the South Ramp
Billy Anderson, of Anderson Aviation, was laid to rest at Punchbowl on Friday, May 7th., after losing his battle with cancer. Billy's passing is a major loss to aviation in Hawai'i, and the community is deeply saddened. As a pilot, flight instructor, Designated Pilot Examiner, business owner, and friend, he touched many of our lives in many ways and will long be remembered. During the Great Hawaiian Air Race, Billy opened his facility to the organizers and participants, and was always there with help when needed--all free and willingly given. He was also a strong supporter and participant in the Aviation Safety Program, and the skies are notably a better place because of him. Godspeed, Billy. Fly with the angels.
The annual GACH fly-in to Kalaupapa drew eleven aircraft--not bad, I guess. Kalaupapa is, to me, a very spiritual place, with much of the hallowed aura of some of the great battlefields and other places where people have suffered and died and triumphed. No one can convey that sense better than Richard Marks. As he has done in the past, he again graciously took us on a personal tour of the settlement and down to what has become known as Damien's Church (St. Philomena's). I've remarked before on the almost unfathomable juxtaposition of the most intense human misery and anguish caused by the ravages of disease, ignorance and fear on a background of one of the most majestically beautiful settings imaginable. Kalaupapa is a very special place--unique, really--that deserves to be managed with respect and foresight. Rather, the National Park Service stewardship has resulted in almost irreparable damage to the flora and fauna there. Grasses have been destroyed, replaced by virtually impenetrable (and inedible) overgrowth. Grasses that the axis deer need to survive. Now, herds of bold and emaciated deer wander around outside the settlement fence looking for anything that will sustain them. The deer that were trapped inside the settlement when the fence was erected fare better and look clearly healthier. For some unknown reason, the Service also decided to remove some historically significant fencing that used to separate new arrivals (patients) from others in one of the processing buildings. True, it wasn't pretty-that kind of thing seldom is. But it graphically presented the manner in which people were treated and was an important part of the overall understanding of Kalaupapa. It is immoral to "beautify" an historic site at the expense of essential history. Richard has a deep personal attachment to the place that he is so willing to share. He also has vast wisdom that should be tapped to the fullest by anyone charged with overseeing and managing such a special place. Again, Richard, mahalo. For those of you who left early, sorry you missed the tour. Next year...
Yukking it Up in a Yak
Had the occasion to fly a wonderful throwback of an airplane--a Yak-52. An outgrowth of the Korean War-era Yak-18 trainer, the -52 is about as solid as they get. Every fitting is massive and overbuilt. Powered by the 360 horse M-14 radial, the Yak has plenty of spunk and performance. In typical Russian fashion, the instruments are metric with a curiously-reversed attitude indicator. Power and RPM are set in percentages. The joy stick is large and prominent and tall, with a comfortable grip. Because the seating position has your knees quite high, it's easy to rest an elbow on your thigh as you fly. The stick's height gives you great leverage, although the very effective controls don't seem to need it. The cockpit is quite spacious--all in all, very comfortable. Brakes are a little funky and would really give you a workout in a heavy crosswind. A single, hydraulically-activated lever (like a bike brake) is mounted vertically on the joy stick. When you squeeze it, you get both brakes. If you want differential braking, you simultaneously depress the rudder on the side you want braking as you squeeze the lever. Makes for interesting taxi turns. Once you have a little speed, however, the rudder becomes somewhat effective. No time for daydreaming en route to the active. On the take-off roll, you open the throttle, hear the throaty rumble, set climb pitch at 90 kph (49 kt), fly off, and then climb at 170 kph (91 kt). The gear folds, but doesn't retract. Makes a good complex trainer (you learn to put the wheels up and down appropriately) and you'll only lose the wooden prop if you forget to lower the feet. Keeps the wing and fuselage slimmer by not having to house the gear. As you open the throttle, you realize you need a fair amount of left rudder (remember, the engine turns the other way) and more so in the climb. Leveling off at about 470 meters on the Red Hill Three, we saw about 120 kt (220 kph) for low cruise. A few steep turns in the box present some nicely balanced ailerons--very crisp and effective, thanks to the push-rod actuators (like the CAP-10)--no cable slop there. The Yak rolls with solid, smooth abandon, about 50 degrees/second faster than my CAP-10--fast enough to snap your head against the canopy (the first time, at least). Hammerheads are to the right, of course, and loops take a little left rudder over the top, but the airplane is surprisingly nimble and well- mannered. Time to do some landings. Slowing down a bit, the gear can come out at about 108 knots (200 kph) and flaps at 91 kt. Keeping some power in all the way to the flare manages the sink-rate nicely and the airplane is not hard to land, even from the relatively blind back seat. The wide stance gives it nice stability on touch-down and the shortish wing handles gustiness quite well. All too soon, we were rumbling back to the hangar. Great airplane! Thanks, Mark.
Congratulations to our own Mimi Tompkins, who, with Captain Robert Schorntsheimer was selected to the Aviation Week & Space Technology Aerospace Laureates Hall of Fame. She joins such worthies as Captain Alfred Haynes, John Glenn, Scott Crossfield, Elrey Jeppesen in being justly recognized for their contributions to aviation.
Congratulations to Greg Marshall for winning (again!) the Great Southern Air Race. This has clearly become a habit with him.
United Flight 232
Speaking of Captain Al Haynes, about a hundred of us were fortunate to hear him talk about lessons learned from his experience. You likely recall, Captain Haynes was the left-seater on a United DC-10 that suffered an uncontained engine failure that took out all hydraulics, leaving the airplane essentially unflyable. Undaunted, he and his crew managed to fly it anyway, saving 184 people in an emergency landing at Sioux City. Because losing all three, independent and separate hydraulic systems on a DC-10 is statistically impossible, there were no procedures to deal with the situation, and they had to discover them on their own. The incident has become a case-study in what is largely called Crew (or Cockpit) Resource Management--CRM. CRM involves using all resources at your disposal--within and beyond the cockpit itself--to handle any given situation. It is taught by all the airlines and is applicable to personal flying as well. The key is good communications, backed by training and preparedness. Our thanks to Tweet Coleman, who let us know Capt. Haynes would be available, to the FSDO and the State DoT for making the arrangements on such short notice.
I recently had a JPI EDM-760 engine analyzer installed in my Seneca and now wonder how I got along without one for so long. Similar to the Insight Graphic Engine Monitor, the JPI gives you an analog presentation of each cylinder's exhaust gas and cylinder head temperatures. It can also scan each cylinder and provide a precise digital EGT and CHT. It also reads the oil temp, and tells you if you are shock-cooling (anything over about 40 degrees/sec change), and has a lean-find mode to tell you which cylinder first reaches peak EGT for leaning. It provides more useful information about the engine than all the rest of my gauges combined. Now, the trick is to tear myself away from the JPI and look outside while I'm flying. It's mesmerizing.
We now have an ILS approach to runway 3 at Lanai. Well, some of us do. Until ASOS/AWOS is installed, you still need a current altimeter or approved weather reporting to use it. But the approach is up and running. I'm glad they chose some easy to pronounce intersections--OJOVU and EYEPO. Most of the IAFs are on the 10 DME arc from the LNY VORTAC; however, note that EYEPO and the MAP are defined by the I-LNY localizer DME. So, you'll have to remember to switch DME frequencies as you intercept the localizer. Cool.
The annual GACH Hana Fly-In is upon us! June 12th will hopefully see another gathering of folks and their craft for the traditional celebration of aviation. In addition to the accuracy landing event (with trophies), Greg Marshall has promised to conduct a seminar on air racing. Come, join old friends, meet new ones, and kick back in Heavenly Hana.
At press time, we have about 56 crews signed up for GHAR 2000! We're going to hold participation at 60 - 65 to keep things manageable. What we need is more local aircraft owners to enter and pair with mainland folks. Virtually everyone who did that this year really enjoyed the connection. The next GHAR will have an extra full day at Hana. Those of you who are AOPA members no doubt read Barry Schiff's fine article on this year's GHAR in the May AOPA Pilot. Check out the photo of Hana--bonus points if you find the error.
Ford Island (NPS)
By the time you read this, Ford Island's time remaining as an active airfield will be rapidly waning. Of interest, especially to aviators past, present and future, is the plan to build the Military Aviation Museum of the Pacific, using some of the existing historic hangars. The Museum will present artifacts pre-dating WWII and include WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and post-Vietnam aviation. It will also preserve at least a glimmer of the aviation spirit that has inhabited Ford Island for the better part of this century.
Be careful out there.
Mimi Tompkins' next CFI Refresher will be the weekend of June 5 and 6. Call her at (808) 988-7102 for details and to sign up.