Saturday, December 27, 2008


In the last few years we had only in our Ft Lauderdale area 4 mid air collisions that I can remember. The last one was couple of weeks ago with two planes and instructor and a student in each one. Two years ago the same exact scenario with my wife's instructor in one of them.
For the last two years I had Zaon MRX panel mount and it helps to warn you about traffic, but without directional info it makes for some tense moments if you can not visually locate the traffic. Two weeks ago friend of mine let me try his Zaon XRX on a weekend trip..

I was shocked how many aircraft are there that we had no clue about. It has it's own split screen that one half shows like a radar screen all the planes within 6 miles radius, and the other gives you direction, altitude above or below and distance for the closest threat. Nice feature is that you can feed the info into Garmin 398/496 and others, and display it on the moving map.

This week I'm installing permanently one (Christmas Gift :)) in the CZ. For what is worth, I highly recommend this unit. For the money, it gives you great peace of mind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Selling Long-EZ N84RW Airplane

I am thinking of selling my airplane. It is Long-EZ N84RW. It is really good airplane. It flies really well. Very straight and true airplane.

It was dropped on its nose. The nose needs cosmetic repair. The plane needs an annual.

I truly love this airplane and it is hard to sell it, but I need the money for school.

Lycoming O-235-L2C - compression is good (80+ all cylinders) but needs annual.

LSE electronic ignition on bottom

Slick Magneto on top (one year old)

New Silver Bullet Propeller

A real king HSI (not emulated in software but a real HSI)

KX-165 radio

KX76A transponder

King DME (forget the model #)

Bose noise reducing headset

Garmin 396 gps (with XM radio)

Trio avionics one axis autopilot which is tied into the garmin gps

The plane is a 1984 model. Almost always hungered (except on trips when I

Won Osh Kosh in 1987. Was a show plane at that time.

7/10 outside

7/10 inside


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


It is possible to fly an airplane just clear of the ground (or water) at a slightly slower airspeed than that required to sustain level flight at higher altitudes. This is the result of a phenomenon, which is better known than understood even by some experienced pilots.

When an airplane in flight gets within several feet from the ground surface, a change occurs in the three-dimensional flow pattern around the airplane because the vertical component of the airflow around the wing is restricted by the ground surface. This alters the wings up wash, down wash, and wingtip vortices. These general effects due to the presence of the ground are referred to as "ground effect." Ground effect, then, is due to the interference of the ground (or water) surface with the airflow patterns about the airplane in flight.

While ground effects alter the aerodynamic characteristics of the tail surfaces and the fuselage, the principal effects due to proximity of the ground are the changes in the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing. As the wing encounters ground effect and is maintained at a constant lift coefficient, there is consequent reduction in the up wash, down wash, and the wingtip vortices.

Induced drag is a result of the wing's work of sustaining the airplane and the wing lifts the airplane simply by accelerating a mass of air downward. It is true that reduced pressure on top of an airfoil is essential to lift, but that is but one of the things that contributes to the overall effect of pushing an air mass downward. The more down wash there is, the harder the wing is pushing the mass of air down. At high angles of attack, the amount of induced drag is high and since this corresponds to lower airspeeds in actual flight, it can be said that induced drag predominates at low speed.

However, the reduction of the wingtip vortices due to ground effect alters the span wise lift distribution and reduces the induced angle of attack and induced drag. Therefore, the wing will require a lower angle of attack in ground effect to produce the same lift coefficient or, if a constant angle of attack is maintained, an increase in lift coefficient will result.

Ground effect also will alter the thrust required versus velocity. Since induced drag predominates at low speeds, the reduction of induced drag due to ground effect will cause the most significant reduction of thrust required (parasite plus induced drag) at low speeds.
The reduction in induced flow due to ground effect causes a significant reduction in induced drag but causes no direct effect on parasite drag. As a result of the reduction in induced drag, the thrust required at low speeds will be reduced.

Due to the change in up wash, down wash, and wingtip vortices, there may be a change in position (installation) error of the airspeed system, associated with ground effect. In the majority of cases, ground effect will cause an increase in the local pressure at the static source and produce a lower indication of airspeed and altitude. Thus, the airplane may be airborne at an indicated airspeed less than that normally required.

In order for ground effect to be of significant magnitude, the wing must be quite close to the ground. One of the direct results of ground effect is the variation of induced drag with wing height above the ground at a constant lift coefficient. When the wing is at a height equal to its span, the reduction in induced drag is only 1.4 percent. However, when the wing is at a height equal to one-fourth its span, the reduction in induced drag is 23.5 percent and, when the wing is at
a height equal to one-tenth its span, the reduction in induced drag is 47.6 percent. Thus, a large reduction in induced drag will take place only when the wing is very close to the ground. Because of this variation, ground effect is most usually recognized during the liftoff for takeoff or just prior to touchdown when landing.

During the takeoff phase of flight, ground effect produces some important relationships. The airplane leaving ground effect after takeoff encounters just the reverse of the airplane entering ground effect during landing; i.e., the airplane leaving ground effect will:

• Require an increase in angle of attack to maintain the same lift coefficient.
• Experience an increase in induced drag and thrust required.
• Experience a decrease in stability and a nose-up change in moment.
• Produce a reduction in static source pressure and increase in indicated airspeed.

These general effects should point out the possible danger in attempting takeoff prior to achieving the recommended takeoff speed. Due to the reduced drag in ground effect, the airplane may seem capable of takeoff well below the recommended speed. However, as the airplane rises out of ground effect with a deficiency of speed, the greater induced drag may result in very marginal initial climb performance. In the extreme conditions such as high gross weight, high density altitude, and high temperature, a deficiency of airspeed during takeoff may permit the airplane to become airborne but be incapable of flying out of ground effect. In this case, the airplane may become airborne initially with a deficiency of speed, and then settle back to the runway. It is important that no attempt be made to force the airplane to become airborne with a deficiency of speed; the recommended takeoff speed is necessary to provide adequate initial climb performance. For this reason, it is imperative that a definite climb be established before retracting the landing gear or flaps.

During the landing phase of flight, the effect of proximity to the ground also must be understood and appreciated. If the airplane is brought into ground effect with a constant angle of attack, the airplane will experience an increase in lift coefficient and a reduction in the thrust required. Hence, a "floating" effect may occur. Because of the reduced drag and power off deceleration in ground effect, any excess speed at the point of flare may incur a considerable "float" distance. As the airplane nears the point of touchdown, ground effect will be most realized at altitudes less than the wingspan. During the final phases of the approach as the airplane nears the ground, a reduced power setting is necessary or the reduced thrust required would allow the airplane to climb above the desired glide path.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Most small aircraft use a direct-cranking electric starter system. This system consists of a source of electricity, wiring, switches, and solenoids to operate the starter and a starter motor. Most aircraft have starters that automatically engage and disengage when operated, but some older aircraft have starters that are mechanically engaged by a lever actuated by the pilot.

The starter engages the aircraft flywheel, rotating the engine at a speed that allows the engine to start and maintain operation.

Tag: Flying instrument, instrument flight, aviation, piloting, instrument rating, instrument flying training, instrument flight rating, instrument rating requirement, instrument rating regulation, aircraft, aeronautic, airplane, and aeronautical knowledge.

Electrical power for an on-board battery usually supplies starting, but can also be supplied by external power through an external power receptacle. When the battery switch is turned on, electricity is supplied to the main power bus through the battery solenoid. Both the starter and the starter switch draw current from the main bus, but the starter will not operate until the starter switch being turned to the "start" position energizes the starting solenoid. When the starter switch is released from the "start" position, the solenoid removes power from the starter motor. The starter motor is protected from being driven by the engine through a clutch in the starter drive that allows the engine to run faster than the starter motor.

When starting an engine, the rules of safety and courtesy should be strictly observed. One of the most important is to make sure there is no one near the propeller. In addition, the wheels should be choked and the brakes set, to avoid hazards caused by unintentional movement. To avoid damage to the propeller and property, the airplane should be in an area where the propeller will not stir up gravel or dust.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Flight Instrument Interpretation

The second fundamental skill, instrument interpretation, requires the most thorough study and analysis. It begins as you understand each instrument's construction and operating principles. Then you must apply this knowledge to the performance of the aircraft that you are flying, the particular maneuvers to be executed, the cross-check and control techniques applicable to that aircraft, and the flight conditions in which you are operating.
Tag: Flying instrument, instrument flight, aviation, piloting, instrument rating, instrument flying training, instrument flight rating, instrument rating requirement, instrument rating regulation, aircraft, aero plane, airplane, and aeronautical knowledge.
Tension: Maintaining an excessively strong grip on the control column; usually results in an over controlled situation.
For example, a pilot uses full power in a small airplane for a 5-minute climb from near sea level, and the attitude indicator shows the miniature aircraft two bar widths (twice the thickness of the miniature aircraft wings) above the artificial horizon. [Figure 4-6: Power and attitude equal performance] The airplane is climbing at 500 feet per minute (fpm) as shown on the vertical speed indicator, and at airspeed of 90 knots, as shown on the airspeed indicator. With the power available in this particular airplane and the attitude selected by the pilot, the performance is shown on the instruments.
Now set up the identical picture on the attitude indicator in a jet airplane. With the same airplane attitude as shown in the first example, the vertical speed indicator in the jet reads 2,000 fpm, and the airspeed indicates 300 knots. As you learn the performance capabilities of the aircraft in which you are training, you will interpret the instrument indications appropriately in terms of the attitude of the aircraft. If the pitch attitude is to be determined, the airspeed indicator, altimeter, vertical speed indicator, and attitude indicator provide the necessary information. If the bank attitude is to be determined, the heading indicator, turn coordinator, and attitude indicator must be interpreted.
For each maneuver, you will learn what performance to expect and the combination of instruments you must interpret in order to control aircraft attitude during the maneuver.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Introduction of Airplane Attitude Instrument Flying

Attitude instrument flying may be defined as the control of an aircraft's spatial position by using instruments rather than outside visual references.
Any flight, regardless of the aircraft used or route flown, consists of basic maneuvers. In visual flight, you control aircraft attitude with relation to the natural horizon by using certain reference points on the aircraft. In instrument flight, you control aircraft attitude by reference to the flight instruments. A proper interpretation of the flight instruments will give you essentially the same information that outside references do in visual flight. Once you learn the role of all the instruments in establishing and maintaining a desired aircraft attitude, you will be better equipped to control the aircraft in emergency situations involving failure of one or more key instruments.
Two basic methods used for learning attitude instrument flying are "control and performance" and "primary and supporting." Both methods involve the use of the same instruments, and both use the same responses for attitude control. They differ in their reliance on the attitude indicator and interpretation of other instruments.
Tag: Flying instrument, instrument flight, aviation, piloting, instrument rating, instrument flying training, instrument flight rating, instrument rating requirement, instrument rating regulation, aircraft, aeroplane, airplane, and aeronautical knowledge.
Attitude instrument flying: Controlling the aircraft by reference to the instruments rather than outside visual cues.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dry-Air Pump and Pressure Systems

Dry-Air Pump Systems
As flight altitudes increase, the air is less dense and more air must be forced through the instruments. Air pumps that do not mix oil with the discharge air are used in high-flying aircraft.
Steel vanes sliding in a steel housing need to be lubricated, but vanes made of a special formulation of carbon sliding inside carbon housing provide their own lubrication as they wear in a microscopic amount.
Pressure Systems
Figure 3-28: "Twin-engine instrument pressure system" is a diagram of the instrument pneumatic system of a twin-engine general aviation airplane. Two dry air pumps are used with filters in their inlet to filter out any contaminants that could damage the fragile carbon vanes in the pump. The discharge air from the pump flows through a regulator, where excess air is bled off to maintain the pressure in the system at the desired level. The regulated air then flows through inline filters to remove any contamination that could have been picked up from the pump, and from there into a manifold check valve. If either engine should become inoperative, or if either pump should fail, the check valve will isolate the inoperative system and the instruments will be driven by air from the operating system. After the air passes through the instruments and drives the gyros, it is exhausted from the case. The gyro pressure gauge measures the pressure drop across the instruments.
Tag: Electrical system, pneumatic system, venture tube system, wet-type vacuum pump system, dry-air pump system, pressure system,
Tag: Types of Airspeed, Indicated Airspeed, Calibrated Airspeed, Equivalent Airspeed, True Airspeed, Mach number, Maximum Allowable Airspeed, and Airspeed Color Code.
Tag: Flying instrument, instrument flight, aviation, piloting, instrument rating, instrument flying training, instrument flight rating, instrument rating requirement, instrument rating regulation, aircraft, aero plane, airplane, and aeronautical knowledge.
Venturi tube: A specially-shaped tube attached to the outside of an aircraft to produce suction to operate gyro instruments.
Rigidity: The characteristic of a gyroscope that prevents its axis of rotation tilting as the Earth rotates.
Precession: The characteristic of a gyroscope that causes an applied force to be felt, not at the point of application, but 90° from that point in the direction of rotation.
Inverter: A solid-state electronic device that converts electrical current from d.c. into a.c. to operate a.c. gyro instruments.
Suction-relief valve: A relief valve in an instrument vacuum system to maintain the correct low pressure inside the instrument case for the proper operation of the gyros.