Pilots Log

Tell all about your Lazair
Post pics --
After a while we wil streamline the forums and see what is most popular.
Want you own forum ? Let us know.

Postby Wings » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:03 pm

Pilot's Log
Date: Mid 80's
Aircraft: Series I (Narrow track, Rotax engines)

Back when I kept my first Lazair at a flying field in Kernersville, I flew to Mike Steele's airstrip where I thought a buddy of mine was flying his Hawk that day.
No one there but I landed anyway and hung around for a bit and had a smoke.
Cranked up and took off back to K'ville.
Climbing as fast as I could (a good thing), I got to maybe 300 feet when I heard a loud BANG, followed by the engine sound increasing by 100 decibels or so.
What the hell?
Until I knew what was going on, #2 engine will be shut down.
No problem. I can make it back to the field with one engine easy.
But that one engine needed to remain at full power, just for insurance.
And full power is where my plugs usually foul, if they're going to.
Right on. As soon as I turned around, #1 made that all too familiar coughing sound then quit.
This will be close. And why is there all those tree stumps and ugly sticks off the end of the runway?
I milked that glide for all it was worth, and just when I run out of airspeed I cleared the brush.
The landing was hard, cause I was essentially just falling using the wings as a parachute.
No damage. Just had to walk around a bit to get my butt to unpucker.

Cause of #2 engine volume going to max was a lack of muffler. It's still out there somewhere.
I flew it back to K'ville like that, but got extra altitude before I left the area. Didn't know if no muffler would hurt it or not.
Guess not.
That was the old kidney bean shaped muffler. After that I got the new ones.

...to be continued. (How many more are there, you ask, with this guy still among the living?)
User avatar
Lazair.com Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:16 am

Postby flyalaz » Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:02 pm

These are great! You should write a book.

Karl :lol:
User avatar
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:18 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby Wings » Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:45 pm

Pilot's Log
Date: Mid 80's
Aircraft: Series I (Narrow track, Rotax engines)

Today's Experiment: What makes a bigger hole, a watermelon or a meteor?

The owner of the flying field had some extra watermelons he was giving away.
I asked for one, and also asked if I had to eat it. He said no, not if I didn't want to.
So I hauled that sucker into my lap and off I went. (Try THAT with a series II Lazair!)
First I made sure everyone knew what I was up to, and to stay clear of the field out behind the hangars.
Climbed to a respectable altitude and lined up on the field.
Pilot to Bombardier: Commence bomb run.
Bombardier to Pilot: Sir, we forgot the Norton bomb sight.
Pilot to Bombardier: Well, do the best you can. We can't go home with a full bomb load.
If you've ever tried this highly illegal stunt, you'll know just how hard it is to even get close to anything. The only thing for sure is that you'll hit the planet.
Anyway, using my best judgement (probably think I don't have much of that, huh?), it was bombs away at around 1000 feet.
That green egg quickly shrunk in size to a small dot.
After a few seconds it seemed to remain the same size, but it tracked across the ground with me as it fell.
Looked like a view from the space shuttle as they show a satellite or some other object between it and the earth. Pretty cool.
Now even a blind squirrel finds a nut once ina while, and today was my day.
The green dot (really tiny now) suddenly winked out of existence almost squarely in the middle of the field.
When I got down others were already searching for the crater.
We spent better part of an hour searching for it, and NEVER found not even a speck of watermelon, much less a crater.
To this day I'll never understand what happened to that watermelon. It shoulda left SOME mark in the ground.
So the question remains unanswered.

Never tried that again with any witnesses, cause I don't think the FAA would look the other way if they heard of it.

... more pages in the log.
User avatar
Lazair.com Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:16 am

Postby Wings » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:04 am

Pilot's Log
Date: Mid 80's
Aircraft: Series I (Narrow track, Rotax engines)

I saw a picture once, taken from the air, of the path that the flying club in LA has to take to get from their flying field out into the country. They fly over the aqueducts to avoid flying over any congested areas, and they do this with the blessing of the local FAA office. Looked pretty darn congested to me, but if they stayed over the center of the aqueduct they never got within about 200 feet or so (laterally) of any person, place, or significant thing. It got me thinking.

Step one: I called the tower at Winston-Salem airport and asked about flying over part of the city in an ultralight. They told me as long as I stayed above 3000' AGL, do whatever I want. (Obviously they weren't aware of the finer details of FAR part 103 but their response was all I needed.) With camera around my neck I fly into their airspace taking pictures of any possible route to RJR Nabisco R&D complex, where I worked. Driving to and from work it seemed that there should be a way, and now with pictures I planned my route. Sure enough, I could get there without encroaching on any land based dwellings. At least within a couple hundred feet, plus or minus a little.

Step Two: I sent the pictures with my route outlined to the local FAA office, along with that article I had found about the guys in LA. Their response was this one-liner, "The FAA's policy is that it does not approve or disapprove in advance of any specific flight." In other words, "Try it. If we don't like it, we'll hang you."

Step Three: Call the control tower again and asked about landing in the parking lot of my workplace, less than a mile from the airport. Those guys were cool. They said, sure, just stay below 400 feet. Roger that.

The first day without a thunderstorm forecast, off I went. I had practiced a good portion of this flight beforehand, cause the route was pretty tricky in places. Had my pictures on my lap the whole way and followed the black line right to the parking lot. Touchdown, tiedown, and into work I go. Showed off my plane to my friends who had never seen an ultralight up close. Got a call from my boss's boss's boss who had heard about it, and he thought it was pretty neat. Relieved at that.

About an hour before quitting time I got a call from the local TV station. Someone had obviously called them, and now they wanted to come out and do an interview and make a movie. Mmmmm.... Methinks the local FAA office is going to take this as a challenge, so I decided against it. Told em if they come out, that I wouldn't be anywhere near them and wouldn't even start the engines. They didn't show up and I was able to leave.

So now with all the publicity, especially around work, I went for days after that expecting to get a phone call or some mail from the FAA telling me to report to the gallows.

It never happened, and I never did that again.

... more in the log
User avatar
Lazair.com Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:16 am

Postby Wings » Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:54 pm

A long long time ago the local newspaper ran a Sunday section on me & my Lazair. I still have a few of the pictures they ran, and here is the one they used on the front page. It's now hanging on the wall in the bedroom. Looks a little surreal doesn't it?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
Lazair.com Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:16 am

Postby Russell Rewis » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:56 am

Man, if there are any potential first time Lazair owners out there reading your adventures they gotta be giving it a second thought. If Dale Kramer was reading this back in the haydays of the Lazair I'm sure he'd be thinking "whew, I sure hope no one hears about this cause sales will go in the crapper!".
Never heard about anyone with your kinda luck. Sort of a kind of contradictory luck. First your bad luck gets you into a hell of a situation, then in a matter of seconds your good luck gets you out!

You sure do make for some exciting flying!
Russell Rewis


Return to Pilots Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests