Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

A busy long weekend. Got in 4 flights, two today. I can fly twice in one day!
I've started venturing away from Lakeway, going all the way up to Lampassas, then down to Fredricksburg. Haven't landed at another airport yet, but that will happen soon.

On Sunday morning I started on flight test card 5, doing 2 minute climbs at various airspeeds. I did this out south and east of Horseshoe Bay, trying to stay somewhere close to a emergency landing site. Also did some low power descents, but at 1300 the engine still produces quite a bit of thrust. Checked the VOR nav reciever enough to verify it receives a station.

By late Sunday, fires had developed in the area. There was no trace of them Sunday morning. But by Monday there were some serious fires.

Here's the satellite photo from Monday evening. All the patches over Texas are fires (except a few clouds over the valley).

This morning on the LZZ T82 triangle I did a thorough checkout of the NAV receiver. It seems to work great. Still a couple of items to check, but the 430W VOR receiver and Archer antenna seem to be a usable combination. I was even able to tune into the HIWAS on the LLO VOR audio, so the audio hookup to the audio panel is working as designed. So far the radios are all working as expected, but there are a few finesse points to using them correctly.
Also turned on the autopilot for the first time. It did the basic heading and altitude hold with no bad habits. Next I need to check VS and set altitude modes, then GPS steering.
A freak early "cold" front passed through yesterday, so the winds today were strong and gusty from the north. I managed a passable landing this morning despite the conditions.

Then this evening winds had died down so went up for another short flight. Got in some slow flight and 45 degree turns, out east of Burnett. There are nice emergency fields up there, including lots of private strips, although I could only find a few of them from the air. The fire south of Spicewood was going strong, but another fire, maybe up in the Fort Hood area was fouling the air over Lakeay. A TFR for the Spicewood fire was in effect. It did not show up on the web page when I checked before leaving. Fortunately I steered well away, so I managed to just skirt the edge of the TFR coming back into Lakeway. I did not bust that TFR. Whew!

10 hours on the Hobbs now.