Sunday, October 16, 2005

Flying with Billy...well, almost!

It was windy about mid-morning today, but the sky was blue as could be. I was thinking the wind would die down this evening, and I would plan to arrive at the airport late in the afternoon and possibly work on the Phantom before I went flying the MX.

When I got to the airport about 3:30, imagine my surprise when I pull up to my hangar and I see my fellow Phantom owner Billy's airplane parked outside of my hangar! I got out and said hello and we talked about Phantom stuff and little improvements here and there that I could make to mine. I looked over his very carefully and asked questions about lots of things. We talked for quite a few minutes, my mind was racing thinking about things to ask while I had the chance. Billy was answering and giving suggestions just as fast as I was asking!

Billy wanted to go flying with me, and it was obvious that I wasn't going to have enough time to fly AND to work on the Phantom, so of course I chose to fly! That is until I saw that I had a flat tire. I quickly removed the tire and and sped off to the gas station for air. Within 10 minutes I was back and when I was putting the tire back on, I could hear the air escaping. I had just enough air to last through my preflight and taxi about halfway down the runway before the tire was again flat. Billy was following me, waiting for me to take off. I waved at him gesturing to take off and head back since the sun was rapidly setting. I taxied back to the hangar, removed the tire and threw it van. I started to work on the Phantom some more, but was unsuccessful. When I tried to install the brake cables to the brake bands, there was a bracket missing, so I stopped there. When I tried to install the stainless steel free air scoop, it didn't fit because there is some material that has to be removed from the fan tower first, which wasn't mentioned in the instructions.

With the sun at the horizon and the shadows getting long, I picked up my tools and secured everything and headed for home my self-imposed Phantom completion date of October 31st looks like it may be in jeopardy. Oh well, I guess I'll get over it.


At 5:32 PM, Anonymous renedeneve said...

Hey Rusty

Your an engineer right? All the rhetoric about the machine sounds unsubstantial. I'm sure it's loaded with fun and adrenalin but be careful. What happened last week with one of those that went down. Who knows but they go down all the time. I'm too old to want to sky dive and posses enough common sense to not desire to fly one of those ultra lights just to go and fly. Why be foolish? Numbers are something I want on my side and they (ultralights)have poor records. People who posess lots of money (when money is not a factor) fly in real airplanes. Ultralights are a fling thing. Buy an airplane Rusty. I still remember the ultralight that took out a lear at Auburn. Radios were just to heavy I guess for the pilot who never heard what evrybody else did.
Anyway as an engineer you have to know some machines aren't as good as others. Murphy isn't waiting he already has your plan. Move up. Spend some money.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Rusty UL said...

Dear Renedeneve,

I have no idea where you are coming from. I have no idea how old you are or what your background is. I've been flying (safely) for 10 years. I am as careful as it is possible to be. I have no desire to argue with you about the safety of ultralights or ultralight training. You have your right to your opinion and I respect that. I'll even allow you to post it on my website as an example of the ignorance of the general public regarding ultralight safety. I imagine you drive a car...right? Even though you know it is possible to die while driving, you still do it because you believe the risks are at an acceptable level. I feel the same about flying ultralights. Thanks for you comment.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Robert said...

Glen --

Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment on my blog. It's nice to know I've got a couple of people reading my posts!

Grit your teeth, 'cause I'm gonna give you a back-handed compliment: I love to read about your mistakes! :-) I can't explain it but it always makes me feel better when I read that you, for example, put the lap belt in backwards, or something like that. I make so many of these kinds of mistakes, it makes me realize I wouldn't ever want to be an A&P! I seem to always catch them -- which is the important part! -- but I often feel like entire days go wasted on making, then fixing, a mistake that shouldn't have been made.

Oh, and, as for this "renedeneve" guy, you're right... he's clueless. The Canadian statistics on ultralights vs. GA planes proves that there isn't any significant difference in incidents between the two as long as their are maintained properly. So, he's way off base.

I not only wish I'd been able to drop in on my way to Locust Grove, but I wished I'd had more time to do things like that. (I especially wish I hadn't HAD to fly that 2nd day... whoo-eee, it was windy!) Maybe I'll go to SERFI someday and we can meet there.

Take 'er easy!

-- Robert

At 5:16 AM, Blogger Rusty UL said...


Thanks for the comment. You are right, stuff happens that makes me feel like I've made no progress at all. The triangular kingpost on my Phantom is on backwards as we speak. The assembly manual wasn't clear and I didn't have a photo of and assembled plane to look at, so now I've got to put it on right. I tried 3 times with the seatbelt before I got it like I wanted! Oh well, as you said, as long as it's caught beforehand, it's cool. Thanks for reading and posting you comments. Hope we meet someday!



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