Thursday, December 13, 2007

FAR 103 Rant

I haven't had much of a chance to fly lately, hoping for a chance this weekend. I've finally got my plane registered and now I only have to get it inspected to be LSA compliant.

When checking out my competition, I've noticed a lot of people trying to mislead their buyers by saying their plane is an Ultralight. It's frustrating when your competitors lie, but that's not the worst part of it. If you buy a plane that's not registered by Jan 31, 2008, it can't be registered as a Light Sport Aircraft.

Some of these planes listed as ultralights are way too heavy, way too fast or even have more than 5 gallon gas tanks. Someone new to aviation might think it's legal to fly these planes without a license, only to face stiff fines.

I've also heard people talk about how they can cover up what's wrong with their planes to sell them. I'm not the nicest guy, but I don't want to kill someone either. How can your concience let you sell someone something that can cause their death.... Aviation used to be filled with good, honest people, and it still may be, but deadlines seem to make the crap float to the top.

That's my rant for today.... here's a general idea of part 103:

If powered:
(1) Weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation;
(2) Has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons;
(3) Is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight; and (4) Has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Windy Sunday

I went to the park near my house again tonight. I met Dan and Butch, who were flying their PPGs. I also ran into Tim again, who was flying for only the second time. Tim has a setup where he sits in a cart with 5 wheels. He was able to get in a nice flight.

I think this was Butch. If not, it was Dan!

Tim, only his second flight.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hot Air Balloons and No-Shows!

There's a field near my house where they fly PPG's. These are a lot like the Powered Parachute, except you wear the motor on your back, and take off and land from your feet. I was told they would be out flying Saturday morning, possibly with some Hot Air Balloons also. I showed up early, but nobody else did. It was predicted to be foggy, but that couldn't have been further from the weather we had. No wind, no cloud, nice and cool.... wish I was flying!!

After waiting for over an hour (the weather's so nice somebody has to show up!) I finally gave up. I saw some Hot Air Balloons off in the distance and decided to chase them down. One landed before I got any photos, but like a storm chaser trying to get into the path of a tornado, I stalked down the other one. He flew right over me and even said hello!!

I think the winds are supposed to pick up, and I'm going the University of Texas vs. Nebraska game, so I probably won't get any pics of the PPG's today, but I'll try again Sunday.

The camera makes them look higher than they were. I easily heard them say hello!!

By the way, I didn't take this photo, but these are PPGs. They're very portable, so I could fly anywhere I go. Like on the beach for instance....

Flying with Hubert

Chris and I headed out to Hubert's place on Friday afternoon. Hubert is new to the PPC, so I wanted him to get a chance to fly with Chris. First they went up in Chris's PPC with Chris flying and did a few touch-n-goes. Then they took up Hubert's PPC. Hubert looks good flying this machine, which is completely new to him. Chris says he's doing great. Chris and I went up for a few minutes, but it was getting cool and the sun was heading down. I had a great time. It's time for me to sell the Airbike and head the direction of my friends. Either a PPC (Powered Parachute) or PPG (Powered Paraglider) is in my future!

Taking Off

Hubert's New Toy

Coming in for a landing.

Hubert's Patriotic Chute

Hubert will learn not to fly that close to the sun.

Sun's down, Moon's up, we're headed home.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friday Afternoon Flying

It was so nice on Friday I had to leave work early and go fly with Chris. We flew out to Hubert's place and he drove out to meet us. Hubert now has a Powered Parachute, so I guess I'm getting outnumbered. I'm leaning toward buying one of these!!

Breakaway Park 2007

I've still yet to fly in to this fly-in! It's been too windy almost every year, this year was no exception. I know the GA guys can't understand, but anything over 10 mph takes the fun out of flying the Airbike. It was a great fly-in this year.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Flying PPCs

Yesterday, I got a chance to go work on my plane. It was too windy to fly, but I did a few crow hops and it feels good. Hopefully, I'll get to fly next weekend.

Today, I took Chris up on an offer to go fly with his friend Bill in Buda. We flew from Bill's field to Lockhart. I rode with Chris and Bill took his friend Terry with him. Chris and I did a touch-n-go at Lockhart and then headed back. After we got back, Bill let me play with the parachute from his PPG, a smaller version of the PPC. It was fun to pull the parachute up into the air and then try to control it, but it showed me how out of shape I am.

Bill flying. There was some ground fog early.

Our shadow.

Our Touch -n- Go at Lockhart

Bill spiraling down!

Perfect Landing

LSU vs. VT

Last weekend, my friend Jeff offered to take me and another friend, Frank, to the LSU vs. VT game in his V-Tail Bonanza. It shortened a 6 hour drive from Austin to Baton Rouge to 2 hours. It is nice to be able to climb above the clouds and cruise near 200 mph.

Frank with the plane.

It was cloudy, but we were quickly on top.

Frank, Jeff, and me. (No of course Frank wasn't drunk!!)

This is blurry, but it is Shaq.

Final Score.

Mississippi River?

There were big storms near Houston.

Small Airport