Monday, February 27, 2017

Perfect Trial Record Remains Perfect

I had a nice, short District Court trial this morning.

It was a good lesson in both the need of having attorneys draft the contract for the sale of your business, and especially the utility of having an attorney represent you in court.

A doctor decided to sell one of his practice locations to another doctor. Of course they don't use an attorney and make a rather goofy and ambiguous contract where my client sells the practice charts for $10,000 and the furniture and accessories for $2,550. Of course the other doctor only pays the $10,000 and does n ever follow through and buy the furniture. My client drafts a nice letter to the patients at the practice telling them doctor 2 is taking over and he'll no longer be in that area.

Eventually my client gets annoyed at never being paid for the furniture and goes in to take it back, which he does, and the office manager gives him 12 charts of patients that have requested to switch to him.

Doctor 2 doesn't like that and sues, first in small claims court which is then removed to District Court The judge tells them both they should get attorneys and Doctor 1 hires me. Doctor 2 fails to hire an attorney, and then the fun begins.

At the first hearing he gets an adjournment as he said he's decided to get a lawyer, so we adjourn to today. He of course yet again appears without a lawyer. The judge indicates this is a really bad idea for him but its time to go to trial.

Since he's the plaintiff he goes first. He starts making mistakes and never stops - hearsay, inadmissible evidence, statements instead of questions, the lot. He has two witnesses in addition to himself, one of whom had no personal knowledge of the transaction. He fails to admit stuff into evidence and later tries to admit completely inadmissible items into evidence. I get to cross examine his witnesses and him and he admits that patients can go where they choose and if they contact my client they can go to him. He also admits never paying for the furniture and accessories. He hilariously calls my client to the stand and goofs up the entire exam.

He finally rests and I then move for an involuntary dismissal as he's failed to make even a prima facie case of a breach of contract nor of a conversion claim, and as to his emotional distress claim - don't even get me started....

An excellent trial win and I didn't even need to put on any witnesses or evidence, done in 3 hours from appearance at court to the verdict.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Flying Lesson # 103 - I'm Doing This, Why?

It's a beautiful sunny day out and while the ceiling was dropping when I got to the airport for my 3pm lesson it was still at 3,000 feet would be excellent for flying, except for the winds. The winds were gusting from 13-23 out of 200, making for a crosswind factor of between 12.2 and 21.6...The Archer's crosswind rating is 17.

Of course, the instruments except for the altimeter were all covered yet again. I did the preflight inspection by myself just fine, then the engine start and verily it would not start for some undetermined reason. So we had to change planes. That should have been what we call a clue.

So I switched to N5337F, another Archer II set up the same way so it was easy enough to slide in (the one door on the Archer is a bit of a pain). Startup was fine, and I then taxi'd the plane to the run-up area, did a good run-up and got permission to takeoff. With quite the crosswind correction in, I took off and basically flew semi-sideways along to stay in line with the runway. Lack of instruments was rather annoying when having to deal with the crosswind as I was getting concerned about being cross-controlled and not coordinated in flight. While I understand why they insist on non instruments at this stage of their program I'm still allowed to be annoyed by it. Especially so as you're supposed to add half the gust factor to your airspeed, which is pretty hard when you cannot see your airspeed indicator. So we climbed and I turned crosswind, then downwind. Thence for the difference in procedures with the Archer over the 172 - there's a lot that happens at midfield that isn't done in the Cessna until you're parallel the touchdown point of the runway - carb heat, landing lights, power reduction and first 10 degrees of flaps.

Then at the touchdown point you reduce the throttle just a bit, angle down and begin a slight descent, then turn base once you reach that point and put in the second notch of flaps and then turn final and land with quite a crab until close to touchdown when you transition to a sideslip and down to the runway you go.

I did two landings and while it wasn't feeling great I was doing ok.

Then on for the third landing we had to do a go round as the plane before us was still on the runway.

And in the go round some wind shear got us really nicely once we were past all usable runway but below 500 feet and I was feeling completely out of control to the point where not only was the plane at full throttle not responding to what I was doing, but I told the instructor I was losing it. So he took it over and we were then fine after a bit of time that felt longer than it probably was. He then brought it around the pattern for landing #3 and did it just beautifully, and that was it.

On the upside, I apparently handle the radio like a boss, so there's that.

Yet more steps backwards and not particularly happy-making.

.6 and 3 landings.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Chicago Rally Against The Travel Ban To Stop Potential Terrorists Had On Stage An Actual Foreign Terrorist

You really can't make this stuff up.

There was a rally in January in Chicago last month against Trump's travel ban, the purpose of said travel ban is to allow for a pause to develop more vetting from certain countries, identified by the Obama administration no less, that are likely to pose a threat to the US.

At the rally, Democrat Representative Janice Schakowsky spoke while sharing the stage with none other than Rasmea Odeh, an actual convicted terrorist bomber who had lied on her immigration forms to enter this country, and thus is a case in point for better vetting of immigrants and visitors to this country with terrorist proclivities.

Like I said, you really can't make this stuff up.

Observer: Media Ignores Disturbing Alliance Between ‘Progressives’ and Anti-Semites

Interestingly enough, Rep. Shakowsky's husband, Robert Creamer is accused of being one of those behind the riots and incitement of violence at Trump's inauguration.

Flying Lesson #102

Yesterday was a beautiful day by any standard. Warm, light wind of up to 10 knots almost right down the pipe and practically an unlimited ceiling and visibility.

A Good day to fly.

So to the airport I went and did a pre-flight of Archer II N1689H. Then we did the start up and DCT does it a little differently - first they're big on doing it as a flow and using a checklist to verify after. I'm used to working down the checklist step by step and verify as you do - that will be a habit that will take awhile to break. Also some of their steps in the checklist feel backwards to someone used to flying a Cessna - for example, the circuit breakers are practically the last thing you check on an Archer and the first thing on a 172. There are also a few things they do in the takeoff flow that I'm used to doing in the run-up. I'll get it eventually.

Ray decided it was time for no instruments so no instruments were to be had except for the altimeter.

Takeoff was done based on pitch and feel and was fine, as was climb out and heading off to the northeast, using the compass only as the heading indicator was covered.

Once clear of the Delta and into the practice area I did slow flight, then some power off and power on stalls and then steep turns.

Ray did let me have the Artificial Horizon back for the steep turns, which was nice, but no turn coordinator which led to some fun.

Thence on to turns around a point and again the low wing doth make its presence felt, but I did well enough. Then back in for one landing and 1.5 was gone like that.

We were going to do pattern work this morning but the field and surrounding environs is seriously LIFR - Low Instrument conditions due to fog so thick you can't see the runways from the hangars, nor the tops of the hangars. So we did a little ground including my walking him through a pre-flight inspection and then sitting in the Archer and working on the flow technique for engine start, run-up and takeoff. We also talked about their pattern method for the Archer and again its a little different with more stuff happening midfield rather than at the touchdown point on the downwind.

Next flight he's having me do the pre-flight by myself, which is progress, and with any luck skies will be clear enough with good conditions to do some pattern work.

In short, lots of steps backwards and relearning the basics before moving forward again.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 Daddy Daughter Dance

Our Town hosts a Daddy Daughter dance pretty much annually and we decided to go this year and last night was the night.

This year was a tad different as Abby decided she didn't want to go. 13 and too cool for it, I suppose. Ah, well, they are growing up fast.

So it was just Leah and me for the night out.

I got her a corsage for the special occasion and off we went dressed in our best. On receiving the corsage she pronounced it to be "All that and a bag of chips!", which means she was very happy with it.

We did the obligatory picture after entering the Country Club where it was being hosted and then got to a table. On heading over to the dinner line we ran into a friend of hers and her dad and invited them to sit with us. A few other Dads and daughters also sat at our table and we had quite a range in ages from I'd guess 4 up to 10.

Dinner was very nice with picks of salads and hot dishes including a meat serving table with slices cut as you waited. Good stuff, and chocolate cake to finish it off.

Then there was plenty of dancing.

For slow dances, apparently Leah and kids her age as she wasn't the only one have a concept that standing on their father's shoes while slow dancing is mandatory and how it is supposed to be done. Me and my aching toes.

After a number of dances it was time to head back home to get her enough sleep to be ready for school today.

A very nice event with everyone having a good time and another moment to treasure and remember.

Good Samartians Stepped Up To Help A Trooper By The Roadside

A Michigan State Police officer stops a motorcyclist on what turns out to be a stolen motorcycle. He then get physically ambushed by the driver of the cycle and the driver's brother who was in an accompanying car.

Two men stopped and assisted the trooper, and the attackers are in custody and facing some serious felony charges.

The Detroit News: Two help MSP trooper being attacked at side of road

An excellent job to both Trooper Guild, and to a 50-year-old man from Plainwell and Jerry Burnham of Berrien Springs who stopped and assisted him. Kudos to all of you gentlemen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ones and Zeroes

Looked down and my odometer after hitting 100,000 miles, decided to roll over all binary on this fine day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Now That's Some Flying!

Take two high performance aerobatic planes, two pilots with ice in their veins, and an airplane hangar:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sometimes You Really Can Blame The Salmon

Facebook sometimes compresses posts just right:

The image of a deadly salmon serial killer slaughtering Aztecs wholesale appealed to my Monday sense of humor.

You can just see this being discussed by SyFy Channel producers:

"Hmm, Deadly Salmon killed the Aztecs..."

"I know, we'll do a movie with archeologists opening an ancient Aztec box, causing Deadly Salmon to fall on New York and start wiping it out...we'll call it Salmonado!"

"The hero can be a Japanese Sushi Chef!"

"That's gold Jerry! Gold!"


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Flying Lesson #101 - It's The Archer Not The Arrow

In this case a Pa-28-181 Archer II to be exact.

My first flying Lesson at DCT.

I got there and after a short wait met up with Ray and went off to preflight N1896H. It's a bit ironic or satisfying, take your pick, that Lesson #101 is not with Flight 101.

Anyways the preflight on an Archer is pretty similar to that of a Skyhawk with a few little differences, as is starting the plane due to the fuel pump and some other minor differences, including how you hold the throttle.

The manually controlled flaps were quite interesting to use and takeoff is done with 10 degrees of flaps.

The Archer feels more stable than a 172 and with a 180HP engine was a bit more powerful than the 150 HP powered 172.

I handled the radios and takeoff with no issues and I flew us to the practice area. Once there we did slow flight, power off and power on stalls and steep turns. The steep turns felt weird because the sight picture is very different from a 172. Strangely enough my left steep turn was excellent complete with hitting my wake completing the circle. For some reason the right looked very weird and after going 3/4 of the way around I started descending a bit in the turn which was really strange and likely due to the different look and feel of the plane. I also had to switch tanks during the flight, something the gravity fed 172 doesn't require.

Then we did turns around a point and this is where a high wing really outshines the low wing - the Archer's low wing kept trying to cover the point which was a major PITA when trying to do the maneuver. Definitely a few nuances to get absorbed - including the flow method they have for all their operations - it makes a lot of sense but needs to be learned and ingrained.

Then we headed back to Pontiac with the sun in our eyes all the way to final. I took her in for landing and it wasn't bad for being practically unable to see the runway in the sun - landings will take some work but I kinda knew that already.

Overall the assessment from the instructor is I know what I'm doing, I just need some polishing of my maneuvers to get them up to ACS standards (then again I've been hearing that since August...), then get checked out and signed off to solo the Archer and then get checked again before the checkride. Next lesson will likely be some pattern work. We'll see how many steps back I need to take before I get to go forward.

1.6 and 1 landing.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

No Great Loss There, And The World Is Better Off As A Result

The Blind Islamist Terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman has died in US Prison in North Carolina and didn't even get his 70 raisins, or even 70 Virginians.

In case you forget, Abdel-Rahman was behind the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and planned multiple other attacks.

The Detroit News: Blind cleric jailed for ‘90s terror plots dies

Right On Cue, As Soon As A Republican Takes Office...

The Media discovers the inconvenience to airports and general aviation of Presidential Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).

The Detroit News: Trump’s Florida visits puts small airport in tailspin

Funny, I don't recall a single article over the myriad of TFR caused general aviation airport activity closures when Obama was president in the Chicago area and other environs. Any visit to Detroit would shut KPTK right down, including all flight instruction and regular VFR activities and that happened quite a bit and caused quite a drain to the coffers of the various flight schools and other operations at the airport.

You'd think they could make at least a pattern work exception when you're over 10nm away, but no.

In short, these restrictive VIP TFRs are nothing new to the aviation world. While they should be better tailored and a bit less restrictive they are unchanged from prior administrations and nothing new, just now we have some new airports feeling the pain of the one size fits all TFR.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Not Flying Lesson #1 Ground School Groundhog Day.

So I went over to DCT this morning, filled out their paperwork (and still have even more to do), gave them a copy of the requisite documents and then got introduced to an instructor.

They definitely do things differently at DCT - quite organized, planes are hangared and they don't want the students putting the oil in the planes and we shouldn't have to call for fuel as they will take care of it and make sure the plane is ready before the lesson -- which is quite a difference. Even more of a difference, their training is in stages and its all documented and checked on by the head instructor.

Unfortunately this stages approach will likely cause some issues with me as I've actually already done all the requirements and just need to get all the maneuvers and landings to ACS standards.....

I was introduced by the operations manager to Ray (not the prior Ray) and we had a ground session as they want to know where I am in my flying and to get an idea of some of their procedures. So, no flying today. Instead, we went over the standard private pilot oral questions on which I did quite well - airspace, systems (changing for the fact the Piper is fuel pump rather than gravity fed) and he was impressed I had already read up on the Archer and knew the total and usable fuel numbers, and that I was pretty good on the knowledge needed for the oral portion of the checkride).

DCT does things with a bit of a different philosophy and consistency between instructors which may very well be a nice thing. They are however pretty regimented and go by flow checklists of which I got a copy to be memorized. The different way of doing things is reflected in other areas - for example, they do not do touch and goes, only full stop taxi backs. They do have JPI edm700 engine monitors in each plane and they expect you to lean to rich of peak using it once you get to 500 feet AGL. The edm700 looks like an interesting bit of kit, integrated with the Garmin 430 and with fuel flow can pretty accurately tell you not just your cylinder head and exhaust gas temperatures but also what your fuel remaining is, quite a contrast to the not so well functioning (as in accurate only when empty) gauges on the Flight 101's C172s.

Actual flying lesson now booked for Sunday.

This will either turn out to be a good decision or a very bad one. Likelihood of exceeding twice the average hours to get a private pilot's license exceeds 99% at this point.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Why Detroit Can't Have Nice Things

Not even in operation yet, and already the QLine streetcars, have been vandalized.

Set to travel all of 3.3 miles of Woodward Avenue, they were apparently not stored in a secure location, which certainly has some interesting implications even as its a commentary on the incapability of some Detroiters to avoid befouling their own nest.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit QLINE streetcars vandalized with graffiti

Update: I've been informed that the vandalism "ACAB" written on the streetcar isn't due to the vandals receipt of a Detroit Public school system education and thus an inability to tell a taxicab from a streetcar, but apparently it's the urban-dweller acronym for "All Cops Are Bad". Take from that what you will.

What Is Going On With The Criminal Justice System And Carjackers In Detroit?

First, a carjacker of a 85-year-old lady gets three years - probation.

The Detroit News: Outraged chief: She's carjacked; man gets probation

Yep, if you're a habitual offender in Detroit, carjacking an elderly lady gets you probation.

On top of that a pair of carjackers get released from Federal prison and for whatever reason, alegedly due to the Wayne County prosecutor's office failing to file a detainer order, are not sent to State Prison for another car jacking but instead allowed to roam free. They're only picked up when the victim finds out about it and asks, quite reasonably, "wtf?"

The Detroit Free Press: Victim blindsided by justice system: Why were my carjackers set free?

Quite the examples of a revolving door justice system in a city that badly needs a locked door justice system to keep the criminals from the citizenry.

High Efficiency Furnace My Foot

The high efficiency furnaces of today seem much more temperamental than their less efficient but far more forebearers.

They apparently become extremely efficient when they are not working as 0% of no energy used being wasted is well 100% efficiency, which is good, right?

I swear this thing breaks down at a minimum at least once every two years - and that is with a maintenance/furnace inspection done every year - and typically it is a control board or pressure switch that fails. This time for variety it was a bearing for a motor. Let's hear it for the Consumers Energy Maintenance plan.

So, the furnace guy came Friday at 11 pm and pronounced the motor that drives the exhaust for the furnace has a bad bearing and thus doth not work and is nailed to its post. This makes the entire furnace not work accordingly as failure to clear carbon monoxide would be a bad thing. Said part was of course not in stock and the only warehouse open Saturday didn't have it so we're expecting the repair to happen this evening.

To say the house is a touch chilly is an understatement, but thankfully it remained above freezing the past few days even as it was a darn cold wind last night.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Flying Lesson #100 - A Rather Economical Lesson

Lesson 100 started out most promisingly - I got there early and the winds were calm, visibility fine and it wasn't as cold as it has been the past few days. This is good as the furnace at home went tango uniform last night and the part to fix it won't be available until Monday at the earliest. Anyways, back to the flying stuff.

A nice preflight with no frost or snow or ice on the plane to speak of, fuel tanks pleasantly full and oil at 6. Since everything checked out and I was early, I added another quart to bring it to 7 as that is both lucky and good for the plane.

I was rather determined this would be a good lesson and was thinking positively and trying to brush aside all them negative waves.

Bobby then joined me and it would again be a no instrument (except for occasional glances at the altimeter) kind of lesson.

Considering the winds were calm to 5 knots this was a good opportunity for that.

Normal taxi etc and I was feeling good. Excellent no looking takeoff and i was getting the feel of the plane nicely. Good pattern, decent landing and taxi off to do it again. Even better takeoff, great pattern, come around for landing and on touch down it became problematic.

The shimmy dampener failed most impressively with the entire plane shaking. Brakes felt off as well. While the tower want us to turn off at Kilo we stated we were unable due to some serious braking issues and they had a plane behind us go around. We got off farther down the runway and taxi'd on back to Flight 101 to terminate.

That was it.

Hilariously enough, N757MK had headed out after we pulled in to park and it then had a complete steering failure and was stuck on the taxiway and had to be brought back via tug. If they lose Papa Romeo today then all 3 172s will be down.

With plenty of extra time on my hands, I drove over to the Piper-flying school on the field and talked with them and I think I'm going to make the switch. Very professional, solid layout, 7 trainers plus more advanced aircraft and mirabile dictu, a solid syllabus approach (which would have to be modified in my case).

On the one hand I think that Bob (who taught previously at the Piper school) really is a good instructor (and the Piper guy affirmed that he is too - he left there over non-instructional differences not due to any flying issues) and does want to get me straightened out, undo the screw ups by prior instructors and get me where I need to be, and I do like him and think I'm learning from him and I tend to be a bit too loyal, to my own detriment, sometimes. The problem is that if it is not the weather, then its the aircraft at Flight 101 that will likely hold me back even as I finally have an instructor that is set on getting me forward. The Piper place will cost more and the transition will eat more time.

In addition, it turns out that Crosswinds from Howell will be opening a satellite school at KPTK, but possibly not soon enough to matter.

So it was an economical lesson with .4 slowing my inexorable increase in hours and 2 landings. Overall was a darn good lesson that should have been longer but may just be enough to put me in a Piper.

Update: papa Romeo was also no-fly for students (but ok for instructors only) due to a similar nose gear problem.

Update: I called and made an appointment at the DCT, the Piper school at the airfield.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Flying Lesson #99 - Strong Winds Combined With A New Way Of Doing Things

Well, Lesson #99 just kicked my tail. Well, the winds did anyways.

Continuing on from our previous lesson of having me looking outside more, Bob made good on his promise to cover the instruments - everything but the compass, tach, and altitude indicator was covered by some evil black round fiendish rubber covers, which exuded evil - did I mention they were evil?

We would be staying in the pattern for this one.

Bob first demonstrated how you could takeoff safely without an airspeed indicator just by using proper visual and sound cues and did. He also did the whole pattern without instruments and basically just by feel, look and sound.

Then it was my turn. Unfortunately the winds were now gusting from 20-27 knots from 299-300 and with enough turbulence to shake the plane around to knock the covers off the instruments as well as make the plane do some very uncomfortable and nasty rolling movements in the air, with rolls that kept trying to tip the plane over.

Takeoff with no instruments was ok and sort of like a soft field takeoff - pull back to half a climb picture once you think it is around 30 knots and hold it until the airplane flies itself off the runway, then nose down to let the speed build and you feel the plane pushing against you and then you can go to a normal climb attitude.

Going through the pattern was similar with trim and power to get where you want and no airspeed indicator needed, which is completely the opposite of what I was previously trained on for patterns where airspeed and the airspeed indicator was king. Do we did the flaps as susual but kept them at 20 degrees due to the gust and came in on final again doing all of it visually.

Then on final in we went and between the winds, side gusts etc I was not having a great time but landed ok but flat yet again.

We then taxied on back and did it again and takeoff was better as was the pattern, landing however sucked even more as the winds were really nasty and again I landed a little rough and flat.

My impressive death grip had returned and this flight had indeed kicked my ass.

I decided that was it for the day and Bob thought that was a good call as it was getting kind of rough out there to learn a new way of doing things and handle the gusting crosswind. On the upside I certainly learned to look outside more so some progress there but it certainly shows how far off I am yet again.

.7 with 3 landings with no looking at the instruments.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

No They're Not Gun Advocates, They're Morons

Let's see how to even begin describing this example of sheer stupidity, that was almost permanently corrected.

In order to "exercise their rights", a dipstick wearing a ski-mask and sunglasses, body armor, and carrying a rifle across the front of his chest, followed by his buddy also armed and in body armor carrying a camera enter the Dearborn Police station to complain about a traffic ticket.

Yes, really.

The Detroit Free Press: Gun advocates arrested carrying rifle into Dearborn police station

Of course people with complaints about the police typically enter a police station wearing masks with body armor on and carry a rifle in an aggressive manner, right? Well no, no they actually don't and therein lies the problem.

Do watch the video embedded in the article - dipstick Baker starts off stating

"We're going to file a complaint because we were illegally pulled over," Baker says on the video. "We felt a little afraid we were pulled over, so we figured we better protect ourselves."

In other words they dressed and acted in a manner where they knowingly provoked a confrontation at the station, and they sure got one.

It ended luckily enough for them, without either James Baker nor Brandon Vreeland getting shot but both are now facing a bounty of misdemeanor charges. Interestingly enough, they kill the video part way into it leaving only the audio, which makes one wonder what was on the video of the disruptive duo for that portion of the encounter.

Michigan Open Carry was quick and correct to state that they do not support these kinds of shenanigans. Actions like this are likely to get legislators to end open carry and hose law-abiding gun owners due to morons like these fellows.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Your Quick Legal Tip of The Day

Your quick legal tip of the day: Coming to court reeking of marijuana so the whole courtroom can smell it -- for a hearing for your violation of probation for drug use does not endear you to the court.

Yep this very morning in court, sumdood himself showed up for his probation violation just reeking of it. The judge pointed that out and it went rather downhill for him from there.

Apparently he was a little hazy on marijuana being a prohibited substance and was rather proud he had switched from heroin to marijuana. Yes, really.

The judge was not amused.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Flying Lesson #98 - Flying After A Long Wait

This morning was a beautiful one. There was a yellow ball in the sky that had been conspicuous by its absence for the past few weeks and one could actually see blue clear sky as far as one looked.

Winds were calm and started to increase as the flight went on, settling at 8 knots from 230-270 when we landed.

In short, time to fly again, finally. It had been almost a month since my last flight as mainly weather (including winds beyond my permissible limits whenever I tried to book a solo flight - hell I haven't flown solo since June) but also airplane maintenance issues whenever the weather was reasonable thwarted my leaving the surly bonds of earth. In short I had more cancelled lessons in January than actual lessons by about a 12-1 ratio.

So the preflight was fun, with frost covering yon trusty (ha! ha!) aircraft. Fuel had not been topped off but since we were at 10 in the right and 14 gallons in the left tank it was sufficient. I did have to add oil as well and scraped off ice and frost from the wings and stabilizer.

The plane started up impressively well and we headed out on ice-covered taxiways to get to the run up area. Of course at the run up area I found the left brake was extremely soft but the heck with it, we were going.

It was quite already busy at 9:15 am this morning as the nice weather had brought everyone and their aircraft out. We initially were set for 27R but then told to go to 27L to takeoff, so we went across the completely iced over taxiway between the two runways and took off from 27L and headed out until cleared to turn right toward the northeast.

Cabin heat was just about non-existent so it was about 0 degrees in the plane and -15 outside at 3,500 feet. But for all that it was good to get up and fly again. Much of the fun of it has gone and its mainly stubbornness keeping me going at this point, but whatever.

After getting to the practice area I did slow flight without a problem, a couple power off stalls, a power on stall, steep turns and turns around a point. The stalls were good but Bob showed me how to make the recovery smoother and we worked on the steep turns. The steep turns needed a bit of work which sucks as they used to be my best maneuver, but everything else is within tolerances. Again, I need to look outside more and I think he's going to cover the panel on the next flight, which is evil but probably necessary at this juncture. I'm still working on getting the right outside sight picture but it is coming along.

Landing was ok, but Bob was a bit surprised and annoyed at what previous instructors had been teaching me on landings so likely next lessons will be on landings which would be good as given the time passing I'm sure I will suck at them yet again as we haven't practiced them.

Bob did also ask a rather surprising question when the lesson ended that showed he is not just a good instructor but a great one.

I figure that I am going to interview a couple flight schools that are on the filed at KPTK as Howell is just too darn far. One is an all-Piper shop which will mean familiarizing myself with a low wing plane and another is a smaller one with Cessnas but either way it will likely mean going around in circles yet again. Of course, this is after I get a really good instructor so I'm rather torn and frustrated by the whole thing and rather undecided.

That's 1.2 and 1 landing.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

74 Years Ago, The 4 Chaplains Sailed Into History

On the night of February 2, 1943, the USAT Dorchester with 902 men aboard was sailing towards Greenland on the way to Europe with her cargo of American troops for the war effort. On board amongst the soldiers and sailors were four Army Chaplains. Those chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed.

The Dorchester would never make it to Europe.

Torpedoed by U-223 at 12:55 am, she began to sink in the icy Atlantic.

After the torpedoing of the ship, many men were without life jackets or clothing. The Chaplains kept the men calm and distributed life jackets, and when the supply of life jackets ran out, they gave their own to the next 4 men in line.

The Chaplains remained on the deck of the ship with linked arms and voices offering prayers for the men of the Dorchester. Of the 902 on board, there were 230 survivors. 672 died, including the 4 Chaplains. Their acts of selflessness and heroism would go down in history.

Each of the chaplains was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart posthumously and in 1961 Congress and the President authorized The Four Chaplains medal, an award equivalent to the Medal of Honor, and only awarded this one time, was awarded to the four posthumously to commemorate their heroism.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

It's Not Entrapment If You Jump Right In

Anyone ever caught in a sting claims entrapment, and Sebastian Gregerson, aka Abdurrahman Bin Mikaayl is no exception.

The Detroit News: Attorney: FBI entrapped terror suspect

“There would have been no offense but for the government’s involvement and participation in the grenade transaction,” Tholen wrote. “The explosive grenades were effectively dumped on his lap seconds before his arrest. As such the counts in the indictment should be dismissed as a matter of law.....Gregerson told the undercover FBI employee he wanted to buy smoke grenades, fragmentation grenades and an anti-personnel mine that contains C4 explosive and hundreds of steel balls that rapidly shoot outwards upon detonation, court records show.”

Remember kiddies, when someone asks you "Hey, want to commit numerous federal felonies?" The answer, assuming you don't actually want to do so, should be No.

When you jump on board to an illegal proposal and agree to participate, that's not entrapment.

In fact from reading the article, he apparently also received funding for the purchase from an Imam in Maryland for the purchase and was putitgn together a rather neat plot at the time he was caught.