The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Swamp

Went out to fly...

Field was a swamp. Ice, snow, watery grass, mud. No place to launch or land.

I am disappointed.

Monday, January 11, 2016

FAA UAS Registration

I am now officially registered as a sUAS pilot with the FAA. The FAA recently set out regulations that required pilots of drones to register with the FAA as do pilots of full scale aircraft. I really could not care less about the issue, it took me seconds to register. I would like not to have to put another registration number on my aircraft (as an AMA pilot my AMA number has to appear on all my aircraft). As of now the FAA has agreed to the AMA's request that AMA  members only need to display their AMA numbers, but I still have to register with the FAA and have my registration on me in some form when I fly (ie a pic on my phone is fine). Curiously there is no means in the registration process to link my FAA reg number with my AMA number... I sent an email and await a timely response from the FAA and the AMA. I got in under the "reimbursement" period where my $5 fee will be reimbursed, and in the future I will not have to pay the FAA as long as I am an active AMA pilot.

Oh, and of course the website crashed and I may have paid a dozen times as it told me to keep trying.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Keychain Camera Love-Hate

I love and hate these keychain cameras. They are cheap and lightweight, and the video is so-so. My one gripe is that they are designed to be clandestine, so you can't tell if it's on or off, or if its recording. You get a steady light if its on and in standby, then hitting the other button should make the light blink and turn off noting its recording. But one never knows if it actually is.

I attached mine level on the underside of the Cub wing. First flight didn't record, and I didn't bring my computer to check so had to drive home to check it. Drove back out with my computer, flew and checked, got video but it was almost all sky. Need to angle the camera down.Back to the house, made a wedge and back out for another flight. Forgot the computer. So, didn't know the video didn't record, despite all of the appropriate lights, until I got home.  Ran tests and sometimes it records, sometime it doesn't. Of course all three flights were perfect.

All I want is a light that it's recording...

Thursday, January 7, 2016


While yes, I lost the Twinstar to a lack of focus today, I had a blast before that with the Eflite Cubby.

Getting better remembering to keep the plane closer for the vids. The lens still makes it look much further away than it is.

I made some changes, having over engineered the springs on the skis. I realized how light the springs that came with the Dubro skis were, the ones that didn't fit. I thought about just using an electric tie, and it worked out great. One did freeze and snap in flight, but was easily replaced.

The tie is long giving it nice spring.

I wrapped the tie around the axle used a little superglue to help keep it in place.

One of the other issues I noticed this morning was that the prop was all askew. Turns out the last landing the other day must have jarred it loose. I epoxied it back this am, and she flew perfectly.

One of the other issues was the rear ski came off. I notice it rounded a bit too, not sure how. I re-secured it, stronger. On the ice it isn't making any difference, but it will help taxiing control in snow.

Icarus learned nothing.

Every pilot knows that near the sun lives death. To fly inverted, then outside loop into the corona of the sun is death. And here's the evidence.

I powdered this one...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ice, Ice, Baby!

I put skis on the Eflite Cub, and today I took her out to try them out! The winds were calm, but with gusts to about 10 mph. There are a couple of inches of snow under a crust of ice, after the freeze-thaws since the light snow fell on Christmas. In the video you can see the Cubbie being blown about, and aloft it was even more so. To have any control I had to fly her on max rates and be patient for changes to come on after control inputs. At times she carried off and then moments later would respond. I only flew one battery, but it was fun!  Between the wind and not wanting the heavier gassers to break through and get clotheslined underfoot by the ice crust, I didn't plan on bringing them out. I did bring the Twinstar, but opted to ground her due to weather.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Cubbie On Ice

It was too windy to fly the little Cubbie, but she did get to sit in her skis.

RCGF 10cc with 13x8x3 Master Airscrew Prop

I decided that instead of a 13x7 or 8, or a 14x7, I would try a three blade prop. This would need to be a 13 inch prop, so I put the Master Airscrew 13x8x3 prop on today, and ran the engine. She gave me a nice idle around 1800-2000 rpm, and would peak at around 8200 rpm, usually maxing at 7800 rpm or so. She produces a nice thrust, as one would expect with a 3 blade prop. Looking forward to trying that full vertical!

Ski Cubbie

I had planned to do this last year but there was so much snow that the parking lot at the field has, no  exaggeration, 5-6 feet of unplowed snow in it, so I flew almost nothing all winter. So far this year not so much.

I put Dubro Park Flier skis on her. The springs don't fit her axle, so I had to McGyver some wire. I also had to make a tail ski from soda bottle plastic. Why one is not included I have no idea. These are thin press formed plastic, maybe even vacu-formed. Not solid at all, but certainly stuff enough to do the job, but if they rip I won't be surprised.

I put some tape over the bottoms to keep snow from filling the space.

Now, if I can just get off this couch...

Friday, January 1, 2016

How BADASS is that?

I decided to go with a 3-blade prop, a Master Air Screw 13x8x3, with  Du-Bro 2-1/2" spinner. I think this will strike the right balance maximizing thrust and speed and can't wait to see if I can get unlimited vertical. Snowed out at the moment, but soon, My Precious,soon!