I dragged the beast from the winter cocoon two weekends ago to clean ‘er up and start the engine. All things considered, it wasn’t that hard. First pulled the prop through a few times, as the engine hasn’t run in about six months. Didn’t seem to make sense to start it cold. Put some fresh gas in the header tank and hooked up the jumper cables to the tractor (quicker than waiting for the battery to charge), and she actually fired right up pretty readily. Once started, it ran a little rough for a few minutes, but quickly smoothed out like melted butter. Very pleased the engine. The avionics, on the other hand, didn’t do so well over the winter. First, the system didn’t really want to boot. It would freeze here during the boot process, then cycle forever. With a bit of swearing, I could usually get it to boot eventually, but something is clearly wrong:
Once it booted, another problem became apparent. The ADAHRS module is horked. It sort of worked for a while, though it showed my altitude all over the map (about 4000ft higher than I actually am). Eventually, it gave up completely, and now won’t do anything but this:
I filed tickets with Dynon on a Sunday afternoon, and bright and early on Monday morning, they responded. Both the main unit and the ADAHRS box need repair. And unfortunately, neither are under warranty at this point. The good news is that Dynon has a flat $250 repair fee for each unit. The bad news is that’s $500 I didn’t plan on spending at this point. I think I’m going to hold off on repairs until lack of functionality becomes a blocker for getting something else done. Annoying, but not really anybody’s fault. Sigh.
We bought a house in New Mexico (Las Cruces, specifically) this past Summer. We went down for Easter Break to hang out with family and eat great Mexican food. Also took the time to go with my dad to the War Eagles Air Museum about 45 minutes away, near El Paso. Fantastic little museum. One plane in their collection stood out above all others. Tell me if you can guess what it is:
Yeah, didn’t think so. I walked out the hanger door to the outside, and my brain said “Mosquito!”. Then my brain immediately said, “Wait, no. There’s no Mosquitos on display anywhere near here, and besides, those aren’t Merlin engines, they’re radials. And the cockpit is wrong. And the bomb doors are wrong. And…” So I was stumped. I mean really really stumped. It’s really unusual that I look at a plane and can’t being to guess what it is. I walked all around it, stuck my head up in the bomb bay, etc, and was finally convinced it was probably a Chinese copy of something Russian, but still really no closer to an answer. Finally found out it’s a Tupolev Tu-2. The only one in the world in display outside of Europe. Read the wikipedia article about it. It’s a really really neat airplane. I was impressed with everything about it. Well made, and a really neat design. Coolest plane in the whole place.
Living on acreage in WA, it’s been over fifteen years since I had neighbors. Our new place in Las Cruces is in a normal neighborhood. Meaning that any time we’re down in NM, I have neighbors. I tend to forget how much I despise having neighbors. Not quite sure what to do about this (see below). What they’re doing is very illegal (confirmed with a cop friend of mine), so a simple solution is to call the police each time until the problem stops. They get a ticket, and at least per Las Cruces Municipal Code, a mandatory court appearance each time, and if they don’t fix the problem, the car gets impounded. But that seems a little extreme, and I really don’t want to handle things that way. On the other hand, they know full well that the house is occupied (when we’re not there, renters are), and they continue to do this day after day. The cop route would undoubtedly stop the problem quickly, but that’s really not the kind of relationship I want to have with the guys next door for the next 20 years. Why do people have to be such jackasses? Suggestions? (ie, suggestions on how to fix, not suggestions on why people are jackasses – I think I know the answer to that one).