Friday, September 04, 2015

The Not-So-Mythical Single Death Punch

When someone decries the shooting of someone who was unarmed, it needs to be remembered that "mere" fists can kill. Indeed, a single punch can be fatal.

In 2014, in Livonia, a soccer player sucker-punched a ref, and killed him with one blow.

The player is now in jail with an eight year sentence for his unjustified attack.

So now we have yet another case o0f a one hit kill: Lyon man dies after New Hudson mobile home park assault

The story so far is that after drunkenly trying to proposition and assault a 17 year old girl, the 43-year-old drunken man in question leaves, then comes back to the home again the next day in a drunken state when he is punched by the girl's brother after he refuses to leave the premises and after police were called.

90 minutes after the single punch, he complained to police about trouble breathing and died.

Now the brother is facing charges for the punch: Man charged with manslaughter following fatal punch

But the next day, police said, Markiewicz returned to her residence highly intoxicated again and apologized for his behavior the night before. When he wouldn’t leave, Markiewicz was punched by Myers, police said.

Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies interviewed Markiewicz and asked if he wanted to press charges. He declined.

About 90 minutes later, authorities received a 911 call reporting that Markiewicz was struggling to breathe. He reportedly stopped breathing on the way to Providence Hospital in Novi and CPR was administered. He had been on life support at the hospital.

The brother may have a good claim of defense of others defense or of himself depending on the circumstances. Or, he may be well and truly hammered if he hit him not for reasons of defense but to eject Markiewicz from the property or if he did so aggressively to "defend" his sister's honor. It may also be that his death was not from the punch but from other factors altogether. Time will tell.

Even a single punch can kill, so avoiding situations where you may have to throw a punch, or be on the receiving end of a punch is always good advice as the consequences may be far greater than you might otherwise anticipated. Similarly, avoiding situations and scenarios where you might throw a punch in anything other than clear and explainable self-defense or defense of others is highly advisable.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Flying Lesson #7 - Happy Landings!

So to the airfield I went for my next lesson.

I was back to N73455 (following Old NFO's and Juvat's advice)and I pre-flighted her and all looked good.

I had a new instructor today as the flight school likes to have us try a few instructors to see what clicks. So I met Will for the first time, who is a new CFI there. He reviewed my log book and we set forth the plan for the lesson. A very nice guy, lots of enthusiasm, and a very nice teaching manner.

Today was landing day and it was my first time to experience the pattern as before the tower always had us go straight in on landings.

"Traffic patterns depicted in FAA-H-8083-25" by Federal Aviation Administration - Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons"

Ground cleared us to taxi to Runway 27R, and my taxiing was very good today, with both brakes a'workin. Will was quite impressed at how smooth I was at it for only having 6 lessons in. I was quite happy myself. I certainly felt more comfortable taxiing.

After the runup I called the tower for permission to depart for pattern work. The tower approved with a right hand pattern as runway 27L was getting all sorts of busy, I mean seriously busy with all sorts of jets landing and taking off. I confirmed and started rolling. Airspeed alive, rotation speed, and rotate!

Just like taxiing, my takeoff was apparently really nice as Will complimented me on it, this was happy-making. Everything was feeling really good this lesson.

First I flew the pattern with Will talking me through, pointing out landmarks for the turns, and the procedures as he did them - what altitude, what degree of bank for the turns, what speed, flap setting, when carb heat goes on and so on at each point. He did the first landing.

We came to a full stop, taxied on back to the start of the runway with me doing the taxi, and then got clearance to do it again and I did the takeoff.

This time I did the pattern and the carb heat, flap settings and pitch angle with Will adjusting the throttle. I lined her up on the runway and Will landed with me shadowing him on the controls to get a feel for it.

Another taxi, and we were off again. Lots of takeoff practice today. Now I did it all with Will shadowing me on the controls and I brought it in for a landing!

We did it again, and again, each time with me doing more of it and Will doing less until I was landing on my own as he talked me through it. Each time as we progressed I would be telling him more and him telling me less on the pattern and then on to final, where he still did a lot of coaching and I surely needed it.

Then we started some touch and goes, which are fun as heck. Do the pattern, do the landing, then keep it moving, get the carb heat off, flaps up, throttle smoothly all the way open and then watch the speed build and rotate.

Then the last landing of the lesson - I did it all, having a darn good landing except for a sudden crosswind that made it a bit bumpy.

10 Takeoffs and 10 Landings, with 6 to a full stop and 4 touch and goes.

1.4 more flying hours, a now full first logbook page, and an absolutely awesome lesson in the books!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Temco Super Pinto

The Temco Super Pinto is one of the rarest existing jet trainers.

All of 14 were produced, compare that to the 3,600 L-29 Delfins of similar age.

Used by the Navy for pilot training, The Pinto was the first jet aircraft in US Navy history where, in 1959, a pilot soloed an aircraft without any piston engine time at all.

In upgraded form with a lengthened fuselage and a hotter performing engine, it's known as the Super Pinto.

Only 8 Pinto aircraft of which 4 are Super Pintos are known to still exist, with one of them on display in the Philippines.

This one still flies around Oakland County, and I've seen it do some neat maneuvers by the airport.

Here's some video of it flying in 2012:

And now, for a shooting/aviation crossover, here's a video of Dillon Precision's Super Pinto in action, among many other cool Dillon things in the video.

The Super Pinto doesn't offer a lot of range, but it sure is fun to watch it go through its paces.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A Plane With A Porpoise - The L-29 Delfin

Another Jet trainer on display was the Czech Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin.

Czechoslovakia's first jet design, the L-29 Delfin (dolphin in Czech) was the primary Warsaw Pact jet trainer of the 1960s. A very successful design, with very docile flight characteristics, 3,600 were built over 11 years, which is quite an impressive number for jet production.

With 2 seats, powered with a single turbojet engine, it's got a maximum speed of 353 knots and a 480 nautical mile range.

Here's Abster czeching out the cockpit:

It's again a tight fit but very functional.

Quite a few Delfins are for sale on the civilian market these days, for much less than it's successor, the higher performance and much more aerobatic L-39 Albatross. Another historic warbird from the early jet age.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hmm, And There Were No Immediate Demands For Knife Control....

Yet again, someone with known mental issues isn't stopped until he kills someone, or in this sad case someones.

The Detroit Free Press: 2 found fatally stabbed in Sterling Heights

A 20-year-old man is in custody after police said he stabbed his grandfather and uncle to death and critically injured his grandmother in a Sterling Heights home Monday morning.

There's no real motive that we have as far as the reason for what he did," Smith said.

Police do not believe alcohol or drugs are a factor.

"In interviewing him, he appears to be mentally unstable," Smith said.

Mental illness is a very large contributing factor to crime, especially violent crime. It's well past time to replace our current system of having a course of outpatient optional treatment followed by jail when someone goes off their meds and commits crimes or kills someone.

What to replace it with is the question.

Seen In The Hallway At The Office This Morning

It's a Zombie Jack-In-The-Box. Run away!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Smoked Beef Ribs - It's What's For Dinner

Tash wanted me to try something different on the smoker so I decided to give Beef Back Ribs a try.

First take the ribs from their package, cut into chunks, and give em a nice rub down.

Then heat up the smoker to 200 degrees. I used Hickory wood this time for a stronger flavor than cherry wood.

Add the meat and let smoke for four and a half hours until nice and tender.

After four and a half hours, check for doneness and if nice and tender, remove from the smoker.

A test of one rib indicated they were perfectly tender and awesomely beefy and flavorful.

Now they're in the oven keeping warm after being glazed in BBQ sauce and some apple juice so they will be ready for dinner and company tonight.

Yellowjacket Wars - Part 2

So far chemical warfare has yet to rid us of these meddlesome pests. Their numbers have markedly declined but there's still quite a few around.

Thanks to a commenter who sent me a suggestion, we're giving the Rescue W·H·Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellow jackets try:

It's now setup and we'll see how many yellowjackets it catches, if any.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Flying Lesson #6 - Steep Turns And Stalls, Now With More Power!

Lesson 6 began at 8am this morning much like any other lesson.

I did the pre-flight on N73455 and everything looked good with oil at the right level and full tanks.

I started her up and she caught with no problems. I called Ground and got permission to taxi.

We began to taxi and ...ruh roh. I couldn't do a decent left turn even hammering on the left pedal and brake for all it was worth. Neither could the instructor. So, it wasn't just me.

It turns out we had no left brake.

The cylinder was cracked in a non-visible location and there was no brake fluid showing when I did the pre-flight inspection but after we got started to move there was no left brake at all.

So we cancelled the taxi, and brought the plane back to the start position.

The we signed out N755PR, the plane in which I did my intro flight.

Again, we did the pre-flight and I started her up, and after learning how the radios worked on this bird (they're configured differently from N73455) we got permission to taxi.

It may have just been mental, but this bird taxied like a smooth dream.

I called tower and got permission to take off and again, the takeoff was my best ever. I found I was a lot less tense than I had been on previous takeoffs, which certainly helped.

Then, we flew out to the practice area and climbed to 3,500 feet, again all was smooth as silk.

First, we did clearing turns and then did slow flight in the dirty configuration and I had quite a bit of fun doing it, including a turn to the right with the stall horn blaring. I successfully turned a full 180 degrees without losing altitude or causing a stall.

Next we did Power On Stalls.

A power on stall demonstrates the stall that can occur when you goof up on a go around or you take off from the runway with too high an angle of attack, leading to a stall at a very bad time indeed. Sean first demonstrated and noted that the break after such a stall was a lot more pronounced than during a power off stall.

It certainly was. The stall had a very pronounced drop and right wing dip. Recovery is simply getting the nose down to break the stall, leveling the wings, letting the speed build and then back to level flight.

Then it was my turn for doing the power on stall: Clearing turns done, Carb heat on, throttle lowered with the pitch held until takeoff speed is reached, then add power and pull back on the yoke so your feet are at the horizon and hold until you get a stall.

And Stall! Whoah! Feel that drop!

And recover.

We did that a few times and I had it down and Sean said I handled it very well indeed with good recoveries and minimal loss of altitude.

Then on to steep turns. Sean demonstrated 30, 45 and 60 degree steep turns. Then I did 30 and 45 degree turns to both left and right and again I had it nailed with both maintaining altitude and leveling off at the appropriate heading at the end of the turn. For some reason, with Papa Romeo the left steep turn is more difficult than the right steep turn and required a lot more left rudder on the left steep turn and not as much right rudder on the right steep turn which is just about the opposite of every other Cessna 172 out there. Weird but it worked.

After that we headed back to the airport and I handled the radio calls starting 10 miles out. It was starting to get rather traffic-y out there.

After our initial call we were instructed to first contact them when we reached 3 miles, which we did. Then we were instructed to turn wide to the south due to traffic. Then we were cleared in as number 2 to land and I got her lined up on runway 25R as instructed.

Right after I got her lined up on 27R and Sean had taken over for the landing, we got an instruction to quickly shift over to 27L as a helicopter was landing right by 27R. Sean handled it smoother than silk, and I must say it's fun to watch a pro who knows what he's doing and worthy of emulation.

So we got to land in tandem with a helicopter which was fun to watch, and after landing I called ground for taxi permission and took the bird back to the flight school.

That's 1.3 more flying hours in the log.

Sean stated I had nailed that lesson, which is a really great feeling and high praise indeed.

I may need to think about switching to Papa Romeo as my regular training bird, as everything was just on during this lesson. It may be luck. It might be my getting better with flying over time. It may be Papa Romeo. Or, it may be a combo of all three. Any opinions out there as to whether I should switch planes or not?

Next lesson: Introduction to Landings!