Author Archives: Devin

Windows 10 Stuck on Loading

During installation of the latest driver for my AMD Radeon graphics card my desktop blacked out and wouldn’t go anywhere.  I did a hard shutdown and on startup I was presented with the Windows log and spinning ‘dots’ that kept going and going.  It would not pass this stage:

Windows 10 Loading Screen

Doing some Googling I came across various suggestions as to how to fix this (there is a variety of things that can cause it, from Windows 10 updates to other software update).  Generally speaking it was to shut off your computer three times in a row while on this screen or hold the shift key while restarting.  None of those worked for me.  I had to do a true hard reset, cutting the power completely,  by pulling power cord once presented with the screen above.  You need to repeat this step until you see the following screen, ‘Preparing Automatic Repair’:

Preparing Automatic Repair

A blue window will then pop up, click Advanced options when the automatic repair screen comes up:

Automatic Repair

Then on the next screen click ‘Troubleshoot’:

Advanced Options

The click ‘Advanced options’ again:Troubleshoot Advanced Options

If you know what caused the issues, as I did since this started happening immediately after my attempt to update my graphics drivers, click Startup Settings:

Windows 10 Startup Settings

Then on the next screen click Restart. Once it has restarted you’ll see a list of startup options and in order to get into safe mode you will click 4 to enable safe mode and you’ll see a simple version of Windows that’ll allow you to uninstall / undo what you did to cause your problem in the first place.

Windows 10 Startup Settings List

Plugin Update Took My Site Down

My site was down for a while on Friday because during my lunch break I decided to update my site.  The update that took down my site was HugeIT Portfolio plugin.  I do not believe it was due to the plugin itself but do to the update process getting interrupted, confronting visitors to the site with a “500 Internal Server Error”.

In order to fix my site when a plugin takes it down I do the following, if I’m unable to login and disable the plugin:

  • Rename the plugins directory to, i.e. disabled_plugins
  • Create a directory called plugins
  • Log in to the site (all plugins should appear disabled)
  • Delete the plugins directory
  • Rename the disabled_plugins directory back to plugins
  • Go to view your plugins, they should all appear as disabled
  • Enable them one by one, checking your site until you find the offender (if you don’t know), if you do then enable all but the offending one
  • Delete the offending plug

What you decide to do next is up to you.  You can either install it again and reconfigure or find a replacement.  I tried to install it again; however, that created another instance of it.  With the plugin now appearing twice I thought it best to delete them both as the plugin directory in the plugins folder was only their once.  This cleans up the plugin folder.

I was able to install the HugeIT Portfolio plugin again; however, upon activation my site was taken down again.  so I had to rename the folder that particular plugin (portfolio-gallery) in order to gain access to my site again.  I am  now going to delete that plugin and be back on the hunt for a means of setting up a portfolio on my site.  I was using Aeolus – Creative Portfolio before; however, activating that one again now I remember why I had switched in the first place.  It doesn’t work well with my theme, or at least that’s my guess, as all the text becomes really tiny and makes the site unusable.

Rarity… Five flights!

It’s been a few weeks since I have been out flying.  The evenings are way to short for me to get out during the week, even if I could get off early, so I’m limited to the weekends now.

Yesterday was the best looking day weather wise we’d had in a while and I was around on the weekend so I took advantage of it and went out flying with the guys.  I got out to the field for 1PM, probably my earliest ever.

When I arrived Peter was still mowing the field and afterwords I helped put the windsock back up.  Apparently some people were whining about the windsock on the field and that they would crash into the pole/sock.  To me that means they do not have control of the aircraft and should be working on that, not us moving the windsock!  The windsock to me worked as an excellent marker when flying at that end of the field so you didn’t get to close to the treeline and also for where you have to make your turn in when coming for a landing from the South.

Got all set up and got in a solid flight… felt great to get up in the air again.  On my second time up had to cut it a little short as the rain started to fall, and getting the electronics wet (especially the transmitter) is not a good idea, so I landed the plane and put the transmitter back in the case.  It wasn’t long before it started to pour and the four of us that were out at the field huddled under the canopy with the picnic table to wait out the weather.  We figured it’d pass, so we didn’t pack up, and it did after about 15 minutes.

After that I got in another 3 flights to make up my five flights.  Was an awesome day of flying!  The winds were pretty strong, blowing from the West and oscillating between a true crosswind or coming a bit from the North or South.  It tended to be bumpy up in the air.  I made a few take offs and landings going each direction.

My landings going South to North need work.  Twice when coming in I was off center a bit and perhaps a little to far down the runway when I touched down as I tend to head right for the tall grass.  The first time I managed to get the plane to come to a stop and steer it enough away such that I didn’t run into the tall grass.  The second time I must have come in hotter (and perhaps didn’t risk turning the plane sharp enough) as I was unable to stop in time running well into the tall grass.  This can be risky as your prop can get tangled in the long grass and the burs as well as harder stalks (especially this time of year) can puncture the covering on the wings.

I burned through quite a bit of fuel Saturday, or so I thought, until when cleaning up I realized their was a leak in my tank around the opening, where the lines come up was loose causing fuel to run out of the tank and collect in the bottom of the plane.  I had to remove the tank and use paper towel to dry it out as much as possible.  Then today I brought it over to Peters so he can dry it out better under a heat lamp and kindly repair the tank for me.

Sadly summer is quickly coming to an end and flying season will be over.  Next Saturday, weather permitting, is going to be the club wind up and likely the last time out for the season.  Then they will be moving to indoor flying, which I don’t have a plane for, and building.  I’m excited for the building as in about a months time I am going to start building my first plane!  Peter has graciously offered to teach me the building aspect and volunteered his workshop for my first build!  I’m excited to learn, plan to blog about my progress/experience, and ‘graduate’ up to my next plane, which is the Sig Four-Star 60.

A Fabulous Three Night Week of Flying!

Last week was a fabulous week of flying!  It made up for not getting out for about a week prior.  Last week was the first time in what seems like a very long time that I got out flying back-to-back nights.  I went out Monday, Tuesday, and Friday!  It was a week packed with excitement at the airfield.  Each night I got in three flights, which was really good considering the days are getting much shorter, flying time wraps up about 730PM now.

My nights consisted of flying basically however I saw fit, basically flying whatever patterns I was feeling.  Their was some pretty windy evenings up in the air which provides quite a workout.  I’m always practicing something though and as I’ve probably mentioned before if your not working on improving something then you’re doing something wrong.  Over these three evenings of flight certain events stick out in my mind.

I needed to readjust where I fly as I was flying in to close so I need to remember to go farther out across from where we stand to ensure that when I’m making my turns to come around I am coming approximately down the runway.   Essentially I need to be flying all my patterns such that the closest I get to myself is approximately the middle of the runway to make it easier to keep my eye on the plane and save me from having to crank my neck.

I believe it was Tuesday I had the malfunction where while flying going South over the runway, getting quite far to the right, my engine cut out.  Their was no way I could turn the plane around to land where I’d have enough runway as I’d of had to turn the plane to sharply and with no power I’d of likely tip stalled and essentially ‘fall from the sky’.  I did the next best thing which was bring her down in the direction she was going.  I ran out of runway prior to touching down so the plane went right into the tall grass at the end.  Thankfully the plane never had much airspeed and after inspecting the plane (especially the underside of the wing) no damage had occurred.

The heart stopping moment of the week happened Friday on my last flight of the night.  I was flying patterns as usual, figure eights, boxes, some randomness and fly-bys at various heights.  My mistake came on my landing attempt going South to North, or so I was suppose to be.  When coming in didn’t line up correctly causing me to go more across the runway and though the engine was fully cut I was running out of room to land as the plane wasn’t descending fast enough.  I realized that staying the course would ‘land’ me in the tall grass so I thumbed the throttle to full and applied full up elevator simultaneously causing the plane to rise and pull up over the tall grass, barely, lol.  Looping back around I was then able to successfully come in for a landing.

I have been loving my Saito .62 engine (pairs perfectly with my Kadet LT 40) and thankfully, as Dwayne mentioned, the engine decided it wanted to perform as that was a moment where if it decided “No I don’t want to” I would have been hooped.

Out of this I learned that when low to the ground you want to steer the plane using the rudder as using the ailerons, especially if your speed is low, could lead to a tip stall or just flat out hitting your wing on the ground.  In the aforementioned saved landing what I should have done on approach is applied rudder in the direction I needed to steer the plane in order to get it back on course and pointing down the middle of the runway.

I dragged my hiney in getting this post written up, but now I have caught up in chronicling the adventures of an R/C Airplane hobbyist.

Flaring that landing

It was great to get out flying Sunday night after just under a two week hiatus due to poor flying weather.  It’s either been extremely windy and cloudy with thunderstorms looming in the distance, raining, or extremely hot and calling for thunderstorms at some point in the area with heat and storm warnings.  That said last night’s flying weather was perfect and it was great to get out flying again!

I made the best of it since it was Sunday getting out their before 5PM.  I got in four solid flights with a duration approximating 8 minutes each.  I could have potentially got in more; however, my mentor thought it best to call it a night as doing to many flights in an evening can lead to becoming complacent and making mistakes especially since I’m still learning.

My takeoffs were nice and smooth.  While in the air I basically flew whatever pattern or direction I felt as I was always the only plane up in the air.  Their were a couple other guys at the field but they mostly flew helis, one took up a plane here and their.  Having planes and helis in the air at the same time is not a good thing due to the different flying dynamics and catching a blade to the plane would shred it to pieces!  In general terms the patterns I flew in various directions were boxes, figure eights, fly by’s (fairly low) down the middle of the runway,  and just random course changes.

What I really wanted to work on this time around was my landing flare, which is the phase when the aircraft is still airborne and goes down to land with the purpose of touching down on the main landing gear first.  Since my aircraft has a tricycle set up my main landing gear is the two wheels further back on the fuselage and not the single nose wheel.  On my third landing of the night I still came in a little to hot so even though I flared the aircraft when it touched down the plane ‘bounced’ causing it to become temporarily airborne again before touching down a second time getting all three wheels safely back on the ground to coast to a stop.  I need to make sure that when coming in for a landing their is absolutely no throttle applied and that I gave enough glide time to take away airspeed so that the aircraft settles nicely to the ground.  Note that with my current aircraft I am able to do this; however, on my next plane (Sig 4 Star 60) that’ll be a tail dragger you do need to come in with some throttle applied.

On my last flight of the night when manoeuvring to land I decreased my altitude sufficiently while going out far enough beyond the runway, then banked to come across the top of the runway, levelled out flying perpendicular to the runway, waited until I was beyond the middle width of the runway before turning back down the runway.  Once lined up with the runway coming in at this point I cut the throttle and make minor adjustments with the controls to keep my plane as close to the middle of the runway as possible letting it glide down on its own.  Once I’m inches from the ground I pull back on the elevator to flare the aircraft causing the main gear to touchdown first followed by the nose wheel.

I was on a high after those flights.  It was a lot of fun, both flying and visiting with the guys.  Talking with Peter he mentioned I’ll be building my first plane at his place so I’m hoping this remains the case.  It is nice as I was concerned about space to build in my spare room and can cross that bridge when I get their. Peter also mentioned my third plane will be a gas powered amphibian, more specifically a seamaster, so that I’ll be able to eventually get into the float flys too.  That’s a ways away yet though, so time to back up and keep learning and improving with my Kadet LT 40.

The weather didn’t cooperate last night and forecasted somewhat promising today so we’ll see.

Gusty, ever changing winds

It’s been over a week since I’ve been able to get out flying, as the last time I was out was a week ago today.  This is due to the weather and that I still require assistance for some things while at the field and those that can assist haven’t been able to get out flying since (or the weather hadn’t cooperated).

Last Monday while I was out was yet again another great learning experience with the ever changing winds.  It was only the three of us (Peter, John and myself) and I got in about 3 solid flights.  Since it’s been so long as I slacked on doing up this blog post I’m going to just summarize the highlights that I recall:

  • Got in three flights with very gusty and ever changing winds making flying itself a different feel as you have to pay close attention to how the plane is flying and compensate accordingly
  • While landing on the one flight the wind changed direction on me a couple times, from switching to a tailwind and then becoming a crosswind, and though I was able to keep the plane level after touchdown while coasting to a stop the wind caught the wing and tipped me over, touching the prop stopping the engine
  • On one landing I didn’t cut the throttle completely before touchdown so I was going under power on the runway and so after landing I tried to turn and tipped the aircraft touching the wing and prop to the ground causing the engine to shut of

Overall it was a very fun and challenging night of flying as I got to experience new conditions and all in all the guys were impressed with my flying, as was I, as I took off in crosswinds, flew in ever changing winds with various gusts, and landing exceptionally well considering the conditions.  I was able to put the plane down on the runway, compensating for winds accordingly, unlike a previous time when I landed off the far side of the runway due to a crosswind blowing me over to far as I didn’t compensate.

I’m really looking forward to getting out again!

Fun Fly + My Flying

Last weekend was the fun fly here in Kenora.  It was originally going to be in Rainy River (in which I wouldn’t have been able to attend) but due to all the rain their field became flooded so the Kenora club hustled to pull of the event here.  On the Friday I was able to get up for a few flights and although I brought my plane out Saturday to get in some flying at the event it was way to windy for me so my plane remained on the ground.  As much as I wanted to fly it was still a fantastic day chatting with all the guys and watching planes fly we don’t typically see around here of all sizes.  The bigger acrobatic ones were a lot of fun to watch and lit a spark in me as I aspire to be able to build and fly one of them some day!

Unfortunately it has taken me so long to blog about it I can’t recall my learning points, if their were any… and I’m sure their were, from last Friday night.  I did get out flying Monday as well where I got in another few flights.  Overall it was another fantastic evening of flying; however, I did discover some specific items I need to remember / work on:

  • When landing remember to flare the plane right before touch down to ensure I land on my main landing gear (the rear two wheels) by applying a tiny bit of ‘up’ rudder before touching down and then letting the front tire come down.  With the way I’ve been doing it, coming in level, my front wheel takes the brunt of the force and could break or cause the plane to nose into the ground if it catches in the grass.
  • When banking for my turns I need to make sure my bank angle isn’t to steep for the speed I am at otherwise I am going to stall and plummet to the ground! This especially includes when coming in for a landing with a lower cruising speed; however, I need to make sure I do not cut the throttle and keep as much applied as I can before I get my plane around and lined up for landing.

Pilots get into trouble when manoeuvring for a landing with power at idle when they make steep turns to align themselves with the runway.  I definitely made to steep of a turn the one evening when my engine quit as I was to quick, panicked a bit perhaps, and instead of slowly manoeuvring in for the landing I banked hard and pulled around to get in line with the runway which could have easily lead to disaster instead of a save, especially if I wasn’t still on the trainer… and that’s why you start here and build up.

These links explain the issue of slow speed and bank angle as related to stall problems:
http://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-fly/aerodynamics/why-does-stall-speed-increase-with-bank-angle/
http://www.experimentalaircraft.info/flight-planning/aircraft-stall-speed-1.php
http://turbineair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Bank-Angle-vs-stall-speed-2013.pdf
http://krepelka.com/fsweb/lessons/private/privatelessons02.htm

Fun Social Flying Evening & New Experiences

I am loving the hobby of R/C Airplanes!  I had another awesome night of flying yesterday.  I got in three solid flights. What a solid flight looks like for me is approximately nine minutes, as that is what I have the timer on my transmitter set for, which I start right before takeoff.  The realised duration all depends if when I first hear that beep I come in for a landing right away, decide to wait for the final minute warning, or if it takes me a few attempts to get a landing I’m comfortable with which leads to about a +/- of a couple minutes.  The wind permitted takeoffs and landings going South to North on the runway last evening, which is the way in which I talked about in a previous post and really just started doing.

This evening wasn’t without a little added nervous excitement either, lol.  On my very first takeoff as soon as my LT40 lifted off the ground the right wing dipped, as if I wanted to bank right… which I didn’t, that could have lead to disaster.  I was quick enough on the controls to level it out and shakily gain some altitude before getting comfortably high up in the air for the remainder of the flight.   I heard “nice save” from John for that takeoff. Not sure what was with this evening but the second flight it came on the landing.  When approaching from the South I was way to far down the runway and had cut the power so when the aircraft landed I went right into a pool of water on the airfield.  A big thanks to John for retrieving the aircraft for me!  The lesson learned here is to not cut the engine so quick, come in lined up and low and then cut it such that I land up closer to the fence we stand behind as my aircraft doesn’t require much runway to come to a stop.

I managed to squeak in a third flight before the sun set which turned out to be my best flight of the night.  My takeoff was very smooth as the plane came off the ground effortlessly and uneventful, levelled out to gain airspeed before climbing into the air and performing a smooth right bank across the North end of the field.  After flying around I came in for a landing, learned from my swim in the pool, coasting for a smooth landing near wear we stand followed by a short taxi trip towards the exit.

Last evenings flying came with a little extra special moment as I got to see Peter fly his plane multiple times.  He’s always helping others on the ground or on the buddy box teaching someone how to fly so it was a pleasure to see the teacher up flying around, in this case breaking in a new engine.  I also got to assist Peter, for a change, prep for his flights, even if it was just in little ways such as holding the plane while Jon started and Peter revved it while out on the field.

After cleanup I caught up with the guys at McD’s, which is the tradition for at least some to go, where we shared some stories.

Crosswind Flying Excitement

Friday evening I got out for an excellent evening of flying getting in four flights, three of which were solid and one of which tested my ability to remain cool and collected, lol.

The planned new experience and knowledge gain from this evening of flying was taking off and landing when their is a crosswind.  In a previous post I mentioned how the runway generally runs North/South and Friday evening the wind was blowing West/East.  During my takeoff, heading South, in order to prevent the plane from tipping over or blowing off course you need to apply some rudder and ailerons (both R in this case) to prevent the plane from veering left and from tipping over due to the crosswind.  During landings you need to ensure you are over far enough on the runway such that while descending the plane doesn’t get blown from above the landing strip, but instead is blown into position.  While descending I used the rudder (applying R rudder again as I was landing pointing South) for course correction to keep the plane pointing down the runway and from getting to far over.  While performing these tasks you still need to do what you would normally during takeoff and landing (i.e. applying up elevator to get off the ground during take off and in order to land on the rear wheels, main gear, while landing).

All in all it was an excellent night of flying in which only a few noticeable events occurred:

  1. During flight my engine cut out due to the temperature change and I was able to remain calm and coast my plane in for a dead stick landing.  Then adjustments were made on the engine to help ensure the appropriate amount of fuel is being provided.
  2. While taxing back to the gate I applied to much throttle and the plane didn’t stop in time so I nosed into the fence, which cut the engine and thankfully did not damage, as I miss calculated how much time it’d take for the plane to slow while taxing.
  3. On a pre-flight check I noticed that when my throttle was at half on the transmitter the plane was actually at full throttle.  Going beyond that was just stressing both the servo and plastic ‘hinge’ for the throttle arm, which is not ideal.  This meant that I was finely controlling the throttle as from 0 to half equated to 0 to full and everything above half was essentially doing nothing but stressing the components.  This was like this from the time it was assembled, not sure why nobody noticed this until I did that evening, but do to the gracious help of Peter and John it has been fixed.  Hoping to get out this evening to see how this changes the feel of the plane!
  4. On my last flight of the day I didn’t compensate enough for the crosswind on landing and though I tried to make corrections at the last minute with my rudder to get back on the runway.  I ended up in the tall grass just off the runway and used the kill switch to kill my engine as quickly as I could to prevent damage (which I thankfully appeared to be successful at!).  This was a different experience as on top of the crosswind the sun was setting, already quite low, changing the visual of the approach and I went by the plane instead of my ground markers causing me to misjudge where the plane was at.

The weather hasn’t cooperated since Friday; however, I am hoping to get out tonight.  Will have to wait and see.

Some solid solo flying

It was fantastic to get out flying Monday evening after being on holidays in NL for two weeks and the weather not cooperating.  The weather was great last night.  I got in five flights total along with a bit of a different experience due to the change in wind conditions from what it has been while I’ve been at the field.

The landing strip runs, approximately, North to South.  Every other time I’ve been their it’s been a mostly South wind so I’ve been taking off and landing North to South.  This time out their was mostly a North wind (almost more West to East at times or completely died off).  Due to this I got to take off going the other direction on the landing strip, which is somewhat uphill and you need to be careful at the end of the landing strip as it drops off which can suck your plane down if you’re not careful.  One guy last evening dipped down into the ‘whole’ but was able to recover, thankfully!

The flying itself was quite similar to other nights with the major difference being in takeoffs and landings.  For the first two flights I was on the buddy box and then flew solo for the last three with Peter standing by my side to give brief words of advice, encouragement, or an update on field conditions (i.e. wind, other aircraft’s, etc.).  When landing coming in from the South you need to approach from the East (like when landing North to South) except bank right, level out, and then bank right again as you cut the throttle to come down the runway.  This is to prevent you from swinging out over the crowd (if people are there) and to stay ahead of the ‘flying line’ of where you are supposed to be flying.   From this direction you need to be careful of the trees while making sure you are out far enough to make your approach as how close you are to the trees can be deceptive.

It was a very exciting night of flying with only a few ‘scary’ moments.   The first wasn’t to bad as it was in taxing.  I didn’t apply any elevator so the nose wheel dug in and the plane tipped over.  The second incident was pretty much the exact same but tipped sideways on a turn as I didn’t have enough elevator applied (need to remember to always apply full elevator when taxing).  The third was the real heart pounding moment.  On take off my plane wasn’t pointing straight down the runway.  I didn’t look closely enough after Peter put down the plane, so instead of taxing into position I went for the takeoff.  Little did I know I was heading right for the fencing where we stand behind (nobody was there at the time, as was standing behind and off to the side of the plane for takeoff) so as it came off the ground I was on a collision course with the fencing.  Through some quick reflexes, and somewhat wobbly plane movements, I managed to bank away from the fence and level off to get some airspeed before rising up into the air.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, if you are not learning something when you are out you’re doing something wrong! 🙂

Sometimes after a day of work I feel so tired and wonder if I should go out to the airfield but every time so far, once I get their, I have an awesome time visiting with the guys and flying!  Unfortunately I didn’t get out tonight due to not sleeping much last night, wasn’t feeling well along with being really tired, so rather than push it I relaxed tonight with hopes of getting out again soon!