Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Night Flight

It's hard to get ready to fly in the winter.

Preheating with the Red Dragon propane heater.  It was 10F.  An hour was more than enough.

Just over Turnagain Arm on my way to Kenai.

Nice Anchorage coming back in the dark.

It was worth it :-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Heat Zones

The kids rooms had always been in the same heat zone loop as the living room. Since the living room is usually pretty warm from the windows or the wood stove, their rooms would get pretty cool.  When I remodeled their rooms, I pulled thermostat wire back to the boiler, and recently I finished splitting them out on their own zones.

First I added new zone valves so I could leave most of the heat on while I tied them in, which turned out to be a good idea since it took a couple days to get parts in the middle of the job.

The heat was originally run with a mix of copper and PEX.  Unfortunately we used 5/8 PEX in order to make it easier to pull (the house was largely finished when we put the heat in because we originally heated it with wood and a TOYO stove, but decided to go with baseboard once they ran gas to the neighborhood).  What was unfortunate was that 5/8 turns out to be an odd size. It took me a day to round up the only remaining 5/8 PEX to 3/4 Cu fittings in the Mat-Su valley, lol.  After, of course, I had already bought all 3/4 stuff since I was SURE that's what we'd run...

So I bought all the fittings I could find and saved some spares by the boiler.

This cut took Jake's room out of the loop.

This jumpered past the kids rooms to complete the living room circuit, 5/8 (blue) to 3/4 Cu to new 3/4 PEX (red).

The Cu is the new supply to Hanna's room and the red is the new living room return..

 Adding the first kid room loop...

Lots of copper on the ceiling :-)

Stack of completed zones...

At the end, the dielectric fitting was leaking at the boiler, which completely failed when I tightened it. It was worse than it looks...  Good thing there's a drain in the boiler room :-)

Another trip to Big Lake, arrived just under the 5 o'clock wire and I got a new one installed that night.  The whole black pipe portion needs improving - I'll pull it apart next summer and put a union in to make it all easier.

 One of the happy customers :-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Commercial Multi!!


You can call me:

Commercial Pilot
Airplane Single and Multiengine Land
Instrument Airplane

Since THAT'S what it says on my license, lol  (maniacally)

I'm pretty stoked.

I went to an accelerated school in AZ (stayed at a casino across the river in NV) and got the commercial and multi ratings. What a blast.

These guys have it made. A little strip in the desert...

A Beech 18 on floats...

A race car...

That was blown up...

Gliders, cropdusters.... lots of stuff :-)..

Ground school was in a trailer...

And pretty exhausting for some of us, lol.

This is one of the Beech Travel Air's I trained in

This is where we hung out waiting to fly...

The casino I stayed at was smoky but nice enough, particularly for only $22/night, had a nice pool, a beach on the Colorado River ...

And decent coffee and breakfast bagels in the parking lot:-)

With a nice mountain view in the morning.

My DPE was a crazy high strung East Coast guy (of course, to me, high-strung and East Coast are synonymous), but a thinking pilot.  Right off the bat, I knew he had something to offer when he pointed forward and said: "We're trying to get THERE", then pointed up and said: "Not THERE, So how about a little more Bernoulli and a little less Newton?"  I liked the guy a lot.

I didn't want to leave. I told them I'd come teach all next winter in exchange for a CFI... but the instructors work REALLY hard. No time off.... Harder than I want to work really :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fly-in Alaska Wedding

Last year I met a guy named John who, with my Uncle Don, was up flying around the Knik.  Later I realized that he is a friend of Greg Swingle (who it turns out is friends with my Uncle also), and I have long enjoyed Greg's flying videos on Vimeo.  Got it?  I may have explained it better in this blog :-)  Anyway...  Greg and Becky got married near Palmer, AK and I was lucky to be invited.

Here's a link to the Wedding Video. 

Jake took most of the photos...  there's a chance my Uncle Don deserves credit for a few though:-)

The wedding party assembled.

Jake should shoot pictures for a living :-)
View from the ridge.

I helped John 'decorate' Greg's plane :-)

 We all met after for the reception down at another guys place on Hunter creek.  He had cooked Salmon, had hotdogs... very nice.
Bride and Groom arrive at the reception.
My kind of reception!!!

Hanna, Dad, Jake

Hunter Creek.

Funny thing about the Hunter Creek strip.  Due to some dispute between neighbors, you're only allowed to use one end or the other depending on whom you are visiting.  So, there's an equal amount of usable strip behind me in this shot.  Crazy, huh?

We had great time and my kids enjoyed it too.  I wish Greg and Becky the best and thank them for inviting us!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Denali Day Trip

One of our 'regular ' trips is to fly to Denali National Park and walk down to the nearest campground and the store for a snack. It's an easy one hour trip to a big strip (with a reputation for tricky downdrafts I have never actually seen, even in 25 kt wind) and a good path to and from the 'village' and the visitors center.

Hanna took a bunch of photos so there are some of Jake for a change.

We found a "new" trail coming back - the route through the campground we've used before was a steep direct shot to the airstrip. This one runs along a creek, under the RR trestle and comes out at the train station.

It was a little low heading out - couldn't go direct to Cantwell.

This was perpendicular to the way we were going.

The "Igloo".  Used to be a gas station - not sure what it is now.

Had to carry a bit - short lack of trail between the station and the road :-)

When traveling in bear country, ALWAYS send the smallest first!

Hanna really wanted this shot and spent quite a bit of time setting it up :-)

Jake at the store.  Hanna's photo.

Which way?  This is the trail back - nice all the way.

Hanna took a lot of photos.
Trestle just before the Denali station.

Jake and Dad.  This is the 'new' trail we found.

This shelter is because the RR  trestle is above.

On the way home - Hanna's photo I think.

Another of Hanna's photos I think.

Coming back through the Susitna Valley.

Calm, cool and collected pilot.  Or maybe asleep.

Your experienced flight crew.

Home Sweet Home! I love coming in over the town on a warm calm evening.