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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Due to the weather not cooperating it was nice to finally find an opening to squeak in some flying. Though their was bad weather all around us Petter and I decided to take a chance and headed to the airfield on May 26th for 6:30PM. The evening could have went either way for us but turned out awesome!
I got up for 2 or 3 solid flights on the buddy box, taking off and landing by myself. On the last flight of the day I did my first solo flight! This is the first time I actually held my Spectrum DX6 transmitter in my hands while flying. Using this transmitter over the old one I was using (as Peter held the primary) gave a different feel while flying due to the joysticks being stiffer and the ergonomics of the transmitter itself. I was on an ‘aeromodellers’ high and my heart felt like it was going to beat out through my chest! Following tradition my maiden solo voyage was a short one. I took off, flew down to the end of the run way and maneuvered right into the box pattern, turning left and flying out away from us parallel to the runway. I then throttled back, getting ready for my approach, banked left once I got to the far left of the field, leveled out and then shortly there after banked left again pointing me at the runway, cut the throttle and coasted in for a successful landing!
We then called it a night as my first solo mission was a success and we were going home with the plane in tack! We then packed up, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the sun went behind the clouds (didn’t want to be flying in shadows just yet!), the skeeters instantly became wicked and the rain started to fall. Didn’t matter to me as I was on cloud nine! I think Peter was too as he gets a great thrill out of seeing his students progress and ended with saying, “Now you’re on your own as there’s nothing more I can do for you while you’re flying”. Though I know he’ll still help when he can, and plan to be on the buddy box again when I’m out their and the wind has changed and need to land from the other direction. We then followed it up with going out for a treat.
I’ve been really looking forward to getting out again; however, the weather still hasn’t been cooperating as it’s been raining to much making the field to wet or their have been threatening dark clouds in the sky, which typically end up contributing to the sogginess of the airfield! If it hasn’t been precipitation it’s been strong unpredictable winds. Based on the forecast Thursday is looking to be my best chance of getting out before I go on holidays. In the mean time I’m blogging to take the edge off. 😉
On Wednesday, May 18th I got in my first flights of the season! I went out the night before; however, my transmitter with its new battery pack (that’s actually made for the Spektrum radio I have) when I got there was not charged! I thought I had charged it, plugged it into the wall overnight, but my outlets are weird, so I’m guessing the outlet was turned off. Lesson learned though, always check the radio the night before going flying! I then tried again the next night and boy did it pay off! I got in three solid flights.
The first flight started with Peter taking off the plane and then allowing me to fly around however I saw fit. I did a few figure eights and transitioned into boxes to practice lining up for landings. I then descended lower and lower on the approach whizzing down the middle of the runway. I eventually took more and more off the throttle until I was pretty much landing, but since wasn’t time yet I’d apply full throttle to ascend up for another come around until no mention of doing another come around came up from Peter and I landed!
The second flight started with me taxing the plane out into the runway, followed by me standing behind the plane lining it up for take off (based on the windsock). I then took off the aircraft and awkwardly (as that’s me, Mr. Awkward! Well, sometimes, lol) backed up as Peter guided me with a nudge here and their back behind little fence for pilots in the air as I didn’t want to take my eyes off the plane. I then flew around until it came time to land again and then practised lining up my approach and eventually landed my Sig Kadet LT-40 back on solid ground.
The third flight got even more exhilarating. Their were times I could feel my heart beating hard in my chest! This time I taxied the plane out to the runway, stayed behind the fence, and took off the aircraft from behind the fence. This provides a whole other perspective of the plane while taking off (side-view essentially). I then flew around for a bit and transitioned into touch and goes. I would come in as a landing, slowed right down, touch the plane down on the ground and coast along the ground a tiny bit as I’d then give full throttle to take off yet again to come around for yet another landing. I did this a handful of times before finally touching down for the night.
All in all I had an excellent night of flying and learned more while I was at it. You basically gotta learn something new each time out, whether its little or big, as that is part of the fun and what allows you to progress! Some key things for this night out are:
Don’t bank to steeply in turns, especially when it is windy as it was this night, or you risk the wind catching your plane and flipping you over, due to the amount of surface area being exposed
At our airfield don’t go to far off the end of the runway for your approach or else you risk the wind (up draft?) coming up the hill and rocking your plane. Thank-you Peter for the save (rather than then seeing if I would have been able to).
Kinda learned this one before, but if you are not comfortable with your approach for landing, give ‘er power and come around again (this is why you want to land before you run out of fuel) because if something already started to go wrong it’s likely only going to get worse if you try to correct/force the landing.
In SharePoint 2013 display templates are used with the content by search web part (CSWP) to format and style search results generated by the CSWP search query. Display templates control which managed properties are shown in the search results and how they appear in the web part. Each display template consists of two parts, the HTML version of the template that you can edit and a .js file SharePoint auto-generates for its use (never to be edited by you) when an HTML file is uploaded.
There are two types of display templates:
Control Template: is rendered only once in the web part and contains HTML to structure the overall layout of how you want to present the search results. I.e. HTML for a heading, beginning and end of a list
Item Template: is rendered one time for each item in the result set, i.e. for a results set containing five items, the template creates its HTML section five times
OHS Document Item Display Template
To see the code please view OHSDocItem_TwoLines, a text file containing the code. To use the template would need to change the file extension from txt to html.
The key here is to take a copy of one of SharePoint’s already created item templates that is close to what you are trying to create. In my case that was the Item_2Lines template. From their you need to make the necessary edits, which broken down for me are the following, with description underneath:
Edit the contents between the title tag to be what you want end users to see when selecting your display template, see Fig. 1.
This one is key as to what information is going to be accessible for displaying items. Each one needs to be a managed property, specified in the ‘Search Schema’ for the correct search service application (SSA).
Within here is the content type ID for the content type your search query is returning. This can be found by going to your content type hub and clicking on the appropriate content type. You can then grab the ID from the URL displayed in the address bar.
Initially will contain the file name portion of the one you copied, make it match yours.
var modified = $getItemValue(ctx,"LastModifiedTime");
var modified = $getItemValue(ctx, "LastModifiedTime");
Is an example of how to retrieve the contents of the managed property mapped via the first snipped of code above. This says to get the value stored in the item ‘LastModifiedTime’ using the current context, ctx (a variable SharePoint creates, handles, and makes available to you).
In my scenario I am using the CSWP to surface up OHS documents pertaining to a particular office, i.e. Atikokan, on a page within their office site. Our OHS documents are all of the content type “OHS Document”. Prior to utilizing the display template first the query returns back relevant results, in this case the query is ‘Return back items of the content type OHS Document where the tags metadata field contains the value Atikokan’, or in query form:
Fig. 1 shows the customization of the CSWP, where the query is done in an additional window by clicking ‘Change Query’. In this case we are using the ‘List with Paging’ control (a.k.a. the control template) which allows the user to scroll through results, 15 per page, by using the arrows. The item template is the one I created (see Making Your Display Template Accessible below). The property mappings are pulled directly from the display template as specified within the <mso:ManagedPropertyMapping msdt:dt=”string”> tag.
The result of the display template is shown in Fig. 2, where the managed property mappings correlate as follows:
‘Path’: Contains the URL to the item being displayed
‘Title’: Is the title from the document, which may be the same as the the file name. In our environment we’ve had to correct a few of these so that they are meaningful
‘LastModifiedTime’: Contains the date the file was last modified and makes up part of the 2nd line of the display template
‘LastModifiedBy’: Contains the person who last modified the document and makes up the second part of the 2nd line. This managed property I created includes a mapping to the crawled properties LastModifiedBy, ows_Modified_x0020_By, and ows_ModifiedBy.
As you can see in Fig. 2 this does not always contain a value, so there appears to still be a better crawled property (or perhaps ordering of crawled properties within my managed property) to be utilized. To handle this I have if conditions, seen as ‘comment sections’ in the code below which determines which code needs to be added for display. If the modified date is empty then nothing will get displayed and if modified date is not empty and the last modified person is not empty then ‘by’ is inserted along with the person who last modified the document. This prevents ‘by’ appearing without specifying an individual.
Making Your Display Template Accessible
At first I tried to copy an existing template and discovered that copying an existing HTML file to my local machine and then editing it, followed by copying it back did not work for me. What I had to do instead of copying it back through Windows Explorer I needed to navigate to ~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage and then drill down into ‘Display Templates -> Content Web Parts’. Then to add my newly created display template from the ribbon I navigated to ‘FILES -> New Document -> Item Display Template’, left clicking on ‘Item Display Template’ as that is the type I have created.
I then chose my display template HTML file *Item_*.html (Fill the * to get actual template name as this is my naming convention), added appropriate version comments, then clicked ‘OK’. I left the default properties on the document, as it appeared to pull everything correctly from the file. After reading it over I clicked ‘Save’. Refreshing the page by clicking ‘Content Web Parts’ and now see two additional files:
*Item_*.html (That I uploaded)
*Item_*.js (That was generated as expected)
Once this process is done you should be able to edit the properties of the CSWP and see the newly added display template under the drop down list ‘Item’ for display templates. The name will be as you described it using the HTML title attribute in the HTML file.