Ingo Noka

Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

9MDRJ Repatriation

In Equipment, Flight Log, Gear, Knowledge, Ownership on April 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again. ~William Shakespeare

Her ladyship, 9M-DRJ, will be repatriated and become a US citizen once again.  The new owner decided to move her back to the N-register.  There are many advantages of doing that.  The maintenance is more straight forward and keeping a FAA pilot license current is easier too.  The biggest advantage is probably that getting an IR rating on a FAA PPL can be done, which would be fun with this plane, because it is fully equipped for IFR flight. Read the rest of this entry »

Thailand Flight – Day 3 / 29 July 2013

In Aircraft, Airmanship, Equipment, Flight Log, Navigation on July 31, 2013 at 8:49 pm

9M-DRJ, a bit lonely at Hat Yai Airport, Thailand

On Monday, my short field take off skill was to be tested.  In a case like this, before you do anything else, you have to makes sure the weight and balance of the aircraft is acceptable for the runway you want to take off.  At a soft, grass field of 500 meters, that stuff really matters. Normally I take off from runways that are built for an A380, on which I have ample time to get up to speed or to abort if it is just not going to happen (the take off).

I couldn’t do  much about my own weight (which is embarrassingly high these days), so I made my plane as light as possible.  I had about 32 Gallons (87 Kg) of fuel and 25 Kg of luggage (mostly paper, iPad, laptop, handheld radio – this sort of thing).  Altogether, I and my plane were in good shape for a short field take off. (I did the calculation for takeoff ground roll and over 50 feet obstacle as well, which is a topic for another post.)

W&B for take off from grass field Phuket Airpark

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My Piper Archer Taking Off her Cowling

In Aircraft, Equipment, Gear on June 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Lycoming O-360-A4M in Piper Archer III

While I usually fall asleep halfway through most Hollywood movies, I could spend hours watching machines to figure out how they work. And so I was looking forward to the first 50 hours maintenance to document in detail what lies under the engine cowling of 9M-DRJ.

My plane is equipped with a normally aspirated four-cylinder four-stroke, horizontally opposed, air-cooled granddaddy of an engine. Clearly not cutting edge anymore, but rock-solid. This sort of machine will give you ample warning before it quits. It won’t just stop out of nowhere like one of the new diesel engines that rely on lots of electronics. On the flip-side, this engine practically needs to be bathed in oil and fuel to run smoothly.

Nevertheless, quite a number of components need to work together in a well-coordinated manner even for this unsophisticated engine to run. You need the fuel system with pump and carburetor, the oil system with cooler, filter and pump, the spark with magnetos and spark plugs, the starter motor, the exhaust system and of course the motor block with cylinder heads, pistons, valves etc.

If you are interested in this sort of stuff, you can take a look at a couple of pictures I have taken of this little marvel of technology

Airspeed – Dead or Alive?

In Airmanship, Equipment, Gear, Knowledge, Ownership on May 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

As they saying goes: it only takes two things to fly – airspeed and money. However, while it is usually better not to think too hard about the money you spend on flying, it is a great thing to know your airspeed.

Recently, I found out what it takes to fly without knowing your airspeed. After take-off, the airspeed seemed to come alive very late and be stuck at about 60 knots. By the time I decided that something is wrong with my airspeed indicator, I was already airborne and not enough runway left to abort the take off. I figured it is safer to fly as planned and use power, attitude, ground speed and eyeballs to fly at a safe speed. It turned out to be rather easy to achieve a straight and level flight without airspeed. After all, what speed can you possibly fly at with a 70% power setting without climbing or descending? The real question was, how would I achieve a reasonable approach speed and probably for the first time in my flying career I actually listened to ATC telling me wind speed and direction in their landing clearance.

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Buying an Airplane II

In Equipment, Gear, Ownership on March 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm

9M-DRJ and me

Hurray – I bought an airplane! You probably ask whether I ended up buying the Cessna 182 or the Diamond DA40.  Well, neither.

The thing is that I forgot to talk about money in my first post.  The issue is that you need to have enough money left to maintain and fly the aircraft.  If you max out your budget buying the plane, you won’t be happy.

So I decided to go for a relatively new and affordable Piper Archer III.  It does not have a glass cockpit.  The instruments are all analog with two VOR/Localizer CDIs one glide-slope indicator, ADF, KAP140, KLN89B, etc. – basically the original Silvercrown Bendix/King stack. On of the coolest features is the Piper Aire air conditioning.  I don’t think you can go wrong with an a/c in the tropical climate down here.   The call sign is 9M-DRJ and I will post a lot more about my new toy.

9M-DRJ Instrument Panel

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Buying an Airplane – Part I

In Equipment, Ownership, Private Pilot License on December 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Diamond DA40 Test

I have decided to buy an aircraft. Whether that is a wise decision is questionable, but for me it is the right one.

To be honest, there is no business case for this. Renting is likely the cheaper option even if I am going to fly a lot. With renting I would have no maintenance headaches, no unexpected costs, zero cost when I am not flying and so forth.

So the question is, whether the extra hassle and money would be worth it. For me the answer is ‘Yes” for these reasons:

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