Category Archives: Small Stuff

There’s a Jet in my Garage

A tight fit. Good thing the wings fold.

Why be ordinary you can really stand out among your neighbors. A German company  named ” Style your Garage ” makes posters for the garage door.

Prices vary from $199 to $399 for a double door.  Everything included!


(You’re welcome)

Or you may remind everyone that it all comes down to the choices you make.

I think I stick with the Hornet. It’s more believable.

Honey, I shrunk the Flughafen

German builds world’s largest-small airport

Six years to build and almost $4 million dollars later, the worlds smallest airport was put into operation.

The Knuffingen Airport, based on Hamburg’s airport, has finally opened to the public. It’s on display at Miniature Wunderland, in Hamburg, and features 40 aircraft that take off and land and 90 vehicles that trundle around the runways automatically….The attention to detail is astounding. The planes park themselves and passenger walkways slowly move into place….The tow trucks even feature little flashing orange lights and the petrol tanks can be seen indicating which way they are about to turn.

Looks pretty good at “night” too!

The One Airplane Basement

 A Man’s Home is His Castle Hangar

Great effort but planning could have been better.

Reeves spent the past nine years building a two-seat airplane in the basement of hisCumberlandCountyhome. The plane arrived in pieces via mail but eventually it became way too big to get up the steps. So Reeves dug a trench down to the foundation and took out a wall. Reeves pulled the plane out Wednesday using a truck, a chain and some neighbors. Onlookers were drawn to the spectacle by the “Airplane Removal Wednesday” put up on Reeves’ porch. 

Sort of like building a ship in a bottle but he’s in good company. Those who know their automotive history will recall that Henry Ford  had a similar experience. He built his first car in 1896 and forgot to put a garage door in the shed, leading him to demolish the brick wall in order to drive it out.

Begs the question as to how he got the engine or canopy down the stairs and initial engine run up must have been a blast. Bonus: Now he’s got a walk out basement.

How’s Your Day Going?

Sometimes it’s useful to add perspective to the occasional trials that arise. As the saying goes: Sometimes you’re the statue and sometimes you’re the pigeon. Well, sometimes you’re the plane and sometimes you’re the pelican. A little “paper, rock scissors” happens in every life.

Wrong place at the wrong time. At least he missed the pylon. This isn’t going to end well either.

…and this didn’t end well..

In contrast I’d say my day is going pretty well.

…and that’s a compelling reason not to fly helo’s.

The Twin

It’s one thing to fly a twin, another to be a twin.  Done that and I am that.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have someone born the same day as you, looked like you, and shared a most of your traits? Identical twins share more than a birthday. We have the same genetic make up.

That’s me, (Wilko) on the right

It’s been a lot of fun. Except in the early years when you get blamed for something the other guy did. We looked so much alike, my grandmother couldn’t tell the difference. We could switch classes and even (briefly) jobs without detection. I do not recommend switching dates.

 There’s a twin research center in Minneapolis (one of the twin cities, right?) which studies such things as twins separated at birth. Turns out many of them end up in the same profession; have the same hobbies and even the same breed of dog. It’s strong evidence that genetics are more powerful than environment in shaping personality. It can be forgiven to act identically if you never knew your sibling when you were growing up. However, wearing the same clothes as a twin adult is just wrong and some say is a little strange.  I recall, one time, scheduling lunch with my brother in downtown Chicago and chose to wear a bright blue sport coat. Very snappy, with white shirt, tie and dark blue trousers. It was one of a kind. I thought. At the appointed hour, I walked toward the restaurant and to my dismay saw my twin brother wearing the same exact jacket with white shirt, tie and navy blue pants. I had no idea another jacket like that existed. Super,  now people will stare at us while we ate. We could do the Doublemint commercial later. That’s why I don’t plan to attend the Twin Days Festival  in Twinsburg,Ohio, where hundreds of identical men and women dress alike.  (National Geographic photographed it last year.)While I’m happy to be a twin, I don’t celebrate it. Many folks who have known me for years still don’t know I’m identical.

Twins are said to have their own language. I guess it’s because some believe identical twins have the same brainwaves.  See this video if you don’t believe me.

As a young tyke, I remember asking my brother to try on a cowboy hat to see what I looked like when there was no mirror handy. We don’t look quite as identical with the passing of time but we still have the same interests, same aptitudes. We both fly, both run,  scuba dive and enjoy history and biographies.  We’re best friends and not all brothers are that lucky. Occasionally, a few ask who is the evil twin and the nice twin, to which I answer: “yes”. These are the same people who ask if we were born on the same day. There are differences. He’s better at engineering. I’m more proficient at sales and marketing.

I’m also a much better golfer. 

Growing up, we never got into name calling. If we were to call each other an ugly doofus,  for example,  to what conclusion would we arrive? There’s shared chromosomes in the mix. Anyway, I’ve always thought that he’s a great looking guy.

Glad That’s Fixed

Occasional reader TomG forwarded this news clipping regarding a new maintenance program. It’s certain to raise the eyebrows of passengers when the gate agent announces a maintenance delay. (click for larger image)


Faced with technical problems on an aging Boeing 757 aircraft, Nepal Airlines’ representatives told local media the sacrifices were made to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god. “The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights,” said Raju K.C., a senior airline official, without explaining what the problem had been.

Let’s see. …looking through the FAR/AIM right now…not finding any FAA approved sacrifice procedures. It might have been just the thing for that Cutlass I used to fly with its endless supply of mechanical problems. Probably cheaper than taking the plane in for the annual inspection.

…but in an emergency, use the checklist first, pray later.

Infrequent Flier

This story admittedly sounds weird. Here’s a guy that just learned his plane was stolen two years ago 

A Ballico man discovered his airplane was stolen two years ago after he was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration… and reported that his 1955 Cessna 310 was stolen from the Turlock Airport

A twin-engine Cessna selling for $25k? Also strange that he never bothered to check on the Cessna 310 while paying hanger fees. Ah well. It’s in California.

Flight Instruction Made Easy

Reasonably priced flight instruction  with curbside convenience. Fuel is a little bit more.

Pay attention to the safety video.

Banner Towing: Beer is In-Tiger is Out

A banner weekend for Tiger.

An airplane towing a banner which read “Tiger: Are You My Daddy?” was asked to leave the airspace near the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, CA, on Sunday. While the FBI says such a request near a large gathering of people is not uncommon, the FAA tells a different story…Sheriff’s Commander Mike Richards said that there was only one other banner plane in the area, towing an advertisement for beer, which was reportedly not asked to divert away from the golf course.

Identified falling objects

Rod Machado had the tent roaring when I saw him at Oshkosh. He’s a gifted speaker with an ability to tell a story. Occasional reader “Scary” mentioned falling meat bombs in the previous post. It reminded me that things can fall from,  and out of,  planes as captured in Rod’s article (below) which initially appeared in the AOPA magazine.

It’s falling—the sky is falling. Well, not really. It just seems that way sometimes. Unless you’ve been in cold storage the past few years, you’ve probably heard about at least some of the items that have fallen from airplanes. Landing gear, funeral urns, jet engines, and other odds and ends have made the list. I don’t know about you, but I get the willies when things drop from or off of airplanes, especially when the pilot was counting on using the newly liberated item later in the flight.

Take the story of a student pilot who recently departed John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, in a fixed-gear Piper Warrior. The rental airplane, just released from a major inspection, appeared to be in good working order. With preflight complete, our young aviatrix completed her runup, then taxied onto the runway and departed. The subsequent conversation between the tower and the student went something like this:
“Piper Two-One-Three-Two-Bravo, this is John Wayne Tower. Ahh, ma’am, you appear to have left your main landing gear on the runway, over.”
“Huh? Please repeat for Two-One-Three-Two-Bravo.”
“Ma’am, your landing gear is on the runway. It fell off the airplane when you rotated, over.” Continue reading