Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Category: Reviews Page 2 of 4

Reviews of books on aviation, flying, flight training courses or other aviation-related subjects.

Zero 3 Bravo – Book Review

I’m always looking for books and videos about aviation and flying. they’re a good way to spend ‘down time’ when I’m not in the mood to actually study a manual or take an online course. When I find something that I think you might like, I’ll pass it along in the Review section of my site.

I signed up as a volunteer with the EAA to test products and write reviews for their Sport Aviation magazine. So far I have received a DVD from them to review. The agreement with EAA restricts me from publishing any information on the product that they send me until their review appears in Sport Aviation.  Other than that agreement, all the reviews that I publish are of  items that I have purchased for my personal use.

The full title of this book is Zero 3 Bravo, Solo Across America in a Small Plane, written by Mariana Gosnell.

This book, first published in 1993, is the story of the author taking a 3-month leave of absence from her job and flying her 1950 Luscombe 8F around the United States. Her starting (and ending) point is her home airport in Spring Valley, New York, about 35 miles north of New York City.

She traveled down the east coast, across the southern states to Santa Paula, CA, up the west coast to the San Francisco Bay area and then east along the route taken by Interstate 80. Her flight then continued to the Black Hills and then turned southeast to Kansas City and St Louis. She took side trips along the way to visit friends and see places that she had heard about or which had been recommended by the people she met during her fuel and overnight stops.

Her writing style is easy to read and draws vivid pictures in your mind’s eye as she describes the sights (and smells) that she encounters on her flights.

For a pilot, this is a very easy book to read – but beware, you will find yourself dreaming of and planning a similar adventure before you are finished.

I have no recollection where I found the book, but I’m glad I took the effort to buy it. I have the hardback version, but the paperback printing is available through the Amazon affiliate link I have included above.

EAA Webinar – TIG Welding

I participated in on my first EAA Webinar tonight – TIG Welding. The speaker was Scott Skrjanc of Lincoln Electric. The webinar was conducted using the software associated with GoToMeeting, a product of Citrix.

Clicking on the link to the webinar provided in the reminder emails took me directly to the webinar site and signing into the webinar started the download process for the GoToMeeting software. I was not required to sign up for GoToMeeting even though I was using their software to participate. The download and install process was quick and seamless. No interaction was needed. Within 30 seconds I was listening to the seminar moderator, EAA’s Charlie Becker,  give us a tour of the webinar screen. He explained the very simple process of submitting a question to the speaker. Charlie acted as the moderator and, when feasible posed the submitted questions when they would not be a detriment to the flow of the presentation material. No unusual equipment was needed to participate in the webinar – just a computer with a working speaker.

Scott’s presentation lasted about 45 minutes. He then spent almost another half hour answering the submitted questions that had not been covered during his talk. Scott’s presentation was an excellent overview of the TIG welding process. He started by posing a question to the webinar listeners (about 280 were signed in at that time). He asked what kind of welding experience everyone had. A multi-choice question appeared on the screen and we could answer by selecting one or more choices – experience in TIG, Oxy/Acetylene or MIG welding or no welding experience at all. Over 90% of the listeners submitted answers with about 45% having had Oxy/Acetylene experience while  27% of the listeners had no welding experience at all.

I have a little experience welding both with Oxy/Acetylene and TIG and have taken a community college welding course. I still felt that I gained a lot by participating in the webinar. I reviewed some material that I already knew and learned some things of which I was not aware. It was also good to hear the recommendations for amperage settings, electrode types and filler rod materials to use when welding various metals. Scott was about to leave for the Sun-N-Fun fly-in at Lakeland, FL where he will be manning the Lincoln Electric booth and helping out at the welding workshop. Stop by and say hello to him and pass along that the Webinar was great!

This was my first foray into the EAA Webinar experience, but I highly recommend the experience. You can learn of Webinars planned for the future by visiting the EAA Webinar site.

A Day at an Aviation Museum

We had beautiful weather last weekend and had an opportunity to meet some new friends we had made on Twitter, so we drove down to Sacramento and spent a day looking at airplanes and further establishing the friendships. We started out with a few hours at the Aerospace Museum of Sacramento located at McClellan Airport (MCC), what used to be McClellan Air Force Base. They have a very nice museum building, clean and modern with very friendly workers and a nice store filled with aviation goodies. The entry fee for adults is $8 and there are various discounts for children and seniors (over 65). [This is another long post, but I have included plenty of photos, and each photo links to a larger version.]

After passing from the lobby into the indoor display area you find yourself in a large open area with aviation displays positioned throughout the room. Le Rhône Rotary engine circa 1916.

This photo is of a Le Rhône Rotary engine on display. I don’t remember what the display sign said, but according to this aviation history site it appears to be the 110 HP version.  the engine was made circa 1916 and is one of the unique early “round” engines in which the cylinders rotate around the crankshaft. This display model allows you to rotate the whole assembly and see how it works. In the background you can just make out a beautifully restored 1932 Curtiss-Wright B-14-B “Speedmail”. Behind the aircraft you can see the doors that open from the entrance lobby.

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