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The Air Is Buzzing With Activity


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Hi All,

This is kind of interesting. My old platoon sergeant from 1976 sent this to me. It's a sped up 1-minute video that shows the planet over a 24 hour period and depicts the track of every commercial aircraft over that time period.

Blow it up to about 200% and then watch what happens as daylight hits the east coast of the US and what the US looks like by mid-day. It's truly mind boggling.

[utube]

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ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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That's very cool. I loved my years working part-time at an airport ramp constantly monitoring the very formal and habitual communitication that goes on between pilots, airports and air traffic control. In today's world, even as busy as the skies are, mid-air collisions are pretty much limited to private pilots that choose to do really stupid things.

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Imagine the fuel that is consumed by all those flights. The way that the North American continent lights up so much compared to the rest of the planet, it's no wonder we lead the world in energy consumption. We've the biggest carbon footprint of all.

Marc

However, if you imagine those passengers in a Boeing 737 (189 passengers) or a Boeing 757 (228 passengers) traveling on average at .017 gallons per passenger mile,

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forum ... n/2628781/

and then imagine them all in automobiles at on average .04 gallons per passenger mile, flying commercially is on average 2.5 times more economical and 600 times safer than driving (one in 10.5 Million flying and one in 16,500 in a car) [:-magnify

What a deal!

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Keeps the ATC busy for sure.

When I was a kid flying was magical - good looking gals, beautiful aircraft, it was a special treat to fly. Now I'll do anything I can not to fly. Greyhound holds more allure than air travel.

Really? How come, Terry? Is it being herded around the airport or the actual flying?

I remain a hopeless and eternal addict and will fly anything I can - bi-planes, helos, you name it. Haven't done a balloon yet, though.

The apex for me so far was getting invited to ride in a Pitt Special with a retired Air Force and stunt pilot at the controls. It was outstanding. We did it all: hammerheads, inverted rolls, barrel rolls, etc. We only had one move left when he asked me how I was doing, to which I replied, "I'll be fine if we can just fly straight and level for a few minutes." He headed straight back to the airport, fearful I was about to barf in his plane. Rats! I should have lied and said I was perfect! Oh well. [:-hspin] (But, he may have been right, because the move that was left to do was a huge circle doing incremental 1/4 rotations about every few seconds completing a full rotation within each quarter of the circle. In other words, we would have done four full rotations while flying in a circle. Talk about jumbled up G forces... Yeah, maybe I would have barfed since I was beginning to feel a bit queasy.)

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When the economy tanked, I was half way to my pilot's license and had to abandon the project. It all worked out. I'd have probably hated maintaining a license anyway. But, it was cool learning how to take off, fly and land a plane and fully understand, on commercial flights, what the pilot is doing and why.

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It's no fun anymore Mike. Last time I was on a jet there were tears in the carpet. I noted wiring that was being pinched under the seat in front of me (before takeoff). Brought it to the attention of the steward who then called maintenance. Folks weren't happy with me for the delay. You're squeezed in like sardines - it's very uncomfortable. They make the pilots wait out in the main area with the rest of the cattle. You always seem to get one loud mouth on the flight or the non-stop crying baby. You always get the few that want to put their life belongings in the overhead. I'm pretty sure pay toilets will be the next thing. I could go on & on & on..........

Actually the one thing I don't mind is the "dance" before you board the aircraft. 911 changed all that and I understand.

I like to fly but hate the process.

If you have a computer and a joystick get a copy of Allied Force, which is a F-16 simulator with a real time campaign engine, and I'll show you around the pit of an F-16. [:-party]

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It's no fun anymore Mike. Last time I was on a jet there were tears in the carpet. I noted wiring that was being pinched under the seat in front of me (before takeoff). Brought it to the attention of the steward who then called maintenance. Folks weren't happy with me for the delay. You're squeezed in like sardines - it's very uncomfortable. They make the pilots wait out in the main area with the rest of the cattle. You always seem to get one loud mouth on the flight or the non-stop crying baby. You always get the few that want to put their life belongings in the overhead. I'm pretty sure pay toilets will be the next thing. I could go on & on & on..........

Actually the one thing I don't mind is the "dance" before you board the aircraft. 911 changed all that and I understand.

I like to fly but hate the process.

If you have a computer and a joystick get a copy of Allied Force, which is a F-16 simulator with a real time campaign engine, and I'll show you around the pit of an F-16. [:-party]

It IS different. When I was a kid, my parents made a point of dressing up the entire family when we flew, and everything seemed cleaner, better organized, and classier. The last three times I've flown, there were delays and missed flights. One plane landed in Cincinati so late, the airport was closed and the flight to Lexington was nonexistent. Everybody yelled at the lone ticket-counter chick who was still around, but of course there was nothing she could do. Me and my friend wound up taking a cab, which cost a hundred bucks.

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It's no fun anymore Mike. Last time I was on a jet there were tears in the carpet. I noted wiring that was being pinched under the seat in front of me (before takeoff). Brought it to the attention of the steward who then called maintenance. Folks weren't happy with me for the delay. You're squeezed in like sardines - it's very uncomfortable. They make the pilots wait out in the main area with the rest of the cattle. You always seem to get one loud mouth on the flight or the non-stop crying baby. You always get the few that want to put their life belongings in the overhead. I'm pretty sure pay toilets will be the next thing. I could go on & on & on..........

Actually the one thing I don't mind is the "dance" before you board the aircraft. 911 changed all that and I understand.

I like to fly but hate the process.

If you have a computer and a joystick get a copy of Allied Force, which is a F-16 simulator with a real time campaign engine, and I'll show you around the pit of an F-16. [:-party]

Yeah, I hear ya. For some reason, as long as I have a window seat on the trailing or leading edge of the wing, so I'm entertained with both the scenery and the flaps doing their thing, all the rest of that crap just fades out for me. I'm in my own little world until touch-down.

But you and Bain are both right. It has changed. When I was a kid, a pilot was seen as a GOD, and treated like one too (Especially guys flying Pan Am and TWA) They were kings. Now, they don't live much better than a cabby - just better scenery and chicks. They simply love what they do, because there is no other reward. I know guys that lost decades of seniority and retirement to start at the bottom again. It sucks for them.

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I was seven the first time I flew. Unbeknownst to my parents, I wrote to my grandmother in Nova Scotia and asked if I could come visit for the summer. She wrote back and ordered my Dad to put me on a flight. My Dad wasn't too happy about the idea; but he was an obedient son and drove me up to Boston and put me on a Trans Canada Airways DC3 with a card tacked to my suit coat and the name and address of my grandmother on it.

It was pretty cool, the stewardesses in those days looked like Playboy models, not like the granola grannies we see in planes today, and they were fawning all over me, 'cuz, let's face it, unlike today, I was downright cute back then.

The plane ran into fog and had to put down in Halifax. That's when this elderly couple that were also flying to Sydney decided to take charge of me. The airline put everyone on the plane on busses and ferried everyone to a really s****y hotel in downtown Halifax, huge lushly appointed lobby, gleaming brasswork everywhere and about a dozen bellhops complete with the little Jack-In-The-Box outfits to wait on everyone hand and foot, including me.

They put me up in my own suite - I'm not kidding; a suite. The bell hop showed me how to use the phone and told me to order whatever I wanted from room service 'cuz it was all courtesy of TCA. I spent about 10 minutes jumping up and down on that huge bed and then ordered room service and pigged out until I couldn't eat anymore.

The next morning, I got up early and spent an hour exploring the hotel before the old couple finally tracked me down and scolded me for disappearing from my room. They took me into a hugh dining room with all of the fancy silver that I still have no idea how to use 52 years later and I pigged out again for breakfast. Then it was off to the airport where we got put on a Lockheed Constellation. I remember the plane because the stewardesses started spoiling me again and one of them gave me a model of the plane with the TCA insignia on the fuselage. I kept that thing for years - don't know when I lost it. When we got to Sydney, the old couple delivered me to my uncle at the base of the stairs and presented me with a really cool model of a Mountie complete with uniform and sword. Then it was off for Sydney Mines in my uncles old Packard.

That summer was one of the best adventures of my lifetime.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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When the economy tanked, I was half way to my pilot's license and had to abandon the project. It all worked out. I'd have probably hated maintaining a license anyway. But, it was cool learning how to take off, fly and land a plane and fully understand, on commercial flights, what the pilot is doing and why.

Have you considered buying an ultralight? There's no cheaper or simpler way to fly. Unless things have changed in the 28 years since I last flew, there's no license, no registration, no nothin'!

I had a weight-shift Eipper Quicksilver. The only aerodynamic control was the rudder. It was controlled by ropes that were attached to me. When I swung side to side, the ropes moved the rudder. Pitch was controlled by swinging forward or backward. It was more like riding a (very slow) motorcycle though the air than flying a plane. The 90 cc engine gave me a cruising speed of about 25 mph.

It was the ultimate STOL aircraft. While most flights were up, around and back to the home field, I also landed in the yards of several friends, a county park and on the farm that I worked at while in high school.

Here it is at the 'home field' at my tie-down.

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Here I am, skinnier than I can remember being. The kids belong to a flying buddy.

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You can see how little there actually was to that contraption.

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My longest flight was about 40 miles each way. Here I'm passing over a not-yet-dead Bethlehem Steel. I shouldn't have been flying over a populated area, but I didn't care really care, since ultralights don't have N numbers.[;)]

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Oh, so that's why they call it a cloverleaf interchange!

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I found a crappy YouTube video of a weight shift Quicksilver. Watching it brought back memories. I don't remember it being so scary sounding.

[utube]

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When I was a kid, my neighbor worked in development for a company called Helio Aircraft. They were working on a STOL plane called the 'Courier'. One time, on approach to Boston's Logan Airport for a landing, he was cleared for runway such and such and he answered that he was 'coming in "on" ##'.

He landed 'on the numbers' and stopped.... "on" the numbers.. :)

Here's an old 'film ad'.. The fields used were around Boston (Norwood, Canton, Bedford). Check it out... there is some amazing footage.. The plane is more like a kite.. Some amazing shots of the plane landing in a parking lot at an old Polaroid plant in Waltham, MA

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When the economy tanked, I was half way to my pilot's license and had to abandon the project. It all worked out. I'd have probably hated maintaining a license anyway. But, it was cool learning how to take off, fly and land a plane and fully understand, on commercial flights, what the pilot is doing and why.

Have you considered buying an ultralight? There's no cheaper or simpler way to fly. Unless things have changed in the 28 years since I last flew, there's no license, no registration, no nothin'!

No, I hadn't. That looks like fun. I was training on an ultra-light - a relatively new class of aircraft (rumors bounce around that the Cessna 150 may some day fall into that class), which requires about half the air-time to get a license in. They have a rotax engine, which actually run on 93 Octand Mo-Gas. They're very light, but a lot of fun to fly. Take-off speed is a mere 68 knots and cruising speed it about 95 - 100 knots. They respond to the controls in an instant, as opposed to the the Cessna 172, which feels like you're steering a boat.

I bet an untra-light would be a lot of fun. What did you do with it? I never saw one land or take-off at our airport. Is it allowed? I did, however, see a pilot land a hard home-made version of an aircraft that looked somewhat like an ultra-light - actually more like something out of WaterWorld. It was crazy. The pilot was sitting right up front forward of the wheels and the engine and prop were up and behind him.

I don't know if I'd be comfortable in an ultra-light. I guess I need that false sense of security that the surrounding metal of a fuselage is going to protect me...

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Is this the result of the Anglo Saxon invasion, or modern day evidence of such?

Wasn't it the Chinese that developed the first Kite? [;)]

During the two years that I fueled aircraft, the one thing that I found particularly astonishing is how little wing technology has changed since the forties. Some of the old private planes from the forties are beautiful - simple and graceful tried and true lines, like the Stinson and Luscombe. It goes to show how well we did, early on, at understanding and making the most of lift. With the exception of maximizing the effectiveness of flaps, the only recent developments are the little fins you see on the top of wings that actually create turbulence across the top of the wing - increasing negative pressure over the wing to compound lift, and winglets (the up-turned wing ends) which decrease the vortexes that spin off a flat wing end, which can, like little tornados, really screw up the air behind an aircraft the next aircraft flies into.

Of course, this doesn't include military aircraft which rely mostly on massives thrust and computers to stay aloft. The stealth fighter, that Robert used to stand next to in a previous avatar, is so completely un-flightworthy that the best pilots out there readily admit it cannot be kept aloft for more than a few seconds without a computer. One simply can't react fast enough. The pilot and stick are basically herding the fighter along.

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I bet an untra-light would be a lot of fun. What did you do with it?

I'm not sure if you mean what did I do with it when I had it, or why don't I have it any more.

I had it for 3 years. I kept is assembled spring through fall, tied down at the private grass strip that the local EAA chapter (Chapter 70) used. Winters, I folded it up and stored it in my brother's warehouse.

I originally bought it after I gave up motorcycling following a bad crash. Lying in the hospital for 10 days got me to thinking what I could do for fun that was somewhat safer. I figured that up in the air, I couldn't slide into a guardrail post.

I bought it used, so so the cloth was already aging, and three seasons in the sun didn't do it much good either. The time had come to replace the cloth. Also, ballistic chutes were coming into popular use by then, and it was something I really should have had. I was looking at a pretty stiff expense for the upgrades, but didn't want to spend the money on a 'starter' ultralight. I decided to sell it and buy a brand new ultralight when finances permitted.

After I sold it, I decided to buy a new motorcycle in the interim. My finances never did allow me to buy another ultralight.

I never saw one land or take-off at our airport. Is it allowed

I guess it's up to the individual airport operator. There is no prohibition on ultralights at uncontrolled airports. I landed one time at an airport (Braden's). That was the only time I landed on and took off from a paved surface. It felt pretty strange.

I did, however, see a pilot land a hard home-made version of an aircraft that looked somewhat like an ultra-light - actually more like something out of WaterWorld. It was crazy. The pilot was sitting right up front forward of the wheels and the engine and prop were up and behind him.

Sounds like that might have been a Kolb Ultrastar.

I don't know if I'd be comfortable in an ultra-light. I guess I need that false sense of security that the surrounding metal of a fuselage is going to protect me...

I bet you would be comfortable. I'm not a fan of heights. Believe me, if I didn't have to walk roofs, I wouldn't. My knees have been knocking on more occasions than I can remember. Still, I never felt uneasy when flying, even though I was only sitting on a plastic seat from a kid's swing set, suspended from a nylon strap.

I will make a confession. Even though I was perfectly comfortable flying, I never got up the nerve to induce a stall. I know I should have so I would know how to recover from one, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I rationalized my reluctance by figuring my stall speed was so low, that the chance of an inadvertent stall was slim to none.

Handling your first stall is something that's a lot less intimidating when you have an instructor sitting next to you. A weight shift ultralight is the only type of ultralight that doesn't have a two seat trainer version.

I'm going to the Tri-State seminar. I'll bring some pictures.

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I will make a confession. Even though I was perfectly comfortable flying, I never got up the nerve to induce a stall. I know I should have so I would know how to recover from one, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I rationalized my reluctance by figuring my stall speed was so low, that the chance of an inadvertent stall was slim to none.

Handling your first stall is something that's a lot less intimidating when you have an instructor sitting next to you. A weight shift ultralight is the only type of ultralight that doesn't have a two seat trainer version.

Oh, believe me, I HATED performing stalls - a white knuckled experience. Why would anyone want to willfully push an aircraft into a stall? But, it sure proved necessary to practice them. The very first stall I did evoked all the predictable and natural wrong instincts that put an aircraft into a fatal tail-spin. (As you know, all of the normal reactions that work on the ground, will doom you in the air.) So, of course, my instructor, who was a retired fighter and commercial pilot quickly took the controls and pulled us right out of it. He then made me do about twenty of them to get me to automatically pause for a second and think my way out of it, based upon what I understand about aerodynamics - the rudder and throttle are the champs and the ailerons are merely a trimming mechanism that can get you in a heap of trouble if you rely on them for too much.

What's even funnier is this: I had already deduced, through flight school and reading that an aircraft will pretty much stabalize itself if left alone to do so. Later on in my flight training I actually asked my instructor if we could test a couple of my suspicions, which he permitted us to do:

1. We trimmed the aircraft for straight and level flight and I took my hands off the controls. Then I gave the stick a good push forward which put us in a bit of a dive and let go. As suspected, the aircraft descended for a bit and then ascended some and eventually returned, on it's own, to normal straight and level flight.

2. We put the aircraft into a hands-off take-off stall. The aircraft fell, but quickly recovered with no human input. (unfortunately during a real take-off there isn't typically enough air under you for this to ocurr on its own before you hit the ground.)

Bottom line: Aircraft are truly amazing - designed to fly VERY well. Almost all aircraft disasters are pilot error. Most commercial aircraft are programmed to actually overide, or at least ardently protest through such measures as stick shake and alarms, pilot stupidity.

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One of my brothers has an aquaintance that flies a powered parachute. He has a pilots license and is certified to train. I can't imagine the hours are anywhere near that needed to fly fixed wing, but a license is required. Balloon pilots are licensed too. Unless you sprout wings you're gonna need some sanctioned seat time.

No, if a powered parachute conforms to the requirements of FAR Part 103.1, then no license is required.

Sec. 103.1 Applicability.

This part prescribes rules governing the operation of ultralight vehicles

in the United States. For the purposes of this part, an ultralight vehicle

is a vehicle that:

(a) Is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a

single occupant;

(b) Is used or intended to be used for recreation or sport purposes only;

© Does not have any U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate; and

(d) If unpowered, weighs less than 155 pounds; or

(e) If powered:

(1) Weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety

devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic

situation;

(2) Has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons;

(3) Is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full

power in level flight; and

(4) Has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots calibrated

airspeed.

Sec. 103.7 Certification and registration.

(a) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to certification of

aircraft or their parts or equipment, ultralight vehicles and their

component parts and equipment are not required to meet the airworthiness

certification standards specified for aircraft or to have certificates

of airworthiness.

(b) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to airman certification,

operators of ultralight vehicles are not required to meet any aeronautical

knowledge, age, or experience requirements to operate those vehicles or to

have airman or medical certificates.

© Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to registration and

marking of aircraft, ultralight vehicles are not required to be registered

or to bear markings of any type.

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Actually Joe, the plane I was referring to fell into the Experimental Class. It was a little beast - loud with a decent sized Av Gas engine. The pilot wore a motorcycle helmet. He had a radio and used it as any private pilot would (although it was a little hard to decipher what he was saying due to engine noise).

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