All Dialed In

I went for a quick flight this morning before work.  I have to say it was a really pleasant flight.   On my last flight the P3 was pulling to the right fairly strongly.  This morning’s flight was to try to figure out what was happening.  However, the right turning tendency was gone this morning.  I have to assume that the issue was either a stick stuck in a line or something wonky with one of my risers.  I laid the chute out slowly and carefully this morning and double-checked everything for tangles.  The air was calm, the engine was just purring, I made a few touch and goes and decided to call everything good.

My next opportunity to fly will be this weekend.  However, the weather doesn’t look as though it will be cooperating.  I might get to sneak a flight in on Sunday morning at a new location.  More about that when/if it actually happens.  For now, here is a short video from this morning’s flight.

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30 LBS Down

Happy to report that I am now 30 lbs lighter than I was back in December!  The weight initially came off quickly but has slowed down in the past month.  I’m fine with that as long as it’s a general downward trend!  I’m anxious to see what the total loss is when I reach the one year mark.

California CCW Reciprocity

Times have changed since I was first training to get a CCW here in my home county.  At that time, only Arizona honored a California-issued CCW.  Now almost half of the states in the US honor a California CCW.  However, California does not honor ANY other state’s CCW permit.  Hopefully this will change one day.

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Map and statistics from Guns to Carry.

 

 

El Dorado Trail – Missouri Flat Segment

This past Saturday Cristy and I decided to take another Rails to Trails walk.  We headed up to Placerville, CA to walk a small segment of the El Dorado Trail.  We began our walk at the Missouri Flat trailhead which is just east of Placerville.  This section of the trail is paved and is geared for bikers and walkers.  It also has a Par Course alongside the trail so you can exercise more than just your feet.

Cristy and I tried a few of these out but primarily just enjoyed the walk  At one point you cross a 100 foot high trestle that has been converted into a foot bridge.  Romantics have placed locks with special engravings on the sides of the bridge.  No doubt inspired by the stunning views.

We continued to enjoy our walk enjoying the beautiful scenery.  It was hard to believe we were still in a suburban area.

We started to get hungry so we headed back to the truck and drove into Placerville just a few miles up Highway 50.  We stopped into the old downtown area and had some delicious farm fresh food at Our Farm Table on Main St.  The food was delicious and the views from their second floor were wonderful.

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We spent another few hours browsing the shops downtown.

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If you’re not up to hiking in the wilderness and indoor hunting is more your thing then I highly suggest taking a walk on the El Dorado Trail.

P3 Light Final Tweaks

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My last flight on the P3 had me setting down early due to high cylinder head temperatures on my engine.  I called J-Bird and they made some suggestions.  This morning was the first non-windy day I had to go on a test flight so I headed out to New Jerusalem Airport just before church.

Happy to report that all went well.  CHT’s were well below where they were on the last flight.  I made several changes to the P3 to achieve this:

  • Change the prop pitch bocks to 13 degrees (they were at 12 degrees before)
  • Change the carburetor jet needle position.  The retainer clip is now 1 slot down from the top of the needle.  This causes the carb to run richer at midrange throttle settings.
  • Change the carburetor high jet to 360 from 370.

All these worked together to reduce the engine temps.  I also change the CG of my P3 by moving the retaining clips on the lift tubes from the bottom most position to the second set of holes up.  This allowed the P3 to ride closer to level and has also eliminated the left turning tendancy the cart had in flight.

Here is an abbreviated clip from this morning’s flight:

 

And here is a quick rundown of the P3’s status at this point:

 

Sugar Pine Railway – Strawberry Branch

Cristy and I decided to explore another railroad right of way that’s been converted to a hiking trail. Since Cristy really enjoyed hiking along the Merced River on the Merced River Trail I wanted to find another trail that ran along a river. We decided to try out the Sugar Pine Railway Strawberry Branch. We drove up Highway 108 up to Cold Springs where we had lunch first at Mia’s. Great place by the way.

The trailhead is just a mile back down 108 from Mia’s. After heading down Fraser Flat Rd, you will come to a small bridge that crosses the Stanislaus River. Park at the bridge. The trailhead is on the south east side of the bridge. It is an easy uphill hike. It’s a railroad grade so nothing too steep. There were several springs that were flowing across the trail but the Forest Service actively maintains this trail and they do a wonderful job of it. We actually ran into one of the forest rangers with a crew of volunteers who were working on diverting the springs so they wouldn’t cross the trail.

The scenery is beautiful and the sound of the river very relaxing. There were not as many wildflowers on this trail as the lower elevation trails but we did see some interesting mushrooms and the smell of the pines and firs was amazing. We only hiked up about a mile and a half of the trail. Having a full stomach from lunch may have had something to do with that. Walking back was much faster and easier as it was downhill.

I have to say we’ve enjoyed each of the Rails to Trails hikes we’ve been on. This is a wonderful program and I hope you check out one of your local trails. I’ll leave you with some photos of our hike.

CG Adjustments Part 1

I’m happy to report that I’ve lost enough weight that it is time to adjust the CG (Center of Gravity) on my Six Chuter P3 Lite Powered Parachute.   It was adjusted for max pilot weight.  I am nowhere near that weight.  Also, when I take off I noticed that the carriage swings on the pitch axis (nose to tail) on lift off.  Kind of like a teeter-totter effect.

So after checking the manual I adjusted the lift tubes for my current weight + 10 lbs.  The lift tubes are what the parachute risers are connected to.  If you extend them, you move the CG forward, if you retract them, you move the CG rearward; the lighter the pilot, the more forward you have to adjust the CG.  Six Chuter made this fairly easy by pre-drilling holes in the lift tubes through which you insert a pin.  The lift tubes are designed in a telescoping manner and you extend or reduce them to the proper measurement as called out in the manual for pilot weight.  Then insert a locking pin through the hole and the CG has been set.  The adjustment I made to the lift tubes ended up being extended them such that the pin was moved two holes in each tube.

This morning I drove out to New Jerusalem and gave it a test flight.  What I found was that the cart lifted off rear wheels first and the nose wheel was rolling on the ground.  Not by much but enough that I noticed it.  I immediately cut the power and landed again.  I had extended the tubes by too much.  Apparently I had underestimated the weight of all the gear I fly with, it’s obviously more than 10 lbs worth.

After landing I was still rolling and decided to try something.  I was about 1 quarter of the way down the runway and slowly pulled off to the extreme right of the runway, keeping my parachute centered overhead.  Then I slowly fed in left rudder bar and the chute started to sway to the left.  I entered an easy left turn and the chute returned overhead while I was still turning.  I steepened the turn and fed in more left rudder bar until I had done a 180 turn.  I relaxed the rudder input and as the parachute started to veer right I straightened out the turn and the chute returned overhead.  I was able to drive all the way back to my trailer like this.

Long time PPC guys will say “So what?  I do that all the time!!”

I say, “Good for you PPC guys!”  This was my first time being able to do a 180 on the runway and taxi back.  It felt pretty good to me.

After getting back to the trailer and putting the chute away I set about RE-adjusting the CG.  I shortened the riser tubes by one hole which SHOULD put the CG back about where I wanted it to be.  So the net effect will be that I only lengthened the tubes by 1 hole.  I’ll give it a test flight tomorrow morning and report back.

Here’s a short video from my POV…