C-182Q N96934 at West Valley Flying Club

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Avionics Status

I am happy to report that after several months out of service, the autopilot in 96934 has been repaired and is fully operational. I appreciate the patience of all the regular flyers who have waited for this repair.

I also have an update on the DME. Over the past several years, the DME has been periodically erratic. I have observed this myself and have had observations from other members. I have asked three different avionics shops to investigate. None can reproduce an issue on the bench. While in for the autopilot repair, I talked to the shop technician about some steps which might help narrow down the issue. I am asking anyone who observes problems with the DME to record as much of the following information as possible and pass it along to me.

1) Had the DME been working at some point in the flight before malfunctioning?
2) What were the unit settings when it malfunctioned? (frequency, source {internal, VOR1, VOR2}
3) If using internal frequency selection, what were the VOR frequency settings?
4) What was the failure mode? (what was displayed?)
5) Was there an understable ID received on the DME audio monitor?
6) What steps were taken to return the unit to operation? power cycle? change of Remote between 1/2? change between internal and external?

I know that is a lot of information, but the more complete the data, the better the chance of isolating and fixing the problem.

Thank you all for your help. Fly safe.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Updates are in the works

I apologize for falling behind on this blog. I've been distracted, apparently for longer than I realized. I'm in the process now of trying to get some fresh information here. I'm also working to address some suggestions I have received that should help CFIs and general members get familiar with the plane's unique configuration and reap the full benefit of its features when they train or fly.

Have a nice flight.

Monday, July 16, 2007

96934 is now WAAS capable

It's been a few weeks, so here is an update on the plane. The upgraded Garmin 530W was installed at the end of June. There was one minor hiccup, the COM 2 antenna connection was lost during installation. That has been restored. Everything is working now.

I flew the GPS Z RWY 30 at KHAF twice. There was a thin layer but most of the approach was in VMC. After the second missed approach, I let the plane fly the published miss and a lap of the hold using the GPSS on the STEC 30. This is the way to fly, it's hands-off all the way around the oval.

Along with the WAAS upgrade, a few other improvements were done at the same time. An avionics cooling fan was installed. This will increase the reliability and longevity of the equipment in the plane. Also, since the 530W required an antenna upgrade, I had the old GPS antenna wired to a panel jack for a handheld. The plane is now eminently handheld friendly. If you have a Garmin 396/496, it is possible to interface to power, antenna, data (routes download automagically from the 530W) and audio. You get XM audio entertainment for crew and passengers.

With everything shipshape, I'm taking the plane on a 17-day trip. The heart of the trip is my Route 66 flight that you can read about in my other blog. Follow along from day to day as I post pictures and stories. The plane will be back on the West Valley flight line on 8/5.

For readers who are West Valley members, you may know that as of 7/1 I am the owner representative to the Board of Directors. I appreciate the support of members who voted for me and look forward to serving you in the coming year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Annual complete, flying without Garmin 530

The annual was completed on 6/14 and I brought the plane back to PAO. I am happy to say that it went much more smoothly this year. There were no significant issues at all.

If things had gone according to plan, the upgraded GNS530 would have been waiting at Sterling. Unfortunately, there was some mix-up between Sterling and Garmin and the shipment was delayed. If all goes well, it will be back by early next week. That means that I will try and schedule the upgrade to take place late next week.

Until then, the plane is available for use. There is a flag in CASSi noting that there is no Garmin 530, which means the only Nav/Com is the #2. With one nav radio and a DME, the plane is okay for limited IFR, but is definitely good for VFR flights. Several members have flown it since it came back without any issues.

As a reminder, the plane is blocked out for my summer travel from 7/16 to 8/5. Another member will be taking 934 on vacation from 8/6 to 8/19.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

N96934 in annual

I apologize to regular renters for not keeping this page up to date. It's a busy time for Skylane 934. The plane left the flight line on 5/30. It went initially to Sterling Avionics at CCR, where the pre-check for the Garmin 530W was done and the unit was removed for shipment to Garmin.

On Saturday the 2nd, I ferried the plane to SMX where it is undergoing its annual. The good news is that the annual looks pretty clean this year. When it gets back, it will return to CCR for the installation of the 530W and a few related updates. I hope to see the plane back in full service by 6/25 if all goes well.

For anyone trying to do advance planning, the plane will be on vacation from 7/16 to 8/3. 934 and I will be flying down to Santa Monica and then traveling the old Route 66 to Chicago.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Aluminum Overcast: B-17 Flight Experience

Last week I treated myself to a once-in-lifetime-experience. I rode in Aluminum Overcast, a restored B-17G that is operated by EAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association. We took off from Hayward Executive Airport on a 30 minute flight up past Oakland, over Alcatraz and back across the bay. It was a great day for the flight--we spent a few minutes flying just above a thin marine layer, which offered a surreal experience. We also had enough broken cloud cover to see many of the sights below. The need to stay out of clouds and avoid other traffic meant we got to do a lot of turning, which was part of the fun.

I took along my trusty Canon PowerShot A95. Check out the QuickTime movie I created.

You can also see some of the pictures in my Picassa Web Album.

Aluminum Overcast


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not a Cessna

I've got a new flyer in my backyard. It has a useful load of about two grams and a relatively low cruise speed, but it has great handling characteristics. On top of that, it can make copies of itself and is good for the environment.

This is my first attempt to create and publish a video. I hope you enjoy it.