the adventures of me

Wednesday 10/23/13 – Ground Only

by on Nov.17, 2013, under Flying

I showed up Wednesday and my fears had come true. N569FL was still out in maintenance. I met up with Mark and went over my options. I could either grab a unrented Cessna or just scrap flying for the day. Since I really did not care for the Cessna, we canceled flying for the day. Mark took me out on the runway and I got some close up time of the various markings that are at all airports. It is quite amazing the way this is all coordinated and it is really not that complex as you would think. After that we went inside and talked about some more maneuvers that we would be performing including how to do “Pattern” work. The Pattern is just the process in which planes land at an airport. After that we talked about some questions I had including how to handle cross wind take offs and landings. These are still quite worrysome at this point.

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First fight or not…

by on Nov.14, 2013, under Flying

I showed up at Premier Flight Center on the 17th just before 9:00 am. I booked a Cherokee Piper PA28-140 for a 2 hour window. My new flight instructor Mark showed up right after me. After a quick introduction, Mark informed me that the weather was not going to be cooperating with us today. The cloud levels were at 1200 feet, which was 300′ to low for us to practice any type of maneuvers at the airport. No biggie, we decide to go over to the plane and run through a pre-flight and become familiar with the plane.  Mark ran me through the procedures that come with renting a plane as well as the various check lists. One of the things I found quite interesting was Mark showed me how to identify water in fuel. I’ve dealt with handling fuel before but never felt the need to dump water in it.

After performing the preflight we sat in the plane for a bit, went through all the controls and instruments. After that we listened to the various airport operations from ATIS (Weather), Ground Control, & Air Traffic Control (Tower). After that we went in and discussed the various things that we would be doing. We went through some basic weather information and I learned how to translate weather reports known as METARs & TAFs. It is amazing how easy they are to read once you learn the layout. I am still amazed though that weather is still reported like computer memory was small & expensive. I have another session scheduled for saturday after ground school.

During Saturday’s ground school we went over general flight environment stuff. Such as required equipment in an aircraft, proper take off and landing procedures, what to do when coming near another aircraft mid flight, taxiing procedures, pattern procedures,  airport markings, and the different types of airspace.

After ground school I grabbed lunch over at the restaurant located at the FBO. When I got back to school I was amazed to discover that someone changed my reservation from the Cherokee to a Cessna 172R. Apparently the Cherokee had to go in for maintenance and would be down for some time. After some back and forth debating, We ended up taking the 172 out for a bit.

I’ll be perfectly honest, this was the first time I flew in a small GA aircraft since i was 11 years old. It was pretty terrifying at first and I did have some thoughts on whether or not I wanted to continue this. I never did feel comfortable while we in the Cessna. I blame a lot of this on sensory overload. Just way too many new things going on all at once. I remember someone once telling me that flying was 5 minutes of terror, followed by boredom, followed by 10 minutes of terror while landing. This is a great description for a first flight in a GA aircraft. Mark did get to have some fun and he messed with me a bit. nothing like watching the nose of the airplane dive down by spin the trim knob to make the stomach move. Once we landed we had a chat about how I felt. After that we ended up going over some of the maneuvers for Wednesday. To be continued…

 

  This Flight Total
# of Take Offs 1 1
# of Landings 1 1
X-Country Hours 0 0
Night Hours 0 0
Total Flight Time 1.1 Hours 1.1 Hours

 

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The Hunt for a Private Pilot’s License

by on Nov.13, 2013, under Flying

As mentioned earlier, I have started my journey to getting my private pilots license. This is something that I have been wanting to do for quite some time. So in July I bit the bullet and starting making some phone calls. After a while I found a FAA Approved Medical Examiner that was close to me that wasn’t 100% retired. This process was quite simple. He advised me to generate the application for a class 3 medical on the faa medical website and to record the application #. When I arrived at his office, we went over the application and a few basic health questions. After words he performed a relatively basic physical and we talked about flying for about an hour. Once I had my Student Pilot Certificate /Class 3 Medical in hand, He walked me over to the flight school that was in the building.

I ended up talking with Gary the owner of Premier Flight Center for the better portion of an hour. He asked me what my goals were and told me about his program. We ended up discussing that I wanted to fly a Piper Cherokee for various reasons and Gary brought me outside to see the various planes that they had. Unfortunately the Cherokee was out and about, but We did get to look at a Piper Arrow. This was great as it this is close to the plane that I eventually want to fly. Once we stepped back inside we talked about the ground school program that they have. I thanked Gary for his time and headed out to check another flight school which was right down the road.

I won’t bother naming the flight school that I visited next. But anyone can figure it out with a little bit of google. Right off the bat I wasn’t feeling the place. The guy I spoke with would probably be better off working at a used car lot. It was a high pressure join give me your money experience. Literally at one point in time he asked me to give a deposit of $10,000. While they did have the same type of aircraft I wanted to fly. I quickly wrote this place off as a potential school.

Over the next couple weeks I debated back and forth over Premier Flight Center (HFD Hartford/Brainard Airport) or Interstate Aviation (4B8 Plainville Robertson Airport). While Interstate is much closer to me, I elected to go to Premier due to the choice of aircraft and ground school program. When I went down to PFC, I met with Ryan who helped me fill out all the required paperwork. I elected to do the Saturday ground school program which was starting September 28th. The ground school runs for 13 weeks every Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm.

I showed up for the first week of ground school and I was the first one there. Mike our instructor walks in shortly later and introduces himself. He went over the goals of the ground school and passed out a syllabus. We end up discussing the basics of flying and the history behind it. Overall I felt this class was quite boring, but only due to the fact that I already knew this portion due to taking a flight class in 6th grade. But it was good to get a refresher on it.

The next 2 weeks were basically the same, we just went over the basics of instruments in the plane and how they worked. Mike happened to have a few old pieces of equipment in the class room that we got to hold and see how they worked. That was extremely informative. We also ended up discussing the nuances that the equipment in the plane will have depending on various circumstances.

Around this time I schedule my first flight for October 17th. But that’s for later.

 

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Long Time No Posts

by on Nov.03, 2013, under Flying, Motorcycling, Racing, SCUBA

I realize I have not updated this in a long time (3 years, 8 months +/- a few days). A lot of thing have change in my life the last few years. I will try to keep it short and run through the last few years with some highlights. I was laid off from my job of 5 years in June of 2010. Not that I didn’t see that coming or anything. I ended up starting my own company, which has pretty much consumed all of my time since then. In April 2011 I decided since I hadn’t been to my house in NC in 7 months that I might as well officially move back to CT. Due to numerous reasons I have retired from Motorcycle Racing. I still have one of my race bikes which I am on the fence about selling right now as I have 2 race tracks opening up within a hour of me, and 3 more within 3 or 4 hours. I figure I can at least do track days from here on out.

in December 2011 I flew out to Santa Barbara for the weekend to visit a friend. She gave me a tour around Santa Barbara and we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey Bay. It was quite a trip and I highly recommend it as a bucket list item. In October 2012, I took my first real vacation in years. It started off as half work trip / half vacation. We went to Orlando for a Trade show and realized no one bought the tickets to go. Well tickets went from $450 a head to $1500 a head. So we skipped out and went to NASA & Disney instead. The 2nd week we all went down to Grand Bahama. Here we had a blast. Too be honest though, if we didnt get our SCUBA certifications while there, I probably would of been bored the entire time. I would highly recommend Grand Bahama Scuba ( Facebook ).

In July of this year, I finally got tired of wanting to get my Private Pilots License and finally did something about it. I scheduled my Class 3 Medical Exam and got my Student Pilots License. I will continue more on this in future posts. For now, I am going back to watching Forrest Gump

 

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Racing – CCS @ Daytona

by on Feb.26, 2010, under Racing

Ill do this day by day.

Myself and a few friends left our shop at 4pm on thursday afternoon. 2 Hours later just north of Columbia, SC. we lose the motor. it stats knockig badly. So while we wait for our friends wife to come pick us up, we have to unhitch the trailer and put the truck on a tow truck. She finally comes and gets us (2 hours later) and we begin our drive back to Mooresville (Just north of charlotte). So around 1030 Pm we begin our journey back. By now i realize there is no way im doing the Team Hammer Practice day on Friday. We finally get the trailer loaded up again around 1230 am and continue onto fresh ground.
around 3am after getting gas in GA. we accidentally got on the north bound land and stuck there for 15 miles. We finally roll into the speedway at 715am. 15 hours after we left for the track. Normally it only takes about 6-6.5 hours.

I was completly turned off from doing the team hammer day, even though i wanted to shake out the new bike. so i ended up entering Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight GP, Ultralight SuperBike, CCS Thunderbike & ASRA Thunderbike.

We get inside and get ready to start unloading. i move a ton of fuel around and prepare to unload the bike. the first thing i noticed is my cheapo clutch lever is broken. Good thing Street & Comp is here, I needed some stuff anyways.

Anyways, i spent the day just doing various setup related items. I also got the bike suspension setup by John of CTR Suspensions. JB also got my pitbike running for the first time in 6 months.

The one thing i really hate about Daytona is tech inspection, it wouldnt be so bad if you didnt have to push your bike up a 2 foot tall ramp.

Tomorrow consists of 2 rounds of practice and CCS Thunderbike, & ASRA Thunderbike qualifying

CCS 2010 Season Opener

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ZX6R Motor rebuild

by on Oct.05, 2009, under Motorcycling

I don’t remember if I posted this or not. But a few weeks ago, I dropped the motor out of my zx6r to adjust the valves. Well that weekend it fell off of the table and cracked the lower half of the block and broke the cam retainer plate. Ive slowly been tearing it apart swapping parts to the lower half that I have had sitting around. I will then just swap the unbroken lower to the unbroken upper. It’s slowly comming together though

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Amazing how easy it is

by on Sep.26, 2009, under Motorcycling

Thursday I decided to try to start my ZX6R for the first time in 2 years. It wasnt happening. It almost came alive 2 times, but quickly died out. So off with the tank and the airbox. I ripped out the carbs and tore into them. Carb 1 & 2 werent so bad, they were actually pretty clean. 3 was covered in green varnish and 4 was just starting to turn green. So I pulled all the jets and needles out and sorted them into containers till I got some carb clean. I then decided to check the spark plugs. After I got the first one put back in I figured, Might as well check compression. I ended up with 165, 170, 175, 135 (1,2,3,4). I expected them to be low due to the motor being cold, but Cylinder 4 has me irked. I know a valve adjustment is in order as well. So instead of ripping into the valve cover, I took off the rest of the bodywork

Friday at lunch I picked up a can of Carb Clean, If you think you need 1, you need 2 in reality. I sprayed down the entire carborator and then proceeded to hit the jets. I ran out as I working on the main jet for #3. After getting them all cleaned, I got everything put back together.Thursday evening I decided it would be easier to drop the motor to adjust the valves.  Today I was planning on just taking off the radiator. Well after I drained and flushed the radiator a few times. Off it came. The next thing i looked at was the exhaust. Well I guess I can take that off too. 10 minutes later, I had the exhaust off the bike.

Looking at what was remaining was just a few wires to be unplugged, and the ground wire and the starter wire needed to be unbolted. thats easy. Off they came. Then came the motor, Its just 4 bolts. Yeah Ill drop it now. To which I then remembered after i started lowering the motor, that I never took off the clutch cable. After trying to remember how to take it off, I got the motor out and put onto the table. My next step is trying to make a stand for this, As the oil pan is a awkward shape and will not allow the motor to sit on the table level.

The other thing I realized when I got the motor on the table is, I have 4 motorcycles sitting here. and not a single one of them is 100% put together and or running. the supersport bike just needs the seat put on and i believe it will be done from there. the ttr50 refuses to start. the superbike needs a subframe and a fuel map. and the 6r, i just told you i just drop the motor.

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SuperBike build

by on Sep.23, 2009, under Motorcycling, Racing

I spent a couple hours at the shop tonight working on the superbike. I repaired the wiring harness and reinstalled. I got the airbox mounted up for the most part, and the tank is on now. I also got the new subframe bolted on, Still need to add parts to it though to finish building it. I also ordered a new steering damper bracket for a 06 GSXR 600, So i can swap my stabilizer between the SuperSport & SuperBike. Hope to get it dyno’d and mapped sometimes next week.

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Racing – CCS End of Summer Cycle Fest @ VIR

by on Sep.22, 2009, under Racing

I went to bed saturday night, with the intention of getting up at 430am to head to the track at about 1030. I woke up @ 1230 and 230. After 230 i could not fall asleep to save my life. So around 4 i dragged myself out of bed and left for the track. Once I arrived I found a great place to pit, Close to tech and next to Method Moto the Pirelli Vendor. This will work good since my pitbike was not running. Once registration is open, I go register for Lightweight Grand Prix and UltraLight SuperBike. After getting hassled in tech over my boots I finish up setting up for the day.

Practice – What a nightmare, Bike handled like complete crap. That might have something to do with the 3 trackdays + 8 or 9 races & 5 practice sessions I had on them already. I came in early as i just wasnt confident in the bike overall. I brought it in and talked with Rick from Method Moto who looked at the tires and said the front was barely warm and the rear was fine. I park it and take the wheels off. After getting a new set of stickies, I decide to throw the wheels in the trailer since rumor had it was going to rain.

I also found out a track friend of mine Dale the Continental Dealer had gotten some RTech from another track friend. I wanted to get some so I could get the bike setup on it for when i start selling it next season. After talking with Clinton, we came up with some ideas that will help us both out.

Fast forward through lunch and onto Race 9. Ultra Light Weight SuperBike
Fantastic start, probably best start of the year. I apparently got some testiculars back and im holding off for 2nd. I dont know how far back they are but i know they are close. So i just focus in on the leader. As im comming around the start finish i see the meatball flag and glanced at the number board. I see 4_4. First reaction is FUCK that better not be me. So ive pretty much lost interest and get passed by some fast amatuers. Comming around the SF again, Sure enough its 484. I raise my hand to signal i saw the board and pretty much said fuck it. I come in down pit road stop. both feet on the ground. and get waved off. promptly stalled as i see the last place amatuer go by. I get back start playing catchup. I finished 4th out 4th

I talked with the Guy at Pit in and he says it was for jumping the start. apparently we are in the AMA now and fork movement consists of a start. And the guy who was leading, defintely left before i did. Nothing i can do about it now.

Race 14 – LWGP – Crappy start cause my momma got scared and said your going to live with you auntie and uncle in belaire. My field pretty much walked away on me. I had a shifting issue going into 7 on lap 3 or so and went to the run off. Turned it around and start catching the AMs again. As im comming for the White, I hear Joe (Cowboy6) on my ass. I cross with it white. He goes flying by and starts waving for his win. Next thing i know 2 guys go flying by us and keep on racing? WTF. They apparently got 2 white flags and no checker. Joe ended up winning the race which was good for him. He earned it

This weekend since i got new gadgets recently. a Garmin Forerunner 305 [Heart rate monitor with GPS]. I decided to race with it on. The results can be seen here. Im pretty sure im going to have a heart attack while racing one day. So Im going to definitely focus on some cardio for a bit. Also since Ive been doing P90X, I was not wearing out like I have been in previous races. Which im estatic about.  Next event is Daytona for the Race of Champions in October

I would like to thank Woodcraft, Vortex, Sharkskinz, Method Moto, Boston Moto, Pirelli, Lockhart Phillips, Sidi, Vemar, & CT Power & Sport for their support. Without it, I would not be able to do what I am doing.

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