Monday, April 5, 2010

2004 Lexus LS430 For Sale **SOLD**

2004 Lexus LS430 4.3 V8 6AT Cypress Pearl with ash leather and walnut inlays. Equipped with the luxury pack (Navigation with Bluetooth and backup camera, Mark Levinson 6 CD audio, parking sensors, climate controlled (heated/cooled) front seats, heated rear seats, and premium perforated leather seating surfaces) and "Smart Access" keyless entry and start system. Standard features include power rear sunshade, adaptive xenon headlamps, rain sensing wipers, auto dimming mirrors, memory system, power everything, and much more. Never smoked in, includes 3 keys plus original window sticker, manuals, tool kit, first aid kit, etc. VIN JTHBN36F840160865 47,445 miles $22750, 208-866-4009

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Silverhawk Aviation Academy

Robinson R44's, originally uploaded by Monkeykun.

I went on a discovery flight with Silverhawk Aviation Academy in Caldwell, Idaho. It involved a 30 minute ground lesson and a 30 minute flight in a Robinson R22 helicopter with an instructor. It was my first time in a helicopter. After the ground lesson, preflight and startup the instructor did a hovering turn over the interstate next to the airport and put the R22 into cruise flight. I was then given instruction to use the anti-torque pedals to keep the helicopter trimmed correctly. I did pretty well, small inputs is all it took. The instructor then gave me control of the cyclic (the joy stick looking control). I did alright-- wasn't real smooth but I was tense and nervous, which didn't help much. We flew a 4-5 mile pattern from the airport and the controls were handed back to the expert. Back at the Caldwell industrial airport, Scott put the helicopter into a steady hover over the taxiway. He then gave me control of the pedals and instructed me to turn left 90 degrees. I finessed the helicopter slowly to the left using small pressure inputs and held it steady. He then had me turn right 180 degrees and I slowly walked it to the right. I was then given control of the cyclic and was told to keep a steady hover. This was the most difficult part. Our smooth steady hover turned to PIT (Pilot Induced Turbulence). The helicopter started yawing to the right so I put a small left input into the cyclic (or what I thought was small) and the heli nose tilted up and yawed to the left, so I tried to correct it with a forward right input... and process repeated itself. It felt like I was balancing the aircraft on a pole. It didn't help that I was tense and nervous and my inputs were probably more like butter churns. I tried 4 more times and our 30 minutes ran up so we headed back to the helipad.

What's next? hopefully a flying career. This is going to be a long and expensive process but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm ready for something new.