Saturday, August 06, 2011

No Fly Notes

No flying until next weekend when Ed comes back from vacation. In the meantime, here are some miscellaneous flight-related notes.

Headset - When I decided to start flying again this summer, I realized that the super-cheapo headset I bought 11 years ago needed to be replaced (it shorted out the intercom on a Cessna 172 flight I took a year or so ago). I probably should have gone straight to the classic David Clark headset that so many professionals use ($350 and up), but I decided to try something a bit cheaper that still had good reviews, the Faro G2 for around $180. So far it's working quite well, comfortable and with decent sound and noise suppression (passive, not active). One marketing gimmick is that it comes in various colors. I went with basic black.

Reading - Although I should be focusing on regulations and other flight review topics, I've been reading a "deep background" book called Understanding Flight (Second Edition) by David Anderson and Scott Eberhardt. Although I'm a pilot and a physics major and have read a lot of stuff about the theory of flight, I still enjoy reading a book like this that focuses on physical and intuitive understanding more than on equations. It does assume that you can read graphs and understand what it means for something to depend on velocity-squared or whatever. Two chapters in, and it's really a good read, maybe even better than the classic The Simple Science of Flight (book) and John Denker's great See How It Flies (web site - though Denker's work is much more of a practical how-to for pilots). I'm reading the Kindle version on my iPod Touch. It's OK, but it's one of the few cases where the small screen is annoying due to figures (which fortunately are zoomable) and side bars (text is cut off and lost if the whole side bar will not fit on a single screen - a bug in the Kindle app I think). Maybe I need a real Kindle (or an iPad?).

Helicopters & Scams - Since our wonderful sightseeing and landing adventure in the Grand Canyon in July, my wife has gotten very interested in helicopters, and she plans to take at least an introductory helicopter flight lesson soon. For preparation, I've gotten her a book and a few articles, and we also have viewed a few helicopter training videos on YouTube. Searching for further materials, I discovered the web site (not a link - I suggest you avoid this site) - not a good discovery. The web site is cheesy, but the materials and testimonials looked promising, so I spent $47 to buy a "complete private pilot course" for helicopters. I should have checked it out first, because of course it's a scam. A small package arrived from Hong Kong with two hand-burned discs. The DVD-R has the same helicopter instruction segments we found on YouTube, and the CDR has a bunch of FAA web sites and PDF documents that anyone can easily download for free. Avoid this web site!


Aircraft Headset said...

I think, it is very good information. Great article.

David Clark Headset

cecillia said...

Nice info. Thank you.
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