Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Zulu Time

Aviators speak their own dialect of English.

When learning to fly you learn a variety of new concepts and terms.

One of them is Zulu time.

This is not what they mean by Zulu time:

Ok, it's not what they mean by Zulu time for aviation purposes anyways.

Zulu time is based on Greenwich Mean Time and uses a 24-hour system of time notation. "1:00 a.m." is expressed as 0100, pronounced "zero one hundred", alternatively pronounced as "Oh my god it's early". The time one minute after 0159 is 0200. The time one minute after 1259 is 1300 (pronounced "thirteen hundred"). This continues until 2359. One minute later is 0000 ("zero hundred"), and the start of a new day.

Zulu time is now also commonly called Universal Time Co-ordinated or UTC in order to prevent the deployment of Martini-Henrys during flight planning operations.

Monday, August 03, 2015

First Flight Lesson AFR

So this morning I headed over to Flight 101 for my first lesson. The clouds were looking pretty low and overcast so I was worried it was going to be a washout.

I met up with my instructor, Sean and after some paperwork we headed to the plane. By this time the clouds had become scattered instead of overcast so the flight was now a do-able proposition.

We went over how to do a pre-flight and following the checklist he demonstrated and then I did each step.

During pre-flight you follow the checklist and go over the entire aircraft to make sure all is in working order. Far better to find out if there is a problem on the ground rather than in the air. We checked all the control surfaces, inspected the fuel to make sure it was free of contaminants, the fuel quantity, and the overall condition of the entire aircraft.

There was indeed a problem we found during the pre-flight.

The nose-wheel strut was way too low and the airplane actually had a downward angle.

So to another plane we went, Papa Romeo, the same plane I did my intro flight in.

Papa Romeo unfortunately was also having some known issues and most likely was going to pose a problem, but we decided to try it as the other 172s were already signed out. The problem was N755PR was not starting period, even with a charger cart so it was off to door number three, and Papa Romeo ended up getting taken in to the mechanics.

So we went and tried door number three:

Third time was the charm and I had my first lesson - in a complex aircraft no less - a Cessna 172 RG. The RG stands for retractable gear. I didn't do any of the complex parts, Sean handled the prop control and the gear.

Sean handled the radios, did the takeoff and we were up!

He flew us out to the practice area. We went up to around 3500 feet and avoided the many and wispy stratus clouds. We had a bit of turbulence but nothing serious.

My first lesson consisted of learning straight and level flight, banks to both left and right, climbs and descents, and trimming the aircraft for climbs, descents and straight and level flight. Sean said I was quite smooth and did quite well. He also said I did a good job of regularly looking outside the aircraft and doing clearing turns before any maneuvers.

The first lesson was a lot of fun. The standard bank angle feels a lot more banked than standard but once you're doing it yourself, it feels pretty normal.

It was a great first lesson and I can't wait for lesson #2.

It's Time.

Wish me luck, and I'll be back with an AAR of Lesson #1

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A Lion And Geese, Oh My!

Some people tend to be conveniently and easily distracted and prone to outrage.

The Cecil the Lion incident has not only whipped up some SJW outrage as well as death threats, but conveniently drove all sorts of important news stories that actually affect people and the world right out of the headlines.

Indeed the attention paid to the death of one lion may lead to a whole new Zebra protest movement:

After all, #BlackAndWhiteLivesMatter.

Not to be outdone by the display of national outrage over the death of a lion thousands of miles away, the Detroit Papers are now full of outrage over the killing of some geese.

Yes, the killing of 4 common geese and the injury of 2 more in a roadway incident by an as yet unknown motorist, in an act that may have been intentional or simply accidental, out in Mount Clemens has filled the headlines:

The Detroit Free Press: Did driver purposely run over geese in Clinton Township?

The Detroit News: Geese find new homes after several killed by motorist

Note that now some of the Macomb County Sheriff's best detectives are on the case to find a motorist that ran over geese blocking a road. I'm glad crime in the Clem must be at an all time low. Misbegotten outrage does tend to lead to a mis-allocation of resources.

It's a sad commentary on the state of media today. Considering their focus on trivialities, to the media the world situation may be desperate but it's not serious.

Oh, and another thing: Heh.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Detroit To Issue Its Own Matricula Consulars

Now, isn't that special?

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit ID could allow voting, services for homeless

While the headline doesn't mention illegals, the proponents of this municipal ID sure do include them amongst the intended recipients:

Immigrants, homeless people and others in Detroit who struggle to obtain a government-issued photo ID could soon get a Detroit municipal ID, City Council members and other officials announced this morning.

Documents the Secretary of State requires for a state ID can be restrictive, making it difficult for some to prove their identity and gain access to vital city services, Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez said.

“We would like it to be accepted as broadly as possible,” Castaneda-Lopez said at a press conference outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. “The goal is to have a card that people can use, that’s easier to acquire and they can use it at multiple institutions.”

The application for a Detroit municipal ID, as envisioned, would remove barriers to obtaining an ID in several ways. It would not ask for immigration status, for example, and someone who is homeless could use a local shelter as an address if the person has been staying there for a sustained amount of time. Officials have not yet defined a requirement for duration of residency; it could be between 15 and 60 days.

Indeed, they expect it to be used for voting, after being acquired in a manner far less "restrictive" than a state issued ID. Think lack of verification of a claimants identity before being given an id card in whatever name the person chooses.

Supporters of the Detroit ID want the card to be accepted at banks, libraries, museums and city service providers. It is possible the municipal ID could be used for voting, officials said.

What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Michigan Citizens' Ballot Proposals For Access To Other People's Pockets

Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote:

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

We've certainly gotten to that point, and then some.

In a demonstration of direct democracy, some activists have discovered they can push ballot proposals to give them access, through the government, to other people's money.

The Detroit Free Press: 3 citizen initiatives could get OK for signatures today

The initiatives include:

To allow for voting by mail: Read that as "Make vote fraud easier".

To increase the corporate tax rate to 11%: As one wag in the comments noted, it's the "Help businesses move to Ohio" initiative. Hey if you can get corporations to pay for your government largess and you don't understand the economic effect on both business and your economic opportunities as a result, why not right? What could possibly go wrong?

To force small businesses to have up to 40 hours worth of paid sick days and other businesses up to 70. That won't increase employer costs and move small businesses even closer to the edge now will it?

I'm surprised the initiatives didn't just cut out all the games and instead push a ballot proposal demanding the State of Michigan set a minimum wage of $60 per hour to make everyone in the state middle class.

After all if they vote for it, it must be make such a result, right?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

That's A Lot Of Boots

NBC News: 18-Foot Python Captured in Florida Everglades

That's one big snake that you wouldn't want to encounter on your own, and it would make a lot of boots.

You Don't See That Kind Of Accident Report Everyday

The Detroit News: NTSB: Pilot of spaceship unlocked braking system early

That the NTSB conducted an investigation of an accident involving a spaceship sounds like something out of the world of tomorrow.

Sadly, it's all too real today that the co-pilot died in the accident and the pilot was badly injured. The article states the report points to the not so fail-safe design of the braking system and human error as the culprit.

Unfortunately, we learn often by the dangerous mistakes of others and improve from there.

No one said space flight was going to be risk-free, nor can it be if we are eventually going to have a real space program - both private and governmental - with people going into space and really doing things in space. Hopefully all the right lessons are learned from this accident.

They Say That Like It's A Bad Thing.....

Detroit Free Press: Nation's capital sinking into the sea, study says

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An Awesome Underwater Find Of Golden Treasure

Fox News: Florida family unearths gold coins worth over $1M from 1715 shipwreck

A Florida man has uncovered gold artifacts worth over $1 million from the wreckage of a Spanish fleet that sank in a storm off the Florida coast three centuries ago.

The find by Eric Schmitt was announced late Monday by a salvage company that owns the rights to the site where the coins and jewels were found.

"The treasure was actually found a month ago,” Brent Brisben of 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC told Florida Today. Keeping word of the haul from getting out was "particularly hard for the family that found it," Brisben added. "They’ve been beside themselves."

Among the artifacts are 51 gold coins, 40 feet of gold chain, and an extremely rare coin called a "Tricentennial Royal", minted for King Philip V of Spain. Schmitt told the Orlando Sentinel that the "Tricentennial Royal" alone is worth approximately $500,000 due to its rarity and near-perfect condition.

An awesome find and video of the discovery is at the link in it you can hear Eric Schmitt's happy yell when he discovers the treasure.

Congrats and Bravo to Eric Schmitt on his find. Well done indeed.

20% of the find will go to the State of Florida, and the remainder will be split between Schmitt and the 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC, the company that is running the salvage operation.

Hmm perhaps I should investigate becoming a sub-contractor, after all I've got the diving skills and this could certainly pay off in a big way . . . . You up for a trip ML?