Long-Distance Drop-in

Living at an airpark has a lot of advantages - easy access to your plane (and shop), the ability to go flying for a few minutes before dinner (or before breakfast) without a lot of travel time, and having neighbors who are like-minded enough to consider airplane “noise” to be music. One other advantage is that it is easy to provide overnight accommodations to fellow aviators looking for a place to get some rest.

We had the pleasure the other night of taking in a couple of guys on an amazing trip – amazing not for its duration, but for its distance. A former Russian Air Force officer who goes simply by the name of “Vlad” currently lives in New Jersey with the RV-9A he built and completed a few short years ago. Since that time, Vlad has been known to jump in the airplane at a moment’s notice to depart for places unknown – sometimes, even to him! The other day, he found a friend who needed to build cross-country time towards his ATP ride, and offered the use of his time and plane for a little “jaunt across the country. “

Vlad's crosscountry
Vlad's crosscountry

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Smoke and Haze

It is the time of year out west that brings fires - lots of fires. The forests and mountains of the west are part of a constant natural cycle of rebirth that requires forest fires to provide the nutrients and space for new growth. Humankind has done much in recent years to fight many of the larger fires – especially those that threaten civilization or developed structures – but many of these fires are too large and remote to ever fully contain them. We do what we can, and let nature take its course with the rest.


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Not – So Great Wall of the Pine Nuts

Just south of our airpark in Dayton, Nevada, we have a small north-south range of mountains known as the Pine Nuts. Topping out in the neighborhood of 9,000' msl, they rise about four to five thousand feet above the surrounding terrain. Filled with old mining roads and the debris of lost gold mines, they have been known to white men for well over a century and a half – and used as a refuge and source of food for Native Americans long before that.

Not So Great Wall

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BD-Micro – Helping People Perfect the BD-5

FLS Microjet (Photo: BD-Micro)
FLS Microjet (Photo: BD-Micro)

We recently got a chance to drop in on "Skeeter" and "Richard" Karnes – the principals of BD-Micro of Siletz, Oregon. BD-Micro is a small company that holds many of the jigs and resources of one of the early BD-5 dealerships – their goal is to support existing owners of BD-5 kits that would like to see their airplanes fly. BD-Micro will also help those who have always dreamed of flying the little BD-5 – in prop or jet version – to realize their dreams by providing parts and build support for airplanes under construction – or projects not yet started.

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Trying and Flying the Avidyne IFD

IFD 540-440 (Photo: Avidyne)

For many years now, having an IFR-capable navigator has meant installing and using a Garmin GNS 430, 530, or their WAAS versions that end in a "W." Other products have existed, of course, but market penetration has been slim. The nearly ubiquitous Garmin 430W appears in so many cockpits that it is almost assumed that pilots know how to use them. In homebuilt aircraft that are equipped for IFR use, it is rare to find anything else – and if you leaf through the various popular EFIS installation manuals, most of them show exactly how to hook up the EFIS to a 430W.

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Kneeboard Notes

kneeboardOne of the frustrating things about editing a print magazine is the long lead-time required to bring ideas from the field into the actual magazine that appears on the newsstand. We fly a new airplane, write up a report, and it is invariably four months (at the quickest) before we can tell you that story as you sit in your favorite chair, leafing through the magazine. By that time, the “Mark II” model of the airplane has been announced, and we are forever playing catch up. Yet we all still like paper magazines, as they allow us to leaf through pages quickly in any direction, and refer back to where we have our fingers holding certain spots for quick reference.

The Internet is obviously a far faster way to get information to our readers, but at the same time, we want to be able to give you the in-depth, insightful, and thoughtful coverage that comes from taking the time to let ideas and impression congeal and organize themselves. First answers are often wrong, and first impression can be changed as we learn more. But… we want out readers to know what is going on when it happens, so real-time reporting has its place.

Kneeboard Notes is a collection of the things that accumulate on this Editor’s flying kneeboard. I never leave the ground without a notepad strapped to my leg – and old habit from training and flight testing – not to mention operational flying when radio calls come fast and terse. I keep a few notes as I fly, and we’ll try to dump them here from time to time – just to let you know what we are seeing and what to expect in coming issues. Take them as first impressions – take them as news… but look for the full story to come!