Passage through life

I often walk this long passage, an above ground - above the traffic tunnel between the office and the terminal here at Don Mueang Airport.
With little or no flying to be done these days I have a lot more time to reflect upon life and this passageway is a representation of that life.
I travel, and I see through windows on life, ditch some rubbish in the bin sometimes, perhaps sit on the seat for a pause once in a while, but always walking walking, travelling.
I've looked for the woman who might have shared this life, maybe that's her ahead?
No not now, my time has passed, my age is more than twice hers, maybe in another lifetime.
I passed her in the old terminal at the end of this passage, smiled, said "sawatdee krup", and carried on.

The above passage is long, and it allows for a lot of thought while the body is guided between the rails on autopilot.

Thai Lion Air on the same departure procedure I've done in the RV9A.

The last flying I have done was during the 21st and 22nd July weekend.

The Cessna 172G was delivered by an American Christian group in favour of a Burmese freedom organisation.
So on the Saturday I flew with a chap from the Karen tribe who may also go to the USA to learn to fly. I suppose that eventually the will be a MAF (Missionary Air Fellowship) operation in Myanmar and these guys will be the pioneer pilots in such an operation.
The chap did very well, his English is very good, and I think he will be able to learn to fly.

Karen check flight

Chiang Mai is very wet, and Bangkok is known to flood, so I take an interest in water levels here.

On Sunday I flew with a visiting Dutchman Chris, who needed to do a bit of recurrency flying so we did steep turns, stalls, followed by a Practice Forced Landing into Lampang.
Khun Kit will have to do his Thai PPL flight test from Lampang and so he rode in the back to gain experience listening into the radio, and seeing how exercises are flown.

While we were paying the 85 Baht landing fee, a rainstorm passed over the airport, and this was followed by a clear patch before the next storm came through. Rainfall in Thailand is often localised and you can fly around the storms, or hold clear if one is over your landing field, until the storm goes along it's way.

Localised heavy shower on the nose, go left downwind, or right upwind to remain clear.

Khun Kit flew us back and did the radio calls as well.

Here I made a less than ideal decision

There was a clear hole ahead and on our direct track to Nok Airfield. Through the hole you could see bright sunshine and the valley beyond, easy to duck through... No!
Beware, cloud forms quickly here and while heading towards the sunshine the cloud closed in for a couple of seconds... It wasn't bad as the heading was away from high ground and not towards it, but as an instructor it wasn't a good demonstration, except to tell the other two I would not do that again! Only a couple of seconds, but I never like to lose ground reference like this.
The rest of the journey was in good VFR weather.
A better demonstration would have been to go well clear south of the weather.

After landing I phoned ATC to allow another thirty minutes in the circuit for Chris to get some landings in


The company has bought a brand new RedBird MCX simulator with full motion and so last week Trevor (from Vancouver BC), and Arlene came over from Manila to assemble and test the unit which is now in the room upstairs next to my former office...
I lost my room for a cosy corner downstairs.

My input to this simulator was when it didn't work!
First one of two power supplies failed to show a green light, and so the motion system would not function.
I went through the system with a volt/amp meter and traced the circuit connected to this power supply... Finally I disconnected the port side trip light and the green light lit! The trip light sends a beam to a reflector and back so that if the simulator swings and there's an object in its path such as someone's foot it will stop all motion to prevent injury.
With this light disconnected the sim would not move.
I don't accept a simple answer; we'd already decided not to replace the power supply, or the whole control box, so what was the problem: the light unit or the cable connecting it? Something was causing a short circuit and the power supply has a built in protection to shut it off if a short occurs.
Clear of the chassis the light worked!
There was a short between the light unit and the chassis of the simulator.
Easy fix was to use electrical tape to insulate the light unit as well as attach it to the chassis, and now aimed at the reflector all was well with the World, and the simulator worked properly.
Now I have the job of fitting the new unit when it arrives... First I'll replace the cable to the current light unit, and if there's still a short I will change the light unit. I will isolate the source of the short being the light unit or the cable, or both.

Everyone had a go in the simulator; it's fun to fly, good for procedures with some real feel to it.
In the Seneca 1 I have seen what happens below Vmcse when power was applied to the right engine. At that time only rapid action on my part saved us from an early grave, it was a rapid roll to the left to certain death, but I smacked all the engine levers back with my left hand while applying full right rudder with my foot, unstalled and then checked back again using the control wheel, and we pancaked into the mud.
The simulator is very mild in this respect with no violent tendency when flown below minimum control speed single engine.
But I did crash the Seneca after takeoff when the speed dropped below the stall, I lowered the nose and the speed built up to above 80 knots but the elevator failed to work and so I crashed... Nasty Trevor had failed an engine on me while I was mucking about with the avionics in the climb, the feedback on the controls was not enough for me to know what was happening, and the motion wasn't operating at the time. I had trimmed the aeroplane to climb hands off.
Single engine in the Seneca IV I found the rudder feedback to be insufficient to replicate the real aeroplane. The D Sim DA42 is better in this regard.
Later, converted to Cessna 172 configuration, I crashed again. I flew the ILS down to runway 21 L here at Don Mueang when I noticed a Boeing/Airbus twin jet taxying on the left taxyway... So I broke off my approach, swung over and landed on the taxyway going in the opposite direction to wave at the jet's crew as I went past, took off again and swung over to the west side to land in the opposite direction on the apron and pitch up at the control tower, but I flared too high, stalled and crashed nose first into the concrete turning the 172 into a black burnt wreck... Don't do as I do, do as I say :)
I won't be logging these flights. (And yes, of course I rolled it!).

All was completed by Sunday afternoon (I worked the whole weekend) and so in the evening we went to a Tawandang German Brewery where the entertainment and food was very good.
Khun Toh ordered an tall tube of beer, I think 3 litres or so... three tubes in total I believe. I couldn't drink, I was the designated driver.

After sorting the sim I took Trevor and Arlene to the Dusit Zoo
Monitor lizards are common here and are free to swim without being caged in. This one was swimming between the paddle boats.
The poor Jaguar (Puma) cat was not very happy.

At the Zoo I was asked for my Work Permit... Then given a ticket at 100 Baht while visitors Trevor and Arlene were charged 150 Baht.

As host, I also took Trevor and Arlene to Saxophone, and to the Robin Hood Pub during their stay here. I'm always up for being a tour guide here in Thailand.

TGIF Friday, what?

Thai companies are known to load people with work to their capacity and beyond and so the amount of work I have to do now is large, perhaps I should be working today, and tomorrow, Sunday...
We need a good online booking system, and both myFBO, and totalFBO failed to respond, so we're going with FlightCircle at the moment. I had to produce a written operating manual for the online system which became a part of Operational Control for the new school. Now I have the maintenance control system to deal with...
Then there was the preparation of the Cherokee to take it up to Chiang Mai... This meant a drive to Best Ocean Air Park in the afternoon.
Two of the fuel drains leak and so I've ordered three more, and a new gasket for the gascolator.

Doing an engine run on the Cherokee, leaned to maximum static RPM

Back at the office, my car had been left outside and I could not get the key until this morning..


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