I am in the process of getting my life together, but will update this thing eventually with Oshkosh, life back at work, and a certain road trip from Detroit I will be making this Labor Day weekend.
02 September 2009
14 July 2009
Apprehensive passengers who have stomachs full of Olive Garden. 40 pounds short of max gross with density altitude over 4000 ft. All the mean while I got in some good pilotage work on my way back from Idaho today. I filed IFR over to COE because I thought I would have a chance to get some good actual (flying in the clouds). Nope. The elusive clouds burnt off by 1300 which definitely would not have happened if I just wanted to go for a motorcycle ride or any other summer activity not requiring clouds.
23 June 2009
16 June 2009
15 June 2009
Well, it has definitely been an action packed week. Although my time here has been cut short, I have still managed to log about 15 hours in the air. In that time I saw uphill/downhill/tailwind landings, fires created by the lightning I managed to miss, low level river flying (which should have been filmed), the Bering Sea, lots of villages in the middle of nowhere, great people, and the Lord working in many lives.
11 June 2009
Monday morning I was tragically informed that somehow I was not approved on the Kako insurance to fly. I am the first one ever who has come up to Kako with no Alaska time that has not been approved. The insurance company wants 250 hours AK time before I can fly the kids which would make sense if I was doing it in the winter, but I'm not. As bummed as I was it effects the whole camp.
08 June 2009
Today I woke up after a solid five hours of sleeping in public to the sound of people going through security. I immediately thought, wow I am not sore from this bench and I actually feel good. I then got on my hour flight to Bethel, AK where I would wait a couple hours for the 206 to come get me. As I was waiting there were a couple other kids there trying to figure out if the plane that was currently landing was "it." Finally, it came and I think they were actually a little more excited than me.
01 June 2009
26 May 2009
24 May 2009
Where do I start? Just like every time I get on here I am about to throw up thoughts onto paper. I had what was pretty much the best job ever at the beginning of the week for where I am at in life right now. Increasing my skill as a mechanic while being surrounded by people who constantly made me smile. I have nothing but good things to say about that shop even though I was let go on Wednesday. I guess I was initially down about it, but considering where the Lord has brought me it's hardly a big deal. I am still not sure how I was being paid to be there. However, I could feel my mind start to get comfortable enough to start thinking about all the things I would like to have vs. what I really need. I hate money. It is necessary for life, but such a distraction. I guess that is one of the many reasons I enjoy the thought of missionary work. Always having the mindset that God will provide even though it looks like it won't work under human logic.
11 April 2009
So as I have been slowly clearing out my old computer and going over to the laptop I have ran across some different pictures, college papers, and just randomness. Here is a draft that was eventually submitted to Leader magazine while I was going through the Air Force program at USC. Aww...college. Looking back it seems like a dream. Enjoy.
Many boys dream about being a fighter pilot one day or even getting a chance to go for a ride in an aircraft of such great performance. On the seventh and eighth of November 2002, six AF ROTC cadets from USC had the opportunity to live out this dream.
The first day consisted of egress training for those who were first to go up. This showed us how to exit an F-16 safely in the event of an emergency on the ground or in the air. We sat in a cockpit where the canopy came down and smoke was simulated to give the real effect of being in a burning plane. Between the chair, parachute, and survival gear, there is a lot of equipment to strap on when in the F-16. It is hard enough to jump out of a jet as it is, but if it is burning and you don’t know where to unlatch or detach, it could mean death. Along with the egress training was some instruction on what to do if we did need to use our parachute. We were strapped in to a hanging parachute and given a couple different scenarios for what kind of terrain we were about to land on. In the same room we were told what type of survival equipment we had and how to use it. Finally we had a short brief on what type of critters to avoid if we found ourselves in the Arizona desert.
There was enough free time to allow us to pick the pilots’ brains with questions on what life as a fighter pilot was like. They really seemed to enjoy sharing with us, which we all agreed was a highlight of the trip. One 1st First Lieutenant went the extra mile in setting up some simulator time before we actually went up for the real thing. The simulator consisted of to scale size cockpit with all instruments simulating what we were about to see as the real thing. We were able to feel and get used to the quarter inch movement in the fly by wire stick, which helped a lot by the time we had to take the controls for real. It seemed to be a lot more sensitive than what most of us expected. The lieutenant had us take off and then gave us various targets to shoot at. After about twenty minutes, we were given the opportunity to land using all of the instruments, which we were a little more familiar with by that time
Before the day of the flight we were all fitted for G-suits, helmets, masks, gloves, and given at least three motion sickness bags. The fitting of the G-suits was a longer process than most of us expected. Snaps, laces and zippers made a custom fit of them and we were soon to find out that the process was worth the time. The process could be compared to that of a woman with a corset in the early twentieth century - very tight fitting. The fitting process allowed us to talk with all of the pilots who came into the locker room.
Finally, one of the last steps to qualify us to fly was to get checked out by the Flight Doc. This consisted of a short briefing on the “G-strain” and what kinds of things to do before take off; get plenty of sleep, eat light foods, no caffeine, and a few other tips. We were given physicals and were out the door with our paperwork in hand, ready to fly.
Whether we flew on Thursday or Friday we were all ready when it came time to take our seat in the F-16D. Going into the locker room and seeing my name on the locker and finding all of the customized equipment fitted to my specifications, I felt like I was a part of the 61st Fighter Squadron for a day. As I strapped and clipped things on I couldn’t help but think how everything I was putting on was not for comfort, but to keep me alive. It came time to head for the flight line so I followed the Instructor Pilot and the student out to the van. The next thing I know I am strapped in to the jet with 29,000 lbs of thrust behind me, brakes on, throttle at full military power, and adrenaline pumping. After a few more checks on all the systems we were off the ground in formation, quickly moving to a tactical formation, side by side. Twenty feet wingtip to wingtip! I have ridden shotgun in a KC-10 with a boom operator where planes get close going relatively fast, but this was definitely a bit different.
Although each flight was unique, thankfully they all had one thing in common - not a single cadet threw up. Overall, the trip was a major success and helped keep a freshman cadet motivated for his ensuing years at Detachment 060. “After this amazing experience, I would say I am definitely “retained” not only because of the great flight, but the great people I have met.” A senior cadet was also very impressed by the event, “The Luke AFB visit was my most valuable and interesting event that I will take away from ROTC.” All of the cadets who participated agree that it was a highly motivating experience - the chance of a lifetime.
16 March 2009
As mentioned previously there was an intermittent problem with the left magneto on the 206 which ended up being a nice little project for me while it was down for its annual inspection. Upon taking the left magneto apart it was clear what the problem was. The capacitor appeared to have been faulty at one point creating some pitting on the breaker points. The points were not being allowed to separate from each other allowing the voltage in the primary circuit to go to the secondary which is in turn where the spark is created at the plugs. After trying one of my freshly produced business cards out on the points to remove what looked to be a grain of sand it was apparent we needed some new points. I never would have thought this would have happened considering the low time on the engine, but it was yet another great learning experience with Servant Wings as I prepare to get out in the field.
01 March 2009
22 February 2009
Thursday afternoon I got a call telling me the 206 was done at Sunquest, so I prepared to go the next day to pick it up. The trip up there was pretty uneventful which is always a good thing in the flying business.