Old codger "wisdom"

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Rich
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Old codger "wisdom"

Post by Rich » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:20 am

I get so tired of folks spouting this stuff. Some examples:

1. Autopilots are for wusses. If you can't hand-fly in IMC for 4 hours with severe turbulence and manage with your one single-frequency radio and manage a pile of paper charts and copy 4 amended clearances an hour you shouldn't be flying.
2. GPS fails all the time and can be shut down throughout the world by a 2nd looey in Colorado Springs with no notice.
3. ADS-B is a gimmick. It doesn't handle every bit of possible traffic all the time so it's worthless. All you need to do is look out the window and use the radio.
4. Never operate oversquare.
5. Never run LOP.
6. If you don't fly a taildragger, you're a second-rate pilot.

In case it's not obvious I disagree with all of these.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal.
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by RMarkSampson » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:39 am

OK, I'll bite.
1. People can't really multitask - they just jump from one thing to another in quick succession. Training yourself to scan is important but autopilots allows you to scan more than just the bloody six pack.
2. GPS only fails if it is the only form of navigation you rely on.
3. ADS-B increases awareness, and that my friend is not a gimmick.
4. I fly a fixed pitch prop so I'll defer on the Oversquare…
5. If you pick the right time to do it, LOP is better than ROP.
6. Diamond does not build trail-draggers so that one is obviously completely false...


So I got two of these from a wise old codger and one from the internet. Can you pick which one is false?

> 'The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
> 'Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.
> I'm from the FAA and I'm here to help you.
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by Colin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:26 am

Diamond built a few taildraggers. They were gliders and I think one was a powered glider. Something like that. Maybe the sailplane wasn't really a Diamond and it was before they formed the company.
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by Thomas » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:09 am

Diamond build a taildragger years ago, the motorglider HK36 Dimona and Super Dimona. I flew it frequently. When airborne it is a beautiful plane, a Diamond as we are used to. BUT on ground it was not. Taxing was a nightmare; backtrack on a narrow runway you have to get out and turn the tail by hand. Landing was kind of tricky too, even with my good training in gliders and hundreds landings on Maule MX7 taildragger as a tow pilot (the Maule can be a beast in X-wind). They added later a Tricycle gear, that version was a success. The HK36 was originally designed by Hoffmann Flugzeugbau in the early 80s, becoming then HOAC company and then Diamond in 1998. The HK36 was the mother of our DA`s . When I picked up a HK36 in Wiener Neustadt for our Flying Club in 2000, I saw the “secret Project” DA40 the first time and never thought that I will own and love one in future 😊
Dimona HK36 taildragger.jpg
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by Rich » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:58 pm

What set me off on my rant was a post on a FB group about ADS-B being inferior to your eyeballs outside the cockpit and using the radio properly in the pattern.

1. Eyeballs outside. Yes, you do need to pay attention outside for traffic that will not appear on your electronic gizmo (and seagulls, I might add). But your airplane has vast blind areas your eyeballs can not cover. And pretend as you might, the "see and avoid" with eyeballs outside is not adequate for other reasons. Many tragic collisions have occurred due to these limitations, yet there are those that cling to the myth that the average (even superior) pilot can pick out all bogeys in all directions 100% of the time.

2. Radio procedure. Really? In fact, my experience yesterday returning to Prineville points out the fallacy of this:

- We share a CTAF with Madras and Sun River. Sun River is far enough, yet near enough, that we get comm traffic in the S39 pattern, but it is often garbled enough it often takes some mental diversion to try to discern that it is not relevant.
- You're relying on other pilots' proper use of the radio. As it happens, Prineville and Madras routinely have numerous foreign students on the CTAF at any given time. With English not being their first language and many are low-time students, there is lots of unintelligible chatter going on and it takes some more mental cycles to discern what they are saying. If they decide to announce more involved intentions than just pattern callouts, it's a serious challenge to make out what they are saying. And then there are cases like this: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Repor ... L&IType=FA
- Crappy radios. Not the aforementioned students, but some folks are flying around with gear that must have been built in the Nixon administration. Weak carrier or nasty static makes them hard to understand.
- Transmissions getting stepped on. With 3 airports in radio range it's pretty often that you get the resulting information-free noise over the freq.
- Weakness in even standard phraseology. We don't think about this, but if someone calls in that they're turning crosswind, that's often not enough information. When I'm doing T&G's, often my turn to crosswind happens by the end of the runway, and turns to base are usually 1/2-3/4 mile out from the threshold. Sometimes even tighter than that. Many other locals run really tight patterns also. But the students from this Redmond-based flying school are taught to fly these airliner-like patterns. Luckily the flight school has fully equipped all their planes with 1090-ES. So including FF in my scan as a standard routine I could tell that the guy calling out a turn to downwind just before I'm about to turn downwind will be miles behind me. I tightened up my turn to base and final, landed long and was taxiing off the runway just as that following traffic announced turning to base.

My use of ADS-B traffic is a cross between strategic and tactical. There have been a couple of occasions where I made a diverting maneuver to avoid "electronic" traffic that I never was able to pick up with the naked eye. Yesterday as I was initially returning to the airport there was this gaggle of traffic over the airport that caused me to delay a few minutes until it cleared. Yes, there is traffic that won't show up (certainly that seagull I hit many years ago wouldn't have). So I don't fixate on the iPad. It sits right below my 6-pack, is easily included as a part of my information input and doesn't block any of my outside view. A particularly useful option is pulling up the synthetic vision panel where traffic is projected from a horizontal perspective, as well as in plan view below it.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal.
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by RMarkSampson » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:51 pm

Just a few weeks ago I was flying an EAA Young Eagle rally. One planned turn way point was a lake - every turn point was a left turn which meant my YE who was in the right seat was always on the high side of the bank. Thus I would use ADS-B to ensure the other planes in the rally were not near the lake so I could do what Diamonds do best - give a great view of the lake out the cockpit for my YE. Without any traffic, I would execute a right 270 over the lake allowing my YE to really get a great view as we did a steep bank to the right. One time, my ADS-B aural callout squawked two contacts as I approached the lake. They were not my rally-mates flying other kids - but another transient plane and a helo that just happen to be traversing the same airspace. Because I had ADS-B working for me - I was able to search and identify the traffic, execute my plan B which was an early turn to the left. Without ADS-B I would have been totally relying on the big sky, small plane statistical dice roll. Yes, ADS-B is not perfect - but time and time again it has given me the tactical advantage in busy airspace.

I did have another time where a guy and his wife in a beautifully restored rotary-engine bi-plane was heading to the same airport - he called out my tail number and wanted to deconflict like we were already formation flying. First looking for a close contact - to include a quick bank to look under my wing - I consulting my ADS-B and found him 5 miles away. So with a bit of grin, I mentioned I did not have him visually but my ADS-B had him at 5 miles. We then spent a few seconds deconflicting - I would arrive first and gave him my pattern intentions. He would follow. We later met on the ground in the FBO and had a nice conversation about the advantages of ADS-B. He did not have it installed yet so his Foreflight/Stratus was relying on my ADS-B Out to give him the picture. So ADS-B can be a traffic tool, or even a social icebreaker...

Finally, I stand corrected on the Diamond taildragger - sweet looking aircraft. But I will also note that the plane clearly states "Diamona" which, in an effort to never lose an argument, is not really a Diamond with a "d." Yes, I am married - so I fully understand losing arguments, no matter the facts of the case, is sometime the best tactic to employ...
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by Steve » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:59 pm

RMarkSampson wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:51 pm
Finally, I stand corrected on the Diamond taildragger - sweet looking aircraft. But I will also note that the plane clearly states "Diamona" which, in an effort to never lose an argument, is not really a Diamond with a "d." Yes, I am married - so I fully understand losing arguments, no matter the facts of the case, is sometime the best tactic to employ...
And, always looking to stir the pot again, the pictured aircraft is a Diamond HK36 Super Dimona. The Dimona term is like our Star, a model name of a particular Diamond line... ;)

Steve
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by RMarkSampson » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:16 am

You would think I had better sense than debate Diamond history with 5-star members. There is actually an HK36 at the Diamond Service Center in Lakeland. It is in the back waiting for some significant repair/restoration. It was in a hangar that collapsed during Hurricane Irma. She looks very similar to my DA-20 but her wings are even longer - with speed brakes. She does have tricycle landing gear.
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by Rich » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:24 pm

2. GPS is unreliable and can be "shut down" on a whim: Technically, this is turning on "selective availability". This is highly unlikely any more, as accurate GPS has become too entrenched in all aspects of modern life. Plus the US is no longer the only game in town. FWIW, the airport here in Redmond, OR was shut down (at least for airline travel) during our extended bad weather this last winter for something like 2 weeks. This was because a component of the ILS was damaged by a snowstorm. The RNAV approaches were still operable, but apparently the regional carriers that serve this airport are not cleared to use just RNAV approaches, even though there is an LPV available. VORs routinely go out of service for one reason or another, and it was common for the glideslope to be unavailable at PAE.

6. Sorry, but taildraggers are inherently unstable on the ground - it's only a question of degree. It's kind of like saying you're not a true bicyclist unless you can ride a unicycle. They have their uses, but my manhood is not threatened by saying I have no interest in flying a taildragger for its own sake.

Fuel left behind on takeoff has value. Airlines almost never fly topped off, e.g. Here's another: When Dick Cheney used to make trips to his Jackson Hole home as VP, they used a C-17 to transport his retinue and departed JAC considerably light on fuel. Typically they would land in Casper and fuel up there for the flight back to DC. How do I know this? In June 2004 I stopped in Casper to refuel and to catch lunch. The C-17 in question landed while I was there and behold, a VIP TFR materialized at the airport, closing it. I stopped in to pay for fuel and the guy at the counter told me they routinely had this happen, for the reason stated above.

The aviate, navigate, communicate I can't disagree with. Here's an amazing example of getting it backward: The most recent DA40 fatal accident I can find worldwide was a stall-spin in Australia in 2017. As it's spinning the instructor broadcast a MAYDAY to ATC. I don't know what he expected ATC to do to help him.
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Re: Old codger "wisdom"

Post by CBeak » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:24 pm

Have to agree. I’m getting to be an older human @55 but still a newer pilot of 13 years. Always wanted to fly, but it took me a long time to acquire the time and treasure necessary to do so. My least favorite are the guys who have 15,000 hours in various planes, and truly can fly, but talk and behave as if no other human being should be permitted to fly, or will ever approach their own level of piloting expertise. And they never miss an opportunity to work it into a conversation, no matter what the actual topic may be.
That being said, I miss my friend, customer, and CFI who died a few years ago, still a sharp and active pilot, at age 94. He was a retired United Captain and flew because he loved to fly. His life story was fascinating in itself. Best of all, he wanted to share that love of flying with anybody he could. Flight reviews with him were the best. Right before he died, he was starting to teach me celestial navigation that helped him get around the Pacific in WWII. Every time we climbed into an airplane, he’d turn to me and say “Flying is supposed to be fun. If we go up and aren’t having fun, we’re coming back down.”
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