About Me

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I live in the Florida Keys. I've been in the military and worked inside the Beltway. I've had 22 technical books and two novels published. I fly, boat, dive, shoot, and swim pretty damn well.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Zodiac 601-XL is for Sale

The time has come.  My Zodiac 601-XL is up for sale.  Please Click on the Video above.

This factory-built Zodiac is S-LSA certified.  That means she is not "Experimental", but at the same time you don't have to worry about: STCs, your 3rd class medical, or even your BMI! 

I brought it home new from the factory and it has been well maintained.  I keep her at the Marathon, FL airport (KMTH).   She sports all-digital Garmin avionics along with a Dynon D-180 multi-function display. The combination gives you integrated "glass panel" features and functions at an affordable price.  
FAA #N183AMSer #601-021S
395 TT Since New (Hobbs)
Continental O-200A82 Engine (100 HP, TBO= 1800)
Last compressions 67/74/72/70
395 SNEW (10/06)
Engine Monitoring: Dynon D180
Sensenich W68ZK576 2-blade prop 
395 SNEW (10/06, Balanced 04/10) 
Garmin 340 Audio Panel
Garmin SL40 Com
Garmin 396 GPS (Panel-mounted)
Garmin 327 Digital Transponder
Dynon FlightDEK D180 Multi-Function Display 
    (See: http://www.dynonavionics.com/docs/D180_intro.html)
Intercom (2-place)
Dual Push-to-talk

Intercom (2-place)
Dual Push-to-talk
Dual brakes and dual controls  
Interior is generally in good condition
2 blue fabric seats
USB connection on D180
Exterior is generally in good condition
Blue / white paint scheme
Tach time = 330
Useful load = 500 lbs.
New external cover included
No damage history
Next annual inspection due 09/01/14
Factory wing modification completed 04/10.
All logbooks
Aircraft is located in Marathon, Florida (Zip 33050)

This Zodiac 601-XL is a Zenair aircraft that was assembled in a factory outside of Atlanta in 2006 (I said 2007 in the video, but that was an error) and it has an airworthiness certificate issued by the manufacturer. This is not an Experimental Amateur-Built aircraft, so it doesn't have the problems and drawbacks of an experimental aircraft.  Be careful, there are some 601s for sale that are Experimental, but don't make it clear.  The factory went out of business during the recession and that has lowered the price of these aircraft, but parts and support are readily available. 

One eight three alpha mike is easy to fly and easy to land.  It seems to love to fly at one hundred and eleven knots with two passengers in most conditions. The visibility through the bubble canopy is outstanding and there is nothing tricky about this airplane. The Continental Oh two hundred engine is proven and very well known.  Every aviation mechanic knows the oh two hundred.  At altitude you'll see fuel consumption under 6 gallons per hour. 

The Dynon FlightDeck D-180 provides full glass panel features including engine temperature monitoring, a lean of peak computer, a fuel computer, and integration with the GPS navigation.  The Garmin 396 GPS has XM weather capability and is integrated with the Dynon,  with the Garmin audio panel, and with the Garmin SL40 radio. The integrated SL40 radio is a great radio and integration means the frequencies are set in its memory when you pick an airport destination in the GPS.  The Garmin GTX 327 transponder helps you to be seen.  

There is no autopilot and that keeps things, including annual inspections, simpler.  Besides, I thought you wanted to FLY the airplane!  Similarly, there are no wheel pants.  Wheel pants make maintenance a lot more difficult and expensive and add nothing. 

Everyone will appreciate how easy it is to get in and out of this aircraft.  One foot on the step, one foot on the wing, and in you go.  You don't need to be an acrobat for this light sport.  The seats are tilted back for comfort and there is plenty of elbow room.  In fact, when I fly my forearm is comfortably resting on my thigh, so there is no strain.

This airplane has only three fuel drains.  You can be sure your fuel is safe with a minimum of hassle!  You can put 15 gallons in each tank, giving you nearly four hours of safe flying. 

The engine is rated to use recreational no-lead 90 octane fuel.  That could be a big advantage because of the unknown future of 100 octane aviation gas.
 One eight three alpha mike has her own brand new personalized cover. 
 Add wingtip strobes and you have an airplane that is economical to buy, practical to fly, and fun!

Interesting Stuff You Probably Did NOT Know About WWII Bombers

SO, you THINK you know something about airplanes?  Something about WWII?  Me too.  BUT, this came as a complete surprise.  This information could have been used in several good books and movies. 

By the way, this Canadian aviation site is a beautiful piece of work.  Once you get on the "Assembly Ships" page, be sure to keep scrolling down and down and down.  It goes on for a long time!  See This Link

Sunday, August 22, 2010

F-16 Dead Stick Landing - Elizabeth City, NC

This video isn't new, but it makes my heart race every time I watch it.  Great teamwork and great airmanship.  Oh yeah, also a lot of luck.  This is the HUD video and recorded audio of a USAF F-16 making an emergency dead stick landing.  You hear it all and, if you are like me, you live it.

Here is a great book describing the selection and training of F-16 pilots.  It's a great guide and an inspiration!  For that low price, it's a great gift for a young person and a bargain for you!

Boeing 787 Flies Formation with a Boeing Model 40

With owner Addision Pemberton flying the Boeing Model 40 at as fast as it would go, the Boeing test pilot was able to slow down and position the 787 long enough to get this shot.  The Model 40 rolled out of the Boeing plant in 1928.  The two airliners were flying near Mt. Rainier southeast of Seattle.

If you have a young flyer, perhaps one going on a first trip, there is nothing cooler than building a model of a commercial airplane.  It's a great way to defuse anxiety about flying and to build curiosity.  This is a great model!  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CROSS WIND LANDINGS - Some Wonderful Video

Some wonderful shots of cross wind landings.  Pilots will be shouting on the screen ..."Push on the damn rudder pedal now!!  Some good decisions to go around.  And yes, some of these videos aren't as bad as they look because of steerable main gear.  The wings can be cocked, but the gear is running true.  Still.. I'm pushing for the rudder pedal under the desk.  http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do;jsessionid=2D52955244E3FC8502AF6D51F292775A?displayContent=213242&page=1

Saturday, March 20, 2010

AN EXCELLENT Analysis of Zodiac 601XL/650 Testing!

Because of a series of accidents, The Zodiac 601XL/650 line of aircraft has had more analysis than probably any other. Here is an easy-to-read analysis and summary of the testing: Seehttp://bit.ly/601XL_650report

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Combat Dogs Jump HALO

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7063359.eceThis is a great story about Combat Dogs and, amazingly, their ability to HALO.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No Further Comment is Necessary

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Super Video from a Camera Onboard A Solid Rocket Booster

NASA put a cammera on a Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster and took video and sound of its return to Earth. Really a cool ride. Very interesting footage and technology!

Blogger can't seem to embed the player, so HERE IS THE LINK to Glumbert.com

Wow -- Let's Spin the Jet !

So, Air Force pilots at Edwards take this hardware and try to break it! And for this a a major gets a base pay of about $64,000 a year while the executive idiots they are cramming into every corner of Washington DC start at a minimum of $117,787.

Ah well, enjoy the great flying video and and imagine what it was like in the cockpit. And I thought that two turn spin training was tough!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The MOTHER of the last Pilot to Fly a KC-135 Has Not Been Born Yet!

A super piece.. though way too short... in the Wired Danger Room on the KC-135! Although, one comment points out that the B-52 is even older!

"Still, taking a tour of these planes only reinforces that utter and complete negligence of the folks in the Pentagon and in Congress who have managed for the better part of a decade to screw up the project to replace these creaking gas-haulers. The nearly $100-billion contract for the next generation of tankers has been awarded yet, despite countless attempts. And the current crop is going to be around for a whole lot longer.

“They tell us the mother of the last 135 pilot hasn’t been born yet. We expect to be flying these planes quite a few years longer,” LaPlant says." See the whole thin HERE

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Dumb and Energetic are to be Watched Closely!

Napoleon was supposed to have once explained to an inquirer, "There are four types of soldiers. The first are the dumb and lazy. These I make my infantrymen. The second are the smart and energetic. These I make my field commanders. The third type are the smart and lazy. These I make my generals."

The inquirer, then replied, "That's just three types. What of the dumb and energetic?"

Napoleon, without skipping a beat replied, "I have them shot."

Unfortunately, today the dumb and energetic become politicians. Numerous examples, starting with Barney Frank and Harry Reid come to mind.

-- FJD

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The ULTIMATE Fighter Pilot Heresy

ooooooohhh this is SO BAD that I'm going to have to erase it from my computer the minute I post it. Proposing an aerial demonstration team made up of Drones! Ahhhh... I have to go wash my fingers. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/07/teaching-drones-to-fly-in-formation/

But, if aviation and military technology interest you, I recommend a book I've already purchased for my grand son.  "Wired for War" is a great story about the integration of remote-presence, "robotics", and other neat technologies into military operations today and tomorrow.  Highly recommended! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

61 Pages of Great Plane Pix

http://xplanes.tumblr.com/ This site has 61 pages of great airplane/ spaceplane art and pictures. Lots of neat stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dead Pilot at the Controls: Private Pilot Save

This happened on Easter Sunday at an airfield and in airspace I frequently use. The lone pilot of a King Air dies at the controls while the plane is in an autopilot-controlled climb. A low-time single engine pilot in the right seat. His wife and two children are in the cabin. He sees that the pilot is dead and takes the controls from the right seat. This is real stuff and listening to the audio will increase your heart rate.

There are two versions of the audio: A shortened podcast and the real full length FAA tape. Pilots interested in the problems associated with taking over a twin engine turbine aircraft in flight should listen to the long version.

The shortened podcast from AVWeb is AT THIS LINK.
The longer (and more interesting) FAA tape is AT THIS LINK
Note that the FAA tape is an MP3 audio and you might need to load a player on your computer if you don't normally listen to MP3s.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

from apathy to dependency -from dependence back into bondage" See the whole story http://ping.fm/EprBu


EVERY CONSERVATIVE needs to watch this once a day.  Mornings would be good.  I love it! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wisdom of Robert Heinlein

This post from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit did its job.  It made me think.  Heinlein's "Star Ship Trooper" was a bookend with "Atlas Shrugged".  

In my mind it stressed the responsibility of citizenship and the value of honor.  I was horrified to see the modern movie that was so full of Nazi / Fascist images that it made me want to puke.  Those images were exactly the last thing Heinlein intended, but then the lens belongs to Hollywood.  (more our shame!) .   

This is probably a good time to go back and re-read some Heinlein.. if ONLY because it gets our brains out of the crap happening now!  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: From Robert Heinlein:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

I’m just sayin’.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Always Think This is a Joke, But It's Very Real!

Somehow, this always looks like two guys in a horse costume, but it's very real.  It's cool, but noisy.  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Kind of Handgun Are You -- A Quiz

This is an online quiz you can take from an outfit called Frontsite.   It's mildly interesting.  It says that I am a: Glock Model 22 in 40 cal.  That's probably right, although I like Berettas too.  
Firearms Training
What kind of handgun are YOU?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Excellent Article on AWACS in Caribbean Drug Fight

National Defense has an excellent article on the role of AWACS in fighting Caribbean drug smugglers.  See THIS LINK    "Drug runner flights depart daily from South America and head toward Central America, the Caribbean islands and even West Africa. More than 90 percent of these flights originate in Venezuela." 

Gee, I wonder who the bad guys are?? 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Have you SEEN BHO's Signature?? It's a cartoon! Pure Ego on display. http://ping.fm/uamuX

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stimulus and The Red Dawn Scenario

It's the "Red Dawn" scenario. A force hostile to most things the US stands for takes over, limits civil liberties ("fairness doctrine" for example), confiscates guns (Google H.R. 45 if you doubt that), and loots the treasury in the form of reparations. At this point in our story Governor Crist of Florida has flown the white flag and surrendered the state. Will Texas save the US? (Yes I know it was Colorado that saved the US in the original story, but I have my doubts... too much Californication.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Landing Light Comprison

I typically have to replace at least one incandescent bulb per year (who just said something about my landings?).   I do put them on a lot for recognition... and I never fly at night.   The LED landing light has a lot of appeal for me.  But, $500?  Oh my.  That's a whole lot of incandescent bulbs!  

Okay -- This is Just Fun

So, the concept is that there is a big fire main type pump on he beach.   The guy is dragging a big hose.  So this is nothing but a local beach toy.  But, I could do this at my house.  Fun to play with.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Somali Pirates Could Teach our COngress

Somali pirates know that you 1. board, 2. rape, 3. pillage and 4. burn- in that order. Our Congress is doing it to us all at once! 
An academically interesting non-political analysis of financial crisis. Expand your brain. http://ping.fm/ZBLte

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson always makes so much sense. It's for sure he isn't inside the Beltway.http://ping.fm/yXz8E
God only gives you a certain number of good flying days, and I'm missing a beauty today!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Installed an ELITE IFR flight simulator at the EAA Hangar. I'm now the local expert. Worked fine except for a dusty DVD.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

USAF Special Operations Command Video

A little pop from my USAF.  Cool airplane pix. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

F-16 Deadstick Landing..

This is an old video..  I believe it dates back to 1996.  But, that does not reduce the tension.  If you are a pilot... this will have your heart beating.   The video is hosted at a good site named "Patrick's Aviation"  See THIS LINK

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good Video of US AIR 1549 -- Including Landing

Here is good video from a USCG camera showing the water landing and the ferry boat rescue activity.  The landing video is brief and the camera is on wife focus at that point, but it didn't take long for someone to get the picture.  

Let's hear it for the ferry boat captains too!  They boldly motored in to get those people off when they had only a cursory view of the situation.  No woosie bureaucrats there!  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A grand speech. Well done. Bet he is glad to get out of there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The USAF "Band"

I know that "military music" is considered an oxymoron, but, in fact,  only uninformed morons think that.  In the mid 1980s I was stationed in Washington DC and my wife and I had the immense pleasure of hearing the USAF Band and the Singing Sergeants perform many times.  I even hired the some of the Singing Sergeants in their off-duty time to entertain guests at some parties.  They are superb people and musicians.  

Here is some proof.  

THIS LINK will take you to some of the newest songs written and performed by the USAF Band. 

THIS LINK will take you to video of the USAF Band practicing suffering.  ...getting ready for the inauguration ceremonies..