Ingo Noka

Archive for the ‘Gear’ 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 and 4 / 30 and 31 July 2013

In Aircraft, Flight Log, Gear, Navigation on August 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Back in Singapore after 14 hours of flight, 1,500 nm and three countries in four days.

I spent Monday evening in Ipoh, which is apparently famous for the local food.  I tried one noodle dish, which was indeed delicious.  Normally I am not a big friend of chicken feet in the Chinese cuisine, but this one tasted great. Read the rest of this entry »

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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Better Scale

In Flight Bag, Gear on February 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Johor Airspace Map

I have updated my “chart” and trimmed it down to A4.  I have also attempted to scale it properly at 1:500,000 (i.e. the Sectional Chart scale).  The actual scale of the printed map depends very much on the printer.  The idea is to print the map on A4 without any resizing.  On my Macbook Pro it works very well with paper size A4 and a scale of 100% (in the printer dialog).

BTW: I have created these maps with Inkscape using an old TPC chart and a couple of other free resources from the Internet.  The maps are available in the source format (SVG), which can be opened with Inkscape and other vector graphic programs.  The other formats are in bitmap formats (JPEG, PNG and PDF) and cannot be edited in the sense that elements of the charts are just bitmaps and cannot be changed in shape etc.

The maps can be downloaded here.

Aeronautical Charts of Malaysian Airspace

In Airmanship, Gear on November 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Soviet Military Topographic Map

In South East Asia, Aeronautical VFR charts tend to be out of date or non-existent.   As with most General Aviation related services in this part of the world, this sorry state of affairs has to do with the very low demand.  There are simply not enough GA aircraft and pilots in Asia to make it worthwhile for anybody to spend money on many things that are taken for granted by pilots in the US or Europe.

Nevertheless, we make do with what we have and I have not heard of anybody getting lost in Malaysia because of a missing or inaccurate map.  Of course, the airspace is not as crowded as (I imagine) in most parts of the UK or Germany.

To alleviate the situation a bit, I have collected a couple of resources that can help fellow aviators in Malaysia to find their way around.  I would be very grateful if you could send me additional information or help me correct mistakes I may have made.  This blog entry is just an announcement of this new content on my website and any further changes will be made on this page. Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed silence – Lightspeed Zulu

In Gear on April 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Lightspeed Zulu in hard case

The Zulu Headset has been my first “aviation” purchase and I am pleased to say that it delivers everything I hoped for.  I spent considerable time on the computer to research active noise canceling headsets.  I looked at the Bose A20, the David Clark H10-13, the Sennheiser HMEC 460/350 and the Lightspeed Zulu.  The Internet is great for this sort of research, but there are so many contradicting reviews and opinions that it is hard to decide which one to believe.  The Lightspeed, however, had consistently better reviews than the others and it is not even the most expensive device.  I also liked the look of the “magnesium alloy” ear cups, so I went for the Zulu and do not regret it. Read the rest of this entry »