Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A quick catch up post. On a break-in flight, flew to Stephenville to have lunch at the Hard 8.

Classic Texas Barbeque.

The Lake Travis High School mens varisity football team added a 6th star to the LT logo! They won the 2016 Texas 6A Division I state championship game. I've been watching the Cavaliers since the daughter started high school. It's a pure pleasure to watch these teams play, they are so good. This has to be one of the best teams. In fact they were rated #1 in the state, and #5 in the country by MaxPreps. We've seen many good quarterbacks (and the rest of the positions, too!) starting with Todd Reesing, Garret Gilbert, Michael Brewer, Baker Mayfield, and now Charlie Brewer. Charlie now owns the US record for passing completion percentage. Wow!

And so we took the granddaughters to the victory parade. Katrin was a fitting part of the legacy. She earned lots of looks from the other kids curious about her old school band letter jacket. The grand daughters had a great time. They both were a bit overwhelmed. Sage went home with a bag full of candy tossed from the parade vehicles.

You're a big deal when the Batmobile is in your parade.

The Lady Cav golfers are also the State Champs!

Way over the top.

Flew safety pilot for Dave Kaplan. We flew to Palacios and started an approach there, but it was too socked in and we went missed very early. From there we flew to Gulf Coast Regional outside of Lake Jackson. I've been wanting to visit since there is a diner on the field, the Runway Cafe. The cheeseburger hit the spot.

Lots of other planes. What was going on? Just lunch as it turns out.

Leaving KLBX.

On the way home, the leading edge of the front had rolled through Austin. I was viewing the approaching clouds with apprehension, and the ADDS-B in was showing turbulence and icing airmets in areas we were about to fly through. Approach informed us that two small planes had to go around because of the 28 knot crosswinds at Bergstrom. We quickly came up with a plan B and decided to land at Smithville and figure out what to do. Lynne texted and asked if I was back. I called here and she said that Bee Cave had a huge gust of wind and rain, but it had already calmed down. After about 20 minutes of looking at the weather on the ground, Dave and I got back in the plane and flew back to KAUS. I'm happy to say that it was actually quite nice, with a docile wind on the runway, and no bone rattling turbulence.

Awesome view of COTA.

Short final.

Dramatic sky!

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!