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Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Kayak Jack, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. oldbuffpilot

    oldbuffpilot Well-Known Member

    Jack, I'm glad you are able to continue to fly, it's a real joy! The FAA medical is the reason I decided to sell the airplane and REALLY retire. After 40+ years of a bureaucrat in OKC deciding if I get a paycheck or not I'd had enough of them.

    Keep having fun
  2. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    You're right on that score, Chuck. An interesting thing is, that two different branches of the Federal Aeronautical Administration (FAA) are operating in very different manners. The medical branch is dragging out everything that they do. They are slow to begin with, and then request piles of unecessary documentation on top of that. So, a procedure that should take no more than an hour, stretches out for months.

    On the other hand, the branch that approves modifications to certified aircraft, are moving in only months to a year or two, compared to decades or never. Newer technology is being approved, at a fraction of the previous cost. Better instrumentation, autopilots, etc. are now being approved, purchased, installed, and used. Interestingly enough, flight safety has improved too.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  3. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Andy, you might want to connect with AOPA about their rusty pilot programs? Though, you may not be all that rusty. Call (800)872-2672, and ask for the Pilot Information Center (PIC). Ask them about your eligibility for BasicMed. Believe me, that the physical with your family doctor is much, much easier. It covers aircraft up to 6 people, and (I think) 12,500 pounds gross weight. Way over anything a 182 would be.
    Keep'em flying!
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  4. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    114 years ago today, 17 December, was the first flight at Kittyhawk.

    (I think they flew a Cessna.)
  5. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    A few days ago, I got a phone call. "Hey, Jack. It's good weather, and I'm here at the hangar. Bring the Duck on over. I have an empty spot for it here, and it's next in line". It's only a 23 mile hop over to Howell KOZW. Piece of cake.

    Jim's call made me jump start my day, and reschedule an appointment. I hustled to the hangar and plugged in the Tanis engine heater. Free Air Temp was -3 degrees, and without supplemental heat, my engine wouldn't even turn over, let alone start. When I returned 4 hours later, the engine was still stone cold! I called Jim and informed him that I certainly wouldn't be there today. AARRGGHH!!

    Looking around, I found the fuse and pulled it. An odd fuse. After trying three stores, I gave up and called the Tanis people. WOW! What service. It was 4:30 on Friday afternoon, and the president of the company answered. This is a special little fuse, made especially for them. He stuck a couple of them in the msil. The Tanis has heater pads on the bottom and top sides of the crankcase/block assembly, and one in each cylinderhead. It is the best system I've seen for preheating an aircraft engine.

    In the meantime, I had an under capacity fuse (10 amp instead of 12) in, and hoped. Next day - another disappointment. Julie and I retreated to the Bestsellers coffee and book shop to lick our wounds. There, we ran into two friends, one of them another pilot. I told him the story, and he said, "No problem! We'll just use my portable heater for an hour, and it'll start. Just give me a call and we'll get it done."

    So, now I need to line up Jim at the hangsr, Terry at the heater, and the weather gods. Then, The Ruptured Duck can get inspected and repaired at its annual inspection.
  6. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    -3F. Jack?? Why would you even consider going outside at that tempt. I guess it's all about what you are used to.
  7. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Well, we can put on comfy clothes and be comfortable in those temps. Whereas, if both the temp and humidity are above, say, 85, we can't take off enough clothes to get comfortable. There are advantages and disadvantages in all circumstances. I've lived in pretty much all climates, and enjoyed most of them, Though, I couldn't find much good in Viet Nam.
  8. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    A ferry permit is an authorization for a one-time fight. It is for special purposes when you can't legally fly, for some reason, but the aircraft is sufficiently airworthy for a specific, one-time flight. When I was an aircraft maintenance officer in the Air Force, I sometimes had to authorize these.

    One time in Nam, one of our F-100s (416th Tactical Fighter Squadron) took a hit in the inverted flight tank. It was losing fuel through a jagged hole seveal inches across - right into the engine bay next to a hot Pratt and Whitney J-57-21 engine. It made an emergency landing at Vung Tao. The runway there was perforated steel planking (PSP), not concrete. I took three good men, and we fixed the bird. Before it could fly, I had to sign off for a one-time flight.

    I have to get a ferry pernit for the Duck. Nothing anywhere near as dangerous or exciting as what occurred there over 50 years ago. The annual inspection ran out at the end of February. Just administrivia this time.

    So, we'll do the dance, get the bird inspected, and hopefully continue with the sale. Then, a chapter will close.
  9. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Continue with the sale? Of the Duck? Did I miss a post?
  10. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    No, you didn't miss a post. We flew only about 10 hours last year. Flying is still fascinating for us, but it seemed, last summer, that we were more interested in riding our bikes than in flying in the Duck. Only in retrospect, did we realize that riding had become more interesting to us. And, of course, the exercize is good for us.

    Many states have a Rails to Trails program. As railroads go out of business, those valuable, linear corridors of right of way (ROW) become available. Some returned to farmland. You see, in the 1800s, when railroads were starting and expanding, rights of way were granted and "purchased". Governments granted ROW to facilitate "Manifest Destiny", a very handy belief that God intended for European culture to dominate the land. Most of the rest of the railroad ROW was purchased, usually by force and coersion. Once in a while, it was actually purchased at a fair market value.

    These dealings left a very bad taste in the mouths of people; it was a bad taste that lasted over the generations. So, when railroads, one by one, were failing, farmers plowed them up and put them back into cultivation whenever possible. Someone recognized the value of these long corridors, and initiated Rails to Trails. The upshot of all this are networks of trails. Plus, many communities have developed their own trails within and around.

    So, there are many, many areas to go riding in. Fortunately, most of these areas magically have coffeeshops, restaurants, and ice cream shops in close proximity. It has to magic- that kinda stuff doesn't just happen by accident!
  11. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    That's what Florida has done with the old rail road right-a-ways. Three new ones with 750 miles combined and 1 more year for the completion of any " GAPS " of all three.
    This is not counting all of the trails each county presently has.
    " Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail, which will run about 250 miles across Florida, connecting the Gulf Coast at St. Petersburg on the west, through Central Florida, to the Atlantic Coast on the east at Canaveral National Seashore.
    In 2014 the Florida State Legislature provided $50 million in funding over a 5-year period to complete the "gaps" between existing trails to form this continuous multi-use trail across the state. Spanning nine counties, this is a state and regional collaboration.
    The Coast-to-Coast Trail is part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System plan, recognizing the economic impact to communities along trails, the growing popularity of eco-tourism, and public support for trails. It ultimately will link to both the 215-mile Heart of Florida Loop and the 260-mile St. John's River-to-Sea Loop. "
  12. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    If you googleize "bike trails in (insert name of state here)", there are likely even more trails than you're aware of. Philanthropists, counties, communities, and others either build a trail, or finance them. One trail running through Michigan, the North Country Trail, begins in Pennsylvania or New York, and goes up into Canada.

    We have luggage racks and saddle bags, so each bike can easily carry snacks, beverages, etc. I carry a spare inner tube, and little, plastic tire "irons". Once in a while, we accidently stumble across farmers' markets. Sometimes it's intentionally. The saddle bags detach, and make excellent shopping bags.

    Riding bikes can be tough duty, but someone as to do it.

  13. oldbuffpilot

    oldbuffpilot Well-Known Member

  14. oldbuffpilot

    oldbuffpilot Well-Known Member

    .Jack, I wish you well with your transition out of flying. Some folks have found it to be a tough transition as you know flying is also a way of life. It was a tough decision for me, but the right one. Life has gone on and is actually much more relaxed. We both have found memories of" slipping the surly bonds of earth", cherish them.

  15. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Thank you sincerely, Andy. You probably flew 20-50 times more hours than me. I think the decision to quit was made incrementally over a few months last summer. On nice days when we could have flown - we rode. At the end of the year, looking back, we realized that our year had a different appearance. I was able to broaden Julie's horizons, and alter her perspectives. I would have enjoyed flying with you, and learning from you.
  16. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    Well, today I was finally able to make my qualifying flight. I am now eliginle to join the UFOs, United Flying Octogenerians. (That membership card, and $2.00, will get you a nickle cuppa coffee most anywhere today). But, it is a bit of a unique group, ehh?

    I was finally able to (1) get an open spot in a hangar where they fix arrieo-planes. This one is at the Fixed Base Operation (FBO) in Charlotte, KFPK. (2) get my schedule in line. (3) get the schedule of a buddy to act as chase driver in line. And (4) get the weather gods in line all on the same part of the same day. Now, The Duck can get her annual inspection and be all ready for sale.

    Now, that's a happy - and a sad - situation. Flying has been a highlight in my life for about 10 years now. And the Ruptured Duck has been at the center of it all for 9 of them. It will be similar to losing a dog who has been a good friend and hunting companion. But, we (Julie and I) are alteady planning some "vagabond wanderings" on the bikes. And there are a blue-million little towns out there that are open to our vagabonding.

    Cheated death again.
  17. oldbuffpilot

    oldbuffpilot Well-Known Member

    It's good every time you cheat death! I figured God only allots each of us so many "lifties". I used to hope that nobody on the B 52 crew ran out of lifties while I was flying with them! I did tell my friends I decided to quit flying before I ran out of lifties. :)
  18. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Hi, Andy. "Lifties" is a new term to me. I understand the concept - like a "get out of jail FREE" card. With car wrecks abounding out there, the person who ran out of lifties doesn't have to be in your our car. They can be in a nearby car that can somehow get into a collision path with ours.

    I hadn't flown in 6 months. A few, stupid errors, even with checklist in hand. A good time to hang up my headset.
  19. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    We will miss it also.
  20. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Bob. I've never been sorry that I've gotten into aviation. The people I've met are exemplary. Well, except a couple of them. The experiences have mostly been exhilarating. Some were downright "character building". Though, at my sge, they probably didn't build my character nearly as much as just openly disclosed it.

    I've always been quick to react to situations, and even more so if it appears I'm about to get hurt - or worse. I can get explosive and do some unwise things. Aviation drills into you to think ahead, plan ahead. Your mind has to be ahead of the plane. Cause, if you're not, that means the plane is ahead of you. It's a lot easier - to say nothing of a lot smarter - to prevent a collision of some kind, than to survive and repair it. A couple of those "OH $h!t" encounters makes a believer out of most of us.

    But, I'm thinking of renaming my bike as the Ruptured Duck, too.

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