Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Back in Texas,  Cav with the stable mates, ready to go!


Christmas in the Great White North

For Christmas this year, the daughter asked if we could go with her to visit with her in laws. Josh mentioned that they used to rent cabins in northern Wisconsin when he was a kid. So Lynne and I flew to Chicago and rented a car for the week. First stop was overnight at their house in Inverness.



Next morning we drove to Eagle River, Wisconsin. The cabin was awesome and had plenty of room. The weather was perfect. Plenty of snow, but the driving was a piece of cake. It stayed below freezing most of the time we were in Wisconsin, so the snow never melted. And we got about 4 inches of snow on Christmas eve! Perfect!

The cabin was on one of the chain lakes. The lake was almost frozen, but not quite enough to go out on. Plenty of snow. We build a sledding ramp!



Christmas was very nice, they did a great job making it special for the kids.


Sage and her big brother.


Mike and Olive.


Sage and her big sister.


The day we left the weather warmed up just a bit, and the lake turned brown! Weird. .



After driving back from Wisconsin, we spent two nights in downtown Chicago. We stayed at the Acme Hotel, just two blocks from Chicago's Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. We were right in the heart of downtown.




We had a great view out our window at the Acme Hotel .


Dinner at Eataly!

We walked around the city quite a bit. I'd been to the Chicago area a few times before, but never got to see the city like this. It was a bit cold, but not too bad.



The Adler Planetarium. We saw a very well done show on Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.


Pluto was discovered after the planetarium was constructed.

Birthday Girl

Granddaughter #1's Birthday



Cav is flight ready!



Sunday, November 27, 2016

At Last....

For those following along live....



Cav has weight on the nosewheel again!


Got the engine hung at about 6:30 tonight. So much for working on the rest during the break. The bill was staggering.



Saturday, November 26, 2016

Actually made progress on the engine today. The cylinders were put on last night, and today we mostly finished installing the rest of the required parts.



Painted the inner cylinder baffles and the induction tubes. Tomorrow we should finish installing everything and put the engine on the lift. Then we have to install the main forward seal. Then it can go on the plane!



Thanksgiving, 2016

Another Thanksgiving in the books. The calendar pages are flying past.




The blog has been in disarray for a while thanks to google. The previous post had the photos all messed up, due to hosting from google fotos. I need to spend some time figuring how to fix them. I got at least one picture working since the Atlas Air 747 was showing up, but there are supposed to be a bunch more pics.

Actually made significant progress on the engine. There was a long delay getting cylinders shipped. Then the mechanic screwed up the first attempt at assembling the case. A Lycoming engine is pretty simple. The main case is just two case halves, the crank, the cam, and three sets of crank bearings. 10 parts. He put them together (without me) and the crank would not turn. One of the bearings had slipped. Then he let it sit like that for a month, stringing me along, disappearing, waiting on the cylinders, and not communicating with me.




Here's the case assembled for the first time. It will need to be split because the crank is frozen.

I was thinking about this, and realized that if the bearings were binding, and the case had been torqued together, something had to have bent. Sure enough, he finally gets around to splitting the case (with a three week delay waiting on a case splitter) and one of the main bearings is screwed up. He has to order a new one, that only took two weeks. Finally the bearing is in, and he is in town so I help him put the case together again. This time it's good. Oh, but the cylinders are in Tulsa. He doesn't tell me this, only another two weeks go by with out me knowing what is going on. Finally the cylinders arrive. His wife has to make a tortuous drive from Tulsa to Austin. I'd have been happy to fly up and retrieve cylinders, and I told him that much earlier.



So finally, yesterday, 8 months after tearing the engine apart, and 4 months after I requested it be reassembled, I have a zero time engine with brand new cylinders. A couple of key parts still missing, but we can now put it on the plane and I can start putting the firewall forward back together. We'll see how long it will take to get the rest of the details in place for an engine start.




We had a pleasant surprise on Saturday, October 29. Brenda had scored a bunch of tickets to the UT game. So off we went, my first college game since I went to UT. We have watched the Cav's play in this and many other stadiums.


And they beat Baylor! That makes it even better!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Catch up

Here's a post to catch up on recent events.

Hosted cousin Matt. He flew this bird into Gray Kelly, very close to where I lived when I went to Copperas Cove High School.

I have many fond memories of the area, I learned to drive there, and used to hang out at the end of the runway at KGRK and watch C5-A's land and takeoff.

Conditions were not promising, we had a very unusual low system settle in over central Texas in mid-August. 2 weeks of clouds and rain followed. So I drove up to Killeen and picked up Matt at his hotel, and brought him down to Austin. All the family gathered at my sisters house and got to spend time with him. Good to see you, Matt! Next time I'll have Cav back in the air.


This rare twin bonanza has paint design elements that I have chosen for my scheme, except mine is going to be much nicer. Yes, I do have paint design. It needs to be finalized by an expert, but now all I need is the cash.


Gotta brag on my niece. She's been working at the State Hospital Lab, in an apprenticeship program for running a lab. I had asked her for a tour. She said, be there on Friday, August 19. I didn't realize it, but this was graduation day. Now she can actually get paid!

After five months, many different types of delays, I started putting the engine back together. This time for sure!


BTW, Google has me really pissed off. I'm trying to add photos to this blog, but I can't figure out how today. It took a while last time. Also the blogger interface is doing stupid things like creating extra copies of posts that have to be carefully sorted and deleted. It used to be so easy to edit this blog, but google has really screwed it up. What was wrong with picasa? I get tired of tech companies forcing transitions to new things when the old thing was perfectly fine. I may have to try out a new photo hosting service. That may lead to moving the blog to new digs.