Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Category: Aircraft Building Page 1 of 2

Homebuilt airplanes, EAA and homebuilding.

A New Restoration Project

As I mentioned in the last post, I saw an unfamiliar hulk sitting on the ramp at the Reno-Stead Airport the other day and was compelled to take a closer look.

I walked around the fuselage a few times while the crew was looking at their new project.  All the writing stenciled on the surfaces and in the cockpit is Cyrillic.

I don’t know who bought the project, why they got it or where they got it. It looks to me to be a huge project with the added complexity of foreign manuals translated to English – which hasn’t been really successful in the other cases I have seen. I guess it depends on whether the translator is changing a primary language to a second language or translating a second language to a primary one (which of the two languages does the translator usually speak). Technical manuals are sometimes difficult even if you know the language.










When I was there the crew was looking in all the compartments trying to identify the different aircraft systems.  The first project was to get the landing gear extended, even if the fuselage remained on jacks as a precaution. Which systems would have to be activated to make the gear extension work? Electrical and hydraulic for sure.  But there were wire bundles cut in a couple of compartments, probably where equipment had been removed before exporting the project.


I didn’t have many takers in the effort to identify the project. Only one reader replied and was at a loss. I guess it’s a bit too obscure for easy research.

The single-place version is designed to provide close air support for ground forces – the air-to-ground role. The NATO designation is “Frogfoot” and the official model name is Sukhoi SU-25UB for this two-seat trainer variant. You can find out more about the aircraft here.


Another Fun Crossing

I’m on a layover in Asia again, but that’s nothing new.  The westbound flight was really nice – hardly a bump the whole way. Island just north of Kodiak Island, AK. Our route this time took us across the northern Pacific quite a distance south of Anchorage. I took this picture looking north just as we passed over Kodiak Island. We believe we could see Mt. Redoubt and a small steam cloud rising quite a bit to the north of us, but one mountain out of many is not easy to pick out. The haze and distance prevented a photo.

The captain I was sharing the cockpit with for the first half of the flight is an individual I had worked with before when we were both flying the 747-200. He’s a really nice guy and is a fellow light plane pilot. Unlike me though he didn’t buy his plane, he built it. Steve has a really nice Van’s RV-4. He says he compressed a 4-year project into 15 years, but there were extenuating circumstances affecting his building effort. We’ll call them ‘family challenges’ and leave it at that. He says that both the plane and his kids turned out great, so whatever extra effort and time that it took was well worth it.

Aviation New Year’s Resolutions – 2009

This is the time of year for all of us to look back and reflect on our flying experiences in 2008. We all have different views of what has happened in our aviation lives.  Professional pilots will look back and see some  flight departments closing or downsizing while others upgraded equipment.  Airlines disappeared or merged and pilots experienced aircraft/seat upgrades,  faced downgrades, layoffs or retirement. Those who fly for fun (without getting paid) will remember the cost of gas soaring to a ridiculous price, then returning to more reasonable levels. And we all witnessed the DHS/TSA continuing their effort to totally control our flying in the name of security with the intended result of exponentially building their government bureaucracy. New Year's Resolution Day.Some of you earned new pilot’s licenses or new ratings (Congratulations!) and some of you moved up to bigger and faster planes while others chose to fly something smaller and more economical.  One thing is definitely true… the aviation business and sport flying is continually changing. Time marches on.

My experiences in 2008 included a move from the flight engineer seat to a copilot seat when the mandatory retirement age was extended. That change generated a commute from west to east rather than to the north because of an airplane change and resulted in additional training and the awarding of a type certificate in my new airplane assignment. On the Part 91 flying side, I started flying my new (old) personal airplane on a more regular basis as I worked the bugs out of my ongoing restoration. As all this developed I found myself taking a more active part in aviation forums and web sites and becoming more visible in an aviation world in which I have been a mostly silent participant for forty years. I decided to stretch my abilities a bit farther and try to do some aviation writing about my experiences, opinions and education which led to this blog.  I am continually amazed at the number of you who continue to visit AroundThePattern to see what I have to say next.  I really appreciate your support and will try not to let you down. After all that, what do I see in my future for next year?  Well…

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