Airplanes, they are just cool
Yesterday I tweeted how 2015 was not a bad year but also not a great year. The big disappointment, for me, was the lack of motivation. Other than work I had nothing I needed to do. Yes I have dreams and of course a huge remodeling project that is sitting, along with my dreams unrealized. It is time for change. In 2016 I want to focus on two main projects.
The first project I want to tackle has been sticking in the back of my mind since I was a teenager. I have always been interested in film and photography. Unfortunately I have only dabbled in creating content. This year I want to learn to tell stories, not just my own story but the stories of all the amazing people I meet every day. The medium I will use is primarily video posting content on my You Tube and Vimeo channels. The challenge I face is overcoming any self conscience self doubt about my ability to express myself creatively.
The second big project I will be tackling this year is to make a some headway in my ongoing remodeling project. It seems that I am very good at tearing things down but not so good at putting them back together. My plan is to do most if not all the work myself, yeah be a master of DIY. However like my video projects I do not have the confidence to knock-off such a big project. Hence the reason it has taken me five years to do nothing.
2016 is the year where I throw caution to the wind and look into the abyss of self doubt and overcome fear. It is time to jump head first into projects put off for far to long.
Happy New Year 2016.
Today starts the fall soccer season and as I have been, on and off, for the past 30 years I will be documenting the teams season. Being an uber amateur with no budget always brings challenges to the filming process. If you have ever shot video you know that sports stadiums present crazy challenges. The challenges are compounded when you shoot at night. Last year I found a product Neat Video which made a huge difference in the quality of the end product.
This morning while setting up my equipment I ran across some car footage I shot on a road trip to Colorado. I did not have the setting on my Canon FX300 set correctly and the image was unusable due to the image noise. just for fun I ran a few shots through Neat Video and wow amazing. The before and after shots are from about 2 minutes of tinkering and I keep shaking my head at the huge save this little program provides us, I have no clue, amateurs.
BEFORE and AFTER
Last Saturday I tagged along with the crew from Further Performance to Fargo ND. It was our first trip to Volkswagens In the Valley put on by the Red River VW Club. It was a fun little show with around 100 plus cars, mostly air-cooled. There is something about low keyed gatherings that I really enjoy. While we all like to show off our builds there is something to be said about hanging with people who share your passion without being overly competitive.
The plan for the day was to start early from Further Performance and make the four hour drive from Minneapolis to Fargo ND. Five cars in total: My two cars the Golf R and the MK3 GTI along with three cars representing the shop. Tristan was in the Scirocco, Alex in the Karmann Ghia and Mike in his MK5 R32. It would not be a proper road trip if something does not go according to plan. True to form my friend Matt came down sick and was not able to drive the GTI so we left the GTI behind. Surprisingly that was the extent of the days drama.
The phrase a road less traveled describes Tristan and his approach to road trips. Avoid the interstate taking instead the forgotten highways and back roads of central Minnesota. No record speeds between points instead opting for slightly less than the published limits. Endless fields of corn, freight trains hauling their black gold to refineries far to the east and small town America never made a boring moment. It was a refreshing way to travel considering for the past 25 years I have flown back and forth over the exact parts without ever seeing the country on a personal level.
Much of the VW scene I have been exposed to is the hyper competitive build it bigger and better than the other guy. The scene at the Volkswagens in the Valley was laid back. People like me who enjoy their VW’s for the smell, sounds and feel of the vehicle. Sure there were some amazing builds but they did not scream out I’m better than you. Instead we all enjoyed the time and passion it takes to build a car, any car, and keep them running just because it makes you smile.
VWs In the Valley will definitely be on my 2016 calendar.
I found this interesting little article comparing the loss of AirAsia QZ8501 to the crash of Northwest Airlines flight NW705 from the 1960’s as they both tried to avoid thunderstorms.
Written by Bruce Drum:
AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) vanished from radar screens over the Java Sea on December 28 on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew members on board. Tragically there were no survivors.
Investigators have ruled out any act of terrorism. The same group has stated it was unlikely an explosion brought down the airliner. According to the preliminary reports, there were no sounds of gunfire or explosions on cockpit voice recorder. Analysis of the flight data recorder of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) operating flight QZ 8501 showed the A320 climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunging and suddenly disappearing from radar. The A320 was climbing at a steep ascent of 6,000 feet a minute (a normal climb rate is 1,000 to 2,000 feet a minute) before it suddenly dived and crashed in the Java Sea. This is not a normal climb rate. The crew had asked air traffic control for a higher altitude due to severe thunderstorms in the area. The request was denied due to other air traffic in the area.
Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE
Was flight QZ 8501 trapped in the updraft of a severe thunderstorm and then it stalled and fell to the sea?
It has happened before with devastating results. Dial the clock back to February 12, 1963 over Florida’s Everglades. While the crashes of ValuJet Airlines flight 592 and Eastern Airlines flight 401 are more well known, there was a third crash in the Everglades that is very similar to the tragedy of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501. Both involved flying into severe thunderstorms.
Northwest Airlines (Northwest Orient Airlines) flight NW 705 was a regularly scheduled flight from Miami International Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. After takeoff from MIA the flight crew operating Boeing 720-051B N724US (msn 18354) encountered an approaching cold front with large thunderstorms. The crew tried their best to avoid the approaching line of thunderstorms.
The accident (from Wikipedia quoting the official accident report):
Prior to departing from Miami, the flight crew questioned the ground controller at the airport about the departure routes being used, and he replied that most flights were departing “either through a southwest climb or a southeast climb and then back over the top of it.”
After the jet lifted off from runway 27L, it made a left turn based on radar vectors from Miami Departure Control, to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. Another flight had followed the same guidance shortly before the jet took off.
While maintaining 5,000 feet and a heading of 300 degrees, Flight 705 contacted controllers and requested clearance to climb to a higher altitude. After a discussion between the flight and the radar departure controller about the storm activity, and while clearance to climb was being coordinated with the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center, the flight advised “Ah-h we’re in the clear now. We can see it out ahead … looks pretty bad.”
At 13:43, Flight 705 was cleared to climb to flight level 250. They responded, “OK ahhh, we’ll make a left turn about thirty degrees here and climb…” The controller asked if 270 degrees was their selected climbout heading, and they replied that this would take them “… out in the open again…” Controllers accordingly granted the jet clearance. Following some discussion about the severity of the turbulence, which was described as moderate to heavy, the flight advised, “OK, you better run the rest of them off the other way then.”
At 13:45, control of Flight 705 was transferred to Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. There were communication difficulties, although after the jet was provided with a different frequency to tune to, the flight crew established contact with Miami ARTCC. Several minutes after contact was established, the jet’s altitude began increasing with a rate of climb gradually increasing to approximately 9,000 feet per minute. Following this rapid ascent the rate of climb decreased through zero when the altitude peaked momentarily at just above 19,000 feet. During this time the jet’s airspeed decreased from 270 to 215 knots and as the peak altitude was approached, the vertical accelerations changed rapidly from 1G to about -2G.
In the next seven seconds the negative acceleration continued to increase at a slower rate, with several fluctuations, to a mean value of about -2.8G, the jet began diving towards the ground with increasing rapidity. As the descent continued with rapidly increasing airspeed, the acceleration trace went from the high negative peak to 1.5G, where it reversed again.
Below 10,000 feet the forward fuselage broke up due to the forces of the dive. The main failures in both wings and horizontal stabilizers were in a downward direction, and virtually symmetrical. The forward fuselage broke upward and the vertical stabilizer failed to the left. All four engines generally separated before the debris of the aircraft fell in unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west-southwest of Miami International Airport.
The accident was investigated by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) which later became the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):
Synopsis of the CAB Aircraft Accident Report:
Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 720B, N724US, operating as Flight 705, crashed in an unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west—southwest of Miami International Airport at approximately 1350 e. s. t., on February 12, 1963. All 35 passengers and the crew of eight were fatally injured.
Flight 705 departed Miami at 1335 e.s.t. Circuitous routing was utilized during the climbout in an effort to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. At 1347 e.s.t., in response to a request for their position and altitude, the flight advised, “We’re just out of seventeen five (17,500 feet) and stand by on the DME one.” This was the last known transmission from the flight. Shortly thereafter the aircraft entered a steep dive, during which the design limits were exceeded and the aircraft disintegrated in flight.
The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the unfavorable interaction of severe vertical drafts and large longitudinal control displacements resulting in a longitudinal upset from which a successful recovery was not made.
The FAA later added in its Lessons Learned section this summation:
As the investigation of Northwest Flight 705 proceeded, other jet transports became involved in similar upsets. These pitch upset events were collectively referred to as “Jet Upsets.” This terminology was used because the phenomena appeared to be unique to the new generation of swept wing jet transports which began to enter service a few years earlier. The investigation of Northwest Flight 705, and associated similar pitch upset incidents, led to changes in operating procedures and design requirements for jet transports, as well as improved forecasting and dissemination of hazardous weather information to Air Traffic Control and Flight Crews. These actions proved effective in substantially reducing the occurrence of this type of pitch upset events.