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Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for November, 2004

General Aviation Off to a Bad Start

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According to this article general aviation fatalities totalled 340 last fiscal year but there have already been 39 in the first month of the new one. Not a good start, especially with the ‘more difficult’ months ahead of ice, fog and increased night flying.

And its not helped by pilots like the one we overheard at Brown Field yesterday who seemed to have no clue what they were doing…

Tower: ABC123 Hold short of runway 26R
[silence]
Tower: ABC123 You are required to repeat the hold short instuction
Pilot: Hold short of 26R

Tower: ABC123 Position and hold 26R (meaning go on to the runway but hold for takeoff instruction)
Pilot: Position and hold 26R

Tower: ABC123 Do you know what position and hold means?
Pilot: Yes, it means position and hold
(didn’t see what happened but I think the pilot didn’t move onto the runway)

Tower (exasperated voice): ABC123 Cleared for take off, maintain 1500 feet until approved otherwise
Pilot: Cleared for take off

Tower: ABC123 Did you copy the restriction to maintain 1500 feet? (I guess the pilot was now above 1500)
Pilot: Sorry, I did not copy that
Tower: ABC123 When you get back to Brown, please call the tower

The airport was very busy with several planes practicing landings and takeoffs plus a few planes coming in to clear customs from Mexico, pilots needed to be extra vigilant or else accidents will be happening. I am sure when the pilot returned he received quite a lecture from the tower, I hope he learned from it.

Written by admin

November 5th, 2004 at 10:50 am

Posted in Flying

Tagged with

High Performance Flying

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After an aborted attempt on Weds when we found that the plane we had booked had a faulty alternator (don’t want to fly without the electrics!) I finally got my first lesson in a high performance plane, defined as any aircraft with a 200HP engine or greater. The Cessna 182 I flew was rated at 235HP and at one point we were indicating an airspeed of 150 mph – now that’s cruising! It sure was a lot of fun, in a couple of weeks we’ll do it again to put me and the plane through some performance maneuvers and after that I should get my endorsement that I am legal to fly the fast planes solo.

Well, the deny list was not comprehensive enough to stop the spammer but I am taking moderation off anyway. Its not that much hassle to delete all the comments straight from the database and after looking through the code its pretty easy to add some lines to ban the spammer completely.

Written by admin

November 5th, 2004 at 10:12 am

Posted in Flying

Tagged with

Moderation Time

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Having just had to delete 180 spam comments from my MINI blog I am setting both that page and this one to moderated comments, at least until I find a good solution to blocking the annoying !%!@*!ers.

Update: I found a list of IPs to deny at the webserver and since then the spamming attack has stopped. Now I don’t know if its because they had gotten bored or if the block list is working. Maybe I can ummoderate comments soon.

Written by admin

November 4th, 2004 at 4:15 pm

Posted in General

The Day After Tomorrow

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The most amazing thing to me about the election is not the size of the Republican party’s win, or even that they won, but that the news media, the oh-so-on-the-pulse political blogs have been totally out of touch with what the American people wanted. For a year, hell even up until late last night, we were told that Kerry, or at least a change, was what the country wanted. I’d like to think that the news networks will re-evaluate their method of making, I mean reporting, the news in future but I am sure that won’t happen.

By the way, 2004 election props to the BBC for the best webpage showing the minute-by-minute election results.

Written by admin

November 3rd, 2004 at 10:43 am

Posted in America

Tagged with

Vote Early, Vote Often!

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Its here, election day 2004, no more will I have to watch Kerry and lickspittle Edwards promise to give me whatever I want in return for my vote (psst I don’t get a vote). Instead we’ll either be watching them trying to congratulate President Bush (my bet: they will be very poor losers), or watching them dancing in ex-President Bush’s (my bet: he will be a gracious loser) face whilst thinking ‘crap, now we actually need some ideas on what to do’. Either way its all good, as they say in France, plus la change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Btw, I should point out that I am far from being a Republican and disagree with a lot of their policies. However I find Kerry and Edwards most objectionable individuals and would rather see a Republican win than have them rewarded with the Office.

Written by admin

November 2nd, 2004 at 8:57 am

Posted in America

Tagged with

iTunes

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I love my iPod, I love iTunes and I even enjoy buying music from the iTunes Music Store. This weekend I was overjoyed to find that I could hook up to Music Stores in other countries, and almost all the music I like from UPop was available on the UK site. But then I tried to buy some tunes and met with resistance: you can only buy if you are registered on that country’s site, and to register you need a credit card with an address in that country. Wah!

According to Apple this is due to “copyright concerns” but if I was an artist abroad I’m sure I would want my music to be available for purchase anywhere. More sales means more $$ for the record companies, especially as now I’ll probably have to download the songs from some filesharing site if I want them. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if I could buy from all the stores?

Whenever I am set to learn to fly a new plane, the Santa Ana winds return. It was a blowing a gale over the mountains this morning, and it makes for very bumpy conditions in the air. It will not be any fun this week.

Written by admin

November 1st, 2004 at 9:14 am

Posted in Music,Rants

Tagged with ,