Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wind Tunnel to the Rescue

Remember the F-18 I posted about earlier? The C-130 that came in to rescue it? Well, they needed help getting the jackstands out of the back of the C-130 to get the F-18 off the ground so they could fix a problem with the front landing gear steering mechanism. The forklift at the airport wasn't man enough to handle the pallet in the aircraft so they came over to us for one of ours. This would be yours truly driving over to help along with a couple other folks from the wind tunnel. Funny thing is, the Air Force and Army are here too working on their aircraft. We were all waiting for the Navy and the Coast Guard to stop by with a busted aircraft and we would have everyone covered.

BATF&E&RBF Shotgun Shenanigans

Well, it looks like the BATF&E&RBF is acting on their shotgun "study" that they published back in January this year that I wrote about back then. Study is actually here. They are looking to ban importation of shotguns that they deem not for sporting purposes despite their popularity in the shooting SPORT of IPSC and other action shooting SPORTS. Likely this will be followed by a reclassification of these as destructive devices requiring a $200 tax stamp and BATF&E&RBF approval for ownership and any future transfer just like a machine gun.

So, now is the time to comment to shotgunstudy@atf.gov and let the BATF&E&RBF know that they need to stop this reclassification and accept the fact that IPSC and other action shooting SPORTS are in fact SPORTS and these shotguns are part of that. They need to stop trying to classify shotgun sports as only trap and skeet. Really, they need to drop the whole sporting purposes test but that is another battle for another day.

Reinforcements Arrive

Well, reinforcements have arrived to rescue the F-18 I wrote about Monday. This C-130 arrived with maintenance crew and equipment to fix the F-18 and get it on it's way. Not sure why there is a Blackhawk on the ramp off to the south of these two though. It came in yesterday afternoon and is still sitting out there this morning along with a Biz jet with it's covers on. This would be unusual since that is the helipad area and not used for parking fixed wings.

And to clarify, the plane was ID's as definitely a D model from VMFA (AW)-121 out of Miramar, CA. By someone who would know. Thanks Colin and Fly Safe!

UPDATE: The crew is pounding away on the F-18 and there is a crew here from the Army now for the Blackhawk.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Personal Defense Class FTW

Yesterday Evening misbeHaven and I presented at an overview self defense class to a sorority here on campus. misbeHaven had been invited to present to them and drug me along as a prop. I know, me and 90 sorority girls in a room for the evening, it was tough work but someone had to do it. It was interesting to just sit back and watch the reactions as she spoke. There were a few times where it was real obvious that the light had gone on for some of these ladies. The surprise for me was when asking about how many of them had smoke alarms, had checked and or changed the batteries, had fire extinguishers and first aid kits and had gotten training in first aid and CPR. An overwhelming majority raised their hands. Restores my faith in future generations. These ladies took personal responsibility seriously and it showed. It was a genuine delight to have made the all too short presentation and I expect to see some of them in upcoming training classes.

Overall a big win all the way around.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend aircraft sighting

So this lonely F/A-18 B+ or D model showed up this weekend and is still here. Don't know the story behind it if there are maintenance issues of what. Have to try and make time to check in with the guys over on the ramp and see what the skinny is.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Todays Guest

This would be a Grumman HU-16b Albatross. Of the 19 and 59 vintage. Almost as old as our facility and still running strong. I was outside in the shop and heard the unmistakable rumbling of the radials running up. Had to run to catch it as it was taking the active for take off. Slow, loud lumbering and still pretty cool to see flying.


video

Monday, March 14, 2011

Glow Ammo

This weekend was a long training class Saturday. We ran Basic Pistol 2, Defensive Pistol Skills 1 and Low Light Skills 1A. Hsoi posted on his FB page on it being a long day. What people may or may not understand is that we instructors were out there Early to get things setup then after the night shoot finishes at 10PM we still have to tear down and clean up. Makes for a long day.

Anyway, at the end of night shooting, I broke out a box of tracers I had loaded using Glow Ammo dots from Glow Ammo. I had gotten a sample from my neighbor and friend who runs Brass Valley Shooters range. I loaded up 50 rounds with my practice load for 9mm and had them waiting for this class. The idea is that you place this stickers that weigh about 1 grain on the base of your own bullet and reload with you standard mix so they shoot to the same point of aim as your regular load. They are also a non incendiary load so no danger of starting a grass fire from them. Also, they start to glow as soon as the charge in the case fires so you get a trace from the barrel all the way instead of needing some time or distance to get the trace charge lit and burning.

Impressions, I'll let Hsoi chime in as he got to see them as well but between the instructors we pretty much agreed that while you can see the trace yourself as the shooter, they are much better as seen from an observers position. Much better to diagnose where shots are going in the dark. They shot to the same place as standard loads and are just downright kinda fun to shoot. I will likely pick some more up to play with and use at some of the future night classes and may even let some of the students shoot some. I will reserve doing that a lot mainly because these are my handloads. They are not commercially loaded ammo. I do not load for anyone other than myself or my wife and I don't sell my ammo. I really don't want the liability of someone else using my ammo.

Overall, I would say I like the Glow Ammo and as a training aide found that it could in fact have a use in training.


FTC DISCLAIMER: I got the sample as a gift from a friend who has no financial interest in Glow Ammo and have received no compensation from Glow Ammo or anyone else for my time trouble or expense in testing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Quakes

Well, this has hit a little closer to home than I am comfortable with. A college room mate is working over there and he and his wife are there in the middle of it. He did post on FB that they made it through "the big one". However, there have been aftershocks in the 6+ range and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

These Strange Days

So we are going through some pretty major upheaval at work. Have to see where it leads but things are interesting and may go good or bad depending on all people involved and their reactions. Have to see how things play out over the next few months.

May you live in interesting times. Damn I hate ancient Chinese proverbs/curses.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Todays visitors


So we had these visitors today to Easterwood Airport. I do not know what the "FAST Demonstration Team" is but there were two A-10's with pods on them that said just that on them. Anyone out there know about them? I was leaving work as they were spooling up so I stopped to take a couple pictures and shot some video of them taking off ever so slowly. I wish I could of caught them just after landing so I could have talked to the pilots and found out just who they were. But, Alas I have to work on occasion and today was one of those days.