Oct 26 2011

EZnoselift Installation

After I returned from Calif it took a few days to get my life back in order (as it always does when you are away for a while). Since I was planning to fly Tweedy up to PA for a birthday surprise on Nov 3 a goal was set of installing the noselift and higher compression pistons before I left Charleston. I wanted to have some steady run time to break in and seat the rings on the trip.

The noselift was a real challenge due to existing wiring and an electric panel which required relocating. The work took a few days longer than I would have hoped for, but in the end result it was worth the effort. Jack Wilhelmson gave me some excellent support for a few wiring questions and it worked great from the first power up.

Here is just the beginning of the disassembly. Most of the electrics in the nose had to be removed and relocated. It ended up the 32 ahr battery had to be replaced with a smaller 18 aHr Odyssey battery due to space issues. I found the best price on the battery from Amazon which was almost $40 cheaper than ACS with free shipping! The battery change was actually helpful since the noselift weight about 8 lbs more than stock and the smaller battery compensates for the weight increase in the nose. The weight of the plane actually went down a few lbs and my CG didn’t change a bit.


I had to remove the old Dr. Curtis ratchet handle he used to sell. It worked great for 12 years.


After the old system was removed, a nice paint job covered everything up. Surprisingly I didnt have to do anything to the panel other than remove the handle, sand it flush, paint and bond on the new electric panel. Glad something what easy on this install.


The wiring was easy to do and looks much better than my old 12 yrs inexperienced wiring job.


More wiring


Finished. Looking forward to testing the automatic extension system. It is also nice to be able to park the plane in the half way down position to move it around the hangar.


Next step pistons for the engine.

Oct 22 2011

iPhone 4S Camera Review…

My wish has come true …  I have always wanted a phone with a freaking good camera.  Is that too much to ask?

I love to take pictures of my day, as I can’t remember shit BUT if I see a picture of something I did on the day in question, I can recall everything.  You see, part of the index file which puts time stamps on the nightly daily events upload to my brain is crapped up…. hence the need for image stimulation to facilitate full recall.

I usually carry my trusty camera (when it is not being run over by a car) everywhere and snap at least a few pix per day.  For years, I have REALLY wanted a cell phone with a good camera so I could ditch my Casio EX-H5, 12.1 mp camera.  I tried the HTC EVO.  Supposed to have an 8 mp camera…. shit the 5 mp camera on the Apple iPhone took a slightly better picture.   In either case the photos were not up to my minimal standards.  Too much grain, color slightly off and lack of good focus.   Emergency phono only please.

The EVO I picked up lasted for less than a year, and Sprint gave me an EVO Slide when I was at Oshkosh this year.  I was desperate for any phone as I had to have something for the airshow.  I had to walk back and forth from the to town to get it. The first Slide lasted one day, and I had to get a replacement.   The HTC Slide is a 4G phone was supposed to be top of the line.   After 4 months of use it to started crapping out.   Crap, 4G…4 months.  It was jumpy and would sometimes lock up..  I need another new phone and Sprint.   I knew was now offering the iPhone.   The timing could be right.

When I was in Salt Lake City I watched a video on the Apple website with Ric Lee showing just how wonderful the iPhone 4S camera was.   It also had a bunch of other cool features such as iCloud and Siri which appealed to me.  I am trying to go Apple with all my equipment so an iPhone was the next step

The contract with Sprint was up for renew so the iPhone 4S was ordered.  It is supposed to have as much computing power as the iPad 2 (dual core processor) but running at a slightly lower clock rate to conserve the battery,  It also had the upgraded 8 mp camera in it.

While flying Tweedy, I took these pictures….  I was blown away.  Great color saturation, minimal grain, and the camera was QUICK.  You could shoot off a number of pictures almost as fast as you can compose and shoot.  Sweet.

The are untouched pictures.   I only used the software in the phone to crop and work with the pictures.  I haven’t figured out how to find the file size yet (dam Apple computer) but they are fairly big as WordPress takes a while to upload and crunch them.

Cooper River Bridges


I had WordPress insert  a higher resolution picture of Mount Pleasant and the USS Yorktown.  Cropping was done in the camera.  Click on the pictures for close up detail.

This picture of the end of Sullivan’s Island was cropped and I added the phone “Magic Enhancement” effect.  It added a little sharpness (and grain) and richened the colors some.  Darker greens and blues sort of thing.

FINALLY, after years of waiting, I have what I REALLY wanted.  Just ONE piece of electronics to carry around.  It is a phone, internet, gps, game station, educational device and a truly ACCEPTABLE camera to document my existence.  I’ll still use the Casio from time to time for special occasions where I really want a high rez pictures, but the Apple iPhone 4S takes really good pictures to use on a day to day basis..

Oh, went to Sprint to transfer my old numbers off the EVO Slide…. the Slide  wouldn’t talk to their equipment.  Bad Android…

The rep also said there may have been a bad software push that messed up the operating system since others have complained of erratic operating system behavior the last few weeks.   Bad Android….

He said they would or may have sent out new code.  He wasn’t really sure.    Bad Android…

Hum think about it my EVO didn’t seem to be acting so freaky on me since I made it back to Charleston.  I just thought it might be happy to be home too.  Maybe it was pushed and updated with some good stuff.     Maybe the EVO fully functional again?  Did I really need to buy the iPhone 4S at this time?

Well, after playing with it for the last few days, running memory intensive applications such as ForeFlight with no slowdown and now seeing the quality of the picture output, I can say the iPhone 4S rocks.   Apples makes VERY nice products with software that just works.  Now I can finally ditch my camera.  Good Apple ISO 5….

The bird back is the hangar in her favorite spot right next to the door in front of the spam cans, grazing on concrete….

Bon appetit  Tweedy.


Oct 22 2011

Reunited with Tweedy

The last few days have been remarkable for me.  I thoroughly enjoy being back.  The weather is good, my cat Cosm0 (for Cosmo Kramer) remembers and seems genuinely pleased to have me back again…..

AND I get to sleep in my own bed again.   I am happy.

After a busy week, with doctor visits, grocery shopping, washing, cleaning and visiting friends (who very pleased to see me again), I  made plans on Saturday to visit an old friend I have been ignoring as of late.

After an easy morning with breakfast, news paper and a visit from Jack Wilhelmson (eznoselift.com) ,  I finally headed out to the airport to see Tweedy.

She was sitting in the back of the hanger buried behind a number of Spam Cans looking totally out of place..  A thick coating of dust was on her. We hadn’t been together since September 21 st….  YIKES could how could I have ignored her this long?

Will I be able to warm her up?  Or, will she be pissed at me and require massive  maintenance on her for hours due to my lack of attention?  Something always seems to cranky and cause me issues IF I don’t work the old bird  out regularly.   Finicky she can be…


After installing the Trio Pilot Pro which has been upgrade by Chuck to the latest and greatest software upgrade, we headed out.

You know, I have flown N123LE for total 55.6 hrs and Tweedy for 2570 hours, and while the new gal who came life 2.5 years ago, I couldnt stop thinking of Tweedy.  N123LE is fun, racy, FAST, brilliantly intelligent and sweet bird as one could ever hope to fly……..bit yet, there is just a wonderful feeling when you’re reunited with a bird you spent 14 years with and just love to fly.  We have been though everything Mother Nature could throw at us.  She is as dependable an easy going as one could hope for.

Tweedy just started without a fuss, purred like a kitten, and off we went to fly down the Ashely river at 600 ft listening to wonderful music to  overfly the city.  Rusty said he would be somewhere on the Ashely River, I am going to be over the river looking down at….well everyone, and no one cares.

A south end of  Sullivan’s Island


and the Cooper River Bridges

The new code on the Trio Pro is fantastic.   I have been a beta tester for their equipment since the pre-deveopment of the EZ-1 altitude hold.  Beta testers have the fun of finding issues with pre-release software and making recommendations to the developers.   I’ll tell you what the Trio products are really good and you can ask for a better company to deal with.    Chuck developed the product and wrote the software code and was extremely supportive of my crazy suggestions and recommendations.  The new code he has in the A/P really works well and produces a much more stable ride than any I have used so far.

Thanks Trio for your fantastic support when I needed to get the A/P sent out to me overnight in Greeley, CO.

Back in the hangar, put the good old gal back to bed.  Off spend a nice quite night at home writing….


Oct 18 2011

Day 19… Home Again

This morning was a FREAKEN early morning wake call.  3:15 am Yikes!

My flight was set for an early 6:05 am loading, so I wanted to be sure to  get to the airport at least 1.5 hrs earlier to allow for returning the rental car, a bus ride, TSA screening, eat a nice breakfast before wheels up.

After leaving the hotel at 3:45 I found NO restaurants were open!   What???   The hotel is 2 miles from the airport with all the hotels crammed together.   The only place with 24 hr open was a Hardees and when I asked for breakfast they said…  No we don’t serve breakfast at this time.  We don’t serve breakfast unit 4 am.   So I had to get a $6 burger.

Off the the Enterprise rental returns… very fast as there was NO one there.   The bus was waiting for me and since I was the only on on the bus, we headed quickly for the airport.

After drop off,  at 4:10 found TSA security didn’t open until 4:30 am so I was 2nd in line and chatted to a nice couple who were going to Nicaragua to rent a sail boat for a week.  This was one empty airport!


Security screening was a snap as there were 5 lines open, with 4 people in line.  Coffee NOW please…..  shit, the small shops didn’t open for another 30 minutes (5 am) so they just tantalized us with the sell of brewing coffee…. what torcher.

Finally off to Houston, where  I saw these cool art work hanging from the ceiling.  It was so simple yet extremely cool   Randomly cut plastic sheets (1/4 to 3/8 inch thick) with different shades of color were heated, bent, and hung under a long yet narrow skylight.  This sunlight interacted with the plastic to light the edges, to highlight  the shape and detailing the edges.


What a neat idea!


Finally made it home about 6:15 pm.  It was raining, my cat missed me and I was so excited I almost had an orgasum .


Woowaaa here.  I just did a spell check of this document and it before I published and the checker didn’t recognize the work orgasum.  How weird as it seems to know anything I throw at it.   I then checked the web for the proper spelling and found a whole untapped world of stuff about orgasums.  What some fun…. google orgasum.  There are youtube’s about orgamsums.  How weird it doesn’t spell check.


Urban Dictionary: orgasum


When you get so overly excited while Fucking and then all of a sudden, BAM, you explode with enough cum to get a whale pregnant.


Folks I don’t make this shit  up…….


Oct 17 2011

Day 18… Teardown!

Today , Pat and I are  planning to disassemble the plane, move it to two shops.  I also needed to fit in dental visits, and move to  my new hotel closer to LAX.

8:15 Left hotel

9 AM    Arrive Dentist….  14 miles

10:30  Left Dentist to Fullerton airport… 9 miles

Pat and I met up at Fullerton, we made some ramps for the plane and the wings, canard, cowls were taken off.

and the Pat helped me load the bird was loaded on to the trailer and off we went.

12:30 Left Fullerton to  Chino.. about 30 miles

We took the bird to Pat friend , Aaron who will be doing some engine work.   Aaron will build a new exhaust system to better fit the cowl and a new intake system to allow installation of a B&C starter.   The old starter was a car type conversion which really didn’t have the right stuff to quickly spin the engine.

Aaron runs a neat and tidy show for metal work (like what you would see on a TV show) does great metal work restoring vintage cars.  The sump welding was done by Arron and I would consider the work outstanding.


I needed to take off the oil pan so Arron can make  the mods to the intake system.  In about an about 1 hour it was free it is time to go.

4 PM  Leave Chino for Fullerton … about 30 miles

After leaving Chino, it was a quick dash to the airport to load the wings.  Pat drove them down to his work shop I headed to the dentist.

5:30  Leave Fullerton to Dentist… 9 miles

6:30 Left Dentist to Huntington Beach… about 25 miles

The wings were moved into Pat’s shop, I took all the control surfaces off, to help prep the wings for painting.  Packed up my tools and clothing to ship FEDEX to the house.

Left Huntington Beach

10:30  Arrive LAX  hotel… 25 miles

Finally cheeked in.  I am totally exhausted from the day and not eating much.  Bed time as I have a 3:15 am appt.

Oct 16 2011

Day 17… Pat’s Solo

We met up at Fullerton about 11 am for Pat’s solo flight.  A quick 6 minute flight to Chino and after about 6 or 7 practice landing from the back seat felt Pat was ready for his first fight.

Needless to say I was probably more nervous than he was.  Whenever you flight a new bird the first time, it can be a bit scary.  This one is quite a handful as the avionics are so advanced it can be a bit overwhelming.  It took wiring the plane, studying the manuals for hours to just touch the surface of what this bird can do.

As Pat was getting comfortable with the plane on the ground my first thought was the plane was going to overheat.  He must have spent at least 10 to 15 minutes on the ground with an already heat soaked engine.  Normally canards are notorious bad for overheating due to the fact they have no cooling air over the cylinders like tractor planes.  I became very alarmed with length of time he just sat there…and sat there.  Yikes.


Finally after what seemed like an eternity on the ground, Pat took off and made about 3 or 4 tough and goes.  He was flying!

The bird looked really fast from the ground and it was great fun for me to see her flying with the characteristic sound that a canard makes.

Finally Pat taxi’s up with the grin of success on his face.  Peace of cake he claims.

Strangely, when I asked him about the cylinder head temps, he said NONE of them were over 400 f while sitting idling on the ground.  I was in shock!  I had hoped the educators would work well, but I didn’t realize just how well they helped ground operations.   My bird only seems to get up to about 375F but I had never tried to sit on the ground idling with a heat soaked engine like he did.  I guess I’ll have try my bird out to see what happens.   I do know this, I am going to rebuild my cowls to look like Pats as I think not only to they look good but function much better than Tweedy’s.



Oct 15 2011

Day 16… Back in the air

I returned to Chino at 8 am to start work on the plane.  It turned out to be an easy swap out as the rims were not damage and I had all the necessary tools on hand.

After about an hour the new tires were installed, I found the breaks need to be replaced (no big deal)

and Pat and I jumped into the plane for a quick flight around the pattern to check everything out.

After returning back to Fullerton, we went to a very lovely street where apparently a number of films had been made,

Pat’s hangar mates were fascinated by the exhaust educators.  I told Torg that the educators seemed to really work.  I had not used in in Colorado Springs (leaving Burrall’s place) and the cylinders temps went up to over 450 f in just the time it took to taxi from his hangar to the runway (about 10 minutes).  As soon as I took off, I needed to quickly cool down the engine.

He also liked the wing blends.  I feel they do reduce drag, but am not as sure about the upper part of the winglet.  Hey they do look cool though.

Pat and I decided not to fly together today.  He was really tired, and so was I.    Tomorrow he will attempt to solo.

Oct 14 2011

Day 15… The Big Blowout

Today, Pat and I met at the airport for our first flight together.  We decided to fly 30 minutes down to  Chula Vista (outskirts of San Diego) and then up to Chino for practice .

The flight along the coast was just beautiful as always.  This is Laguna Beach where I had just been the last night to see Tony (best friend from CHS) and his grand children.  Strangely he was in LA at the same time I am.  Hopefully he can help me disassemble the plane on Monday.

We needed to stop by Trio to exchange the loaner auto pilot with Pats A/P which needed a software upgrade.

Today was another lucky day for me as Jerry had purchased a GM Volt (serial hybrid electric car).  When he asked me if I wanted top drive I enthusiastically said …” Hell ya”  How’s that for a bubba yell.  He only drives locally and told me he hasn’t put gas in the car in 10 months (since Jan)

Gillespie Field (KSEE) has a great little cafe on the field for us to grab a bite to eat, talk planes and watch take offs and landing.  What a great place!

Sid showed me a really cool little camera/display he installed in the headrest of  his beautiful EZ.  The camera is mounted over his shoulder so the back seat passenger can see the instrument panel  What  great idea.  One could fly from the back and practice IFR work seeing all the important instruments.

In front of the trio hanger, the canard came off, and the upgraded auto pilot was installed and programed.  It is now working very well and exhibiting none of the strange tendencies it had before do to the incorrect installed software.  I had been using it and it was programed with very old beta software.  Once the production software was in, all is well.

After Trio Pat and I flew up to Chino to practice touch and goes with Pat flying from the back seat.  On one of the last landings there (of coarse) we blew out the starboard main tire.  Shit…..  apparently it was extremely worn which might be due to heavy use of the breaks.   Normally I get one to 1.5 years out of a set of tires.  This set lasted for 5 months.  The tire ripped the wheel faring off, which wasn’t a big deal because it was going to be replaced anyway.  Crap, what now.


Pat made some phone calls to secure new tires and we waited for what seem like an eternity for help to show up (the FBO ground crew) to help tow the plane to the hangar area.  Fortunately, the airport was not busy  so sitting on a taxi way didn’t cause any problems.

As the sun was setting, the crew finally showed up and the had a wheel dolly…. Ya!

Lets get started hauling this thing out of here


Whats wrong with this picture.  Pat is setting in the truck, and I am walking/running with the plane for half a mile or so trying to guide it to keep the plane directly behind the tow truck.    I guess I need the exercise anyway.



As we wait for Pat’s buddy to show up to drive us 45 minutes back to Fullerton airport it started getting really dark and  cold.  There is something to be said about dressing appropreately in case something should happen.

Once again another lesson on this  learned on this trip..

Oct 13 2011

Day 14… The Dentist

Today was a LONG day with Pat at his dental practice. 5.5 hrs sitting in the chair. Pat is an excellent dentist and he put on the crowns which were made the last time I saw him. I was wasted after that and just went back to the hotel and crashed….


I am staying at a Best Western here. At first glance, I thought it would be a piece of crap. Actually it was quite nice and comfortable and very clean. Wifi and breakfast…ya! All the essentials for a nice stay.

Oct 12 2011

Day 13… The last leg

After a wonderful night at Tim and Karen’s house, it was time to say good bye to my new friends.


I really like the way their house is decorated. Rich colors, lots of unique art, simple and uncluttered.


Tim took me for a quick drive around Tehachipi where I spotted another mural on the side of a building. What a cool little town. Every one seems to be into aviation around here due to all the aerospace companies which help support the town.


My next stop was to see Klaus in Santa Paula to exchange his loaner electronic ignition for the repaired one. Tim mentioned the local bakery was excellent so I thought I would pick up a peace offering to give to the great Klaus to keep him from beating me up too bad when I saw him for burning up his boxes. They had some german specialties which I though would be good.


Tehachapi is an excellent location for wind generation and there were thousands of them on the hill sides. What an great way to generate electricity. These pictures show only a small fraction of what covered the hill sides.



One of the things I really love with the GTR EFIS is the traffic/weather display (from the ADS-B receiver) and the synthetic vision (shows computer generated terrain). This unit has so many cool features I HAVE to install one in my plane…I am addicted to the situation awareness I get from it. Flying around the west coast is vastly different from the east coast. There are mountains, hills, valleys everywhere. A bit unnerving at times. I really found the synthetic vision helpful when flying up a valley to get to the Tehachapi airport. I am so used to flat country having the extra information from the GRT in the cockpit is very helpful.


After a short 20 minute flight, I arrived in Santa Paula. It is a small airport in a tight valley with a very short strip, sort of unusual as there are no real taxi ways. Just a big wide strip of asphalt with painted lines which separates the runway area from the taxi /parking area. This airport is tight and small.

Klaus met me at his hangar/workshop. I really like this picture as it looks like he just had a beer in the mug and is quite happy (maybe it was the apple strudel I brought). Actually the mug is the one he kindly served me water in. We had a great time chatting about Germany and flying. What a cool guy and we had a lot in common with our love of vinyl records, home built speakers and planes. After showing me his work shop and demonstrating his ignitions to me on the test stand, I am definitely buying them for my I0-540 which will go into my Cozy 4 Ultimate.


After quickly replacing his loaner ignition Klaus offered to fly with me in the new LongEZ he is refining. The plane weighs in at 900 lbs with a 0-360 in it with his custom electronic fuel injection. Talk about fast!!!! When we took off (he was first) and I couldn’t believe how quick it was. As fast as this bird is, he just disappeared like he engaged a warp drive. A little while later, he appeared next to me for some photo shots.


Klaus pulled it in so close to my wing, I though we would touch. He is certainly an excellent formation flier. After a few minutes of flying off the coast, Kluas bid goodbye, throttled up, and just pulled away from me in a climb. I was doing 160 kts and left me like I would flying next to a 150 Cessna. Wow…. I am impressed!


Another quick flight to Whiteman airport to meet up with Steven Crouch to chat awhile. It was funny, the Santa Anna winds were blowing and it was over 100 degrees (with no humidity). I had no idea it was so hot, as I had no sweat on me (evaporating) and it just felt dry. These locals don’t know real South Carolina heat with all the humidity thrown in.


After leaving Whiteman, it was a another quick flight to Fullerton (KFUL) for to bring the plane home. Pat showed up after work to take his first quick look at it and off we went to get the rental car as it was getting dark.

I am finally here….