Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Biden And The CDC Just Thumbed Their Noses At The Supreme Court

The CDC's eviction moratorium, properly found to be unconstitutional, but then it was inexplicably permitted to last until it expired July 31 by the Supreme Court as they promised it would end as scheduled.

So what does Biden and the CDC announce today?

An extension of the moratorium with an announced "temporary" moratorium lasting until October 3, covering about 90% of the country and possibly more depending on how you read the footnotes in the order.

Biden is expecting the moratorium will last long enough to achieve some of the Democrat's goals, even as its unconstitutional as it will take time for any litigation to make it to the Supreme Court review:

Biden said that pending litigation will "probably give some additional time" for rental assistance funds to flow. The president said his hope is the new targeted action would in some way cover close to 90% of Americans who are renters.

In short Biden and the CDC just made Kavanaugh their bitch for his ridiculous decision to allow the moratorium to continue even as he declared it was unconstitutional based on a false promise from the government that it would end as scheduled.   Let's see if he falls for that again, assuming the Court even gets a chance to renew it before the CDC declares a new temporary moratorium after October 3.

Flying IFR - Lesson 17 - Approaches - Now With Extra Holds!

So for Lesson 17, I was paired up with Aaron as my instructor.   I have no issues recalling his name.  Nice guy who knows his stuff, as is the case with most Aarons in general.

Did the run up and loaded the GPS with our plan for Flint and the VOR 36 approach with a circle to 27 and then the foggles went on.  Had to hold a bit back from the runway as a Citation jet was in font of us really blasting his engines so we gave him plenty of space.  Then a solid takeoff and we were on the way to Flint and I talked with Detroit Approach and then Great Lakes Approach.

It was all sorts of busy at Flint, so Great Lakes Approahc put the kibosh on the VOR 36 but had us do the VOR 18 approach with a  circle to 27 in sequence with a lot of other aircraft, each at its own set altitude and each one was sent out on a full procedure turn and only allowed back inbound to finish the turn when cleared to do so.  Kinda neat to hear them manage the traffic like that.

That went quite well and then we went missed to save everyone time and let others land, and then did the ILS 27 with vectors.  Again, it was a pretty busy approach but I did it pretty well and went missed again - this time prior to the missed approach point as the controller wanted us to go missed a half mile from the runway threshold for spacing.   No problem.  A little over-correcting still, but I'm getting better and apparently all my corrections are in the correct direction each time, which is a good thing.

Then back to Pontiac for the 27L circle to 27R with 27L still out of service. 

We went to GUZVY and did the full hold there, and as we had completed the hold, Tower got on and instructed us to remain in the hold for traffic.  This is how i found out that if you hit the OBS button on the GPS it suspends the approach and sets you up for the hold again, which is kinda neat and makes doing the hold again a piece of cake.   Very good to know.

So we did the full hold again, and then got cleared for the approach and landing.

It was a very nice landing if I say so myself. 

Aaron stated I'm doing pretty good but need to not over-correct quite as much, though he saw that I was correcting myself a lot which was good,  and really focus more on the Attitude Indicator.  My radio work is apparently really good and I seem to know what I'm doing, which is good to hear.

That's 1.7 with 3 approaches, 1 landing, and 1.4 simulated instrument time.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

A Good Range Trip Yesterday

Since it was a nice day yesterday, after I finished some tasks at home,  I decided to head to the range to get a little focused practice in.

First I shot some B8s with 10 rounds each at 25 yards.

Overall a good use of time and a good warm up, but certainly room for improvement. I think the support hand needs to quit being a you-know-what given the consistent left impacts. But, I'm shooting better than my last set before I attended the Modern Samurai Project this year.

Then, I focused on some speed work by shooting the 3X2 Drill - 3 yards. 3 shots to the COM Alpha then transition to 2 rounds on a 3x5 card in the head box. Par is 2.0 seconds from concealment.

No, I was not making that par time. Not yet, anyway.

My best run was a 2.52 seconds clean.  The average time of the 19 runs I shot it clean was 2.94 with a high of 3.15 and the next lowest time was 2.68. Not exactly setting the world on fire by any means.

Happily, most runs were clean with just 6 of the 25 being not clean, and the times for those did not count.  It's a long way to get to that 2.0 time, but it's a goal to shoot for.

A good, fun, and productive time at the range.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

One Of The Worst Cases Of Get-There-Itis Ever

Get-there-itis is when you let the determination to reach your destination overrule your judgment, aeronautical decision making, and  just plain common sense.  It can end in disaster.

Most people stop before even one crash.  Dennis "Crash" Collier didn't stop after 6 crashes and ended his rush to get home from California to Michigan with a final crash destroying the airplane.

This is a cautionary tale of absolutely and inexcusably lousy aeronautical decision making.

Traverse Record-Eagle: Seawind Saga: Pilot who crashed in Lake Michigan had 7 crashes in 7 days.

Bad Decision #1:   No pre-buy inspection.  Guy buys an amphibian airplane for $100,000 essentially sight unseen.  I'm sorry, but if you're investing that kind of coin, a thousand bucks for a thorough pre-buy would avoid a lot of grief and avoid the easily foretold end to this series of insane decisions right from the start.

Bad Decision #2: Not walking away before even the first crash 

The plane hadn't been flown for two years and had only 20 hours on the engine, and the buyer/pilot could clearly see repairs were needed.  This is a clear sign to stop right there.  This guy?  Not so much.

Bad Decision #3: Not walking away after the first crash 

On his first test flight he crashes gear up after dealing with a trim problem.  This is a clear sign after missing the first two clear signs that it is time to walk the hell away.  Of course he didn't.

Bad Decision #4:  Not walking away before the second crash 

He then inexplicably gets into the plane again and takes off for a night flight when he's out of night currency in an unfamiliar and knowingly deficient airplane and heads to New Mexico.  Oh, and the landing light on the aircraft is inoperative. He arrives in New Mexico and crash lands once again - at night  - stalling it into the grass off the runway and taking out some runway lights.  He then has another "runway incident" after recovering from this crash. 

Both his village and the FAA should have been calling for him at this point.

Bad Decision #5:  Not walking away before the third crash 

But our overly-determined pilot pushes on. He then flies through storms which is a stupid idea all by itself, and then what sounds like the trim tab gets stuck pushing the nose in the up position, and he has to fly while  pushing the stick forward constantly with his knee. 

He then crash lands at an airport off a runway in Nebraska after 4 attempts to land. Well, at least Nebraska is pretty flat, so there's that.

Bad Decision #6 and #7:  Not walking away before the fourth and fifth crashes

Sensing a pattern yet?   Of course he doesn't stop even though he described himself as "shaking" and the manager at the Nebraska airport gives the solid advice of sending the plane home via a flatbed and his flying home commercial.  You'd think he would listen, but no.  

He then has another crash at the same airport in Nebraska after a test flight and then discovers some wires are crossed in the airplane which he "fixes". 

But wait folks, there's more!

Bad Decision #8:  Not walking away before the sixth  crash.

He presses on and reaches Michigan.  Where he promptly losses his hydraulics and his fuel gauge near Escanaba and yep, runs out of fuel and yes, crashes the plane once again. His number of crashes are equaling his number of takeoffs.  This is not a good sign and anyone else would have run away screaming from that aircraft long before now.

But not our intrepid crash pilot. He just adds a quart of hydraulic fluid and some fuel to the airplane.  He departs knowing his fuel gauges are wrong, knowing there's a good chance his fuel pump is not pumping right, and knowing that he promises the FAA he won't retract his landing gear and may not have sufficient hydraulics to do it anyways.

Bad Decision #9:  Not walking away before the seventh and final crash.

So Crash Collier takes to the air again, confident that his number of crashes will equal his number of takeoffs - and he's not disappointed.  But this time he's over the water.

Sure enough, his engine sputters, he smells something burning, and  his flaps won't respond and his hydraulic pressure gauge reads, unsurprisingly, zero.

So he goes for a water landing. After all, this is an amphibious aircraft and can land on the water.

But, he lands on the water with the gear still down.  This is not how you do a water landing.

The plane then, as is often the way with gear down water landings, noses over, goes straight in, and rapidly begins to fill with water.  Luckily for Crash, it bobs back up to the surface, and then begins to sink in 300 feet of water.

He gets out and is rescued by the Coast Guard.

Bad Decision #10:  Not insuring the aircraft.  Not sure an insurance company would pay out after such a string of events, but he didn't even get any insurance to start with, so that's a $100,000 loss right there.

The only thing "Crash" Collier may have done right in this whole insane episode is his decision, after these 10 insane decisions that he inexplicably survived, to never pilot an aircraft again.

Friday, July 30, 2021

US Air Force To Practice Landing On Michigan Highway In August

WXYZ Detroit: Military training exercise will attempt to land planes on Northern Michigan highway in August

The Michigan Air National Guard and several other military outputs from across the country will test landing planes on Michigan highways next month.

According to the Michigan National Guard, the combat readiness exercise will happen in Alpena to demonstrate how active-duty and reserve-component units can integrate to project combat airpower in austere environments.

 The MI Air National Guard's 127th wing, the Air Force’s 355th Wing from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona; and, the Air Force Special Operations Command from Duke Field in Florida, will land four A-10 aircraft and two C-146 aircraft on a closed-off portion of the road.

I hope they've sufficiently strengthened the landing gear on all the aircraft and briefed the pilots to watch out for Michigan's ubiquitous potholes on landing considering the condition of our state roads. 

Good luck, you're going to need it, not due to any question of skill, but due to a very real question as to the quality of your landing surface.

(Simulated) Flying IFR - Lesson 16 - Can You Hold Please?

 Today was simulator day.  Kevin figured this would be helpful to both work on my instrument scan and finesse as the Simulator is far more sensitive that a real aircraft.

So I met up with Robert and began the Simulator session.

We did the VOR 36 approach to Flint ad infinitum as I was haivng the most trouble with that kind of approach.

 First approach was a dumpster fire as the simulator really is crazy sensitive and I was over-controlling and trying to keep up with what it was doing.  On the upside, I was good with setting the system for the approach from Pontiac to Flint even though the simulator has a Garmin 530W rather than the Garmin 430W that is in the aircraft - similar but different - as is the heading indicator which is very different from the actual aircraft.  

Second approach much better but I got confused by one of the messages on the 530.  Once that was explained it went better.

Third Approach very, very nice hitting the right altitudes and getting it right on.

Fourth Approach also very good.

Then we started doing missed and holds as I haven't really done hold entries before.

The missed approach for the VOR 36 calls for a climbing right turn to 3,000 then hold on the 97 radial at KATTY.  I figured out the hold would need a parallel entry and Rob was very helpful in showing me exactly how to do such, basically a 45 degree entry and then get into the holding pattern.

So I flew and did the approach, went missed, and then went and did the hold and flew the hold for a few complete circuits to make sure I had it down and he was quite helpful in figuring out little issues as they arose.

Then we did that again, and then did it again one more time with feeling.

Overall I think the simulator did help with my instrument scan and over-controlling as its over-sensitivity and makes you deliberately try and under-control it.  So I'd say it was helpful and we will see if it pays off.  It's also cheaper than the cost of flying the plane and you can do more approaches and holds in the same time-span, so there's that.

Robe stated I did well and showed improvement and that the simulator beats everyone up so he thought I did good.

That's 2.0 Simulated Instrument in a simulator, with 7 Approaches with 3 holds.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Today's Heart -Warming Story

A rally against Anti-Semitism and with a pro-Israel focus was held in El Cajon California.

Antifa showed up along with the Palestinian Youth Movement to attempt to shut down Zionism and of course white supremacy (anyone not Antifa is by definition a white supremacist to them, natch), and to show former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo  that he wasn't welcome there.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was not dissuaded and addressed the peaceful crowd that included both Jews and Christian Zionists.

So Antifa and the Palis attacked the rally.

And Antifa and the Palis then got their asses kicked.

A nice happy turn of events.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 15 - There, That's Better

So for Lesson 15, I  dusted myself off from the fracas of Lesson 14 and then arrived early at DCT and pre-flighted the plane.

I then met with Kevin and went over all the approaches and the issues I had with them in the dumpster fire that was Lesson 14.

In short, I need a faster instrument scan and there were a few things about the approaches themselves I wasn't quite getting and part of it was that when they were simulated IFR you have to hit minimums for it to count, which was causing me to second guess things a lot, and a few other issues.

Then we headed off to fly them all again.

I had very nice radio work if I do say so myself, and it has improved quite a bit since starting IFR training.  Much better at conveying what I want and in keeping up with some very busy controllers and getting clearances down pat.  I'm also better at taking notes during approaches when they add information such as a modified missed procedure, which Flint does a lot.  I now write it right on the plate in Foreflight and that works rather well.

We did the VOR 18 approach first, and yes, I pooched that one yet again. Basically, I was behind the airplane and didn't get low enough to circling minimums fast enough, but the rest of it was ok.  It was an ok landing on the circle to 27, and an ok initial procedure turn, but not a particularly great end to the approach at all. Good lesson learned.

After landing I taxi'd back to 27 and then did the ILS 27 approach which went a lot better than last week even as we were getting a little rushed through it, and ended it with a missed approach.  I did forget to audibly identify the localizer in all the rush but had confirmed the right frequency was in - will not miss that next time.

Then the RNAV 27 approach which went very nicely and again went missed and back to Pontiac.

The RNAV 27L circle to 27R at Pontiac went pretty much perfectly, got a much better idea of using the GPS glide-slope for it and basically was dead on both vertical and lateral guidance and nailed it.

So, that was much better and I have a better understanding of what I'm doing now, which is good.

I need to speed up my instrument scan and be more choppy-and-droppy on the non-precision approaches (ie chop the throttle and drop like a rock to get down in altitude for circling quickly).

So today's flight was a good improvement overall, I think.  At least I sucked less than last time.

That's 2.1, 2 landings, 4 approaches, 2 holds, and 1.7 simulated instrument time.

Modern Samurai Project - Take 2

This would be my second time taking the MSP class, but it would be for a 2-day Red Dot Class rather than the 3-day Path To Performance class that includes the Red Dot Class.

I got up early and drove the 20 minutes form the hotel to the Deer Creek Conservation Club in Jonesboro, IN.  I wanted to be early having never been there before, which was a good thing as the GPS doesn't quite get you to the club.

On the upside I arrived the same time as the instructor at the wrong place and we then both found the range.  The club is very nice and they had arranged for us to use a bay with some shade, which would become very important.  It was both hot and really humid so lots of sunscreen and a ton of water was consumed on both days.

Unfortunately, Jedi himself would not be teaching the class as he was hospitalized due to an illness (He is feeling a lot better now, and that's a good thing). 

Instead, A.J. Zito would be teaching the class.

A.J. is a master-class shooter, and a very effective instructor with a great manner and an informative, entertaining and enthusiastic teaching style.

The class had quite a variety of students - newer shooters, more established shooters, quite a few police officers, and one FBI agent.  Oh yes, and before you ask, the Police and FBI agent could definitely shoot very well. A very good bunch and most of us got together for dinner at the end of the first day which was fun.

AJ was very true to Jedi's curriculum and gave excellent instruction throughout - explaining the hows and whys of the dot, and the ways to get the most effectiveness from using it.  The class was very much like it was last year, with a few changes.

I also understood more taking the class a second time - most especially about modulation, which went way over my head last year.   This is the first shooting class I've taken for a second time and it was worth it - as there is a fire-hose of information coming out taking a second time lets you catch things you missed the first time while you were busy absorbing something else.

The class also gave a great example on why you wear eye protection at all times.  While we were practicing transitions between some metal targets, I was in line waiting to shoot and suddenly it felt like I got punched in the mouth.  A piece of the bullet the shooter was firing, or a rock came back and gave me quite the bloody smack right on my left upper lip.  No major harm done but that was a bit exciting and as the class unanimously declared, chicks dig scars, so that's something.

We finished the class with the Black Belt test, and I did not set the world on fire by any means.

3x5 Drill -3.06 Clean
7 yard one shot - 1.56 clean
Bill Drill - 2.94 clean
25 yard one shot - 2.20 clean

Not my best times ever, but they were all clean and that's a good thing and overall my shooting improved compared to last year overall especially in terms of finding the dot and hitting the target.  I still have a bad tendency to punch the gun out when I'm feeling rushed, so I need to fix that and dry fire a heckuva lot more.

No one earned a patch this class, but a few came close.

Certainly a great class with a bunch of great people, and I learned a lot and doing it for a second time was worth it.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Indiana Nice Is Apparently A Thing

So this weekend I traveled to Marion, Indiana for a Modern Samurai Project class.

Leaving at 3pm on Friday traffic was ridiculous near 696 but opened up on 275 until hitting near Ann Arbor when it again slowed to a standstill for no known reason, and then opened right back up.

Made it to Marion in decent time and checked into the Hampton Inn there with no issues and rather nice and friendly staff.

I unloaded the car and then got some gas and went to get some dinner.  

I saw that Brooks Upper Crust Pizza was highly recommended and so I went there to get some pizza.

It turns out they were carry out only so I placed an order for a small pizza and they got to making it while I waited.

Quite a few people were coming in for pickup of pizza orders while I waited, and I then had a nice chat with the owner.  He explained they weren't doing dining in now as the wait staff did not want to come back to work.  This is a recurring problem and a lot of places are having as people are still being paid as much or more to stay home on UI than go to work.  He's thinking of converting it to quick-order dining to deal with the lack of wait staff as he misses having people and families in his restaurant.

So he showed me around the restaurant which is in a historic building on the river and very eclectically and nicely decorated with a lot of neat items and memorabilia, with much of it dating back to the late 1800s.  Kinda neat, and it would have been nice to dine in as it has a nice view of the river and a very nice ambiance.

Super friendly people there and the pizza was excellent. 

A thin crust round, but not so thin that it tasted like cardboard, and not too chewy either but just right and rather addictive.  Different from Detroit-style pizza but good in its own way.  Curiously Indiana apparently serves nacho cheese with bread-sticks in pizza joints, which is totally different from the Michigan style of marina/tomato sauce for dipping bread-sticks.   Local customs and all that. 

So I took the pizza back to my hotel room, enjoyed it immensely, and then did a bit of work, and I then prepared for class on Saturday.  A good start to the weekend.