would get 2,500 or 25,000 applications and I thought my odds of being accepted were small.

I was correct!

I’ve gotten the “thanks so much for applying, but…” email and while I’m disappointed, I’m neither crushed nor surprised. But if you don’t apply, they can’t tell you “no,” correct? At least they didn’t say, “HELL, NO!”

Meanwhile, I’m one or two steps closer to getting my FAA flight physical renewed, which is the next big step to getting back into the left seat in the cockpit. While I’ve been flying (commercial doesn’t count) a handful of times in the past few years (here, here, here, and here for example), I haven’t been PIC (Pilot in Command) in almost four years.

Time to fix that.

We’re getting closer. Get the FAA medical, get a few hours of training back in and get my BFR (Bi-annual Flight Review) recorded, then start building up some hours. We’ve got that Navion that needs flying out at the CAF, and with a tailwheel endorsement, the PT-19. A few hundred hours there and a complex endorsement and the SNJ’s await.

Watch the skies. That’s me aiming to come to your town for that “$100 hamburger!”

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Paul, Space

Perspective – July 8th

Yeah, that might be fleeting and elusive at the moment…

Let’s say it’s been one of THOSE days at the end of one of THOSE weeks, which means that July is starting to be one of THOSE months, the same as June was, and May was, and…

So I’m “spinning” a bit, and realized in bed at about 01:00 last night that I forgot to publish yesterday’s post. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre! Note that I did NOT get out of bed at 01:01 and go hit that “publish” button. (“A man’s got to know his limitations!”) As always, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.

I also want to focus on the positive, so I’ll note that our (“our” = “CAF SoCal’s”) P-51 is back up and flying! This is tremendous news and due to the superhuman efforts by our P-51 maintenance crew, led by Trace Eubanks. Not enough nice things can be said about what he’s gotten done with that plane, and others.

The plane’s actually up at the Truckee airshow this weekend selling rides, but here are some pictures from a different perspective (see what I did there?) that I took a couple of weeks ago as it was nearing completion. (I think I’m getting punchy…)

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Panorama, Photography

Maintenance Saturday 

Lots and lots of aircraft undergoing maintenance, routine and/or otherwise, at the CAF SoCal hangar today.

The P-51 is getting closer to flying again, we just need that big spinny thing on the nose!

The Spitfire is getting some touch up paint.

The Hellcat was having some hydraulic issues in the landing gear so it was being elevated a bit and working some gear swings.

The Navion was having some engine work.

We had three rides scheduled today for the T-6, but a pre-flight mag check showed and issue. Safety first! All of our riding customers were patient and chilled while we worked the issue. In about two hours, they had found it, fixed it, and were giving customers their money’s worth!

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Bomber Flight Video

​​​Videos from yesterday’s flight in our PBJ bomber. One of the striking things to me was the differences in the sound of the engines in various places.

From the waist gunner’s seat on the starboard side, just aft of the wing. ​​

From just aft of the round (and open!) hole on the starboard side. Listen to the sound of those pistons popping!!

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From the tail gunner’s position, looking out the back.

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