Our Trip To Nashville: Part Three – Rescuing Betsy

Once Pam and I got home after a long drive from Nashville, I immediately started looking at the forecasts to see when I could go back to Nashville to get Betsy, our Cessna 172. I didn’t like the idea of her being stranded away from home and I wanted to get her back at the first opportunity.

I did not want to drive the long distance again. I had hoped to get someone to fly me up to Nashville from our airport, Jim Hamilton-LB Owens Airport (KCUB), but there were not too many people around. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 was still going on and several of our folks were there. Others were traveling elsewhere, so flying commercial seemed like the only option available to take advantage of a good forecast on Tuesday, August 2, 2011.

As Pam and I planned and discussed my trip to retrieve Betsy, our daughter Mallory, ten, said she wanted to go. I asked her if she was up to a long day of travel and explained in detail what we would be getting in to. She was excited and so I booked two one-way tickets to Nashville. We packed our GPS, two headsets, a change of clothes and went to bed early.
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Our Trip To Nashville: Part Two – Plan B

This Foreflight radar image showing the weather than blocked our path home. This was about 1.5 hours after we decided not to fly.

I alway figured that if I flew with someone in the Cessna on a trip, I’d be flying the return trip with them as well. This would not be the case with Pam and me on this Nashville trip.

Pam and I had flown to Nashville on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in a pretty much uneventful flight. We enjoyed a couple of days in Nashville and attended our business meetings. We were set to depart on Saturday, July 30th, but an early morning storm system stretching from Nashville to Chattanooga would delay our flight.

We arrived at John C. Tune Airport (KJWN) on the northwest side of Nashville at around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. It had been raining hard this morning and there were some gloomly looking low, misty clouds coming and going, so we waited for all of it to cook off, hopefully, later in the morning. They had pulled the Cessna to the flight line from the tie down area, so I loaded her up and preflighted. Eleven o’clock came and it looked like we might be able to depart soon. But that storm system was hanging around and blocked our path home.
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Our Trip to Nashville: Part One – The Flight There

We had planned to leave bright and early Wednesday morning, July 27, 2011, on our trip to Nashville, TN, for our annual business meeting. I checked Weathermeister.com to find that Columbia had some low clouds that were expected to lift after 10:00 a.m. so we took our time getting to the airport.

At the airport, I looked Betsy over, checked the fuel and oil, loaded our bags inside, and departed Columbia (KCUB) at 10:00 a.m. A low scattered layer around 1600 feet kept us weaving around under the Columbia Metro (KCAE) Class C veil until we cleared their airspace. It was clear blue sky above, so we climbed out and got above the scattered layer. We climbed on up to 4500 feet as we passed over the length of Lake Murray. Below us to the south, the scattered layer thickened and to the north it was clearer as we approached Greenwood (KGND). We stayed a bit north of our GPS track towards Greenwood. It was nice and smooth so we stayed at 4500 on past Elberton, Franklin, and Jackson airports in Georgia. We saw our waypoint, Gainesville, to the south and headed on to Dalton Airport. There was a ridge line that came up so we climbed to 6500 feet. At 6500 feet we were dodging occassional clouds. It was a pretty flight so far.
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Replacing The Garmin GPS 496 Internal Battery

I was fortunate to acquire a Garmin GSP 496 recently by trading out my 196 and some boot money. After playing with my new GPS I discovered that the clock was not keeping time each time I turned the unit on. Also, it was taking a long time to lock in on the satellites. So, I Googled for information and found just what I needed to know: the problem is very likely that the internal battery was depleted. I learned that it recharges only when the unit is on, so if you leave the GPS unused for a good while, it could discharge and cease to function. By using the GPS for several hours, if the battery is still in good shape, it should recharge and continue to function properly. But at some point the battery will be spent and need replacing.

I found a website that had photos showing disassembly and replacement of the tiny internal battery. The website gave reference to the replacement battery I would need to buy, so I bought one – well, two – they were cheap. The shipping cost more that the two batteries.

Here is a link to the website that I found very helpful.

I ordered the battery online from Digi-Key. The item number is: SY103-ND. It is a 3V rechargeable lithium battery about 7mm in diameter with two leads attached to it for installing on a circuit board. The batteries cost $2.68 each.

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Falcon Field Vans RV Squadron Fly-In

Mac and I flew the Cessna 172 to Peachtree City, Georgia’s airport, Falcon Field (KFFC) to attend their annual Falcon Field Vans RV Squadron Fly-In on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

The trip over at 5500 feet took us right at two hours. It was a perfect day for flying. Blues skies and smooth. We flew almost directly over the airport by the Atlanta Motor Speedway. What a sight. The airport is only a short walk to the speedway. About 15 to 20 minutes later we arrived at Falcon Field, entering into downwind from the east for right traffic runway 13.

There were many RV’s in attendance. I wish I had taken more photos, but I was too distracted by just looking at them. They had an array of great food to eat, which we really enjoyed.
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Around the pattern at KCUB with Drift HD170 video camera

I shot this video with a Drift HD170 point of view (POV) video camera on December 22, 2010. The quality is very nice even at the lower light level of sunset. It was shot at 1080. I used a suction cup mounted to the side of the wind screen.

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Flying Onboard EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast

Aluminum Overcast nose artRecently, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) had a tour stop in Columbia, SC, at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (KCAE) for it’s B-17, Aluminum Overcast. Our local EAA Chapter 242 was requested to host the warbird at Columbia Metropolitan Airport from Monday, October 18, 2010 through Thursday, October 21, 2010.

The weekday tour stop was not ideal as the kids are in school, folks are working, and the state fair was in town that week. A weekend tour date is preferable, but EAA saves those for the highly lucrative stops in bigger cities. So, we made the best of it.

Tom Roberts and I volunteered to head up the volunteer crew and manage the event in hopes that we might get to fly onboard the B-17. When the B-17 relocates to its next stop and they have seats available, the B-17 crew will offer them to EAA chapter volunteers. So, we put together a great volunteer crew including Tom, myself, Harold Moxley, Gerry Biehl, Xen Motsinger, Ron Shelton, David Graff and Paul Carter. We had never done anything like this before so our lack of experience didn’t help, but we managed to host an enjoyable and profitable event.
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Thyroid Condition and Synthroid Use? Plan Ahead With Your AME!

Every other July I am made to realize once again how time flies because it is in July that I have to see my Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) to get my third class medical. Two years ago I waited until around the 28th of the month to go see my doctor. This time, I decided to get an appointment a little earlier – on July 20th. Next time, I’ll try and go even earlier in the month in case I have to endure what turned out to be a complete surprise to me this time around.

When I arrived at my doctor’s office, the desk lady gave me a clip board and the usual paper work and a copy of my last third class application form from two years ago to go by. I worked my way down the form to the “are you taking any medications?” Ah, there is the one thing different than last time. I am now taking Levothyroxine, a generic of Synthroid for my newly acquired thyroid condition. My family doctor has been working with me over for almost two years, at first working to get the prescription amount correct and then six-month check ups to monitor my condition. Continue reading

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2009: An Oshkosh AirVenture Odyssey

I had recieved a letter from EAA that said our chapter had been awarded a Newsletter Editor Award. They give out 1st through 5th place awards but they do not tell you which one you will received. I had never been to Oshkosh before and was thinking about going. Pam said, “You really ought to go.” Okay. I’m talked into it.

I was looking online for airline tickets but had not purchased one yet and while at the airport one day, I got to talking to Mac about Oshkosh. He was going. There would be a large number of T-28’s there that Mac wanted to inventory to see which ones he had flown in his Navy career, and there was the Wednesday night dinner where Ron Shelton would receive his Young Eagles Coordinator Of The Year Award, hopefully presented by Harrison Ford. And there was the chapter leaders breakfast on Saturday, where they would announce and award the chapter Newsletter Editor Awards. Also, there would be a record attempting formation flight of at least 36 Vans RV airplanes which would include 242’s own James Clark and Ken Harrill, and we hoped to get to see that.As we were talking, Mac said, “Why don’t we just fly up there.” That sounded like a great idea to me.

We planned to depart on Tuesday, July 28th, to give us some leeway for weather. We definitely wanted to be there in time for Ron’s award dinner Wednesday night.Off To OshkoshTuesday morning finally came, and at O-early hundred, I got up, loaded my bags in my truck and left home at around 6:15 a.m. Pam and the kids left at the same time to head down to Florida to see her folks. Kisses and hugs and we were on the road.I arrived at Mac’s house at 6:30 a.m. We packed up as Pat saw us off and stopped by Starbucks for coffee and cakes, then headed to KCUB. There we packed up the plane, preflighted and departed for Oshkosh at around 8:15 a.m. Continue reading

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Flight Safety: In The Pattern, Pride Must Take The Back Seat, Complacency Doesn’t Even Belong In The Aircraft

The other day, somebody told me about somebody else cutting them off in the pattern recently. He said this has happened more than once with the same fellow. We both talked about how that kind of thing happens. I mean, we are communicating on the radio, and we’re looking for traffic, and we’re following pattern procedures – aren’t we?These things happen, and unfortunately, all to often. Do we get complacent? Are we simply negligent? You have heard “Fly the airplane first” a million times. This is the single most important advice we ever get when we’re learning to fly. If you have passengers, do you ever put your interaction with them before “flying the airplane?” Do you even realize that you are doing it? Perhaps not! I remember one time I had three kids, all of whom I know as family and friends, with me one day and as we entered the pattern, I was trying to entertain their questions and ignore their unnecessary utterances on the intercom, and as I turned base to final, all the while concentrating on flying, I finally said, “Columbia Downtown, Skyhawk seven-eight-lima turning final for  one-three – ya’ll be quiet now, I’m trying to land!” Then I unkeyed the mic. Now, the kids onboard knew who I was talking to – them! How about everybody else that might have been listening? I had gotten my proper radio transmission out, but also treated whoever might have been listening to some extra curricular conversation. Continue reading

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