A36 to Croatia

The Bonanza is finally airworthy! The engine has been zero-timed and we’ve replaced the Garmin GNS530 with a Garmin GTN750. Also added are an ADL120 datalink weather box and a PMA8000BT Bluetooth Audio panel.

For our first major trip we joined the EuroGA.org fly-in to Mali Losinj in Croatia. Strong headwinds gave us a 6 hr 5 minute flight outbound, but with tip tanks installed we landed with 37 US gallons of fuel, over three hours reserve. After a day and a half socialising and flying the Phantom 2 Vision+ (video to follow), we returned to the UK in glorious weather.

Phantom in the Rain

A short flight over Marlow in the rain.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

New toy: DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ with gyro-stabilised camera. Confused? Let go of the controls and it comes to a GPS hover. WiFi signal lost? (800m). It flies back to the start point and lands. Wonderful fun. Each battery lasts about 25 minutes (get three!).

First flight last night ably assisted by expert RC fliers Andy and Tony.

A330-300: My 85th Type

Just completed my checkout on the A330-300. It’s lighter on the controls than the A340, particularly the A340-600. The rate of climb is impressive after take-off, not so impressive at top-of-climb.

Now I have to fly it exclusively for 50 hours – after that I’ll be flying the A330 and A340 as the roster requires.

Rules to Fly By

These do the rounds on the internet from time to time.

  • Pilots are people who fly aircraft for other people who can’t fly. Passengers are people who say they fly, but really just ride
  • Fighter Pilots are steely-eyed, weapons systems managers who kill bad people and break things. However, they can also be very charming and personable
  • The average fighter pilot, despite sometimes having a swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy and caring. (However, these feelings don’t involve anyone else.)
  • Flying is a hard way to earn an easy living
  • Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane; the pessimist, the parachute
  • Death is just nature’s way of telling you to watch your airspeed
  • As a pilot only two bad things can happen to you (and one of them will):
    • One day you will walk out to the aircraft, knowing it is your last flight
    • One day you will walk out to the aircraft, not knowing it is your last flight
  • There are rules and there are laws:
    • The rules are made by men who think that they know how to fly your aircraft better than you
    • The laws (of physics) were ordained by God
    • You can and sometimes should suspend the rules, but you can never suspend the laws
  • About Rules:
    • The rules are a good place to hide if you don’t have a better idea and the talent to execute it
    • If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless performance (e.g., if you fly under a bridge, don’t hit the bridge.)
  • Before each flight, make sure that your bladder is empty and your fuel tanks are full
  • He who demands everything that his aircraft can give him is a pilot; he who demands one iota more is a fool
  • There are certain aircraft sounds that can only be heard at night and over the ocean. Most of them are scary
  • The aircraft limits are only there in case there is another flight by that particular aircraft. If subsequent flights do not appear likely, there are no limits
  • “If the Wright brothers were alive today, Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs.” (President, DELTA Airlines.)
  • In the Alaskan bush, I’d rather have a two-hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa
  • An old pilot is one who can remember when flying was dangerous and sex was safe
  • You have to make up your mind about growing up and becoming a pilot. You can’t do both

A36 Weight & Balance

A36 W & B

A36 W & B

I’ve updated my Weight & Balance spreadsheet for the A36 Bonanza (with Osborne tip tanks). This is the Apple Numbers 3 version and will run on a Mac or iOS device. I’ve added “standard items”, such as spares, bags, aircraft cover, and you can select whether the item is on board, and if so, if it’s loaded forward (behind pilots’ seats) or aft.

The spreadsheet could easily be converted to use with other aircraft.

Download it here if you’d like to use it.

Hungary’s Best Rope Skipping Team

Introducing George

My Favourites Photos of 2013

Edimax BR-6258nL Wireless Router

Here’s another great little gadget to have in your travel kit, a wireless router the same size as a USB memory stick!

Configure it once with a unique SSID and password, then plug it into the ethernet cable in your hotel room and it creates your own WiFi network for all your devices. It also works as a WiFi repeater so it will retransmit any wifi you are already connected to.

Much smaller, lighter and cheaper than an Apple Airport Express.

£22 from Amazon