Friday, September 30, 2016

Even As Macomb County Exec, Hackel Still Catches The Bad Guys

Former Sheriff of Macomb County, and now Macomb County Executive, Mark Hackel still knows how to catch stupid criminals.

The Detroit Free Press: Macomb County exec Mark Hackel chases hit-run pickup, collars drunk

Darn nice job on his part to follow and catch a very drunk driver and hold him for police.

Hackel is pretty much the one Democrat in this state I could happily vote for and support if he ran for Governor of Michigan or another post and know he'd do a darn good job of it. The man is experienced, has character, is darn capable, and is not corrupt.

Unfortunately for his electoral chances for state-wide office, he tends to be very centrist, economically fiscally responsible, and pro law and order, and is thus probably not Democrat enough to catch on with most of the state's Democrat electorate.

That's a darn shame for the State of Michigan, but it is good for Macomb County for him to be in the executive seat.

Value Subtracted: Be Careful Who Teaches Your Budget CPL Class

I get a call as I'm on the USCCA's attorney referral list, and the caller is looking for an attorney as she has a brand new CPL and wants to be prepared in case something bad ever happens.

We start talking and it becomes quickly apparent there's a real gap in her knowledge of some very basic lethal force law that having taken a class she really should know.

It gets more interesting when I ask whether an attorney or police office covered the use of deadly force and Michigan firearms law section in her CPL class.

I'm halfway expecting to hear it was a police officer that taught that portion, but, "Why no" she says, "just the instructor". That's a bit of a red flag right there especially as the instructor is neither a peace officer nor an attorney.

It also turns out the class was from a GroupOn offer, and she then states he didn't teach the class for the minimum 8 hours, only 4 hours which is yet another very big no-no.

Not only does the state mandate the minimum to be 8 hours, but you really can't teach the required material in 4 hours. Another clue was that the "classroom" portion took place at Panera, and he gave her a certificate that was not from a recognized training organization, just his own thing.

How Wayne County accepted that certificate is beyond me, as they're only supposed to accept nationally or state recognized training programs and this one sure is not. But, apparently they did and issued her the CPL.

Looking at the guy's website, while he claims to be an NRA certified instructor, he's not teaching an NRA certified or sanctioned course or issuing an NRA certificate, and he's not meeting state requirements for a proper CPL class.

But I'm sure the class was a great value for the $60 charged.

Well, not so great a value considering his issuing a certificate to a student for an insufficient class is a felony on his part for each and every certificate he doles out, and the fact that he's now put people on the street with statutorily defective training and improper certifications which is a legal nightmare just waiting to happen for all concerned.

I told her she needs to take a valid CPL class from a legitimate instructor pronto, not to mention report the scam that the fellow has going to the proper authorities.

You get what you pay for, but you may not realize that what you paid for by saving money with a budget class from a cutting-corners "instructor" is exposure to both criminal and civil liability.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stupid Criminal Tricks Thursday Edition

There's a slew of stupid criminals in the Detroit Metro area with a few especially worthy of note for their stupidity:

1. A Road Rager ends his stupidity by chasing his victim to a police station and a well-deserved ticket.

The Detroit Free Press: Road rage victim leads suspect to Canton police station

2. Threatening to kill police officers by claiming you will bomb a heroic police officer's funeral doesn't help your BLM cause any, and it doesn't help that you're on probation at the time you make the threat:

The Detroit News: FBI: Man threatened to bomb officer's funeral

3. Threatening to kill the judge in your divorce case isn't going to make the judge rule in your favor, and the resultant felony charges won't help either:

The Detroit Free Press: $500,000 bond set for man accused of threatening Judge Lisa Gorcyca

A Surprising Detroit News Endorsement In The 2016 Election Train Wreck

This hot mess of an election campaign is making for some interesting decisions as people are faced with making the least bad decision.

For the first time in 143 years, the Detroit News is not endorsing a Republican for president nor abstaining from making an endorsement.

Instead, they've endorsed Gary Johnson as the least bad of the choices available, even as they identify that he has quite a few flaws as well.

The Detroit News: Endorsement: Libertarian Gary Johnson for president

That's a pretty huge change on the Detroit News' part, and could be one of the first times a major paper has endorsed a Libertarian candidate for President, even as they acknowledge he likely won't win.

They point out what a dumpster fire Trump would be as president given his campaign behavior to date, and they point out Hillary's longstanding ethical issues (not as strongly as they go after Trump, but still) - namely you have to have some ethics to begin with, and she doesn't.

It certainly adds to the Trump as stalking horse for Hillary and taking the air out of the GOP theme - after all, if Trump was trying to craftily throw the election her way, what would he be doing differently?

Certainly not the expected endorsement from the Detroit News. Then again this is not the election most of us were expecting either.

Expect the Freep to endorse Hillary - Democrats after all forgive and ignore any flaws so long as they win.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

LA Police Commission Advocates A Brave Sir Robin Policy For LA Police

California is its own special place, and LA gets referred to as La La Land for a reason, and their Police Commission there seems to be drinking from the same fountain of crazy.

The LA Police Commission has actually advocated that Los Angeles Police officers, when confronted by an armed assailant run away from the threat rather than use deadly force to respond. The Commission found fault with an officer in a shooting when a lady armed with a knife charged at officers and closed from 70 feet to 5 feet in under 10 seconds.

Yes, they actually want the Police there to act as Brave Sir Robin:

Los Angeles Police Protective League: Police Commission tells officers to run away, or else

When faced by an attacked charging with a knife, the Commission apparently believes the appropriate response is to run backwards from an advancing threat, which is hardly a safe move for either the officer or the general public.

Advocating police run away from armed individuals in the process of attacking them and finding fault and potentially disciplining police if they do not is not only seriously problematic to the officer's safety but to the safety of the public at large.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Artifacts Turn Up In Strange Places

A hand-drawn map of Detroit was found in a house in Altamont, Ontario. Apparently it had been bought by the grandfather of the current owner of the house in the 1930s and remained there ever since. The map, in great shape after all these years, is the only one extant to depict Detroit under British occupation in the 1790s.

A very cool find, now on display at the University of Michigan William L. Clements Library.

The Detroit News: Centuries-old map of Detroit finds way to UM library

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Flying Lesson #78 - Pattern Practice

So this morning I arrive at the airport ready to go.

The plane I'm booked on, N73455, however is not. Apparently a renter has it out and should have been back by or before 9 and they're late.

On top of that, another renter walks in and tells Ray that he just managed to drop the fuel stick into the left tank of N755PR and he can't get it out. This takes some talent to drop one of the fuel measuring sticks into the tank, you almost have to shove them in diagonally to do so.

Thus the other available plane is no longer available and not flyable with a fuel straw somewhere in a fuel tank.

So we wait for N73455 to get back and it finally does, about 20 minutes late. I have to call for fuel as it's very low, so the pre-flight is done and we wait for the fuel truck. No time to go to another airport now, so we'll have to stick around the pattern.

Then we do the preflight and do the nice long taxi to Runway 9L.

Good takeoff and with a light crosswind we're on our way with left hand traffic.

First we do some soft field landing and I do those ok, with the final one quite good.

Then on to the short field landings with having the first blocks as the simulated end of the runway, which for some reason always messes me up in terms of aiming points and what not. On the first one, not terrible and it works out ok but a lot of sudden crosswind just before landing to make it extra fun and kills the float in to landing, so just some things to work on.

On the second one, I'm all setup and everything is looking good. So of course the tower then just as I'm about to turn base has us not turn base but continue downwind. So we fly out a good distance and have to reestablish everything and then do the short landing which is ok but not great.

Heading for the third short field landing it gets a bit more exciting. The pattern is getting quite busy indeed lots of Cessnas and Pipers flying to and fro and there's a twin about to land ahead of us.

We're on final and suddenly there's a radio call from another plane:

"Tower the twin is about to land has his gear up!"

Tower immediately yells out "Cessna go around!", and since he's not specific and we're on final as well, we, and all the Cessna aircraft in the landing sequence of the pattern, including those behind us set for a go around. After all, he likely meant just the Cessna about to do a belly up landing, but he may have been properly waving off everybody to prevent problems had the twin decided to scrape along the runway.

Luckily, the twin does in fact clue in to the fact that he missed a rather important step in the landing sequence, and he went go around and does not create any more excitement. So yes, that was a rather interesting.

Back around we go and do a not so great short field as the wind kicks up and its not particularly great, need to do better.

We end it there as the pattern is getting a little bit crazy at this point and that was that. So yes, I still have lots to work on. Some things are getting better and I'm maybe starting to figure out the issues I'm having with the short field landings. Overall, not a bad lesson but certainly interesting for the challenges and unexpected pattern happenings.

That's 1.0 and 6 landings.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flying Lesson #77 - Short Field Fun

For certain degrees of fun - about 40 degrees of flaps worth of fun - that is.

So today was to get up and shake off some of the mess from yesterday.

Again nice calm stable air and we departed off Runway 9L and from the downwind headed west to Brighton.

Brighton (45G) is a pretty short strip with obstacles at both ends. At 3,120 feet by 24 feet wide it appears as quite the short and narrow strip, not to mention a quite displaced threshold. Yes there were 50 foot plus real obstacles on both ends. We used Runway 4 as the winds were calm.

Overall I did pretty good, the first approach and landing wasn't great but they got better as the practice went on.

I did short field takeoffs and this strip pretty much needed it. For the last takeoff however, Ray had me do a soft field takeoff, which I did pretty well. We then headed back to Pontiac.

By the time the lesson was done the cloud layer had started dropping around Pontiac, and fast. We were almost IFR inbound to Pontiac at Pattern altitude and had lots of fun trying to find a Cirrus that was similarly inbound. We found the Cirrus and after it overtook us we followed it in and did a fine landing and that was that. The field was MVFR when we landed and went IFR within 20 minutes after we landed and the cloud layer there is now around 700 feet.

1.3 and 8 more landings.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flying Lesson #76 - You Want Me To Do What? Where?

A Beautiful day, winds calm, ceiling sufficiently high enough but with haze to mess with the horizon and stratus clouds making this a very stable air kinda day.

So in this nice day for flying I was assured of making every possible mistake, and I pretty much did.

Good pre-flight, good normal takeoff and Ray had me headed to Lapeer.

I found Lapeer airport and we did a straight in approach which kinda sucked but I got the landing in ok.

Then I did a soft field takeoff which was a lot of fun and was pretty good, Ray had a few critiques of it but nothing to major. Did another one and it was decent.

Then a soft field landing which went ok on the setup but I came in with a bit too much power which made it unsatisfactory.

I did it again and did much better.

I then did a short field takeoff that was decent but need to be more forceful on takeoff right when I hit 55, other than that it was ok.

Then a no-flap slip to land which quite frankly sucked and I saw wasn't going well so I bailed on it, and apparently I should have stuck with it and tried to retrieve it. Ray got it fixed and we landed but it was not good on my part. Did I mention I really hate no flap slip to lands when they're not going right? - You're frick'n going sideways and down and the runway wants to run away from you while you do it - how fun is that?

Then we were about to head back but Ray then announced a diversion so I had map in hand and had to divert to Tuscola, which I did pretty well using straight pilotage - I'm getting better at that at least.

Got to Tuscola and entered the pattern and all set up and I thought I heard Ray say do a soft field landing so I get all that visualized and get ready to do it.

Well he had said a short field landing and by the time I had heard him and realized he had picked out the point for landing we were getting past the point. So yes, I really sucked on that one, and I knew it was going to suck, very behind and it was not good - my airspeed was way off and I would have done a go-around, which you apparently can't do on your check ride but you're supposed to retrieve it and apparently it was highly retrievable. Just Great.

So Ray then demonstrated the proper way to do short field landing and then we headed back to Pontiac.

At Pontiac I got in the pattern and did a no flap slip to land that was a lot better, with the airspeed where it should be along with the runway where it should be and it was pretty darn nice, so there's that.

That's 2.0 and 6 landings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Orion Township - A Village That Has Found Its Idiots

Not just one village idiot mind you, but two found on the same night.

The Detroit News: 2 Orion Twp. men face 8th arrests for drunken driving

Yes they're both arrested on the same night at separate stops, each for their eighth drunken driving arrest.

If you've been arrested seven times already for drunk driving and you're still out there driving intoxicated, that's saying something both about the impressive stupidity of the individuals involved, not to mention the system that lets them keep being repeat offenders.

Friday, September 16, 2016

An Un-Beer-Able Tax Increase

Politicians like taxes.

Politicians like to tax things they don't like even more than they like to tax things in general.

So one particular politician, a Republican no less, is pushing for increasing Michigan's beer tax by around 244%! This would make it around the 8th highest in the country and way higher than any other Midwestern state.

The Detroit News: Michigan beer tax hike bill lands with sobering thud

Of course, not only is this because State Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, had a bad experience with others under the influence of alcohol, but because he claims it is a user tax to deal with the often unwanted side effects of those who abuse it and to fund alcohol treatment programs.

The nanny state impulse is not restricted just to Democrats.

Of course the tax doesn't punish those who actually in his words "If you’re going to use it, the problems that you cause are going to be paid for..." Of course, the majority of beer drinkers don't cause problems, but appropriately fining and punishing the ones that do isn't nearly as fun as taxing everyone. Yep, punish the vast majority of perfectly peaceful beer drinkers who don't cause any negative effects from consuming beer.

Thankfully, the Republican leadership have stated this tax bill, which is solely due to one member's preferences, dislike of alcohol and desire to punish beer drinkers and producers, is essentially dead on arrival.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Flying Lesson #75 - Interesting Diversions

Lesson 75 was kinda interesting.

All the Skyhawks were unavailable and the one I had been booked in was down for maintenance so we took the 172RG Cutlass, the retractable gear, constant-speed propped version of the Skyhawk.

Since the handling characteristics are different enough from the Skyhawks, and you can't do touch and goes in it, pattern work was right out. So was all the required maneuvers that we had originally planned to fly this lesson as the handling is different enough that Ray didn't want it interfering with how I've been doing them.

So it was pilotage time.

One nice thing about the Cutlass is the speed so you can get to where you want to go quicker than in a Skyhawk. We were doing 120 knots easily. Good taxi and takeoff and off we went.

Ray had me fly him to Marlette with map in hand. Then just before Marlette he announced the airport was closed and we should divert to Y83. Oh, and no using the GPS. This simulates a diversion that will take place on the check ride somewhere along your planned cross country route.

No diverting to Linden which was really nice and visible airpport that we had passed by on the way to Marlette, nah we had to go to Y83.

Y83? Oh, that's Sandusky, home of the best grass field in Michigan.

So with plotter in hand I figured out the course to Sandusky and verily flew us there. I found the town of Sandusky but it certainly took me awhile to find Sandusky airport itself, but at least I did find it, right at 12 o'clock where it was supposed to be and I didn't miss it, which made Ray happy.

We did not use the grass field as that's really not a great idea in the RG, but landed on runway 9 and then turned around and took back off for Pontiac.

It was a successful pilotage flight.

So, I got to work the landing gear, adjust the constant speed prop and manifold pressure, and had a pretty relaxing and successful pilotage flight.

Hopefully there will be a Skyhawk available for use at my next lesson.

1.3 Hours and 2 landings.

P30 hits a flawless 1,300

Ran 100 more rounds through the P30 last night at the range after work.

I went shooting at an indoor range with the Synagogue's gun club. Yes we have one, which I found out about chatting with certain people during the run up to Abby's Bat Mitzvah. While it is a Conservative congregation, most members aren't conservative nor pro-gun politically so to speak, so it was fun finding some kindred spirits among the membership.

So we met up at an indoor range and had a half-hour range rental time to work with.

At 10 yards, my shooting wasn't too bad.

However, for some reason all my left-hand-only shots ended up clustered on the right side of the target with most clustering low (the bunch in the 9-8-7 rings at low right).

In short, more left hand only practice is needed. Heck, more practice is needed period.

The P30 had zero malfunctions, again completely flawless operation and I'm pretty impressed with how this gun fits and functions.

I then shot the M&P Compact .22 with silencer (the shots at the top of the head are the first string from it). I'm finding the sites on it are a bit to the right, most especially with Remington Thunderbolt (the only .22 ammo I could find at the moment) which for some reason shot a lot more to the right than the CCI Mini-Mage. I let some others try it and they enjoyed shooting it quite a bit.

I then, running out of time, did a rapid mag dump from the M&P9 full size. Compared to the P30 it felt like an absolute block in my hand, but it was decent enough shooting though for a very quick emptying of the magazine.

Then we went to a nearby deli for some excellent corned beef sandwiches and good conversation and that was the end to a very pleasant range trip.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Today's Self-Defense Lesson: Pottery Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

No, pottery should not be your first choice to defend yourself against an attacker, nor your second for that matter.

Especially when being attacked by a crazed home invader with a golf club, pottery is a very poor means of self-defense.

Detroit Free Press: Cops: Homeowner tosses pottery, flees burglary suspect

However, it appears that was all this particular home owner had available.

Luckily the pottery throwing delayed the attacked long enough for the homeowner to get upstairs and then jump out a window from the second floor to safety.

Methinks the homeowner should consider upgrading his self-defense options from pottery to something from the Iron age or later, such as perhaps the Tenifer age.

There's Quite A Lot Of Irony In His Pursuing That Particular Degree

The heart-string pulling story of the day comes from USA Today is that of an illegal alien losing his scholarship eligibility at Arizona State University for being illegal.

USA Today: Strangers fund 'dreamer' who lost college scholarship

So the fellow qualified under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to be allowed to work and not be deported, but that doesn't let him be eligible for free tuition or financial aid, which rather makes sense given his status and that othwerwise he would be supported on the tax payer's dime while being in the country illegally. Sadly he would be unable to go to college as a result. So, 400 people apparently respnded to a Go Fund Me campaign and funded an illegal alien to go to college on their dime. Well, it's their money and their choice I suppose, aside from the discount he gets for being an illegal in-state student, a tuition break denied to legal out of state students.

Oh, and the degree he, an illegal alien, is pursuing? Criminal Justice.

You can't make this kind of ironic story up.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Proud Fatherhood Moment: Abby's Bat Mitzvah

This weekend was Abby's Bat Mitzvah celebration.

A Bat Mitzvah is the ceremony where a 12 year old girl is called to the front of the congregation and up to the Bima (essentially the pulpit) to take her place as a full-fledged member of the Jewish community and to read from the Torah.

To say she did fantastic would be an understatement.
Even more introverted than her father, she got up in front of a crowd of about 385 people and delivered an excellent Dvar Torah (an essay on the portion she read where she applies it to today) that she wrote completely by herself. It was written so secretly by herself that she did not let her parents hear it until she delivered it.

She then perfectly recited not one, but two Torah portions and her Haftorah reading (which was quite large), followed by the Ashrei and some other blessings, again all perfectly. Typically you do one portion, but she had practiced and studied so well that she had mastered it early and they asked her if she wanted to do another one and as she never is one to under-achieve, she said ok and then did it with style.

It was a large audience because, in addition to her Bat Mitzvah, there was a 95th birthday celebration, a 65th Wedding anniversary (yes, the couple has been married for 65 years and are still going strong!), and an engagement ceremony for the granddaughter of the 95 year old. Quite a day full of life events indeed.

Abby took it all in stride and did a fantastic job.

A very proud father I am.
It's amazing to think how far she's come and developed in 12 short years.

Leah also did a great job reciting the closing prayers which are traditionally reserved for the younger siblings to chant at the end of the service.

Family came in from all over the US and Canada, and Abby's best friend from summer camp came all the way from Ithaca, New York to be here for the celebration.

While I typically don't post photos of my kids on blogger, but, since others this weekend took pics and published them on Facebook, they're out, and after all it's a special celebration so a few will do here.

Abby Holding The Torah

Reading Her Portion From The Torah

After the practice, ready for the real thing

These photos are from the practice held on Thursday as picture taking is not allowed at the Synagogue on Shabbat itself.

To say that I am beside myself with pride for the incredible devotion, effort and wonderful result of the hard work that she put into being ready for her day would be an understatement. The kid is more than all right, she's awesome.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

How To Jam Up Traffic At Rush Hour For No Particular Good Reason

So this morning on the way into work, traffic is for some reason really jammed up in my direction but flowing freely in the other.

Is it an accident?

Nope.

Some bit of pop-up construction to further immiserate drivers dealing with all the other construction blockages around the area?

Nah.

Instead, the township in the area decided at rush hour to pull a seat belt enforcement zone on a major street leading to the highway and some very major roads.

Sure enough, farther up beyond the sign they have an officer standing there peering in people's windows.

Nice way to mess with traffic during rush hour there guys.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Scum Con Artists Prey Upon The Gullible

What's the first really obvious clue that you're being conned by someone about winning the lottery and that they have the winnings for you, you just need to send them some money first?

Answer: You haven't bought a ticket.

That should be blatantly obvious enough to end the con attempt right there. But, for one poor fellow, it took him thousands of dollars before he realized he was being badly conned. Sadly, some people just aren't suspicious enough and con artists can reel them in and hook them for thousands of dollars. Hope and greed can tend to extinguish rationality sometimes.

The Detroit News: Police: Man loses thousands in Mega Millions fraud

It's a sad tale of how con artists take advantage of the gullible person's hopes (and greed) to lead them down the path to ruin. To add insult to injury, after milking and bilking him out of thousands of dollars, they have someone pretend to be a lawyer to approach him and claim he can stop the scam and recover the money...in return for more money of course. I'm quite sure he's not the only one who is getting nailed by these con artists.

Know that if you haven't bought a ticket, then you really cannot have won. This really cannot be overemphasized and should be an obvious stopper to this type of con attempt.

Know at least that the Mega Millions Game is not hosted overseas, which should have been one heckuva big clue even if you bypassed the previous quite obvious clue. Never send money to a stranger, especially overseas, for the promise that you will get more money in return. It doesn't work like that, at all, ever.

Know that the actual lottery commission will never require you to pay money in order to get your winnings. It doesn't work like that, at all, ever.

The Premier Fighters Of Their Times Together

The F-22, the premier  fighter of today was joined by the premier fighter from World War 2.








The F-22 and P-51 flyby:

video

The P-51, F-100 and F-22 together on the taxiway:

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The F-22 Raptor

The star of the show was the demonstration flight of the F-22 Raptor.

America's and likely the world's best fighter jet in the skies today was on display in a rare public flying display of this aircraft.

It looked awesome up close on the ground:

On Taxi the gold colored canopy really stood out:

The rectangular thrust vectoring nozzles are quite distinctive.

Takeoff was fast and relatively quiet:

Then right up into a burner climb. There's apparently 9 different afterburner modes on the F-22.

The F-22 Demo Team showed a lot of the awesome maneuvers the F-22 can do and made tons of quality passes by the crowd.

The F-22 from the front:

From the back:

Some good looks at the top of the plane as it passes by:

A very cool flyby was one done slowly with the weapons bay open:

A pass with the weapons bay closed:

There were low passes and low burner passes.

Fast moving passes:

A vertical climb:

Then just for fun they flew the F22 slow in the vertical and basically just let it stand on its tail in one spot neither gaining nor losing altitude without the use of afterburners:

To say this flight of the F-22 was an awesome display would be an understatement. But the display of the F-22 didn't end there.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Flying Lesson 74 - I Can't Catch A Break

To say it was a day where darn little went right is an understatement.

The day is nice, sky clear, light winds out of the east, perfect weather for everything.

I did the preflight and needed to call for fuel as the tanks were almost to unusable fuel levels. Other than that it was ready to go. So we wait quite a while for the fuel truck to get there and fuel the plane. Aside form waiting the day starts out rather encouragingly with Ray saying I'm coming along and he's interested in making sure my oral exam knowledge is ready to go as my flying is pretty decent.

Yep, that's how you jinx it right there.

Ray decides we will work on maneuvers, the weather is too nice for pattern work. Drat, strike one.

So I start it up and we taxi towards Runway 9, which is a very long taxi indeed. I'm working on doing the slow walk taxi that the examiners like instead of the more generous "Get there sometime today please" taxi we normally use. Good enough but a controller was a bit miffed we were going slowly, Ray said to ignore it as I was at the exact speed I should be om the checkride.

Decent enough run up, and I get clearance to takeoff and depart to the northeast.

We fly out and I didn't quite do a perfect transition from climb cruise to level and Ray was on that, again need to do the procedure - get to the altitude, nose forward, then reduce power and trim. I wasn't using enough nose forward and wasn't quite on it. And it went downhill from there.

We did slow flight under the new ACS rules, which was ok but I needed to put more power in and again was a bit off where I should be.

Then we did power off stalls and sure as hell I couldn't get a frickin' break. Between the nice cool air and not constantly increasing the angle of attack enough I was probably at 20 knots airspeed with nose up and no stall.

Sure enough I'm bulldogging the controls and not being fluid enough when I should be pulling back continuously, but not too continuously mind you.

So we did that again and after Ray demonstrates it I get it going ok again. My procedure isn't great and its not the best stall in the world. Decent enough recovery but its getting into the stall that's being a PITA.

On to Power On stalls and again they're not going well.

We finish up and head back to the airport and it's a friokin circus.

First there's a plane not communicating with the tower but was pretty close but below us - it turns out its a Piper seaplane that took off from one of the lakes. Then as we're heading into the 45 to downwind a Piper Saratoga is coming up behind us, Ray takes over so it can pass us and we follow it in on the downwind. Then we get to come in and I undershoot the base to final turn (still better than overshooting but really), come in with a lousy approach and land kinda flat and off centerline.

Then the tower wants us to skip Kilo taxiway and get off at Juliet, so we continue but that causes us to be on the runway longer so the tower has to have the next plane go around.

On top of that apparently I've been consistently off center to the left of the taxi way markings and Ray really wants me dead on. Interestingly enough from where I'm sitting it appears I'm on it but I need to be even farther over. That puts an end to a lousy lesson.

Frustration and discouragement, yes we have it, cause this is getting kind of stupid.

Those of you in the betting pool on what hour I may get my license may want to adjust your bets upwards accordingly.

Yeah, I know there's one out there - if you want to win, contact me and we can swing a deal to fix it, ok?

Friday, September 02, 2016

Mustangs!

There was a herd (or is that a flock?) of P-51 Mustangs at Thunder over Michigan this year.

Gentleman Jim:

Old Crow:

Sierra Sue:

They did a number of circular passes to demonstrate strafing runs and those Merlin engines purred above the crowd. Awesome warbirds indeed.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

No, There is Still No Such Thing As A Warning Shot In Michigan

Had a call from a fellow requesting representation in launching a civil case that I turned down for the reason that there was no way his case would turn out well.

You see, he had already been criminally convicted for his conduct in the underlying action that he wanted to sue for and I explained that doing a civil suit would not improve things for him.

So the fellow is at home, out in the country, minding his own business apparently during a legal hunting season.

He spots a fellow at dusk entering his land with a shotgun at least 100 yards away from the house and never coming any closer. Apparently he then exits his house and yells at the person to leave but gets no response. He also sees a vehicle approaching from the road near the person.

So what did he do? Does he call the police to report a trespasser? Does he return to his house for cover and you know, call the police?

Why no, he "cranks off" a round, as a warning shot, not "aimed" at the person but at the ground.

The person does indeed leave at that point. Turns out he was lost and didn't know he had entered on the fellow's land while trying to track a deer.

Does our fellow call the police then?

Nope, instead he gets a nice knock on the door from the Sheriff asking what is going on and before you can say dumbass, he's made incriminating statements on top of his bad conduct and been tried and convicted for a misdemeanor of reckless discharge of a firearm.

Forget about suing civilly for trespass on those facts. He wants to sue for trespass for which he would receive nominal damages, and I point out he would be found civilly liable for assault and he'd likely lose big so it's probably best not to give the victim of his warning shot any ideas about suing him.

Again:

1. There are no such things as warning shots in Michigan.

2. There is no use of deadly force to defend your land from a trespasser or indeed to defend any other property.

3. "Cranking off" a round is the use of deadly force.

4. Call the police instead of confronting someone who is not an immediate threat to you.

5. Get to cover, or if you're in a place of cover do not leave the cover and aggressively sally forth to engage someone.

6. Someone walking on your land during hunting season, even armed, but not making any kind of threatening act towards you does not give you the right to use deadly force. Again, call the police if you're concerned about a trespasser who is not posing an immediate threat to you.

7. Even if you used deadly force justifiably, which did not occur in this situation, or even just displayed your firearm for the reason of protecting yourself, call the police and report the attack upon you.

These are not particularly hard things to live by but some people keep making these stupid mistakes. This guy again was all about how he knew his rights and had been around guns all his life. Well he certianly didn't know his rights and that, along with a plethora of bad decisions is what got him into trouble.

Flying Lessons 72 and 73 With Winds, Winds, and More Winds

Lesson 72 took place last week. Another CFI who is thinking to come back and teach there asked to come along and I had no problem with her in the back seat. She said I did quite well.

It was Pattern work in gusting conditions - we did no flap slips to land, short and soft field landings and even a soft field takeoff in quite gusting conditions. Lots of wind correction and conditions that I probably wouldn't have flown solo in. It went quite well.

That was 1 hour and 8 landings.

Lesson 73 took place this morning with a cloud layer just above the legal limits that was at least lifting as the lesson went on.

Ray and I headed out to find enough altitude for some maneuvers and didn't quite get enough so we decided to do ground reference maneuvers. I did a decent turn around a point, S-turn across a road, which for some reason always sucks for me but this one was about halfway decent, and a rectangular pattern which was not bad.

Then for fun Ray showed me an Eights on Pylons and a Chandelle, which was quite cool.

Then back to Pontiac. Here I am expecting a normal crosswind landing and Ray announces it will be a no flap slip to land with the wind almost directly crosswind from 350 at 12 knots. Right aileron into the wind, left rudder and down we went. I needed to be a lot looser on the controls as I was bulldogging the landing too much. I got it down but need to do better. 1.4 Hours and 1 landing.