Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here is a sample of that I looked at today. This is a 2002 model that was imported from Korea 2 years ago. It has 110,000 miles on it, leather, and even seat warmers... which I'm sure I would use all the time in Pucallpa.
They did finally come last week, and so I stayed late after hours a couple of days putting the engine back together. I honed the cylinder, installed new rings, lapped the valves, installed new valve guide seals, and even had time to but on a new rear tire with plenty of tread. That will come in handy for the rainy season which is just starting now.
So hopefully I will have a running motorcycle again some time after thanksgiving! More pictures to come.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
A view outside my window shows a lot of green. Where I live there are 6 houses connected with an large outer wall but the yards are all shared. A nice place for the kids to play and run around.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I had just about committed it's electronic circuits it to the vast jungle of Peru, and finally come to peace with loosing my digital camera of 3 years, when it made an amazing appearance! Off all places, it was found in amongst my Chief pilot's laundry! Well, it somehow grew some type of jungle virus legs and wondered into the survival gear of my fellow pilot. There is stayed for the last 4 months contemplating it's next fiendish move when unexpectedly his daughter found the offending camera and asked me if I knew whose it was.
So now I have a camera again and maybe can post some current pictures instead of digging through the archives. Maybe the camera knew it would be best not to have pictures of my motorcycle incident because it would just scare my mom...
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Well, I decided that option 3 would be the best and so I set out to "whip up" some granola. Now anyone who tells you that cooking is easy or relaxing is either not telling to truth or has a morbid sense of humor. As I slaved away for 2 hours carefully measuring out ingredients, turning random oven knobs hoping for a fire to ignite in the proper place, burning all the good hair that I had left on my knuckles, and finally setting of 2 of the 3 smoke alarms in the house... I finally had my granola!
So rest assured that I will be just fine for the next few weeks. Breakfast will be a peacefully and filling affair, but I;m sure of one thing. Next time I'm just gona save myself all the hassle go with option #2!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Todd took home second place in his category and Julio flew through the air landing the 1st place trophy in the 450cc class. I was just happy that nothing I fixed or worked on broke during the race...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Total time logged flying in Peru: 82.8 hours
Total Cross country (more than 50 miles away) 45.0
Total float plane time: 65.9
For being in Pucallpa for around 5 months, I am starting to fly more and more. On a busy month, a fully checked out pilot can log up to 80 flight hours! I´m not there yet, but I am getting more and more experience.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Anyways, the ground review took 2 hours and then as we were getting ready to fly, a call came in for an emergency flight to a village about 1 hour away. So we changed plans and headed out to pick up the sick person in the village. Landing the float plane, I shut down and got out on the float to dock the plane with a dugout canoe. Standing in the canoe, the wind started to blow the airplane and so I pulled on the tow rope and only succeeded in losing my balance and falling out of the canoe. Waist deap in murky water, I could hear the muffled laughter of my fellow "comrade" and check pilot. I'm not sure what he found so amusing.
We get the patient loaded up in the stretcher in back along with the nurse. I begin to load some baggage into the pontoon when I manage to wrack my head against the wing strut. Wow, that hurt but I think I am ok. As I continue loading I notice red splotches on the white floats and a quick check reveals I am leaking 5606 hydraulic fluid from my head. Thankfully the other pilot is there to wash the wound with my bottled drinking water and put antibiotic creme on a gauze pad. Man, why is he laughing again? Now, what to hold this bandage in place? Oh, of course, my helmet. So off we go with me still soaking wet and my head throbbing away... perfect time to practice an instrument approach on the way pack into Pucallpa.
One VOR/DME approach and 60 minutes later we are on the water again and the patient is on his way to the hospital. By 3pm I am back in the office regaling our secretary with the whole story. I guess sometimes when it rains is pours. At least I passed the ACR.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
One of the great challenges of flying the float plane is that the conditions of the river change every time you go somewhere. Even if it is the same place, there may be a new log, a new sandbar, or some other thing that makes you adjust your approach or touchdown point. I won't even talk about docking the float plane as that deserves it's own post. Suffice it to say, it is very tricky to dock the plane when you are fighting the river current, wind, and can only go forward and not backwards with the airplane. It is quite a challenge but I love it!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I have a number of stories from that house, the roach that I killed the first night by stepping on it in the dark, the frog staring back at me from the shower head 3 inches away from my nose, and of course our refrigerator. REFRIGERATOR? Yes, the fridge. Our wonderful ice making machine. The problem was that it made ice where it was not supposed to. The top freezer portion, if left unchecked, would continue to build up more and more ice, encapsulating anything that was left in the freezer for more than a week.
One saturday I decided to clean out the ice build up. Dethawing would take to long and leave a wet mess all over the kitchen, so I used the one solution that I knew of. Mr. Estwing. A 20 ounce Estwing hammer would make quick work of all that ice! Just five short minutes later, the kitchen floor was full of ice but the freezer was empty! Mission accomplished.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The river that runs right by the village is not straight which makes the approach to landing and takeoff very challenging. Read: FUN! (if you are a pilot). We set up on final approach with full flaps (30 degrees for the float plane) and 60 knots airspeed. Coming just 10-15 feet over the approach end trees, you land, and immediately get ready to dock. It all happens in less than 30 seconds!
The missionary family was eager to see us as we had about 250 kilos of food and supplies for them. We were given the grand tour of their house and the village and spent about half an hour catching them up on the latest news from the "outside world". For me, it was really fulfilling to spend time with them and realize that I was part of the team helping them with their work in that village!
Ok, back to flying. So for takeoff, you go up river, do all your checks, turn around and cob the power. Hugging the right hand side of the river, you have to be up on the step and indicating about 40 knots before the bend in the river. Then, just like in NASCAR, you cut the left hand corner on the inside. While you are doing this, you have full left aileron and are putting the flaps down to 20 degrees and raising the right float out of the water. At 50 knots you are off the water and on the way to climbing out above the 100 foot trees in the remaining straight part of the river. What a day!
Note: For those of you who are not pilots or have no interest in aviation. I will try to write something in the english language that is understandable and that you can hopefully relate to in the next blog post. Thanks for your patience, but there are people who actually understand these things and get excited about them as well! I know, we are all just "plane" nuts!
Friday, June 20, 2008
There was a team of 15 people who were visiting an Indian village about 20 minutes away so I got to shuttle people back and forth for the whole morning.
It was a great experience and I am looking forward to going on more and more solo flights. I still and getting checkout into many different places but it is a little slow as we have to work around our normal flight schedule as well. Thus, I have been flying about 1-2 times per week. But, whenever we have space I get to go along and do the flying.
I imagine it will be a snowball type of affect as I get checked out into more and more places, I will be able to do more and more flights. So, it looks like with time I will be flying 3-4 times a week. The main goal right now is to get me ready for this fall when we have two weeks that will be very full with every pilot flying 6-8 hours per day for two weeks straight. I'll continue to keep you posted.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Once again, I found myself at the South America Mission guest house in
Growing up, I remember my own father working around the house. Some of my clearer memories of childhood were of me “helping” him repair ovens, replace window screens, build ping pong tables, and other such handyman jobs. When I was 7 years old I even wrote a father’s day card in the shape of a tool belt that said how I wanted to be like my dad. Well, for my day at the
From talking with the lady who runs the house, I knew that there were a few different issues that needed to be addressed. So, I spent my day installing a new window screen, fixing a leaking faucet, and buying and installing both a fluorescent light fixture, and shower head/valve assembly. These things, in my mind, were simple jobs yet I knew that not everyone knew how to do them or would take pleasure in them as I did. The satisfaction of fixing something that was once broken or leaking is a wonderful feeling.
So Dad, this blog post if for you. Thanks for teaching me how to work with my hands. Thanks for teaching me that no job, even a leaky faucet, is to small to fix. Twenty years after that card that I gave you, I still find myself wanting to be like you. Happy fathers day!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A month ago, on a Saturday morning, I went out with a few other missionaries for a little motorcycle ride. The guys I went with, really love trail riding and so we got our bikes pretty muddy.
It was also sweltering so whenever we stopped to lift our bikes over logs that were in the trail, the sweat flowed and even soaked our socks. Most of the trails were cow paths leading back into the middle of nowhere. Thank fully nobody broke down or got hurt bad. It is amazing that those dirt bikes can handle.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I also got a good shot of our tail number N9878Z along with our other SAM AIR wheel plane and a military helicopter in the background.
We are all looking forward to flying behind the Gamin 530 GPS system! JAARS did a really good job on the panel overhaul. Special thanks to Electronics International for donating the 6 point EGT/CHT gauge.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thankfully this past week we had a maintenance inspector out here to check out our float plane and he will be coming back next week to check out our new Turbo 206. So I managed to get my practical check scheduled with him while he is here next week. It was an advantage to meet him previously because when I talked with him on the phone, he was informed about my situation. So things are coming together slowly but surely.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
In other news, we have one of our pilots getting home from furlough tomorrow. So now we will be up to 2 full pilots and me... so that is like 2.5 pilots as I still do not have a license and still have to be checked out to go solo as of yet.
This past week we received our, new to us, Cessna Turbo 206. It basically is the same as our other 2 airplanes but the difference is the engine in that it has a turbocharger that is able to keep the rated horsepower up to 16,000 feet. Non-turbocharged airplanes lose horsepower as they climb due to the fact that the air becomes less and less dense as you go higher. The turbo compresses the air and makes it so that the engine has just as much air as sea level. We still need permission to operate the airplane in Peru but at least we have it down here. Pictures to come!
One last thing, the pilot who brought the plane down stopped in 5 different countries on the way down. Unfortunately he said he had the most problems with clearances, flight plans, and customs in Peru and NOT in the other 4 countries!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
So yesterday I called him again and he said he was still in Northern Peru and for the next 2 weeks he was going to be busy. He did suggest that I call the DGAC offices and see if someone else could come out to Pucallpa and to the check ride.
So we called the DGAC, they gave us two numbers for the person that is in charge of the Pucallpa area and of course when we dialed the number it was a wrong number. So we call back to the office and they give us another number which when dialed is also not correct. Then we call back to the DGAC office a 3rd time and they give a 3rd number for someone else and he is not picking up his phone. So at the moment we are not really sure what in the world we are going to do but something has to give right?
Maybe I can just start flying down here without a license because they would never find out because they are never out here and don´t want to work with us or help us in anyway at all. But of course the moment we did that you know they would show up with a surprise inspection. You can´t win for loosing.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Unfortunately it has been a roller coaster ride and I have been back and forth to the DGAC (government aviation) offices about 6 times and even made a 1 week trip to Pucallpa because I thought I was going to get my final checkride out there in SAM AIR's Cessna 206.
So I am back in Lima again and hoping to get a final resolution. I would really appreciate your prayer during this time as I have been disappointed a number of times and often feel as though I am spinning my wheels as things continue to change. I will keep you posted!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Peruvians are very resourceful and continue to amaze me more and more every day. I saw a gentleman today who was delivering furniture. Instead of carrying the furniture on his back, like other lesser devolved countries would do, this man had fashion a custom three wheeled furniture transporter!
Featuring a remarkable blend in technology of adequate transportation space, combined with low drag from only three wheels, this man had not only achieve a low carbon footprint (something highly sought after in 1st world countries) but had also solved the problem of maintaining his slim figure by fashioning an ingenious direct drive system that was self powered. A slim figure by the way is HIGHLY desirable in 1st world countries, even more so than low carbon emissions.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
By Friday I was feeling quite tired and congested as well. Thankfully the conference was over and I had the weekend back at my host home to recover. Or so I thought. Saturday the family went down to the beach, a 3 hour bus ride, and a change in elevation of about 7500 feet. While riding the bus in Peru is generally not a terribly pleasant experience, this trip was even more memorable. By the time the bus arrived at its final destination, I couldn't hear a blessed thing as my ears were plugged up tight and I was asking people if the ringing in my head bothered them. Thankfully after 8 hours of sleep and and an equal number of trips to the bathroom, I could hear again.
I have to segway here and say that I have learned Peruvians are very helpful. If there is a problem, they don't hesitate offering a solution. So here are some of the solutions that I was given to cure my cold:
Take flu medication.
Suck on candy.
Stick something inside your ear to "pop" your ears and relieve the pressure.
Sleep on the ear that is plugged up the most.
Rub menthol on your chest and feet before you go to bed.
Drink hot tea.
Drink hot water with honey mixed into it.
Take hot showers.
Take cold showers.
Wear a jacket.
Don't get wet when it rains.
Anyways, by Monday I had begun to have headaches during the day and I was talking through my nose as well. Naps in the afternoon did not seem to help and on Wednesday, Advil could not even touch the roaring headache I had. It hurt to put my head below my waist. It felt like someone had a bicycle pump inside of my brain and was attempting to inflate a 10-person life raft in record time. The only thing that helped was keeping a very low profile at home and not moving around a lot. Well, expect for the trips to the john (I was still drinking plenty of water).
Finally 2 beakthroughs. I received an e-mail from one of my supporters who is a nurse and she pointed out the color of a person's phlem can tell a lot. I knew this as I had been quite facinated by the kaleidoscope of colors I had seen emitting from the two holes of my personal FFF (far flem flinging) nose. My nurse friend (thanks Rachel) tipped me off to the idea of a bacterial infection but it was not until Friday morning that fellow SAM missionaries (thanks Tim and Hannah) at language school looked at me and sad quite plainly, You need antibiotics.
Suddenly the light when on and without hesitation we headed out to the pharmacy around the corner. After a 30 second "consultation" with the lady at the counter, she gave me a 5 day supply of antibiotics and a nasal decongestant. The price by the way was $7 total.
After 3 days I can happily say the "little drummer boy" inside my head has quite his double timed beat, and my FFF nose has resumed a somewhat normal production rate that only rivals the GDP of a small 3rd world country instead of the previous 1st world phlem which at its height was adequate for greasing tractor wheel bearings. However, the one constant still remains... retracing my well worn path to the head every few hours due to my continued affinity for water.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Dune buddy = Tubular
Masking tape = Scotch
Flash = Flash
Internet = Internet or En Red which literally translated is "in fishing net"
Full (as in, the parking lot is full) = Full
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I have now flown them (new floats) on several occasions all over the jungles of Peru, and have made some observations. So we are on the same page as far as how the airplane is equipped. It is on a U206G with the Bonaire IO-550 conversion with the Hartzell Top Prop. It is equipped with the Flint Tips (3800# Gross Weight) and Horton STOL. (Short Take-Off and Land)
The first thing I noticed is that as soon as you crank up, idle tax speed is noticably faster (OK in most places but more of a challenge in a marginal river takeoff where you have no space to taxi upriver and too narrow to turn around most of the time).
2. Water rudders are more effective.
3. Seems to wallow more in the plow, and makes a deeper wake!
4. Step turns feel similar to the Edos.
5. Comes out of the water at #3800 in 40 seconds (Edos were 1 minute plus!).
6. Seems to have more of a suction than the Edos.
7. Very little sence of acceleration on lift off and very little nose over tendency on touchdown. (very slippery due to no drag from rivet heads)
8. Seems to have a steeper Vx climb, hard to put numbers on it but have been able to climb straight out in places where I used to have to fly the river.
9. Rate of climb is improved by 50fpm+.
10. Flying wires sing on descent.
11. Installed in 32 man hours.
12. Lighter by more than 50 lbs.